Orlando Magic (17-4 13-8 ATS) vs. Utah Jazz (12-9 11-10 ATS) Energy Solutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT 10:30 PM EST Thursday December 10, 2009 on TNT
by Jason Green at Predictem.com
Point Spread: Magic -3 / Jazz +3
Tonight the Utah Jazz host the Orlando Magic and Jazz are hoping they can find their offense at home. Last night they were crushed by the L.A. Lakers only scoring 6, that’s right 6, points in the 4th quarter and they were held to only 2 field goals in the final period. Even though the Jazz lost last night they are 7-3 in their last 10 games and they trail the Denver Nuggets in the Northwest Division by 3.5 games.
The Magic are simply on fire, as they have won 6 in a row, are 9-1 in their last 10 games, and they lead the Southeast Division by 2 games over the Atlanta Hawks. Tonight the Magic will be looking for their 9th straight road win. That will not be easy since Utah is one of the toughest places for opposing teams to win. The Magic have a great inside-outside game and if they keep playing like they are they have a legit shot to get back to the NBA Finals. The Magic are tied with the Boston Celtics for the best record in the Eastern Conference.
This season the Jazz are 9-3 at home and the Magic are 10-2 on the road.
As stated before the Jazz were crushed, dare I say embarrassed, by the L.A. Lakers last night losing 101-77. The high scorer for the Jazz in the game was Deron Williams going for 17 points even though he was only 6/17 from the floor. For the game the Jazz shot a measly 29/86 from the floor for a FG% of only 33.7%. That was mainly because they could not hit anything in the final period. On defense the Jazz allowed the Lakers to shoot 36/78 for a FG% of 46.2%.
In their last game the Magic beat the L.A. Clippers 97-86 on Tuesday night. The high scorer for the Magic in the game was Dwight Howard going for 25 points on 7/10 shooting and he also grabbed 11 boards. For the game the Magic shot 32/71 for a FG% of 45.1%. On D the Magic played solid holding the Clippers to 34/85 from the floor for a FG% of 40%.
This season the Magic rank 9th in scoring (101.8 ppg) and the Jazz rank 14th (100.2 ppg). On defense the Magic are solid ranking 6th in points allowed (95 ppg) and the Jazz rank a respectable 15th (98.2 ppg). Both teams are solid on the boards this season, as the Magic have a rebounding differential of +2.5 rpg and the Jazz are at +2.0 rpg.
In front of their home crowd the Jazz always play well, so don’t look for them to have a scoring drought in the 4th quarter like they did last night.
After getting Western Conference Player of the Week last week Carlos Boozer struggled last night facing a legit C in Andrew Bynum. He will face the best C in the NBA tonight in Dwight Howard, so look for Boozer to struggle again.
Howard (18.4 ppg 12 rpg) will have a monster night, as Jazz C Mehmet Okur is not great on defense and he is not very physical.
Since Boozer will have to drop down to help Okur on Howard it will allow Magic Rashard Lewis (15.8 ppg) to have open looks for his jump shot and from downtown and since he shoots 38.8% from 3-point land he may hit quite a few long bombs tonight.
Howard will also make it so Vince Carter (19.3 ppg) and Mickael Pietrus (9.9 ppg) have room to operate and have open looks for their shots.
Deron Williams (18.8 ppg) has the advantage in the PG match up with Jayson Williams, but he had the advantage last night facing Derek Fisher, but he was only 6/17 from the floor. Look for Deron Williams to struggle again since he will have Howard waiting for him in the lane.
On the injury front SF Andrei Kirilenko, PG Ronnie Price, SG Kyle Korver, PG Deron Williams, and SF C.J. Miles are all day-to-day for the Jazz while the Magic are not reporting any significant injuries.
Jason’s Pick: The Magic are playing their best basketball of the season and they have the best road record in the NBA. While the Jazz are tough to beat at home this is simply not a good match up for them. Look for Howard to have a big game and for the Magic to dominate the boards. The Magic will win this game and cover the spread leaving Utah with their 7th straight win.