Tonight sees an on the road Magic face the Jazz in Salt Lake City, Utah. Orlando are aiming for a second season win over the Utah Jazz, not an easy task on the first night of a road back-to-back.
The tip time from the Vivint Smart Home Arena is shown on the Orlando Magic website as being 2am here in the UK (9pm Eastern for our friends in Orlando). To watch the game live or on demand in the UK you will need an active NBA League Pass 2021/22 subscription.
Here’s a look at the teams ahead of tonights match-up.
The Orlando Magic
Orlando are on a 4 game road trip West. They last played on Tuesday, beating an undermanned Portland Trail Blazers by 113-95. The win came on the back of ball movement, resulting in a season high 34 assists. Cole Anthony led the team with 23 points, 7 rebounds and 9 assists. Franz Wagner finished with 13 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists. All 5 of Gary Harris’ made shots came from 3-point range. Wendell Carter Jr played an impressive defensive game on Jusuf Nurkic, with WCJ also contributing 18 points. Chuma Okeke also had 18 points, whilst Mo Bamba had 13 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks.
Orlando now has a record of 13 wins and 43 losses. The Magic are no longer bottom of the Eastern Conference, moving ahead of Detroit who now hold the worst record in the NBA. The Pistons have played a game less than the Magic. In the last 10 games played the Magic have won 5. The home record stands at 5 wins of 25 games played, whilst on the road it is 8 wins in 31 played. In points per game the Magic are scoring 103.1 whilst conceding 111.1. The efficiency rating for the Magic remains 28th on offence and 21st defensively.
The Magic now have 26 games remaining this season, of which 16 are at home.
The Utah Jazz
The Jazz had a blow out win over the Golden State Warriors in their last game, seeing an 85-111 home win. At times Utah’s play humiliated the Warriors, as the Jazz shot 46% from the field and held Golden State to below 36%. Bojan Bogdanovic led all scorers with 23 points. Donovan Mitchell had a 14 point, 10 rebounds double-double, also adding 8 assists to the boxscore. Hassan Whiteside had 9 points and 17 rebounds. Jordan Clarkson and Mike Conley both had 13 points.
Utah’s record is 34 wins and 21 losses, seeing them 4th in the Western Conference. Of the last 10 games played they have won 5 times, including their last 4 games. At home Utah have a strong home record of 19 wins in 29 games played. In points per game the Jazz score 113.6 whilst conceding 107.1, rating 1st on offence and 10th defensively.
Head-To-Head – The Utah Jazz
History is not with Orlando in the all-time head-to-head, seeing Utah leading 41-24 in the 65 regular season games played.
This will be the second and final meeting of the season. Orlando broke a Jazz 5 game winning streak with a thrilling win by 100-107 on November 7th in the Amway Center.
Recent history is with Utah who have won 9 of the last 11. Orlando have not won a season series since the 2015-16 season. The Magic last won in Salt Lake City in December 2015.
There have been no meetings in the playoffs.
Our Opponents – The Utah Jazz
Utah Head Coach Quin Snyder is now in his 8th season in charge.
At the trade deadline Utah’s longest tenured player Joe Ingles was dealt for Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Juancho Hernangomez.
Against Golden State the Jazz starting unit was Mike Conley (PG), Donovan Mitchell (SG), Bojan Bogdanovic (SF), Royce O’Neale (PF) and Udoka Azubuike (C).
Jordan Clarkson, Hassan Whiteside, Trent Forrest, Eric Paschall and Jared Butler all came from the bench.
As I write the Jazz are listed on ESPN as having three injury concerns. Rudy Gay and newly acquired Nickeil Alexander-Walker are both listed as being out. Rudy Gobert is questionable.
The Orlando Magic Injury Report
There are obvious changes to the Magic injury list on ESPN.
Jalen Suggs is questionable having withdrew in the first quarter against Portland with achilles soreness.
Moe Wagner is out again with a left rib contusion.
RJ Hampton is out with a left knee injury.
Markelle Fultz is out indefinitely with no public timeline for his return.
Jonathan Isaac continues to be out as he rehabilitates the repaired left knee. There remains no public timeline for his return to the court.
The Orlando Lineup As An On The Road Magic Face The Jazz
The Magic Head Coach Jamahl Mosley may have to field a changed team with Suggs being questionable.
For tonight as an on the road Magic face the Jazz in Salt Lake City Coach Mosely will focus heavily on defence.
Utah are top rated in offence and points per game so Orlando must focus on reducing their effectiveness. A shoot-out may not end well for Orlando with such an inconsistent offence. Utah take and make the second most three-pointers in the league. In two-point percentage they have the number one rate, despite attempting the fewest in the league. Utah also get to the free throw line a lot, taking almost 23 shots per game. Utah play with a measured pace, happy to use the clock or go fast. Finding a weakness is difficult as they rate highly or at least well in most stats.
As always Rudy Gobert is a candidate for Defensive Player Of The Year. If he is able to suit up his presence will be huge on the glass and in getting second chance opportunities. Donovan Mitchell is in amongst the league leaders for multiple scoring categories and for steals. Jordan Clarkson is the reigning Sixth Man Of The Year and has an excellent 3-point percentage.
Against Portland Orlando matched a season high with 19 made 3-pointers. The 34 assists Orlando accumulated was a season high. Continuing the superb ball movement throughout the game and strong defence down the stretch will all again be required.
Playing basketball as a team was how the Magic took the W on Game Day 11. Another 33 point performance from Cole would be nice as well.
Let’s Go Magic!