Orlando Magic vs. Phoenix Suns (March 24, 2021): 3 Things To Watch, Odds and Prediction

The Phoenix Suns coasted to a win over the Orlando Magic as the fatigue of a long road trip came to an end. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports
The Phoenix Suns coasted to a win over the Orlando Magic as the fatigue of a long road trip came to an end. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports /

The Orlando Magic play their final game before a trade deadline that promises change as they try to cool the hot-shooting Phoenix Suns at the Amway Center.

Orlando Magic (14-29) vs. Phoenix Suns (29-13)


8 p.m./FOX Sports Florida




$26-$9,300 on StubHub

2021 Season Series:

Suns 109, Magic 90

in Phoenix on Feb. 14; Tonight in Orlando

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

OMD Prediction

The Orlando Magic are very clearly ready for the trade deadline. The effort was there in Tuesday’s loss to the Denver Nuggets, but the precision and focus certainly was not there. They all know this is ending. And they played like it. Perhaps more disappointingly, even with all that, they still gave themselves a chance to win.

The Phoenix Suns will present another tough challenge. They are the hottest team in the Western Conference and will pick apart teams that are not playing with the right intensity and focus. A team like the Magic. The Orlando Magic will need an incredible effort like Friday’s win over the Brooklyn Nets to have a shot here.

38. Prediction. 110. 66. 97

3 Keys To Watch

One Last Ride

This is the last game for Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon on the Orlando Magic in all likelihood. It has been a wild journey for the last seven years as the Magic have tried — and often failed — to build a contending team. Gordon and Fournier have both reached their potential and grown with this franchise, even if they were never the players the Magic asked or needed them to be if they wanted to go beyond the first round.

The Magic played with decent energy in the second half to erase the deficit and give themselves a chance to win in the fourth quarter. That was admirable. But the team was still lacking that little extra to win. It was clear there was at least some disinterest. The sooner this team gets past the deadline, the better. But you have to hope the group puts in one final strong effort together.

Suns on the run

The Phoenix Suns are among the hottest teams in the league right now (pun intended). They have won 12 of their last 15 games to climb up to second in the Western Conference. This is a very good team. In those 15 games, the Suns have the top offense in the league, scoring 119.3 points per 100 possessions. They also have the second-best defense in the league, 106.4 points allowed per 100 possessions.

The Suns have done this by dominating their opponents. Ten of those 12 games have come by more than 10 points. And Devin Booker has scored 26.2 points per game on 50.5-percent shooting. The Suns are a balanced team that can score in a number of ways. Chris Paul has garnered some outside MVP conversation with his ability to lead this team and help them take this next step. Phoenix is simply a tough out.

Slowing down Nikola Vucevic

Nikola Vucevic earned his All-Star bid. He is still having by far the best season of his career. But things have slowed down lately. Vucevic is starting to hit a bit of a rut. He is averaging 23.9 points per game and 12.3 rebounds per game since the All-Star Break, shooting 45.5-percent from the floor and 36.0-percent from deep.

Next. 3 players likely to be traded at the trade deadline. dark

Those numbers are not terrible. But they are not at the level Vucevic was before the break. In his last four games, he is averaging 19.8 points per game and 12.5 rebounds per game while shooting 37.1-percent from the floor. The Magic lean on Vucevic a lot. And right now he is going through what is perhaps his first slump of the season.