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Kings vs. Magic Preview: The Mouse in the House

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The Eastern Conference’s 7th seed has rolled into Sacramento on a carriage that might just be a pumpkin.

NBA: Orlando Magic at Sacramento Kings Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

The Orlando Magic are a weird team who currently sits 3 games below .500 and pretty firmly in their seventh spot in the Eastern Conference. The Kings are a weird team who are some how both NINE games under .500 while only two games out of the 8th and final playoff spot in the West. Both are riddled with injuries to key components of their team at a now crucial time of the season. This game could be another meaningless tally mark on the stone walls around the cellar the Kings have been locked in for 14 years or could help right the Kings and get them closer to their a version of last season.

Either way, this game is weird and I have very little in the way of actual analysis for it.

When: Monday, January 13th, 7:00 PST

Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA

TV: NBCSCA

Radio: KHTK Sports 1140 AM

For Your Consideration

Coming of a season in which they won 42 games and sent their center to the All-Star game, I’d say the Magic were one of those teams with some hype to jump a few spots in the standings. To be fair as well, without injuries etc. the Magic are without a doubt one of the sneakiest teams in the league with a slew of guys that could jump off the page as a “Wait, HE BEAT US?!” situation. The Kings always let the weird ones have a shot at ruining their fans’ days and in that regard, the Magic are scary as hell. Before his injury Jonathan Isaac was playing some really nice basketball with an average of 12 points, 7 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 2.4 blocks a game. He’s a lanky fella and was absolutely going score 20 points and smack 5 of Marvin Bagley’s shots at the rim. He’s out for 2 months with a severe left knee sprain. Another guy to watch for would be Markelle Fultz, the former #1 pick overall of the Sixers who through magic, mesmerism or medical mystery “forgot” how to shoot the basketball. Fultz has come alive for the Magic this season, averaging 11.4 points, 4.5 assists and just about a highlight dunk or shake a night. He’s a fantastic story this season and I’m glad that he’s coming out of whatever it was that happened. He’s going to kill us.

There are others of course: the once future King Nikola Vucevic is sitting pretty at 18.5 points, 11.3 rebounds and shooting over 35% from long range. Aaron Gordon has been a disappointment in a year where the Magic really spent some money to push this team into more than a first round exit. Averaging only 13.1 points and 7.5 rebounds, if there’s a night for him to break free, it’s tonight. Note he also didn’t play in his previous game with a calf injury so... grain of salt. Overall, the Magic are the lowest scoring team in the league while also holding opponents to the lowest output NBA wide. They’re the fourth slowest team and have the fifth best defensive rating. They’re also going to be missing any number of those missing pieces tonight and so who the hell knows what is happening tonight?!

Prediction

The Kings score below ninety points somehow and still pull it out.

Kings: 87, Magic: 82