Orlando Magic at LA Clippers (March 30, 2021): 3 Things To Watch, Odds and Prediction

The Orlando Magic lost their cool in Friday's loss to the LA Clippers as frustration took over the team. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
The Orlando Magic lost their cool in Friday's loss to the LA Clippers as frustration took over the team. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

The Orlando Magic get a second crack with their new roster as they take on a streaking and strong LA Clippers team to complete their set in Los Angeles.

Orlando Magic (15-31) at LA Clippers (32-16)


10 p.m./FOX Sports Florida




No Tickets Available on StubHub

2021 Season Series:

Clippers 116, Magic 90

in Orlando on Jan. 29; Tonight in Los Angeles

PaceOff. Rtg.Def. Rtg.eFG%O.Reb.%TO%FTR
LA Clippers98.1117.4110.956.726.413.022.8

OMD Prediction

The Orlando Magic probably are not ready to take on a team like the LA Clippers. The Clippers are playing great right now, having won six straight. The LA Clippers’ comeback win over the Atlanta Hawks a few weeks might have been a turning point in their focus and intensity. They certainly showed it in a 129-105 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday.

The Magic are in a place where they are trying to get organized and understand what they are trying to accomplish with each play, let alone each game. They are going to play hard, sure, but none of that matters — or it is not as effective — without the strategy and purpose of play that comes behind it. Orlando hopes a practice gets the team on the right path. But this is not really the right opponent to expect tangible progress.

38. 115. 77. Prediction. 99

3 Keys To Watch

Minutes Distribution

One of the biggest questions coming out of the Orlando Magic’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday was why were the team’s minutes distribution so weird. Fans were asking why Chuma Okeke played less than 30 minutes or why the team seemed to be holding back the new players some. Well, that is exactly why.

Coach Steve Clifford said he was going to be careful introducing the new players. He is trying to balance the team’s desire to win (as small a chance as that might be) with introducing the new players to the rotation. He wanted to make sure everyone got a chance to be in the game and get their feet wet.

What we should see in the next few games as Clifford gets a better feel for his new players is those rotations normalize and stabilize. The Magic are going to play 10-11 players for the time being just to make sure the new players are comfortable and understand what is asked of them. But it certainly already speaks well to the trust Clifford as in some guys that Wendell Carter and Otto Porter finished Sunday’s game. Expect their minutes to expand first.

Okeke vs. Kawhi

The joke among Orlando Magic fans for the last few weeks is that Chuma Okeke is a silent assassin. He is usually pretty quiet and understated in postgame press conferences even as his game continues to speak fairly loudly. The comparison both personality-wise and a bit with their game has been to Kawhi Leonard.

Chuma Okeke is not Kawhi Leonard. Not yet at least. Okeke has the potential to be a top defender and has put together some impressive defensive possessions and general defensive awareness so far in his rookie year. Right now he is in a hot shooting streak, scoring 17.7 points per game while shooting 11 for 16 from beyond the arc (he is shooting a scorching 79.7-percent effective field goal percentage) in his last three games. Kawhi Leonard or Paul George might get the call to shadow Chuma Okeke. It will be interesting to see if Okeke can keep up this hot play.


The Orlando Magic’s biggest problem offensively right now is one of creation. Who is going to break the defense down off the dribble and force creation? The Magic have not had enough time to work on the timing to create this movement off cuts and screens. Those kinds of offenses need a lot of fine-tuning. This team is still going to need someone to create off the dribble.

And the Magic are still going to rely on Dwayne Bacon and Michael Carter-Williams especially to create this offensive push. Those are not safe bets. Carter-Williams struggled in the first half against the Los Angeles Lakers before he left the game with a knee contusion. Bacon has played exceptionally well of late, but is notably inconsistent and took a lot of wild shots at the rim late in the game Sunday.

Next. It's a fresh start for Orlando Magic's newcomers. dark

Orlando might be intrigued to see what R.J. Hampton can do in this arena. And Cole Anthony seems closer to returning (probably after the road trip ends). Those guys will help create some pick and roll push. And Orlando should look to press the familiarity Chuma Okeke and Wendell Carter already share on pick and rolls. But the Magic are going to struggle getting into the paint for a while.