by Alma Bean
Feature Image: Photo by Scott G Winterton of Deseret News.
What to Look For
Though Orlando’s record ranks as one of the worst in the league, don’t let their record fool you. Orlando either has equal or better stats in the following categories, field goal percentage, free throw attempts, makes and percentage, defensive rebounds, steals blocks, and turnovers. This game may come down to who is more aggressive driving and finishing in the paint and who can capitalize on their free throws.
Since returning to Orlando from injury, Markelle Fultz has been able to create open looks with ease whether it’s for himself or his teammates. Over the last three games, Fultz is averaging 16.7 PPG, 6.3 APG, and 2.3 SPG. Along with those numbers, Fultz is shooting 23/34 (67.6%) during that span. Even with an impressive stat line, he’s been collectively rated at a -2 plus/minus rating. Depending on what Fultz Orlando will see on Friday will decide on whether or not Fultz will be a consistent threat to Utah.
Key for the Game
Keep your eye on the seven-footers. Both Bol Bol and Walker Kessler are in the top 10 in the league in blocks per game. Utah has their leading scorer in Lauri Markkanen. With both teams utilizing their big men in multiple positions, it will make defenses really work for their stops.
Utah- Udoka Azubuike: Out (health & safety protocol), Leandro Bolmaro: Out (G League), Talen Horton-Tucker: Questionable (ankle), Johnny Juzang: Out (G League), Kelly Olynyk: Out (ankle), Micah Potter: Out (G League), Collin Sexton: Questionable (hamstring)
Where to Watch?
Tip-off between Orlando and Utah will be at 7:00 p.m. MT on AT&T SportsNet.