Orlando Magic vs Atlanta Hawks Preview and Predictions -02-26-2020
Magic hoping to hit their stride
It has been a season full of ups and downs for the Magic that has seen them continue to struggle to breakthrough. The hope was that they could build of their first playoff appearance in nearly a decade, but that hasn’t been the case this year. Instead, they have continued to work through the same offensive woes that have plagued them over the last several seasons. They have plenty of talent on their roster, but that hasn’t equated to them taking anywhere near the type of step forward that would put them well in the mix for one of the top spots in the Eastern Conference. That has seen them stumble as of late, dropping six out of their last 10 games played.
The Magic haven’t completely headed south as they have had their bright spots on the roster. That has been led by the play from star big man Nikola Vucevic, who has been their leading offensive factor on the court. He is currently averaging team-best numbers with 19.1 points and 10.8 rebounds while shooting 45.8 percent from the floor. Vucevic has remained a strong source of production even after the All-Star break as he has back-to-back double-doubles that includes a 27-point outing against the Mavericks. If the Magic hope to edge out the Hawks that will need them to step it up offensively against one of the worst teams defensively in the league.
Hawks hoping for some home cooking
The Magic may have had their issues this season, the Hawks have topped with their large amount of struggles on the floor that have pushed them well out of the playoff picture. The hope was that they could take some significant strides with their young core group and that simply hasn’t been the case in the 2019-20 campaign. They have continued experience plenty of growing pains along the way, but have had some promising play from their youth in the process. It has just seen them struggle to get headway with that group because of their inexperience and massive problems on the defensive end of the floor.
The Hawks have been one of the worst teams defensively as they are allowing 119.0 points per contest. That alone has been one of their biggest Achilles heels this season. However, it has seen second-year point guard Trae Young make some huge strides with his play on the court as he has been one of the most productive players in the league. Young is averaging career-best numbers as he’s third with 29.9 points and second with 9.2 assists per contest. He has stayed on fire over the last couple of weeks, averaging 32.2 points and 9.0 assists over his previous gams played. It will be a tough game on their home floor, but the Hawks have the firepower behind Young to push to a much-needed win.
The Orlando Magic are an American professional basketball team based in Orlando, Florida. The Magic compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league’s Eastern Conference Southeast Division. The franchise was established in 1989 as an expansion franchise, and such notable NBA stars as Shaquille O’Neal, Penny Hardaway, Patrick Ewing, Grant Hill, Tracy McGrady, Steve Francis, Dwight Howard, Vince Carter, Rashard Lewis, Dominique Wilkins, and Hedo Türkoğlu have played for the club throughout its young history. As of 2019, the franchise has played in the NBA playoffs for exactly half of its existence (15 playoff appearances in 30 years), and twice went to the NBA Finals, in 1995 and 2009. Orlando has been the second most successful of the four expansion teams brought into the league in 1988 and 1989 in terms of winning percentage, only after the Miami Heat.