The Utah Jazz fly to Orlando on a back-to-back following a frustrating night in Miami against the Heat. In a rare game where the Jazz were unable to break through, they were outlasted by the Heat, 124-116. Jimmy Butler played a motivated brand of basketball, as he led the Heat with 33 points and 10 rebounds.
He also contributed with 8 assists for an all-around big performance from Butler. The return of Goran Gragic to the Heat played in an important role in the Heat beating the hottest team in the NBA. Gragic looked great through 33 minutes, scoring 26 points in his second game back on the court. The best of teams in any sport aren’t going to look great every night.
Just because the Jazz lost in Miami against a quality opponent last night doesn’t mean they’re ready to get thrown into the trash. I know how fickle social media can be regarding one game, and it’s especially true when it comes to the NBA. If you’ve spent any time on Twitter, you know how one bad performance brings out the fraud mob.
That’s even more true when it comes to a team like the Jazz. Utah has to prove every night that they belong in the national discussion. Despite the loss last night, the Jazz are leading the West with a record of 26-7 and a three-game advantage on the LA Clippers. The Jazz are the only team in the NBA that hasn’t received double-digit losses thus far.
After a rough night in Miami against the Heat, the Jazz travel further north to Orlando for a date with the Magic at the Amway Center. The Magic are coming off two losses against the Detroit Pistons, 105-93, and Brooklyn Nets, 129-92. That outing against the Nets on Thursday was a no contest, as the Magic offered no resistance. The Magic were winners in three straight before the Pistons and Nets dropped them.
The Magic head into Saturday night with a record of 13-20, and have been dealing with injuries throughout the season. They weren’t going to amount to much this season regardless of being healthy or not, but the loss of Aaron Gordon prevents them from flirting with .500. Gordon continues to nurse a bad ankle, and isn’t expected back until mid-March at the earliest. Head below for our free Jazz vs. Magic pick on February 27, 2021.
Utah Jazz vs. Orlando Magic NBA Betting Odds:
Jazz vs. Magic Prediction:
The Jazz haven’t faced much adversity this season, but when they have lost, this team has known how to respond. Early on this season, the Jazz lost back-to-back games against the Nets and Knicks in the second week. However, they haven’t lost back-to-back outings since. Following those two losses, the Jazz went on an eleven-game winning streak. When they did lose again, a 128-117 loss against the Denver Nuggets, the Jazz returned with a 117-105 win over the Pistons.
That kicked off another winning streak, this time a nine-game hot streak for the Jazz. The Clippers prevented a ten-game run, though the Jazz were able to come back with a 132-110 win against the Charlotte Hornets. Look for the Jazz to present a much better defensive effort against the Magic tonight. It’s rare to find the Jazz defense out of form in back-to-back spots.
Spearheaded by Rudy Gobert, the Jazz are third in the NBA with just 106.4 points against per game. They are holding teams to just 44.3% shooting from the field. Their defense has travelled, despite the poor showing against the Heat on Friday. The Jazz have conceded 107.9 points per game on the road this season. Against a weak offense like the Magic, expect this to be a nice bounce-back opportunity for the Jazz in Orlando.
The Magic have been dealt a bad hand this season with injuries to their roster. Aaron Gordon and Markelle Fultz are still sidelined, with Fultz done for the season. That removes two scorers from the lineup that were averaging in the double digits per game. It’s been difficult to find points for the Magic, and likely will be again tonight. The Magic are 28th in the league with 104.8 points per contest. They are shooting a miserable 42.9% from the field.
If the Jazz want to win with their offense, they are fully capable of winning like that as well. The most underrated player in the league, Donovan Mitchell, is up to 24.3 points per game and 5.3 assists. His ability as a facilitator is probably the most underrated aspect of his game. He’s helped lead the Jazz to 116 points per game for third in the league. I’m expecting the Jazz to grind the Magic off the floor in this contest. Off a poor performance last night, look for them to respond in much better form in Orlando tonight.