Knicks Preview: Keys to Defeating the Orlando Magic

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Nov 10, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Knicks center

Robin Lopez

(8) reacts as he is forced to leave the game after being called for his sixth personal foul against the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre. The Knicks beat the Raptors 111-109. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

5. Robin Lopez’s Hidden Value

The Orlando Magic have one of the most productive centers in the NBA in Nikola Vucevic. The 25-year-old posted star-caliber numbers in 2014-15 and should soon reclaim that form in 2015-16.

It’s on Robin Lopez to prevent that from happening against the Knicks.

In 2014-15, Vucevic averaged 19.3 points, 10.9 rebounds and 2.0 assists on 52.3 percent shooting from the field. He’s been limited in 2015-16, but the threat remains.

It’s on Lopez to continue displaying his underrated value.

Lopez has clearly struggled on the offensive end, but he’s been one of the league’s more consistent rim protectors. According to, opponents are shooting 48.1 percent when Lopez meets them at the rim.

That’s not elite, but it’s an above-average mark that could prove valuable against Vucevic and the slashing Magic.

Next: The Heart of the Team