Orlando Magic vs. Memphis Grizzlies (May 1, 2021): 3 Things To Watch, Odds and Prediction

Gary Harris has had an up-and-down run with the Orlando Magic so far. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports
Gary Harris has had an up-and-down run with the Orlando Magic so far. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports /

The Orlando Magic get a return date with the Memphis Grizzlies as they hope to make up for a poor turnover performance and disastrous third quarter in the rematch.

Orlando Magic (19-44) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (32-30)

Time/TV: 8 p.m./Bally Sports Florida
Line: Grizzlies by 11.5
Tickets: $37-$306 on StubHub
2021 Season Series: Grizzlies 92, Magic 75 in Memphis on April 30; Tonight in Orlando

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OMD Prediction

The Orlando Magic were willing to blame their fatigue for losing focus in the third quarter of Friday’s loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. They may have some point. The team is still running on fumes with so many players out and guys are playing out of position to fill in. That is a deficit the team has struggled to make up this year. There is no catching up at this point.

The Memphis Grizzlies though did not play a great game. They struggled to finish in transition outside the third quarter and they missed a lot of 3-pointers. Open 3-pointers at that. The Magic probably gave up their best chance to get a win in this series by not taking advantage of these missteps.

115. 211. 103. 38. Prediction

3 Keys To Watch

Eye on turnovers

The Orlando Magic have been a good team with turnovers even after the trade deadline. It is the one thing they have done well even after the trade deadline. Orlando is not a team that is going to make a ton of mistakes. Except for the last two games. The Orlando Magic had 15 turnovers in the win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, including six in the fourth quarter, and 20 turnovers against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday, including seven in the third quarter.

This is something the Magic are good at preventing. But it cost them the last two games. And this is something the Grizzlies are good at forcing. The Grizzlies are seventh in the league with a 14.9-percent turnover forced rate and in points off turnovers (18.9 per game) and lead the league with 17.3 fast-break points per game. The Magic got away with turnovers for a half, but it killed them in the third.

Up and down with Gary Harris

Gary Harris is still getting his sea legs with the Orlando Magic and getting used to his new role. He has provided reliable defense and leadership. But his production and scoring has been wildly inconsistent as he gets a rhythm within this new ecosystem. On top of everything else, Harris is not a great fit as a primary playmaker. And that is evident in the splits.

In the two wins Harris has played with the Magic, Harris is averaging 17.0 points per game and shooting 53.8-percent from beyond the arc. In those games, he is decisive and able to finish at the rim as much as his shooting. In the nine losses he has played, Harris is averaging 10.7 points per game and shooting 29.3-percent from the floor and 32.1-percent from beyond the arc. His production tracks very closely to the Magic’s success or not.

Battle on the boards

The Orlando Magic are improving as a rebounding team still. The team is not in the deficit it was earlier in the year. But the Magic are not the rebounding team they were before the deadline. And the Memphis Grizzlies really pressed that advantage with seven offensive rebounds in the third quarter and a dominant offensive rebounding showing.

Next. Mo Bamba will finally have an offseason to improve. dark

The Magic still have to make sure they are on the defensive glass. Both Wendell Carter and Mohamed Bamba have been better. But the margins for error are so small for this team, that even a slight slip can lead to catastrophic results for the team. If the Magic want to win this game, they have to limit second-chance opportunities for the Grizzlies.