Game Preview: Jazz at Magic

November 10th, 2010 | by Spencer Hall

Jazz at Magic, Game 1 of 2

November 10, 2010
ESPN / ESPN3.com / FSN Utah / 1320am

Jazz Injury Update – 11/10 at Orlando

Raja Bell (strained left adductor) – gametime decision
Paul Millsap (bruised left hip) – probable
Deron Williams – (bruised left calf) – probable

There’s no rest for the weary. After a spectacular come-from-behind overtime win against the Miami Heat on Tuesday night, the Jazz move upstate and take on the Orlando Magic tonight. It will be interesting to see what kind of energy the Jazz can bring. Certain starters (ahem, Al Jefferson) should be quite rested after sitting the entire fourth quarter and overtime. (It could also be argued that Jefferson was sitting the entire game, as his 2 points seem to suggest).

All eyes are on Paul Millsap tonight after his 46 point night on NBA TV. Tonight a national ESPN audience will get a chance to see what he can do against Dwight Howard and the Magic. I predict a sluggish start from the entire team, giving up a huge lead early, making a strong run in the third quarter after making halftime adjustments, clawing back into contention late in the fourth, and then sealing the game with long 3 pointers and passes from Ronnie Price to Francisco Elson.

Oh wait.

I’ll let the good people from ESPN Statistics give the preview. Hit the jump for more stats than you can shake a stick at:

TOP THINGS TO KNOW:

  1. There are four players in the NBA who are averaging at least 20 points per game and 10 rebounds per game this season. And two of those players are in this game (Dwight Howard and Paul Millsap).
  2. Paul Millsap is averaging 20.3 points per game and 11.2 rebounds per game this season to lead the Jazz. Last season, Millsap averaged 11.6 points per game and 6.8 rebounds per game. His 8.7 points per game increase is the second-biggest in the NBA.
  3. How important is Vince Carter to the Magic? Orlando is 5-0 when Carter scores in double-figures. The Magic lost by 26 in the lone game in which he scored under 10 points.

History and momentum

The Magic have won two straight and six of their last seven games against the Jazz in Orlando.

The Magic have won four straight games overall. Orlando has also won four straight home games.

20/10 Men

There are four players in the NBA who are averaging at least 20 points per game and 10 rebounds per game this season. And two of those players are in this game (Dwight Howard and Paul Millsap).

20 PPG, 10 RPG / 2010-11 Season
Player PPG RPG
Pau Gasol, LAL 24.1 10.9
Dwight Howard, ORL 23.2 11.3
Luis Scola, HOU 22.5 12.3
Paul Millsap, UTAH 20.3 11.2

Tempo could play a huge role in this game.

Utah likes to play much faster than Orlando. Utah averages 98.8 possessions per game, which is among the league leaders. Orlando averages 93.3 possessions per game, which is in the bottom third in the league.

Jazz bench struggles

The Jazz have struggled to find bench production this season. With injuries and players leaving via free agency, the Jazz bench hasn’t been scoring very much this season.

Fewest Bench PPG / 2010-11 Season
Bench PPG
Grizzlies 19.0
Thunder 22.0
Jazz 23.0
Mavericks 23.5
Clippers 23.7

JefferSapAlinko?

The Utah frontline is among the best and most offensively gifted in basketball. Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson and Andrei Kirilenko form a formidable trio.

Most points in the paint per game / 2010-11 Season
PIP PG
Rockets 49.7
Clippers 47.4
Lakers 46.9
Jazz 46.7
Suns 46.6

Front line

Al Jefferson ranks eighth in the NBA in points in the paint per game at 12.0 per game. Paul Millsap ranks ninth at 11.7 per game. Utah is the only team with two players ranked in the top 10 in the category.

Paul Millsap is averaging 20.3 points per game and 11.2 rebounds per game this season to lead the Jazz. Last season, Millsap averaged 11.6 points per game and 6.8 rebounds per game. His 8.7 points per game increase is the second-biggest in the NBA.

Biggest Increase in PPG From Last Season to This Season / 2009-10 2010-11
Player 2009-10 2010-11 Increase
Dorell Wright 7.1 16.4 +9.3
Paul Millsap 11.6 20.3 +8.7
Daniel Gibson 6.3 15.0 +8.7
J.J. Hickson 8.5 16.5 +8.0
Toney Douglas 8.6 16.5 +7.9
min. 40 games played last season

Mansap

Paul Millsap attended Louisiana Tech. He is one of seven players in NBA history to attend Louisiana Tech. The other notables are P.J. Brown and former Jazz star Karl Malone. He has made dramatic improvement from last season to this season.

Paul Millsap / Last 2 Seasons
2009-10 2010-11
Min PG 27.8 36.5
PPG 11.6 20.3
FG 53.8 60.7
RPG 6.8 11.2

Odds and ends

  • In two games against the Magic last year, Deron Williams was virtually unstoppable. He racked up some great statistics with 25.0 points per game, 5.0 rebounds and 13.5 assists.
  • Jerry Sloan doesn’t get nearly the notoriety that he should. He has made six conference finals with the Jazz and two NBA Finals. He is the longest tenured coach in the NBA, having taken over for Frank Layden during the 1988-89 season.
  • One thing that the Magic won’t be doing very much of is running the fastbreak. Orlando averages the fewest fastbreak points per game in the NBA.
  • The Magic’s two leading scorers are Dwight Howard and Vince Carter. Unfortunately, neither has shot very well from the free throw line this season. Howard is at 55.4% and Carter is at 57.1%. And that drags the team average way down.
  • Dwight Howard was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played Monday, Nov. 1, through Sunday, Nov. 7. It marks the 12th time that Howard has earned the league’s top weekly honor.
  • How important is Vince Carter to the Magic? Orlando is 5-0 when Carter scores in double-figures. The Magic lost by 26 in the lone game in which he scored under 10 points.
  • Vince Carter’s plus/minus is +85 this season. That is third in the NBA behind Pau Gasol (+113) and Lamar Odom (+103).

Peter D. Newmann
NBA Statistics and Information Research
ESPN, Inc.

Spencer Hall
Founder Spencer Hall has covered the NBA, Team USA and NBA D-League since 2007 and launched Salt City Hoops in 2009. Spencer is now the news director at KSL.com
Spencer Hall
Spencer Hall

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