Following a 113-97 loss to the Toronto Raptors Wednesday night, the Orlando Magic will now have to deal with the loss of their two key players. Magic All-Stars Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon are both out for multiple weeks due to ankle injuries.
Orlando Magic Stars Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon Out For Multiple Weeks With Ankle Injuries
According to the Magic’s PR team, Gordon and Vucevic underwent an MRI Wednesday afternoon in Indianapolis.
Orlando Magic Injury Update : Gordon & Vucevic pic.twitter.com/1sxi97pDvJ
— Orlando Magic PR (@Magic_PR) November 21, 2019
Gordon suffers a right knee contusion and Vucevic suffers a right lateral ankle sprain. Vucevic’s status will have an update in 7-10 days, while Gordon’s status depends on his response to treatment.
Both players suffered their injuries during the second quarter Wednesday night against the Raptors. Gordon landed awkwardly while going for a block, while Vucevic landed awkwardly on his right foot, rolling over this ankle following a block attempt to Norman Powell‘s layup.
— John Denton (@JohnDenton555) November 21, 2019
More players have played all 14 games so far this season and have contributed well for the Magic. Gordon is averaging 13 points and 6 rebounds per game. Vucevic is averaging a team-high-tying 17 points and team-high 11 rebounds.
Magic Needs Others To Step Up in Wake of Vucevic and Gordon’s Injuries
When the Magic has its two best stars on the floor, it makes a huge difference for them offensively.
Orlando posts a 116.0 offensive rating when Vucevic is on the floor, and a 90.6 offensive rating when Gordon is on the floor. The Magic now needs other players to bring that offensive momentum back.
Backup center Khem Birch will most likely replace Vucevic, but head coach Steve Clifford will most likely experiment with Bich and Mohamed Bamba. The only issue is that Bamba struggles offensively, particularly with getting inside the paint. He was outplayed in Wednesday’s game, finishing off with only three points and three rebounds in 15 minutes of play.
The Magic need to provide more solid defensive efforts, along with high offensive efficiency in the absence of Vucevic and Gordon. That means that Orlando will play more pick-and-roll style basketball, which requires movement with the defense. Birch and Bamba will have to step up with point guard Markelle Fultz to successfully fulfill the pick-and-roll in order to maintain the offensive and defensive efficiency.
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