REPORT: Nikola Vucevic (ankle), Evan Fournier (back), Terrence Ross (ankle) out for Magic vs. Sixers
Nikola Vucevic, Evan Fournier and Terrence Ross are all nursing injuries and will sit out the contest, according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic.
Evan Fournier (back spasms), Terrence Ross (sprained right ankle) and Nikola Vucevic (sprained left ankle) will not play tonight, Steve Clifford and team officials said.
— Josh Robbins (@JoshuaBRobbins) October 13, 2019
Head coach Steve Clifford will take every precaution as his team prepares to make another run at the playoffs this season.
The Magic were one of the surprise teams of the 2018-19 campaign. After winning just 25 games in Frank Vogel’s final year with the team, Orlando won 42 games and earned the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. They even took Game 1 against the Toronto Raptors in the first round before losing four straight to the eventual champions.
Vucevic was a major reason for Orlando’s resurgence. The 7-footer averaged career-high numbers in points (20.8), rebounds (12.0) and assists (3.8) per game while posting an Effective Field Goal Percentage just under 55 percent. Vucevic entered this summer as an unrestricted free agent, but the Magic re-signed their franchise center to a four-year, $100 million deal.
Fournier and Ross both averaged 15.1 points per game last year, and the two players have developed as “gunners” for Clifford and the Magic.
Like Vucevic, Ross was a free agent this offseason, but the Magic announced that they had re-signed the swingman just one week after coming to terms with Vucevic.
Fournier has consistently developed as a combo guard and the team’s secondary ball-handler.
Much of Orlando’s improvement is likely to depend on the growth of young players like Aaron Gordon, Jonathan Isaac and Mo Bamba, but these three veterans are an indispensable part of the team’s fabric.