Magic rule out 5 key players for home game versus…..

Magic rule out 5 key players for home game versus Timberwolves

If you think the Timberwolves were dealing with injury issues when Jaden McDaniels sprained his ankle, Anthony Edwards fell hard on his hip and Karl-Anthony Towns was nursing a sore knee, that’s nothing compared to what the Orlando Magic are dealing with ahead of their home games against Minnesota Tuesday night.

The Magic have ruled out seven players for Tuesday’s game against the Western Conference-leading Timberwolves. Look at this list…

  • Wendell Carter Jr. (right knee tendinitis)
  • Gary Harris (right calf strain)
  • Joe Ingles (left ankle sprain)
  • Jonathan Isaac (right hamstring strain)
  • Franz Wagner (right ankle sprain)

They’re so banged up that Chume Okeke, who is averaging 9.8 minutes per game this season, has started the last two games. Also noteworthy is that Caleb Houstan, 20, made his first career start Sunday against Atlanta and scored 25 points and hit 7-of-14 3s.

Unless Houstan puts on a repeat performance against the best defense in the league, the scoring duties will be up to Paolo Banchero and Jalen Suggs Tuesday night. Banchero, who will probably be hounded by McDaniels, is averaging 36.7 points, 8 rebounds and 6.7 assists over his past three games.

Magic rule out 5 key players for home game versus Timberwolves - Sports  Illustrated Minnesota Timberwolves News, Analysis and More

Wagner is a big loss. He’s been out since Jan. 3 and his absence takes 20.9 points per game out of the lineup.

Orlando has been up and down this season. They started 14-5 and then lost 10 of their next 15 games. But they’re fresh off back-to-back wins over the Nuggets (in Denver) and Hawks, and at 21-15 they are tied with Miami, Indiana and Cleveland for the fourth best record in the Eastern Conference.

How the Karl-Anthony Towns factor impacts the Wolves' fourth-quarter woes -  The Athletic

The best-case scenario for the Timberwolves is a blowout win that allows key players to get some extra rest for Wednesday night’s showdown in Boston, where the Celtics are a perfect 17-0.

The Minnesota Timberwolves visit the Orlando Magic tonight in what should be a defensive battle. The Wolves stand at the top of the Western Conference and are looking to make their first NBA Finals appearance, and the Magic is fourth in the Eastern Conference after beating the Atlanta Hawks in overtime.

Both teams are emerging as playoff contenders this year in large part due to their success on the defensive side of the ball. Orlando ranks fourth in defensive rating, and Minnesota ranks first. Both teams are top-ten in defending the three-point line, but the Wolves, led by Rudy Gobert, have a Defensive Player of the Year Candidate.

There is no doubt that the Wolves are the better team, and the Magic will be especially shorthanded tonight. Jonathan Isaac, Gary Harris, Wendell Carter Jr., Joe Ingles, and Franz Wagner will all be out. Minnesota will miss only Jaylen Clark. However, the Wolves are coming off a loss and could have lost some momentum.

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