The Orlando Magic will host the New York Knicks, whom sport an exactly identical record at 6-4 heading into tonight’s contest. New York is coming off a 118-113 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.

“It’s very important, especially because after that we go to the West Coast,” Orlando center Nikola Vucevic said of the New York Knicks matchup. “Those West Coast trips can be very tough and tricky, and we have some tough games to play over there. So, I think it would be very important for us just because we lost two and because we have this road trip.”

Orlando on the other hand is in the midst of its first multiple game losing streak of the season, losing back to back contests to the Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics, respectively. The Magic will look to get back on track at the Amway Center, so we take a look at several keys to tonight’s contest.

Slow down Porzingis

There’s no secret that New York center Kristaps Porzingis has been one of the hottest players in the NBA lately, including scoring 28 points against the Hornets on Tuesday night. Vucevic will have his hands full with the 7-foot-3 star.

Orlando’s stars must show up

The likes of Vucevic, Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier have to do their part if the Magic look to win their seventh game of the season.

Use home court advantage 

Orlando is 3-2 on the season at the Amway Center,  but the Magic have dropped their last two home contest. Frank Vogel’s crew can’t allow games at home to slip away so easily.

Steady backcourt play

Still awaiting the return of point guards Elfrid Payton and D.J. Augustin have Orlando constantly shuffling its backcourt look. Vogel inserted Jonathan Simmons into the starting lineup against Boston and could start again with guard Terrance Ross.

Second half woes 

In losses to both the Bulls and Celtics, the Magic were out-scored 61-38 and 55-50, respectively. Orlando will need to play better in the third and fourth quarters if they want to get back into the win column.

About The Author

Andy Villamarzo has covered high school and youth sports for the Tampa Bay Times and The Tampa Tribune as a correspondent since 2008. He is a native of Holiday, FL, who graduated from Gulf High School and studied at St. Petersburg College. He has covered various prep, collegiate and professional athletes throughout his writing career, including Josh Johnson (Jacksonville Jaguars), Patrick Schuster (Arizona Diamondbacks) and currently writes for other publications like The Suncoast News, Friday Night Football Magazine and TopDrawerSoccer.com.

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