Orlando Magic at Minnesota Timberwolves (Jan. 20, 2021): 3 Things To Watch, Odds and Prediction

James Ennis returned to the Orlando Magic after clearing quarantine. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
James Ennis returned to the Orlando Magic after clearing quarantine. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

The Orlando Magic head to Minneapolis looking to break their six-game losing streak and get back on the winning track as they hope to get healthy soon.

Orlando Magic (6-8) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (3-9)


8 p.m./FOX Sports Florida




No Tickets Available

2020 Season Series:

Magic 136, Timberwolves 125

in Orlando on Feb. 28;

Magic 132, Timberwolves 118

in Minneapolis on March 6

2021 Season Series:

Today in Minneapolis

PaceOff. Rtg.Def. Rtg.eFG%O.Reb.%TO%FTR

OMD Prediction

The Orlando Magic are desperate for a win. Their frustration was evident in their loss to the New York Knicks. They played a strong game but simply could not hit the shots to back that up. Even bad shooting teams have games where things suddenly click. Playing against a good Knicks defense was likely a time where the team started pressing especially when shots did not fall. So how about a much weaker defensive team in the Minnesota Timberwolves? A team playing without several key players because of health and safety protocols. To say the Magic are desperate for a win is an understatement. They will have their hands full in some respects with this Timberwolves’ offense. But a disciplined defensive effort should hold them down. Making shots will be key, of course.

103. 86. Prediction. 107. 38

3 Keys To Watch

A strong start

No doubt, the Orlando Magic’s struggles offensively started at the beginning. The team got frustrated with missed shots and the team seemed on edge throughout the entire game after struggling through the first quarter Monday. Want to give a team confidence? Let them hang around in the first quarter. Want to feel like you are climbing uphill all game? Struggle in the first quarter.

The Magic have not been a first-quarter team this year. They are averaging 25.1 points per game in the first quarter, the second-fewest in the league. The Minnesota Timberwolves? They sit at 27.1 points per game, 19th in the league. They are not exactly juggernauts. But the Magic have to be better off the start. They recognize this too. Orlando is going to know exactly what kind of game it will play from the first 12 minutes.

Return to the Glass

Orlando Magic coach Steve Clifford is likely spending is time re-enforcing the basics for the team. In the midst of a losing streak, the team has to get back to basics to form its identity and build itself back up from the ground up. But the team should not abandon its new thoughts either. The Magic specifically wanted to dig into pace and attacking the offensive glass to sneak out more rebounds.

The Magic currently rank 14th in the league in offensive rating at 27.3-percent. They have gotten some good energy from players like Khem Birch and Aaron Gordon grabbing offensive boards. Even Cole Anthony is good at crashing the glass. This is an area the Magic should attack. The Timberwolves are 28th in the league in defensive rebound rate at 70.7-percent. This could be a big game on the glass for the Magic.

Aaron Gordon

Aaron Gordon came one assist shy of recording a triple-double in Monday’s game. He also played some incredible defense on Julius Randle. Gordon has had to do it all and is getting closer to realizing the Jack-of-all-trades potential he always had. He is learning how to make quicker decisions and attack all the time. All the while taking advantage of matchup. His jumper still comes and goes and that is the difference in his bigger games.

He has made a living feasting on the Timberwolves. He recorded his first career triple-double against them last year. And Minnesota is currently starting Jarred Vanderbilt at power forward. This is a matchup that Gordon should once again be looking to exploit. Gordon is going to be in for a big game and that could propel the Magic to a win.