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Houston Rockets vs. Orlando Magic game preview

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NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Orlando Magic Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

After a win that sent the heart to the cath lab (just a medical joke), the Rockets fly into Orlando, where they haven’t won in two years.

The Magic are 16-21 and are currently sitting at the bottom of a glut of teams in the Eastern Conference. However, with the East being what it is this season, they are a measly four games out of fifth place.

Orlando made the biggest offseason trade this summer, sending Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova, and Domantas Sabonis to OKC for Serge Ibaka. The move made sense at the time, but then the Magic signed Bismack Biyombo and you wondered how they would play all three of their big men enough minutes while allowing Aaron Gordon to develop.

Well, all four of those players are playing between 26 and 31 minutes per night. Ibaka has started all 37 games, Gordon 29, Biyombo 21, and Vucevic 16. It feels like they’re trying to get to have their cake and eat it too. Maybe they would be better served by trading one of them? I’ve honestly watched zero minutes of Orlando Magic basketball this season, so please forgive me Magic fans.

Orlando has struggled offensively, ranking 27th among all teams. But they rebound well defensively and don’t turn the ball over on offense.

The Rockets have had trouble in the past with Elfrid Payton, but Oladipo was the Magic player (Magician?) that gave the Rockets the most trouble. He won’t be there tonight.

I think the Houston defense and rebounding has been teetering on the edge and might fail tonight. I’ll pick the Magic for the “upset.” No, this is still not a trap game. Then the Rockets head to Canada to play the Raptors in yet another odd start time matchup (5pm WHY?).

Tip-off is at 6pm CT.