The Lakers will look to stay hot on the road, taking on the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night. So far this season, the lone blemish on the Lakers’ road record was a loss on opening night in their own building. Since then, the Lakers have only lost two more games total on the season, and sit atop the Western Conference at 21-3.
Since their 100 point game against Dallas–their last loss of the season to date–the Lakers have scored more points in four consecutive games, cumulating with their 142 point offensive outburst at Staples Center last Sunday.
Orlando comes into this game with a 4-1 record in their past 5 games, and are 8-4 at home on the season. The most impressive part of their 4-1 stretch is that they’re doing it without Nikola Vucevic, who had an all-star season for the Magic last year and led them to the playoffs. Despite their resilience, they’re the third worst offensive team in the league in terms of ppg, where they score a measly 103 per game. Defensively, they’re above average, allowing 104.5 ppg on the season (103 at home).
The main threat for the Magic offensively has been Evan “Don’t Google My Name” Fournier, who leads the team in points per game as well as 3-point attempts and percentage. Aaron Gordon has flashed his talent over his first few years in the league, but he’s only averaging 13.7 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game this season. One storyline to watch for is the revitalized Markelle Fultz. The former number one overall pick is finally healthy and playing good basketball in Orlando scoring 12 points a night and ranking second on the team in assists per game.
Without Vucevic in the lineup, it’ll be up to the trio of Aaron Gordon, Jonathan Isaac, and Mo Bamba to slow down a scorching hot Anthony Davis, who is fresh off his 50 point explosion. Davis has lead the Lakers in scoring in six of their past seven games, and this is a mouthwatering matchup for him. LeBron will be looking for him early and often, as he looks to continue his incredible season, especially when it comes to passing the ball. LeBron has led the Lakers in assists in every game but one this season, and has been the sun that this Lakers solar system gravitates around.
The Lakers are by far the better team, but cross-country road games should never be taken for granted. The Lakers cannot overlook Orlando with a Heat team awaiting that is sitting third in the Eastern Conference on Friday. They will be looking to get in, do their business, get out, and enjoy this Florida road trip.