Orlando Magic at Denver Nuggets 12/18/19: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Daily Fantasy

Orlando Magic at Denver Nuggets Preview

In an interconference matchup tonight, the Denver Nuggets will host the Orlando Magic as we pass the first 1/3 mark of the NBA season. The Nuggets are still competitive in the Western Conference. They are in fourth place with a 17-8 record. The Nuggets have won their last three straight and are 5-5 in their last 10 games. They have been 11-3 at Pepsi Center this season.

Orlando is currently 8th in the Eastern Conference with a 12-15 record. They lost their last game and are also 5-5 in their last ten. They are 4-9 on the road and will be looking to improve that record tonight.

This will be the final game of the season series between the Nuggets and Magic. Denver won the first matchup on November 2 91-87. The Nuggets were led by Jamal Murray’s 22 points. Nikola Vucevic had 24 for the Magic.

TV Schedule

Date: 12/18/19
Time: 9 PM ET
Arena: Pepsi Center, Denver, CO
Channel: FSFL, ALT

Injuries

Magic: Al-Farouq Aminu (O)
Nuggets: Paul Millsap (Q)

Orlando Magic Starting Lineup

PG: Markelle Fultz
SG: Evan Fournier
SF: Jonathan Isaac
PF: Aaron Gordon
C: Nikola Vucevic

Magic Analysis

Orlando MagicThe Orlando Magic have struggled to find some consistency lately, but a lot of that could be due to center Nikola Vucevic missing 11 games and Khem Birch having to step in as the starter.

Vucevic’s return comes at a good time, as the Magic have a tough matchup in Nuggets center Nikola Jokic. The Magic are also hoping to have some help off the bench from Mo Bamba.

“That’s what coach harps on me about, just getting out there and just adding a spark,” Bamba said recently.

In their 109-102 loss to the Utah Jazz last night, it was DJ Augustin coming off the bench to provide the spark with 22 points. Evan Fournier added 19, Markelle Fultz had14 points and Vucevic finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

The Jazz had trouble containing Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic and big man Rudy Gobert controlled the boards with 19, something the Magic will hope to minimize against Denver’s frontcourt tonight.

Magic Quick Links: Magic Starting Lineup, Magic Roster, Magic Depth Chart, Magic Injuries, Magic News, Magic Schedule

Denver Nuggets Starting Lineup

PG: Jamal Murray
SG: Gary Harris
SF: Will Barton
PF: Paul Millsap
C: Nikola Jokic

Nuggets Analysis

Denver NuggetsThe NBA schedule-makers were not kind to the Denver Nuggets in putting together their schedule prior to Christmas. The Nuggets have been playing over a rough stretch, but they’ve won their last three and now hope to get some rest for their starters as their schedule gets back to normalcy.

“We just finished up eight games in 12 days, crazy stretch,” coach Mike Malone said. “If I’m playing Gary Harris 37, 38 minutes, that’s not going to be good for him long term. I have to get back to also giving other guys a chance to play and trusting guys because I don’t want to wear us down in the middle of January.”

Malone’s team should look a little refreshed tonight as they have not played since Sunday, where they secured a 111-105 victory over the New York Knicks. The Nuggets scored 67 first-half points to put some pressure on the Knicks, who tried to rally in the third, but could not fully recover.

Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic led the way with 25 points and 10 rebounds as one of six Nuggets in double figures. Will Barton had 16 points, Gary Harris had 15 and Jamal Murray and Mason Plumlee finished with 14 apiece.

Michael Porter Jr., who was injured all last season had nine points and eight rebounds in just 11 minutes off the bench, showing the kind of depth the Nuggets have.

Nuggets Quick Links: Nuggets Starting Lineup, Nuggets Roster, Nuggets Depth Chart, Nuggets Injuries, Nuggets News, Nuggets Schedule

Key Player Matchups

Nikola Jokic vs. Nikola Vucevic

In a battle of two of the best Euro centers, also somehow both named Nikola, I’m going with Jokic tonight. Vucevic is still working his way back after injury and Jokic is looking strong. He would be a handful for any center, and it should make for a great matchup.

Jamal Murray vs. Markelle Fultz

Fultz, the former number one overall pick has still not quite reached the potential most expected when he was drafted out of the University of Washington, but he seems to be showing some real development and improvement with the Magic. He’s been given the starting nod and is averaging 11.7 points and 4.2 assists per game, both career highs. That said, he is going up against a tried and tested point guard in Jamal Murray tonight, so the Magic could possibly split minutes between Fultz and DJ Augustin tonight.

Daily Fantasy

Nikola Vucevic and Nikola Jokic are your standouts for tonight’s game. Vucevic is really getting into major value territory with his FanDuel salary of $7k. He is projected to finish with 41 points, while Jokic is available for $9.1k with a 48-point projection.

Bet on Matchup

If you’re in Pennsylvania, you can bet on this matchup. Sports betting is legal in PA. Our top-rated online sportsbook bonus offers can be found in our articles: Fanduel Sportsbook promo code, DraftKings Sportsbook promo code & Pointsbet promo code.

  
Michael is Chief Editor at Lineups.com. He has decades of combined experience in traditional print journalism and online media and is the publisher of the Project Spurs Network, which includes 13 team-specific sports media sites and the flagship ProjectSpurs.com. He is also the creator of the first Spurs podcast and the longest-running sports podcast on the internet, the Spurscast, and was formerly the host of the News 4 San Antonio Sports Roundtable.

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