The New York Knicks (8-7), will conclude their four-game road trip on Wednesday night when they visit the Amway Center Arena to take on the Orlando Magic (6-8).
Both teams have dropped their last game, with the Knicks falling to the Miami Heat (9-4), in a 95-78 blowout loss which uprooted an offensive clunker from their supporting cast, with the second unit finishing a ghastly 4-27 from the field. They will look to get back to their cooperative ways that provided a 4-game winning streak as they play an Orlando Magic ball club who was recently torched by the East-leading Cleveland Cavaliers (11-3).
Orlando never took the driver seat in this one, particually because they allowed a video game-like 3-point explosion from the Cavs, burying an astounding 18-35 (51.4%) of them from deep. This is rather fortunate for the Knicks, who have been shooting at a 34.1% clip from deep, per Basketball-Reference.com, and they happen to have the NBA's third-ranked three-point gunner in Langston Galloway, who is shooting at a smokey 50% clip, according to ESPN.com.
In a much improved Eastern Conference, the Knicks are currently looking outside from inside the playoff picture, at the 10th seed trailing the 9th seeded Boston Celtics (7-6).
They are currently just a 50% game back from reaching the playoff tree, behind the rolling Charlotte Hornets (8-6), who just claimed victory in an overtime thriller against the struggling Sacramento Kings (5-10).
While the Magic stand at a heftier 2 full games back from the playoff window, both ball clubs look to bounce back with fire in this matchup where younger players by the likes of Evan Fournier, the Magic's explosive budding European star who has exploded this season, averaging an unexpected 18.8 points per contest and a pesty 1.4 steals a game in a whopping 37.1 minutes, and Kristaps Porzingis.
The smoothe as silk 7' 3'' Latvian rookie has been turning heads throughout the league and shocking the sports world for his emerging pure talent and rare abilities, defying his European stereotype. KP6 has earned 7 double-doubles in 15 contests, with rookie averages that consist of 13.7 scores, 9.1 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks, the current runner-up in the rookie of the year race, behind Karl-Anthony Towns.
Now this does not mean the Knicks nor the Magic will have an easy win on their hands either, as the teams split their previous 4 games, with win margains no greater than 7 points last season by either team.
Nikola Vucevic has been sizzling in the last 4 outings against the Knicks, posting a solid 23.5 points and 15.5 rebounds against them last season.
These two ball clubs are known to whip up spicy matchups within the last few years, and the rivalry has created some exciting basketball to be watched, creating recipes of explosive excitement each time these East teams battle.