PORTLAND, Ore. — The Orlando Magic started their last game flat, and it produced a disastrous result, a 101-81 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers that was worse than the final score indicated.
Tonight, the Magic will try to avoid a similar start against the Portland Trail Blazers.
“The idea of tonight is just be ready to play,” shooting guard Arron Afflalo said. “Be ready to play — not worrying about individual droughts, not worrying about being conscious of our defensive assignments but the effort.”
At 26-9, the Trail Blazers own the fifth-best record in the NBA.
They also play in one of the NBA’s toughest venues for a visiting team, the Moda Center (formerly the Rose Garden).
The Blazers have two stars, power forward LaMarcus Aldridge and point guard Damian Lillard.
Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said Lillard, a second-year player, “has a great confidence about him.”
Arron Afflalo and Victor Oladipo could spend significant time guarding Lillard tonight.
“He’s on a hot streak right now,” Oladipo said. “He’s one of the best point guards in the league, so we’re going to have to do a great job of slowing him down and just trying to make it tough for him and give him different looks.”
The Magic (10-24) will play without injured center Nik Vucevic, who suffered a concussion Monday.
The team is 0-6 in games Vucevic has missed.
Josh Robbins covers the Orlando Magic and the NBA for the Orlando Sentinel. You can reach him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and connect with him on Facebook at facebook.com/JoshuaBRobbins. Follow him on Twitter at @JoshuaBRobbins.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun