Orlando Magic at Sacramento Kings (Feb. 12, 2021): 3 Things To Watch, Odds and Prediction

Khem Birch was one of the few Orlando Magic players willing to get dirty and physical in a frustrating loss. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Khem Birch was one of the few Orlando Magic players willing to get dirty and physical in a frustrating loss. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

The Orlando Magic try to bounce back after a gutsy performance in Thursday’s loss and take down the Sacramento Kings on the road.

Orlando Magic (9-17) vs. Sacramento Kings (12-12)


10 p.m./FOX Sports Florida




No Tickets Available on StubHub

2021 Season Series:

Kings 121, Magic 107

in Orlando on Jan. 27; Tonight in Sacramento

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

OMD Prediction

What is left to say about the Orlando Magic and their effort Thursday night against the Golden State Warriors? The team put in a heroic effort with eight healthy players and no natural point guard available to them for most of the game with Frank Mason leaving with a strained groin. They did all they could to win the game, scratching out offensive rebounds and finding 3-pointers against the small Warriors lineup. They were as much all in for the win as they could be and they still ran out of gas at the end.

How the Orlando Magic are supposed to play another game likely with eight players and no point guard again against a streaking Sacramento Kings on a back to back is beyond me. Somehow the Magic are going to have to wall the paint and keep De’Aaron Fox from living in the paint and kicking out to the Kings’ bevy of shooters. Orlando is going to need another superhuman effort.

38. 110. 84. Prediction. 100

3 Keys To Watch

What’s left in the tank?

The approach to this game was seen when Steve Clifford got his first look at the box score during Thursday’s postgame press conference. He sort of scoffed and said the team is going to have to find a way to reduce player minutes in the back to back. He knows the team is already in trouble. The other sign was the deep breathing that Chuma Okeke gave before starting his press availability.

Somehow, someway, the Orlando Magic are going to have to play a game again tonight. Somehow they are going to have to dig into their reserves and play with the same energy and urgency they had in Thursday’s loss. And somehow they have to bring that through to the final 48 minutes — not just 40 minutes as they did Thursday. Nobody is questioning effort at this point. They are just trying to play consistently despite impossible odds.

Turnovers and precision

We talked a lot about the 3-point shooting in yesterday’s keys to the game with Stephen Curry as the target defensively. He proceeded to score 40 points including hitting 10 3-pointers. By the end of the game, he had twisted the Orlando Magic’s defense so much it broke the dam. But the real culprit and feeder for those 3-pointers ended up being turnovers. The Magic had seven of their 15 turnovers in the fourth quarter.

This was an issue the Orlando Magic faced in the first meeting with the Sacramento Kings. The Kings made 14 3-pointers, including seven from Buddy Hield. The Magic turned it over 14 times in that game but the Kings scored 15 fast-break points and converted on nearly all of those mistakes. And burned the Magic with threes. Orlando has had a lot of misses turned into easy baskets too. The Magic have to be good in transition here.

Chuma Okeke’s Emergence

If there has been a good thing to come from all these injuries and the slow return of several players, it has been Chuma Okeke’s emergence. Since returning from his bone bruise one week ago, he averaged 5.4 points per game and 4.4 rebounds per game while shooting a 48.2-percent effective field goal percentage. He is clearly getting his legs under him.

Next. How to save 5 struggling Orlando Magic lineups. dark

But he has shown a lot still. He has added 1.2 steals per game showing a ton of great defensive instincts, even if he is still clearly thinking while on the floor. He still has to get his legs under him and get used to the NBA. But he is getting there. And his development has been one of the more exciting things to come out. Expect another 30-minute game from Okeke as the Magic need his versatility to give them a chance.