When: Friday, January 25 at 7 pm Eastern Time
Where: Amway Center in Orlando, Florida
TV: NBC Sports Washington
Wizards: John Wall (Out, Heel), Dwight Howard (Out, Back), Markieff Morris (Out, Neck)
Magic: Isaiah Briscoe (Questionable, Ankle), Timofey Mozgov (Out, Knee)
What to Watch for
Something has to give
The Wizards and Magic have different payrolls and reputations, but on paper, they’re not all that different. They both have 20 wins going into this game and similar point differentials.
On the other hand, these teams couldn’t be more different. The Magic have a talented frontline with Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon, but they’ve stumbled in 2019, going 4-8 in January. The Wizards stumbled out of the gates, but their talented perimeter players have helped them get back on track in recent weeks.
Both teams face big decisions in the next few weeks before the trade deadline on February 8. The Magic and Wizards desperately want to make the playoffs, but they have nine other teams to contend with besides themselves. A loss here for either side to a team on the outside of the playoff picture could be the final straw that pushes a team to be a seller instead of a buyer at the deadline.