UPDATE: The Magic tank just gained some momentum...
For Magic, Nikola Vucevic is out with bruised right leg. Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon remain out w/ concussion protocols.— cfgardner (@cf_gardner) April 11, 2016
Pop a couple of bottles of champagne and light some cigars, the last road game of the season for the Milwaukee Bucks is here. Of course, there's no better thrill than watching them face an intimidating Orlando Magic team stocked with former Bucks Scott Skiles (really intimidating), Brandon Jennings (semi-intimidating, but he might not even play) and Ersan Ilyasova (very intimidating if you see him in a dark alley past 10 p.m.).
Only 30 percent of the Bucks' wins this season have come away from the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Regardless if they win or lose tonight in Orlando, the 10 or 11 road wins go right up there next to the Larry Drew era in terms of wins produced.
In a hefty 43 minutes, Khris Middleton returned from a three-game absence Sunday in Philadelphia and torched the Sixers for 36 points (tying his career-high) and nine assists, helping the Bucks hold on in OT after blowing a 17-point lead. John Henson (18 points and 10 rebounds) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (14 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, five blocks and three steals) complemented Middleton.
The victory in Philadelphia bumped the Bucks down to 10th in the draft lottery standings. A loss to the Sixers ultimately could've moved them into a tie for eighth, but let's face it, draft lottery position isn't worth losing to the freaking Sixers on a Sunday...right? (*waits for comments to explode*)
Injury report: Jerryd Bayless is listed as out for tonight's game, while Greg Monroe (right knee soreness) is probable.
Orlando's last home matchup of the season couldn't come against an easier opponent, one they've dominated in the last 19 games — the Magic have taken 18 of the last 19 games against the Bucks inside the Amway Center. However, tonight could be different with Victor Oladipo and high-flyer Aaron Gordon questionable to play the last two games of the season because of concussions. Ilyasova has filled in for Gordon in the starting lineup while rookie Mario Hezonja has replaced Oladipo.
The Magic will be missing the postseason for the fourth season in a row, but in their first season under Skiles, they've made a nine-game improvement (as of right now), increased their pace and slightly improved defensively despite a chunk of injuries during the season. They have a lot of young developing talent on their roster, but whether or not they can play together consistently is the lingering question going forward.
On the Magic: Orlando Pinstriped Post
|2015/2016 NBA Season|
|April 11, 2016|
|Amway Center | Orlando, FL|
|FS Wisconsin+ | 105.7 The Fan|
|Rashad Vaughn||PG||Elfrid Payton|
|Khris Middleton||SG||Evan Fournier|
|Jabari Parker||SF||Mario Hezonja|
|Giannis Antetokounmpo||PF||Ersan Ilyasova|
|2015/16 Advanced Stats|
|94.2 (23rd)||Pace||96.0 (12th)|
|104.4 (25th)||ORtg||105.0 (22nd)|
|108.8 (23rd)||DRtg||106.7 (16th)|