Do you think the visiting locker room at Amway Arena still smelled like champagne before it was demolished in 2012? I bet it did.
The Magic (14-35) hold the NBA’s worst record despite a hot start to the season, where they won seven of their first 10 games, including wins against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs. Now with more than halfway through the season, the Magic would be lucky to get a win against the Austin Spurs.
Meanwhile, the Lakers have been trending in the right direction, winning seven of their last 10 games without their starting point guard, Lonzo Ball. Ball won’t be available Wednesday night as he is still nursing an MCL sprain, but head coach Luke Walton told Bill Oram of the OC Register he could be back sooner rather than later.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if within a couple days, a week, whatever it is, they say he’s ready to start practicing again,” Walton said. “But we’re still training and approaching it as if it’s long-term.”
The Lakers have found ways to win without Ball after losing their first eight games without him, but they would benefit from having his playmaking and perimeter defense on this long road trip. While there’s no sense in rushing him back, it would be nice to see him on the court again (read: not see Tyler Ennis anymore).
Orlando will also head into Wednesday’s game pretty banged up, as their lone bright and shining star Aaron Gordon will be sidelined, along with the No. 6 pick in the 2017 draft, Jonathon Isaac. The Magic will also be without Nikola Vucevic, who is having a career-year from behind the arc with Orlando, shooting a career-high 34.3 percent from deep on a career-high 4.1 attempts per game.
Without two of their three leading scorers on the second night of a back-to-back, it would be surprising to see the Lakers walk away with an L. However, the Lakers have lost their last four games at the Amway Center (1-6 overall).
Regardless, enjoy the game!
Time: 4 p.m PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet