INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Hoosiers fans show up wherever the Orlando Magic have played this season. From Miami to Portland, Ore., Hoosiers fans want to see Magic rookie and former Hoosiers standout Victor Oladipo.
You can expect more of the same tonight, when the Magic face the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
On Oct. 29, when the Magic and Pacers opened the NBA regular season at the arena, Oladipo received a standing ovation when he stepped onto the court for the first time.
“It’s kind of crazy,” Oladipo said after the Magic completed their shootaround early this afternoon.
“A lot of people don’t even know me, but they’re just happy to see me. So, it’s definitely a blessing for me to impact their lives like that. I’m just going to go out here and play hard and hopefully get a win today.”
The Magic (13-36) will face a difficult test tonight against the Pacers (36-10), who have the NBA’s best record and best defense.
Indiana has gone 3-3 in its last six games, and the Pacers want to regain some momentum.
The Magic, the NBA’s worst road team with a 3-22 record outside Orlando, stand in the Pacers’ way of accomplishing that goal.
Indiana swingman Paul George said today: “I want to see us get back to form, get back to playing defense, starting the games off with a little more energy and getting back to what we’ve been so good at, and that’s jumping out to leads and extending leads throughout the game and everybody playing at the same level to start the game off.
“We can’t take them lightly. With guys being out on their team, it’s going to cause the guys to step up. These are the scary games, where teams have nothing to lose and a lot of young guys have got something to prove. So, this is going to be a serious game for us.”
The Pacers are one of the most physical teams in the NBA, with a starting frontcourt that includes center Roy Hibbert and power forward David West.
“They’re physical,” Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said. “We’re all men. We can be physical back.”
Josh Robbins covers the Orlando Magic and the NBA for the Orlando Sentinel. You can reach him via e-mail at email@example.com and connect with him on Facebook at facebook.com/JoshuaBRobbins. Follow him on Twitter at @JoshuaBRobbins.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun