Orlando Magic at Utah Jazz (April 3, 2021): 3 Things To Watch, Odds and Prediction

Bojan Bogdanovic has slowly established himself as a solid scorer capable of taking over games himself. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Bojan Bogdanovic has slowly established himself as a solid scorer capable of taking over games himself. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

The Orlando Magic continue their road trip against the league-leading Utah Jazz as they look to extend their two-game win streak and sneak back into the playoff picture.

Orlando Magic (17-31) at Utah Jazz (37-11)


9 p.m./Bally Sports Florida




$20-$284 on StubHub

2021 Season Series:

Jazz 124, Magic 109

in Orlando on Feb. 27; Tonight in Salt Lake City

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OMD Prediction

The Orlando Magic are having some fun now. The new-look team is playing well together and playing hard, finding ways to steal wins from teams that have clearly taken this team lightly. The Magic are clearly not one to be taken lightly. They are doing a good job defensively and forcing turnovers, carving out a small identity on that front.

But this is the Utah Jazz. This is perhaps the best team in the entire league and they are a dominant offensive team. They take advantage of every little mistake with a devastating 3-point attack. And they have a defensive center that makes it hard to score in the paint at all. The Magic have beaten undermanned LA Clippers and New Orleans Pelicans teams. This is a fully operational battle station.

101. 38. 113. 118. Prediction

3 Keys To Watch

3-Point Shooting

The Orlando Magic did something very rare in Thursday’s win over the New Orleans Pelicans. There have been only 10 instances this season where a team won a game making five for fewer 3-pointers. The Magic recorded two of them in their last two games. The Magic are not a good shooting team at this point — they are hitting only 7.0 3-pointers per game and shooting 28.0-percent from beyond the arc in their last three games. That is the fewest made 3-pointers per game and the second-worst 3-point field goal percentage.

The Utah Jazz are on the other end of the spectrum. Since Sunday, they have made the most 3-pointers at 16.0 per game. For the season, the Jazz are leading the league with 16.9 made 3-pointers per game. Orlando has historically been a good 3-point defense team. But this is a tall task as 3-pointers are usually the great equalizer. Orlando has gotten some good 3-point luck this week too. That will run out.

The Bench Mob

The Orlando Magic have been slow to integrate their roster fully. They have been keeping their new players out of the starting lineup for the moment and relying on holdovers to start games. That has led to a starting lineup that has struggled and a bench group that has played really well. By the end of games, Wendell Carter is playing and Otto Porter is providing necessary support. That is probably eventually Orlando’s starting lineup.

But the bench stuff has been fun while it has lasted. The Jazz are also a strong team off the bench. For the season, they have averaged 38.4 points per game off the bench, sixth in the league. Jordan Clarkson is in line to win the Sixth Man of the Year this season. Orlando is going to have to be sharp at all times to handle this multi-faceted Utah team.

Pass the ball

The Orlando Magic’s offense has been characterized by two things in the last three games. The first is their points off turnovers. The team’s ability to create points off turnovers has been the biggest change to the team. A lot of that has come from increasing their effort and intensity on that end. Orlando has been really dialed in on that end. But the other part of the equation has been the team’s ability to get into the paint — Orlando is averaging 54.7 points in the paint, the fourth-most in the league this week.

Next. Wendell Carter creates new competition at center. dark

A lot of the Magic’s offense feels unsustainable. They are still in the bottom five in offensive rating even for the last week despite the back-to-back wins and that high rate of scoring in the paint. The reason? The Magic have had some of the fewest assists in the league in that time. Orlando is averaging 20.7 assists per game this week, 28th in the league. Some of that is the Magic are not making a ton of shots. But the team has to get better at moving the ball.