The last time the two teams met in mid-December, the Magic were healthy enough to beat the Bulls 83-82. In that game, Arron Afflalo led the team with 23 points and Glen Davis recorded 14 points and 11 rebounds. Jameer Nelson added 14 points, seven assists and five boards. Both teams struggled from the floor and shot under 40 percent.
Orlando will be without Afflalo who leads the team with 20.8 points per game and Nikola Vucevic who leads the team with 11 rebounds and 1.11 blocks per game. Afflalo is dealing with a sprained right foot while Vucevic is dealing with a concussion. It is unknown when they will be back but Vucevic’s injury might keep him out longer than Afflalo since he has to go through the NBA concussion protocol.
With Afflalo and Vucevic injured, head coach Jacque Vaughn has inserted rookie Victor Oladipo and 20-year-old Maurice Harkless into the starting lineup. Earlier today, Oladipo told me that they really need to focus on defense. The Magic have struggled lately with their opponents going a big runs. Oladipo says against they Bulls they need to be able to defend for long periods of time throughout the game.
Magic Rookie Victor Oladipo:
Magic Head Coach Jacque Vaughn: