Viewing information: TV: Sun Sports Radio: AM 580 WDBO Spanish Radio: 1030 WONQ Previous meetings: Magic 103, Jazz 94, Dec. 13 Quick thoughts:
The Magic owe a thank you to the Miami Heat, who beat the Jazz in three overtimes last night. After playing well past midnight, the Jazz jumped on a plane and arrived in Orlando in the early hours of Sunday morning. To make things better for Orlando, tonight’s game is an early start at 6 p.m. All the outside factors favor Orlando: the Jazz are on the second day of a back-to-back, the Magic had Saturday off, and Utah is just 13-19 on the road this season. But you never know with Orlando, especially after they struggled against Washington on Friday night.
The Jazz suffered through injuries to Deron Williams, Carlos Boozer and more than half of their rotation this season, but Jerry Sloan has done a masterful job in guiding them to a 41-25 record. Sorry SVG, but Sloan is the coach of the year.
Utah has lost two straight, but it won the previous 12 games before that. Since the return of Boozer, the Jazz are a different team. Boozer didn’t play when the Magic beat the Jazz earlier this season.
Dwight Howard is always out of his comfort zone against Utah because of Mehmet Okur, the Jazz center who converts 44.9 percent of his 3-point attempts. Howard prefers to stay close to the hoop and help out on the weak side. With Okur, Howard will have to defend all the way out to the 3-point line. The Magic may opt to put Howard on Carlos Boozer, who is still a tough cover for Howard because of his solid mid-range jumper. Boozer might be a little physical for Rashard Lewis, as well.