UPDATE: Aug. 7, 5:04 p.m. — Gary Clark will start at PF in place of Gordon vs. the Sixers.
The Magic will start D.J. Augustin, Evan Fournier, Nikola Vucevic, James Ennis and Gary Clark tonight vs. the 76ers.— Roy Parry (@osroyparry) August 7, 2020
Clark appears to be the trendy tournament flier at $3K on DK. It will be interesting to see how lineups handle this. We could see lower ownership on Birch, who is the same price and arguably has a higher ceiling than Clark. Ennis is also looking like a good play, locked in for close to 30 minutes if this stays competitive.
UPDATE: Aug. 7, 11:02 a.m. — Gordon is officially being listed as out for Friday’s game vs. the Sixers due to a strained hamstring. This isn’t all that surprising after the Magic deemed him doubtful for this game. So Orlando will operate without Isaac and Gordon in the front court.
Let’s see which plays stand out from a DFS perspective with no Gordon. First, who will end up starting? We could see a smaller lineup with DJ Augustin, Evan Fournier, Wes Iwundu, James Ennis and Nikola Vucevic, though that may not work well against a big team like Philly.
So the logical starter is either Khem Birch or Gary Clark, both of whom are priced at the minimum $3K on DraftKings. Even if they don’t start, if the Sixers go with big lineups featuring both Joel Embiid and Al Horford, the Magic will want Birch’s size as a natural center. We’ve seen Birch step up and I think he’s a decent value. Really, both are OK plays if you need salary savings.
I think Vucevic ($7,800) is going a bit overlooked considering you can play two centers and realistically a lot of lineups will be on Embiid. So unless you’re paying up for two centers, your lineup will prob go cheap at UTIL or for another position. This should suppress ownership on Vuce and with Gordon and Isaac out, the Magic pretty much have to play him 30+ minutes. He struggled against the Raptors but in a game that was over before it started. This game should be much closer.
UPDATE: Aug. 6, 10:20 a.m. — Gordon went for an MRI and was diagnosed with a strained hamstring. He is being listed as doubtful to play Friday vs. the Philadelphia 76ers.
Injury Update: After undergoing an MRI, Aaron Gordon has been diagnosed with a strained left hamstring.— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) August 6, 2020
He is listed as doubtful for Friday’s game.
So the Magic will likely be down Isaac and Gordon for Friday against the Sixers. So that should mean we Ross or Birch start for the Magic. If Ross starts, the Magic are going small with Ennis shifting to small ball PF. Birch is the more natural fit at PF next to Nikola Vucevic at C. Either way, this appears to be another spot we can attack Orlando with Joel Embiid, especially if Ben Simmons (knee) is held out.
Aaron Gordon (left hamstring tightness) will not return in the Magic’s game against the Raptors, the team says.— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) August 6, 2020
The Magic just can’t seem to stay healthy. Hopefully this isn’t anything major after Orlando lost Jonathan Isaac for the rest of the season to a torn ACL recently. Gordon had been having a solid outing with 9 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists through 20 minutes against the Raptors. Now, the Magic will need to turn to Nikola Vucevic and Khem Birch down low. We could see smaller lineups featuring Terrence Ross as well.