Milwaukee Bucks vs Orlando Magic 8/22/20: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds

Milwaukee Bucks vs Orlando Magic Preview

The Magic pulled off a stunning 12-point upset over the Bucks in Game 1 of this series between the #1 and #8 seeds in the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee had a huge bounce-back performance in Game 2, though, as Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 28 points and 20 rebounds led the Bucks to a decisive 111-96 victory. At this point in the series, the location would have switched to Orlando as the lower-seeded team is home for Games 3 and 4. However, the Magic have quasi-home field advantage for the entirety of the playoffs as the games take place in their backyard at Disney World. The Bucks had the second-best home record in the NBA this season behind just the 76ers, but they won’t be able to play any games in Milwaukee on their championship hunt. If the Bucks want to make a deep playoff run, they will need to solidify their outside shooting as their 34.9% clip through the first two games of the playoffs will not be good enough.

For Orlando, Nikola Vucevic has been the major storyline as he backed up his 35-point Game 1 performance with 32 points in Game 2. He’s the third-leading scorer in the playoffs so far and he’s doing it on an uber-efficient 59.6% from the field and 43.8% from 3-point range. I often feel that Vucevic doesn’t get the credit he deserves as one of the best interior scorers in the NBA, and it’s a shame that the Magic can’t find more offensive production around him. In Game 2, Orlando’s lights-out shooting from Game 1 expectedly fell back to earth. The Magic shot just 34.3% from long range this season, the fifth-worst mark in the NBA, so their 39% from Game 1 was a surprise. They will likely be able to improve from their 21.2% Game 2 mark, but the Bucks allow the seventh-fewest points in the NBA and the Orlando offense was always going to struggle in this series. In Game 3, their shooting will need to improve if they want to compete.

TV Schedule

Date: 8/21/20
Time: 1:00 PM ET
Arena: HP Field House, Orlando, FL
Channel: TNT

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Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo (probable), Ersan Ilyasova (probable)
Magic: Aaron Gordon (questionable), Michael Carter-Williams (doubtful), Jonathan Isaac (out), Al Farouq-Aminu (out), Mohamed Bamba (out),

Bucks Starting 5

PG: Eric Bledsoe
SG: Wesley Matthews
SF: Khris Middleton
PF: Giannis Antetokounmpo
C: Brook Lopez

Bucks Analysis

Milwaukee BucksMilwaukee’s offense depends heavily on Giannis Antetokounmpo, the seventh-leading scorer in the playoffs with 29.5 points per game. Giannis is likely about to be a back-to-back MVP winner and is probably the most talented player in the NBA to have not won a championship. He ended this season with a PER of 31.91, the best mark in NBA history. The frontcourt duo of Gary Clark and Nikola Vucevic has no hope of defending Giannis in the paint and the losses of both Aaron Gordon and Jonathan Isaac are felt by the Magic when it comes to guarding the reigning MVP. Giannis isn’t without help, though – Khris Middleton had an outstanding regular season as he scored 20.9 points per game and just narrowly missed the 50/40/90 shooting club. However, Middleton has yet to make a significant impact offensively as he has gone just 5-20 from the field and 2-10 from 3-point range. He’ll be looking to find his range in Game 3.

In the backcourt, Eric Bledsoe and Wesley Matthews have been the go-to starters. However, Mike Budenholzer has preferred to frequently rotate his guards as Donte DiVincenzo, Pat Connaughton, George Hill, and Kyle Korver have all played significant minutes in the backcourt. With Giannis acting as a point forward at times and Middleton a solid passer in his own right, the Bucks are afforded flexibility with their backcourt utility. Eric Bledsoe has been the best backcourt player on the team as he has scored a total of 25 points across the first two games in this series. Rounding out the starting five is Brook Lopez, a center whose shooting and rim protection are vital to the team’s success on both ends. Lopez had a huge bounce-back performance in Game 2 as he had 20 points after a 2-9 effort from the field in Game 1.

Magic Starting 5

PG: Markelle Fultz
SG: Evan Fournier
SF: James Ennis III
PF: Gary Clark
C: Nikola Vucevic

Magic Analysis

Orlando MagicWith injuries to major contributors at the forward spots in Jonathan Isaac and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have been forced to pivot in their starting lineup for the playoffs. Isaac is out indefinitely with what was a devastating broken leg, but Gordon could make his return as early as this contest. Keep an eye on shootaround to see if Gordon is ready to go. In the meantime, the Magic will move forward with James Ennis III and Gary Clark at small forward and power forward, respectively. Clark only has twelve regular-season starts to his name, but he finds himself thrust into a starting role in the playoffs. He has only attempted 3-point shots so far in the playoffs and has hit just five of his seventeen attempts. Ennis has played for a handful of different teams but has never been able to lock down a starting spot. Neither of these two players was supposed to be in this situation, starting in key playoff games, and they are overmatched against Giannis and Middleton.

At the guard spots, Markelle Fultz will be heavily relied upon for playmaking duties as Michael Carter-Williams continues to be out with an injury. Fultz is a third-year player who was the former first overall pick in the draft by the Philadelphia 76ers in 2017. Veteran D.J. Augustin will also chip in at point guard – he leads the team in assists in the playoffs with 16. At shooting guard, Evan Fournier hasn’t quite been himself in the playoffs as he’s shot just 7-21 from the field. He’ll need to regain his offensive form to keep the Magic in this series as Vucevic can’t be the only player who can create their own offense. Vucevic is decidedly great, though, as he is averaging 33.5 points per game in the playoffs. He’s one of the best interior scorers in the NBA and has been a star of this year’s playoffs.

Bucks vs Magic DFS Angle

Bucks vs Magic Betting Odds

Bucks Spread: -12.0
Bucks Moneyline: -835
Magic Spread: +12.0
Magic Moneyline: +600
Over/Under Points Total: 226.5

The spread for Game 2 landed at around -12 in the Bucks’ favor despite the surprising upset defeat in Game 1 by the Magic. In more expected fashion, the Bucks easily handled the Magic in Game 2 by 15 points. This Magic lineup is devoid of scoring creativity and shot-making ability, and while their defense is solid when they’re at full strength, they’re nowhere close to it at this point. Steve Clifford has done a great job in his second season coaching this team, and like last year, his squad rewarded him with an opening-round Game 1 victory. However, they went 0-4 in the remainder of the series. I’m expecting the same thing to happen here as they’re facing a much more talented Bucks team. I’m comfortable throwing on the spread for Milwaukee UNLESS Aaron Gordon comes back. If Gordon is activated late before the game, I’m pivoting to bet on the Magic against the spread. I’m also taking the under on the points total for this matchup as both of the first two games went under 226.5 points.

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What's up, I'm Jacob. I grew up watching Peyton Manning play and stuck with the Broncos after he retired. I'm also probably the only Clippers fan you'll ever meet. I'm from Southern California but I'm a junior at the University of Michigan studying sport management. Beyond my passion for sports I play guitar, grill a mean rib eye, and enjoy gambling on pretty much everything.

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