Utah Jazz (6-21) @ Orlando Magic (8-17)
Tip Off @ 5:00 p.m. MST
TV : Root Sports
Projected Starting Lineups
PG – Trey Burke
SG – Gordon Hayward
SF – Richard Jefferson
PF – Marvin Williams
C – Enes Kanter
PG – Jameer Nelson
SG – Victor Oladipo
SF – Aaron Afflalo
PF – Glen Davis
C – Nikola Vucevic
The Orlando Magic seem to be in the same state as the Utah Jazz right now, a rebuilding state. The Magic have won 8 games so far on the year, 2 more than the Jazz, but 5 of those 8 wins have came at home and against teams that aren’t necessarily easy wins. Besides the Milwaukee Bucks, the Magic have beaten the New Orleans Pelicans, Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, and Philadelphia 76ers in their home arena.
That said, the Jazz are not a team to brag about when it comes to road games. The Jazz are 3-11 on the road this season, with their 3 wins coming at the Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, and Denver Nuggets. The Jazz are coming into this game tonight after being blown out in the 2nd half against the 2-time defending champion, Miami Heat.
Orlando is shooting the ball just under 47% from the field as a team at home, and averaging 98.4 points per game at home. The Jazz on the other hand are shooting 43% from the field as a team and averaging 93.1 points per game on the road.
Key Matchup : Trey Burke vs Victor Oladipo
This is a game featuring 2 of the top 3 rookies in the 2013 Draft Class, and both are in the hunt for the Rookie of the Year honor to be awarded at the end of the season. These two might not actually be guarding each other during the most part of the game, but it’s a matchup to see which rookie can make the biggest impact for his team in the game.
Oladipo is warming up after struggling his first few games. The shooting guard from the Indiana Hoosiers is averaging 13.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.07 steals per game. He also has an assist to turnover ratio of 1.1 to 1.
Burke has been a big help for the Jazz since returning from injury. So far on the season he is averaging 12.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 0.73 steals per game. His assist to turnover ratio is 3.7 to 1.
This is a showcase game for both these young guys. It may not be a game featuring two teams making the playoffs this season, but it features two fantastic rookies that are going to go out and try and prove themselves against each other on why they should win Rookie of the Year. Should be fun to watch if these two can get going.
I skipped over the bench portion because I think it kind of ties in with my conclusion. The bench is very important for the Jazz to win games. Last game, the starters lost the game for the Jazz. Alec Burks and Enes Kanter came in off the bench and played fantastic. Burks ended the game with a career high 31 points and 7 assists on 12-19 shooting from the floor. Kanter, who has been struggling as of late, ended the game with 14 points and 8 rebounds in only 17 minutes of play. The two of them combined to score 45 points. The 5 Jazz starters combined only scored 38 points.
Trey Burke and Gordon Hayward really need to step up after a terrible game against the Heat. If we can get those two to play like they normally can, and get Kanter and Burks to produce again off the bench, this should be a game the Jazz can win. Everyone has to contribute though and nobody can take the night off.
Orlando won’t give them this game though, as stated before, the Magic are good at home. This game could be one that comes down to the final couple minutes of the game, but I think the Jazz will bounce back and get a road win tonight.
Jazz 97, Magic 94