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The Magic Visit The Utah Jazz

Tonight the Magic visit the Utah Jazz to close out this four game road trip west. The Jazz are on the second night of a back-to-back.

Regular Season Game 5 – Orlando Magic vs Utah Jazz

  • Venue – Delta Center, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • U.K. tip time is 1am, which is 9pm for our friends in Orlando and 7pm in Salt Lake City.
  • To watch the Magic visit the Utah Jazz here in the U.K. you will need an active NBA League Pass subscription.

Orlando Magic 

  • Season Record: 2-2
  • Home Record 1-0 Road Record 1-2
  • Standing: tied 4th in the East (seeds 4 through 7 all have a 2-2 record)
  • Points Per Game: For – 105.8 (22nd) Against – 101.8 (1st)
  • Rating: Offensive 16th Defensive 4th
  • You can see from the disparity in offensive and defensive ratings where the problem is for Orlando at this time. On the offensive end there are two glaring statistics. 
  • Firstly, despite what feels like at times throwing up constant shots from range the Magic still take the 6th least per game in the league. The problem is that many of these are well created open looks and we are making less than 31% of our total three-point-shots (39-for-127). Because of this clear failing opponents are daring us to shoot from distance, as they set up to defend our proficiency at attacking inside the arc.
  • Secondly, it is free throws. Across the 4 games played Orlando have taken 109 free throws, making 76. That is 33 points the team have left behind. This is the 3rd most attempted to the 26 least successful.
  • Scoring is being led by Franz Wagner with 18 ppg, followed by Cole Anthony (15). There are 4 other Magic players averaging over 10 points per game.
  • Whilst having some clear lesser games at this point Paolo Banchero is the team leader for both assists (4.5) and steals (1.8) per game.

Last Game 

  • The Magic suffered their second defeat of the season by 102-118 to a shorthanded but veteran packed LA Clippers. 
  • It felt that for the Magic nothing clicked on offence. The ball seemed to get stuck, whilst the pace and player movement was slow.
  • Orlando took 33 free throws, but made only 19 of them (57.6%). 16 turnovers, many self inflicted led to 23 Clippers points.
  • The Magic defence got the plaudits again, holding the Clippers to just 13 points in the first quarter. There is a stat that at one point during the game the star trio of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Russell Westbrook had made just 3-of-24 shots combined from the field. Unfortunately that all changed during the third quarter as Paul George and Russell Westbrook happened to get red hot and honestly the game was over.
  • Paolo Banchero led the team with 15 points. In total 6 Magic players had double figure scoring games (Franz Wagner 14, Moe Wagner 13 and Markelle Fultz 12).
  • The starting unit was as expected Markelle Fultz, Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and Wendell Carter Jr.

Tonight

  • Starting with our injury report. Kevon Harris and Trevelin Queen are again listed as out Admiral Schofield is available but none of our three two-way players have suited up so far for the team. 
  • Having been rested for the Clippers game Jonathan Isaac is again available.
  • Expect the starters to remain as in all games so far this season, being Markelle Fultz, Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and Wendell Carter Jr
  • Outside of injury or foul trouble expect Coach Mosely to return to his core unit of 10 players. That will include Joe Ingles as he returns to Delta Center to face the team he spent 8 seasons with.
  • The team focus will remain on building from defence, however reducing turnovers will be a major priority. 

Utah Jazz

Looking Back

  • Last season the Jazz finished 12th in the West, with a losing 37-45 record. 
  • In a season they were meant to be irrelevant Lauri Markkanen delivered a career and All-Star season, earning him the Most Improved Player award. Walker Kessler had a strong rookie season. Jordan Clarkson averaged a career best 20.8 points per game and has re-signed for a further 3 years.
  • Danny Ainge is rebuilding this squad. John Collins and Omer Yurtseven were picked up over the summer. A hugely productive night at the 2023 Draft brought in forwards Taylor Hendricks and Brice Sensabaugh at 9 and 28, along with guard Keyonte George at 16. All three rookies will get minutes and could make significant contributions.

Stats

  • Season Record: 2-3
  • Standing: 12th in the West
  • Points Per Game: For – 114.6 (11th) Against – 118.6 (25th)
  • Rating: Offensive 11th Defensive 27th
  • Offensively this is a team that shoots the three a lot and accurately. When they miss they are the league’s leading offensive rebounders. They move the ball about to create those opportunities, averaging 28 per game (seeing them rate 3rd).
  • Defensively they do not force a big number of turnovers and are in the bottom 3 for blocking shots. Whilst restricting opponents shooting a fair proportion of those shots are made, particularly from inside the arc.

Last Game

  • As already said this is the second night of a back-to-back for Utah. Last night they took a  109-133 home court win over the Memphis Grizzlies.
  • Talen Horton-Tucker, Jordan Clarkson, Lauri Markkanen, John Collins and Walker Kessler all started.
  • Kelly Olynyk, Collin Sexton and Keyonte George played significant minutes off the bench.
  • Collin Sexton scored a team high 23 points, also adding 6 assists. Jordan Clarkson scored 20 points, whilst Lauri Markkanen posted a 19 points and 11 rebound double-double.

Tonight

  • Their injury report has not been submitted as I compile this. Ahead of the Memphis game they had no injuries. Their 3 two-players were inactive and the coach chose not to use rookies Taylor Hendricks and Brice Sensabaugh, the same fate befalling Luka Šamanić.
  • The starting five has been unchanged in their opening 5 games of the season. It would be surprising if that changed tonight. 
  • Kelly Olynyk, Collin Sexton, Keyonte George, Kris Dunn and Ochai Agbaji have all played each game from the bench.

Head to Head 

  • In 68 regular season games played the Jazz lead by 44-24 over Orlando.
  • The Jazz swept the series 2-0 last season, being on a 3 game streak.
  • Stretching back to the start of season 2016-17 the Jazz have won 12 of the 14 meetings. 
  • Orlando have not won in Salt Lake City since December 2015. 

As The Magic Visit The Utah Jazz Our Final Thought

  • Tonight is an opportunity for the Magic to finish the trip on a high after the back-to-back losses and misfiring offence.
  • The Jazz are on the second half of a back-to-back, a fixture which saw their core group play much of the game.
  • This trip westward would be a positive one were it to finish 2-2. If the Magic are to be a playoff threat then beating teams such as Utah, Portland and Houston has to be the norm. We pushed the Lakers very close and have really only fell very short in the exceptionally disappointing second half of the Clippers game.
  • The Jazz are still a  talented, but rebuilding team and it won’t be an easy game. Their defence has been poor but on attack they can hit shots freely. It is winnable.
  • One final thing to note about the Jazz and something for the Magic to potentially capitalise on. They do turn the ball over so opportunity will be present for Orlando to get additional possessions and scoring. It is a game that could provide the much needed confidence boost to our point scoring struggles.

The Let’s Talk Magic Game Preview As The Magic Visit The Utah Jazz

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