Cincinnati.com
National Basketball Association
Preview
Charlotte at Orlando
When: 7:00 PM ET, Friday, October 19, 2018
Where: Amway Center, Orlando, Florida

The Orlando Magic are firmly in rebuilding mode and will likely go through peaks and valleys during the season, but they'll be fun to watch. The Magic will try to ride their growing collection of young, athletic players to a second consecutive victory to open the season when they host the Charlotte Hornets on Friday.

The Magic can rival any team in pure athleticism with the likes of Aaron Gordon, Jonathon Simmons, Terrence Ross and rookie center Mohamed Bamba, and it was Bamba making noise in his season debut on Wednesday with key blocks and explosive dunks in a 104-101 triumph over Miami. "He's a super athlete," Gordon told reporters of Bamba. "He's so talented and it's good to know that you have that much talent with you. He makes plays where you're like, 'Whoa! I don't even know if I can make that play.' That’s the type (of rookie) that lets you know that we've got something special in him." The Hornets will see a familiar face on the other end of the floor Friday in Orlando head coach Steve Clifford, who held the same role in Charlotte for five seasons before being fired at the conclusion of the 2017-18 campaign. Clifford's old team fell just short in its opening game, dropping a 113-112 home decision to the Milwaukee Bucks despite 41 points from star guard Kemba Walker.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, FS Southeast (Charlotte), FS Florida (Orlando)

ABOUT THE HORNETS (0-1): Charlotte head coach James Borrego is already shaking things up by using an unconventionally small lineup down the stretch on Wednesday and recovering from a 20-point deficit in the fourth quarter before falling just short. Borrego had shooting guard Nicolas Batum and small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in the frontcourt during the run while veteran point guard Tony Parker provided a steady hand in his team debut. "I think we just found a group that wanted to play," Borrego told reporters. "They played with more urgency. They were fighting on the defensive end. For us to be a good defensive team this year we have to be urgent from the start."

ABOUT THE MAGIC (1-0): Clifford is not convinced that Orlando is rebuilding and believes the team can make the playoffs this season with its collection of talent. "We have enough talent," Clifford told reporters. "I know we haven't been picked to do well, but I've been around long enough to know (what it takes) Now, we have to play well. We're not going to show up and beat people. But we have enough talent where if we have a mature approach, commit to making progress and get better the way we're capable, we can (make the playoffs)." Gordon led the way with 26 points and 16 rebounds on Wednesday while going 4-of-6 from beyond the arc.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Hornets SG Malik Monk scored 18 points off the bench on Wednesday while Parker handed out seven assists in a reserve role.

2. Ross, Simmons and SG Evan Fournier combined to go 0-of-13 from 3-point range for the Magic on Wednesday.

3. Charlotte is riding an 11-game winning streak in the series, including a 137-100 win in its last trip to Orlando on April 6.

PREDICTION: Magic 109, Hornets 101
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Charlotte 0-1 L1 0-1 0-0 0-0 0-1 0-0 0-1
Orlando 1-0 W1 1-0 0-0 0-0 1-0 1-0 1-0
Last Meeting
Charlotte Orlando
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
4/6/18 CHA 137 ORL 100 137 50 55.8 100 36 44.7
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Charlotte M. Monk 26 57.1 6
Orlando D. Augustin 19 61.5 1
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Charlotte D. Howard 17 3 14
Orlando B. Biyombo 8 2 6
Assists Player  
Charlotte M. Monk 8
Orlando S. Mack 11
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Charlotte K. Walker 114 46.8 23
Orlando N. Vucevic 75 44.4 10
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Charlotte N. Batum 35 2 33
Orlando N. Vucevic 50 9 41
Assists Player  
Charlotte N. Batum 23
Orlando D. Augustin 25
Quickchart Matchup
Charlotte Charlotte Off vs  Orlando Orlando Defense
Charlotte Off vs Orlando - Points For 112.0 Points For
Charlotte Off vs Orlando - Points Against 101.0 Points Against
Charlotte - FG% 44.6 FG%
Orlando - FG% 39.2 FG%
Charlotte - Reb 41.0 Reb
Orlando - Reb 52.0 Reb
Orlando Orlando Off vs  Charlotte Charlotte Defense
Orlando Off vs Charlotte - Points For 104.0 Points For
Orlando Off vs Charlotte - Points Against 113.0 Points Against
Orlando - FG% 41.5 FG%
Charlotte - FG% 49.4 FG%
Orlando - Reb 51.0 Reb
Charlotte - Reb 57.0 Reb