The Clippers got a big comeback win in their last game, but can they keep that momentum going in a tough road game in Orlando?

Game Information

Where: Kia Center, Orlando, Florida

When: 4:00 PM PT

How to Watch: Bally Sports SoCal, AM 570

Tickets: For great deals on Clippers tickets, check out Barry’s Tickets!

Projected Starting Lineups

Clippers: James Harden – Terance Mann – Paul George – Kawhi Leonard – Ivica Zubac

Magic: Jalen Suggs – Gary Harris – Franz Wagner – Paolo Banchero – Wendell Carter Jr.


Clippers: None

Magic: None

The Big Picture

The Clippers pulled off their win on Wednesday by the skin of their teeth, but at this point of the season, a win is a win. More importantly than the win, however, is that the Clippers actually played pretty well after the first quarter. The shotmaking wasn’t always there, but the effort and execution were for the most part. The Clippers have just 10 games left in the season, and even going 5-5 would almost certainly keep them in the top seven. If they can get to 7-3, they will probably keep their 4th spot. Anything better would be a minor miracle. As long as they play how they did for most of the game on Wednesday, they should be able to keep themselves out of the play-in at the very least.

The Antagonist

The Orlando Magic are one of the pleasant surprises of the 2024 NBA season. Projected by most pundits as a fun, up-and-coming, but still fringe team (maybe in the 35-38 win range on the bottom half of the play-in), the Magic are 42-30 and will very likely finish in the top-5 barring a collapse. Their strength is defense – they’re the 3rd best defense in the NBA and just a hair behind the Celtics for 2nd. Their offense is a much less pleasant 22nd, but they have an old-school bucket getter in Paolo, an explosive 6th man in Cole Anthony, and lots of talent up and down the roster. They aren’t a contender yet, but their defense can make any opponent miserable and keeps them competitive almost every game.


Generating Offense: The Magic are a great example of a team that doesn’t just have good (great, even) individual defenders, but play smartly, on a string, and within scheme. The Clippers’ offense has been mostly good just based on sheer talent, but they will really need to be ready to execute to get good looks against the Magic. Jalen Suggs will probably guard Harden, Franz will be on PG, and Banchero on Kawhi – all of them have the size to really bother the Clippers’ players. And when Jonathan Isaac comes in, he’s a one-man wrecking crew. There can’t be any careless passes, because they will get picked off. Hopefully the Clippers are ready for a slugfest.

Wall off the Paint: The Magic are not a great offense, and that’s largely because they don’t have many good shooters. Paolo is ok, Franz is having a down year, Wendell is just fine, and Harris is solid but not a high-volume guy. That means the Magic’s spacing is frequently cramped – and the Clippers need to adjust accordingly. Unlike many teams that you want to play to run off the three-point line, the Magic are a team that is athletic and will punish you inside, so the Clippers should try to force them into jumpers and keep them away from the rim. Easier said than done, sure, but the Clippers’ attention to detail on who to close out to and who to let shoot will need to be there.

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