#1: John Wall vs Orlando’s Point Guard?
The Orlando Magic suffered a devastating loss when their starting point guard Markelle Fultz tore his ACL. The Magic’s loss will give John Wall free range to have a field day over whoever is forced into action.
The only point guards on the Magic’s roster are either rookies or on two-way contracts. Cole Anthony has been the Magic’s primary backup point guard but the team might opt to keep him in that role and have Michael Carter-Williams run with the first unit.
Either way, John Wall should have a fun night as neither is near to him in quality. However, this matchup is important for the Rockets because the Magic run a significant amount of their offense through the pick and roll.
As mentioned earlier, Nikola Vucevic is the Magic’s best player, and a large part of his effectiveness on offense comes from his ability to work in the pick and roll and pick and pop game. If John Wall can take advantage of the Magic’s point guard situation on the defensive end it’ll go a long way in slowing down Vucevic.
On the other end, Wall should be primed to have a big night as neither Cole Anthony nor Michael Carter-Williams has what it takes to prevent him from getting to the rim. Look for Wall to be aggressive early in the game in an effort to take advantage of this favorable matchup but to also possibly force the Magic into an uncomfortable situation.
If the Magic’s point guards can’t contain Wall then they’ll be forced to bring someone in who can. Without a true facilitator, the Magic’s offense should suffer and simply by winning this match-up decisively, the Rockets could take the game with ease.