Game Day 49 sees the Magic face the Jazz on the road in Salt Lake City, Utah. This is the final time Orlando play the Utah Jazz this season. Our opponents are looking to keep the wins coming as they push to hold the NBA’s best record.
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The tip time is shown on the NBA app and Orlando Magic website as being a 2am here in the UK (9pm Eastern for our friends in Orlando).
THE MATCHUP AS THE MAGIC FACE THE JAZZ ON THE ROAD
The Jazz are on the second night of a back-to-back. Last night they played a home game beating the Chicago Bulls by 106-113. Five Utah players made double figure scoring. Donovan Mitchell led the team with 26 points. Rudy Gobert scored a double-double with 19 points and 13 rebounds.
The Magic took another win on Thursday night over the New Orleans Pelicans by 115-110, sealing victory in over time. The team was led by Wendell Carter Jr, who was one of six Magic players to hit double digit scoring. Carter Jr hit a double-double with a solid performance of 21 points and 12 rebounds. Chuma Okeke had another stat filled performance of 8 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks.
The Jazz have won 21 of 23 games at home this season. Orlando have won 7 of 23 games on the road. Season records see Orlando at 17-31, whilst Utah are 37-11. Across the last 10 games that each team has played the Jazz have a 9-1 record, whilst Orlando are 4-6. Utah have won their last eight games. Orlando have won their last two games.
Results see Utah holding the best record in the NBA and 1st in the Western Conference. Orlando are now 13th in the Eastern Conference.
OUR OPPONENTS – THE UTAH JAZZ
The Jazz come into the game as the NBA’s 2nd ranked offensive team, scoring a league top 3 average of 116.8 points per game.
Offensively they play at a measured pace, that sees them moving the ball, whilst using the shot clock to get a good look. When presented with a chance to go at pace they can go fast, hitting 12 fast break points per game which is 17th in the NBA. They are surprisingly 21st for assists at 23.6 per game. Scoring wise only 41.5% comes from inside the paint, the league’s least. A league leading 43.5% of their points per game come from beyond the arc. They shoot 46..7% from the field and 39.6% with the 3 ball (2nd only to the Clippers).
Their defensive rating is 4th in the NBA and sees them conceding 107.5 points per game. Defensively they rate well in blocks (5.5 per game) but less so for steals (6.6 per game). They turn the ball over at a rate of 14.2 times per game. On average they foul 18.7 times per game. Orlando by contrast foul only 16.8 times per game, the best record in the NBA. 56.8% of opponent points come in the paint (the NBA.s worst record) but only 29.5% from deep (the NBA’s best record).
This team is built to score big and concede little.
THE UTAH JAZZ SQUAD
Coach Quin Snyder has talent and star power to use. He also has no injury concerns beyond centre Udoka Azubuike (1 PPG) small forward Juwan Morgan (0.9 PPG) who are both listed on ESPN as out as I write.
Last night the Jazz started Rudy Gobert (14.7 PPG), Donovan Mitchell (25.7 PPG), Mike Conley (16.3 PPG), Royce O’Neale (7.3 PPG) and Bojan Bogdanovic (14.8 PPG).
From the bench came Joe Ingles (11.9 PPG), Jordan Clarkson (17.4 PPG), Georges Nang (5.2 PPG), Derrick Favors (5.8 PPG) and Miye Oni (2 PPG).
THE HEAD-TO-HEAD: UTAH JAZZ
This is the final meeting this season between the two teams. Orlando lost in the Amway on February 27th (Game Day 34) by 124-109. Donovan Mitchell led the Utah scorers with 31 points. Rudy Gobert hit a double-double. Ingles, Clrkson, Niang, Favors and Bogdanovic all hit double figure scoring.
Last season saw the Jazz sweep Orlando 2-0. The Jazz are on a 4 game streak against Orlando and have won the last 4 homecourt fixtures. Since season 2015-16, in the 11 games played Orlando have 3 wins.
Across the 63 regular season games played the Magic trail by 23-40.
The teams have never met in the playoffs.
THE ORLANDO INJURY REPORT AS THE MAGIC FACE THE JAZZ ON THE ROAD
As I write the injury report on ESPN has worsened.
Khem Birch (5.4 PPG) is questionable with an illness that saw him withdraw from the game in New Orleans.
Michael Carter-Williams (8.7 PPG) is again questionable with the illness that saw him miss the New Orleans game.
Terrence Ross (16 PPG) is listed as day-to-day.
Karim Mane (1 PPG) is listed as day-to-day with hamstring issue, but his status again questionable for the game.
Gary Harris (9.7 PPG) had been absent from the Denver team with a thigh issue prior to his trade. Again he is listed as out tonight. He expected to make his debut within the next two weeks.
Cole Anthony (11 PPG) remains out with a non-displaced rib fracture. He is now said to be close to returning but not during this road trip.
Markelle Fultz (12.9 PPG) has a torn left knee ACL, a season finishing injury. He is now in the lengthy process of rehab following successful surgery.
Jonathan Isaac is out indefinitely recovering from knee surgery for a torn ACL.
