Preview: Bucks at Magic

The Orlando Magic did not fare well on their just-completed six-game road trip, going 1-5 while allowing an average of 113.7 points, and hope a return home can swing the momentum. The Magic will kick off a three-game homestand on Friday against the struggling Milwaukee Bucks.

First-year Orlando coach Frank Vogel preaches discipline on the defensive end and ball movement on the offensive end, but the players are not buying 100 percent into the system. “We don’t play the right way,” Magic center Nikola Vucevic told reporters of the team’s lack of ball movement and struggles on the defensive end. “We can play as hard as we want, but as long as we keep playing like this, this is how it’s going to be. It’s hard for guys to keep telling guys to give effort when we don’t do the right things out there. We take bad shots, we play selfish. It’s embarrassing.” The Bucks dropped three straight to fall below .500 and could not compete with the Houston Rockets in a 111-92 road loss on Wednesday. “You have to have some pride and there has to be a team effort, and tonight we just didn’t give it,” Bucks coach Jason Kidd told reporters after the loss.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee), FSN Florida (Orlando)

ABOUT THE BUCKS (20-21): The one player that didn’t disappoint for Milwaukee on Wednesday was star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, who scored 32 points on 13-of-20 shooting and added 11 rebounds, six assists and three blocks in his latest stat-stuffing effort. The 22-year-old is shooting 59 percent from the floor during the three-game slide but still feels that he needs to do more. “I feel it’s going to come because I trust my teammates,” Antetokounmpo told reporters. “I know everybody on this team wants to win. I’ve got to do a better job, too, playing harder. I’m talking about everybody and I’m talking about myself first. We could have had that game (Wednesday) but we gave it away.”

ABOUT THE MAGIC (17-27): Vogel is trying to keep his team together as veterans like Vucevic and forward Jeff Green call out the team on its lack of effort. “We’ve got to figure it out,” Vogel told reporters. “We’ve got to stay together and keep our heads up and keep believing in who we are and who we can be. “Nobody is happy with how we played - I’m not, they’re not and we’ve got to work together to figure it out.” Orlando allowed the New Orleans Pelicans, who sit in the bottom third of the league in scoring offense, to bury 15 3-pointers and score 54 points in the paint in Wednesday’s 118-98 setback.


1. Bucks C Greg Monroe managed two points on 1-of-4 shooting Wednesday, ending a string of nine straight games scoring in double figures.

2. Magic SG Evan Fournier (right heel) sat out the final three games of the trip and is questionable for Friday.

3. Milwaukee took the first two meetings this season, including a 104-96 victory at Orlando on Nov. 27.

PREDICTION: Bucks 115, Magic 104