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Magic vs Jazz preview: Utah face a high-level Orlando defense

Orlando’s defensive versatility will offer a challenge for Utah in Joe Ingles return to Salt Lake City.

Memphis Grizzlies v Utah Jazz Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

The Utah Jazz (2-3) are hosting the Orlando Magic (2-2) in the two teams’ first matchup of the season. After blowing out a disheveled Memphis Grizzlies roster at home on Wednesday, the Jazz will welcome back fan-favorite Joe Ingles in his second return to Utah tonight.

After losing back-to-back games against the Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets, the Jazz were able bounce back against the winless Grizzlies. Utah’s offense largely struggled to make an impact over the first four games of the season, but burst onto the scene on Wednesday after the Jazz shot 54% from the field and 51.2% from three. Jordan Clarkson, who only shot 34% from the field before Wednesday, had his most productive performance to date, scoring 24 points and dishing out 6 assists on 50% shooting.

The Orlando Magic enter the night with one of the most impressive early-season defenses. They rank first in the league in opponent scoring, limiting offenses to an impressive 101.8 points per game. They also rank towards the top of the league in opponent points in the paint, opponent fast break points, opponent points off turnovers, and opponent second chance points. The final statistic will likely stand as a point of emphasis for the Magic tonight, given that the Jazz lead the league in second chance point per game.

Offensively, the Magic have struggled across their four games. Franz Wagner leads the team in scoring at 18.0 points per game, while former first-overall pick Paolo Banchero has only averaged 12.5 points per game on sub-40% shooting from the field. Expect Orlando to try and get the young forward going against the Jazz’s bottom-five defense.

Both the Jazz and the Magic will enter the night with the clean injury report.

Game Info

When: 7:00 PM MT - 11/02/23

Where: Delta Center, Salt Lake City, Utah

TV: KJZZ, Jazz+