Charlotte Hornets Look to Bounce Back Against the Orlando Magic

After losing a tough game against the Brooklyn Nets, the Charlotte Hornets hope to right the ship as they travel to Orlando to take on the Magic.

Matchup: Charlotte Hornets (17-14) vs Orlando Magic (15-18)
Location: Amway Center; Orlando, FL
When: 7:00 PM EST
TV/Radio:  Fox Sports Southeast/ WFNZ 610 AM

The Charlotte Hornets were on a three-game winning streak before losing the game against the Brooklyn Nets in their last outing. Nicolas Batum has stepped up his play during the recent games. He posted his first triple-double of the season against the Chicago Bulls and scored a solid 24 points in the last game against the Bulls. Also, Jeremy Lamb has stepped up his scoring output since Marco Belinelli went down with an ankle injury.

Look for him to be aggressive against the Orlando Magic‘s second unit. This game might be just what the doctor ordered. The Hornets defeated the Magic by 21 points the last time they played. This game might help some of the players get their confidence and defensive swagger back if they are able to jump out ahead of Orlando.

The Orlando Magic are coming off an inspired win against the Memphis Grizzles. It will be important for the Hornets to start off strong to avoid the same outcome that the Grizzles faced. Led by a strong scoring outing from Aaron Gordon, the Magic were able to jump out to a 36-18 advantage in the first quarter during their last game. The Magic are currently being led by some familiar faces to longtime Bobcats/Hornets fans.

D.J. Augustin and Bismack Biyombo will be starting for the Magic. The Magic moved Elfrid Payton to the bench and are rumored to have him, as well as Nikola Vucevic on the trading block. They look to be all in on Aaron Gordon as he has taken on the primary offensive role for the Magic in Evan Fournier‘s absence. The benching of Payton seems to have motivated the team because they are on their first win streak in a while.

Injury Report
Charlotte Hornets: Marco Belinelli (SG- out)
Orlando Magic:  Evan Fournier (SG- questionable)

Key Match Up:

Marvin Williams vs. Serge Ibaka

Aaron Gordon gets a lot of defensive attention as a young star for the Orlando Magic. However, Serge Ibaka is often the X-factor in games that the Magic win. His Win/Loss split shows a drastic difference. In wins, he is averaging 18.5 points, 1.7 3-pointers, and 2.1 blocks compared to just 12.6 points, 1.3 3-pointers, and 1.6 blocks in losses.

It will be up to Marvin Williams to neutralize Ibaka this game. If Marvin is able to knock down a few of his three-pointers, then Ibaka will have to play defense away from the basket which will open up more driving lanes for Kemba Walker.

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