3 things to watch, odds and predictions

The Orlando Magic are looking to build on a decisive win over the Portland Trail Blazers as they travel to Salt Lake City to take on the Utah Jazz.

Orlando Magic (13-43) at Utah Jazz (34-21)

Time/TV: 9 p.m. / Bally Sports Florida
WATCH MAGIC-JAZZ ON FUBO TV
FOLLOW LIVE @OMAGICDAILY
Line through WynnBet: Jazz at 14
Tickets: $16 to $397 on StubHub
Series of the 2022 season: Magic 107, Jazz 100 in Orlando on November 7; Tonight in Salt Lake City

Rhythm Disabled. Reg. Def. Reg. eFG% O.Reb.% AT% RTF
Orlando 99.1 103.9 111.9 50.1 25.5 14.7 22.5
Utah 98.2 115.6 109.1 55.7 28.8 14.5 26.5

MDG Prediction

The Orlando Magic was expected to beat the Portland Trail Blazers. It wasn’t just to get rid of a really bad pair of home games and start moving back in the right direction. It was also that the Blazers were by far the worst team they would see on this West Coast jaunt. The fact that Portland just completed trades earlier in the day that further drained the roster added more urgency for Orlando to win.

Congratulations to the team for the work accomplished. No matter the circumstances. Wins all count the same.

Now comes the real challenge.

The Orlando Magic had a decisive game against a tired Utah Jazz team in November. And while Rudy Gobert is still QUESTIONABLE with left calf strain coming into this game (he said on Wednesday’s ESPN show that he’s close to returning), he’s still a team. dangerous and explosive jazz. A Utah Jazz team that just held the Golden State Warriors to 85 points on Wednesday.

Prediction

Orlando Magic

99

Utah Jazz

111

3 keys to watch

Local Gary

Now that the Orlando Magic know they’ll have Gary Harris for the foreseeable future, let’s talk about the key to their success: the left corner.

Harris had a great year, shooting 38.8 percent from the arc. It’s obviously something the Magic desperately need because they’re not a good shooting team — 26th in the league overall in 3-point shooting.

Harris, however, made his living shooting, especially in the corners. He’s shooting 49.3% on 3-point range from the left corner (36 for 73). Lest you think he’s ignoring the other corner, he hits 40.5% of his three from the right corner (17 for 42).

The Magic as a team are shooting more corner threes than they did last year under Steve Clifford – 21.6% of their threes this year are from corners compared to 16.2% last year. The Magic’s 436 3-point attempts from the corner are more than they took all last year!

This is at least a sign of the modernization of the attack of the Magic. They get those high value looks. Harris proved to be a big nudge from the corners.

Defend without Gobert

Tweets defaming Dwight Howard aside, Rudy Gobert is still a unique force defensively in the league. Opponents are shooting 49.4% at the rim against Gobert, according to data from Second Spectrum. For comparison, the opponents are shooting 57.6% against Mo Bamba and 59.0% against Wendell Carter. Both of these guys are considered strong defenders and rim protectors.

Gobert is really on another level.

But Gobert has missed the last eight games. Utah has gone 4-4 in that span, with wins in its last four games (Donovan Mithcell returned from injury three games ago).

It might not be a good comparison, but over those eight games the Jazz’s defensive rating went from 109.1 points allowed per 100 possessions to 111.4 points allowed per 100 possessions. It’s a credit to the defensive system the Jazz have in place and the presence of another rim protector in Hassan Whiteside.

The Jazz are a powerful offensive team and they know they have Gobert as a backstop this year. Without Mitchell and without Gobert, they struggled. Rev Mitchell and the offense is more than enough to hold on even without Gobert. At least in the short term.

Cole up, Cole down

When the Orlando Magic beat the Utah Jazz in November, Cole Anthony was at the peak of his powers. He scored 33 points and hit 5 of 10 3-pointers. He was completely in his bag, using his quick ball handling to back up and hit the jumpers. He was on a tear hitting mid-range shots off the dribble and outside.

Anthony hasn’t hit those heights in a while. But Tuesday’s victory was a truly encouraging sign. Anthony scored 23 points on 9-for-18 shooting and 3-for-5 from deep. It was the most points he had scored since Jan. 5 against the Philadelphia 76ers and was only the third time he had shot 50% or better in a game in his last 18 games. .

Since returning from injury, Anthony is averaging 14.9 points per game and shooting 35.2% from the floor and 27.2% from outside the arc. His offensive struggles were a big thing that kept the Magic from staying consistent. He’s a shooter and a scorer and the Magic rely on him for that.

To his credit, he expanded his game by averaging 6.5 assists per game during that span. He reduced his field goal attempts per game to 14.1 per game. He chooses his spots much better. He just needs to regain efficiency.

The hope is that he comes out the other side and achieves some form of consistency. He has scored at least 15 points in five of his last six games. Someone has to score and Anthony is always looking for efficiency.

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