THE ORLANDO LINE-UP AS THE MAGIC FACE THE JAZZ ON THE ROAD
The Magic starting unit against the Pelicans used by Coach Clifford was another change, being Chuma Okeke (6.2 PPG), Khem Birch (5.4 PPG), James Ennis III (7.9 PPG), Dwayne Bacon (10.4 PPG) and Chasson Randle (6.1 PPG).
From the bench came Terrence Ross (16 PPG), Mo Bamba (5.6 PPG), Otto Porter Jr (9.7 PPG), Wendell Carter Jr (11.1 PPG) and RJ Hampton (3.1 PPG).
THE MAGIC NUMBERS
EASTERN CONFERENCE STANDING – 13th
SEASON RECORD – 17-31
HOME RECORD – 10-15
ROAD RECORD – 7-16
NBA OFFENSIVE RANK AND RATING – 28TH OF 30 (105.7)
NBA DEFENSIVE RANK AND RATING – 15TH OF 30 (111.9)
POINTS PER GAME – 28TH OF 30 (104.5)
OPPONENTS POINTS PER GAME – 11TH OF 30 (110.6)
RECORDS WHEN LEADING AND SCORING
RECORD LEADING AFTER THE FIRST QUARTER – 8-9
WHEN LEADING AT HALF TIME – 13-3
AND WHEN LEADING GOING INTO THE FOURTH QUARTER – 10-3
RECORD WHEN SCORING LESS THAN 100 POINTS – 1-19
WHEN SCORING 100 TO 109 POINTS – 5-8
WHEN SCORING 110 TO 119 POINTS OR MORE – 5-3
AND WHEN SCORING 120 POINTS OR MORE – 6-1
RECORDS FOR CONCEDING THIS SEASON
RECORD WHEN CONCEDING 100 POINTS OR LESS – 6-3
WHEN CONCEDING 100 TO 109 POINTS – 3-6
AND WHEN CONCEDING 110 TO 119 POINTS – 6-11
RECORD WHEN CONCEDING 120 POINTS OR MORE – 2-10
LEAST AND LARGEST ON THE SEASON
LARGEST MARGIN OF VICTORY – 20 – GAME DAY 7 CLEVELAND CAVALIERS
LARGEST MARGIN OF DEFEAT – 42 – GAME DAY 9 HOUSTON ROCKETS
HIGHEST POINTS SCORED THIS SEASON – 130 – GAME DAY 2 WASHINGTON WIZARDS
LEAST POINTS SCORED THIS SEASON – 77 – GAME DAY 38 SAN ANTONIO SPURS
MOST POINTS CONCEDED THIS SEASON – 132 – GAME DAY 9 HOUSTON ROCKETS
LEAST POINTS CONCEDED THIS SEASON – 83 – GAME DAY 7 CLEVELAND CAVALIERS
PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS
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KEYS TO THE GAME AS THE MAGIC FACE THE JAZZ ON THE ROAD
As the Magic face the Jazz on the road there will be scoring opportunities. The Utah stats for opponents points per game in the paint show that. From beyond the arc is a difficult task against one of the NBA’s best defences.
The determination Orlando showed against Portland, Lakers, Clippers and Pelicans will be needed. No Magic fan is under any illusion that with the squads the two teams have; the Jazz have a huge edge. That is the case today with potential absences and if fully fit as Orlando embark on a rebuild.
Defence is again a must for Orlando and the Magic are not conceding points. Tonight presents a challenge on D as the Magic face one of the NBA’s best teams for shooting the three ball.
Rebounding could be a decisive factor as it a Magic strength but Utah lead the league for total rebounds, are second for defensive rebounds and third for offensive.
The Magic continue to try and win games. Our squad are playing for a future with the team. Chuma Okeke will again be looking to grow as he relishes his increased role. Wendell Carter Jr is seeing important minutes as the team’s centre down the stretch. His figures in all categories are strengthening, justifying the trust shown by Coach Clifford.
Coach Clifford will be planning for the multiple threats possessed by Donovan Mitchell He has scored 394 field goals this season including 153 with the three ball. He is far from the only threat. Bogdanovic has hit 116 three point field goals this year. Jordan Clarkson is seen by many as the NBA 6th Man Of The Year, he has hit 146 three pointers this season. There are multiple other threats that this team have and it is impossible to stop them all.
KEY DATES IN THE NBA
Orlando is now tied with Cleveland for the 4th worst record in the NBA. This means Orlando now have a 11.5% chance of landing the number 1 draft pick when the lottery comes. Washington having played a game less have a better record at 17-30. The teams facing the lottery are bunching up. Orlando are now only 2.5 games back of Chicago in 10th. Orlando are clearly still competing for the post season.
The dates to look for as the season progresses are:
The regular season ends May 16th.
The Play-In tournament is May 18th and 21st.
From May 22nd to July 22nd the NBA Playoffs are scheduled to run.
The date for the Draft Lottery as June 22nd.
The 2021 NBA Draft is set for July 29th.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has indicated the 2021-22 season is hoped to start back at its more normal time of late October.