Orlando Magic vs. Minnesota Timberwolves: Predictions, Starting Lineups (2/2/24)

The Orlando Magic (25-23) battle the Minnesota Timberwolves (34-14) this Friday (2/2/24). Get Magic vs. Timberwolves moneyline and spread odds, as well as predictions, starting lineups, injuries, and key matchups below.

Orlando Magic vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Prediction

During the first quarter, Minnesota outscores opponents by 5.2 points per 100 possessions, while Orlando is being outscored by 4.3 points per 100 possessions (via NBA.com). Those marks rank 7th and 21st, respectively. In addition to the trends favoring the Wolves, the matchup also behooves them.

The Magic average the fourth most field goal attempts per game within eight feet of the basket because their offense is built on jumbo slashing forwards. However, there isn’t much space due to Orlando ranking dead last in three-point percentage. Therefore, teams that boast positional size and lock down the paint can heavily slow down the Magic.

That perfectly describes a Wolves team that surrenders the fifth fewest field goal attempts and second lowest field goal percentage within eight feet of the basket. Rudy Gobert, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Jaden McDaniels will pose serious issues for Orlando’s offense tonight, thus rendering it ineffective without an abnormal three-point shooting night.

On the other end, Orlando fields a tough defense themselves, so it will be an uphill climb for the Wolves too. However, they sit in a better position to find a sliver of offensive success. The Magic are 24th defending the roll man and dead last defending in isolation based on opponent points per possessions. Gobert will be a massive threat here, and Orlando faces excellent isolation weapons in Edwards and Towns. The offense will still be clunky, but look for Minnesota to scrape together a small lead by the end of the first quarter.

Orlando Magic vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Prediction: 1st Quarter Timberwolves -2

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Orlando Magic vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Best Odds

The Timberwolves are 6.5 point favorites, and they own a 12-8-2 record against the spread at home. The over under sits at a measly 213 total points, which makes sense given the defenses involved.

For the Magic’s +215 moneyline to be profitable in the long run, they need to win this game at least 37 percent of the time.

Orlando Magic Starting Lineup

PG: Markelle Fultz
SG: Jalen Suggs
SF: Franz Wagner
PF: Paolo Banchero
C: Wendell Carter Jr.

Minnesota Timberwolves Starting Lineup

PG: Mike Conley
SG: Anthony Edwards
SF: Jaden McDaniels
PF: Karl-Anthony Towns
C: Rudy Gobert

Orlando Magic vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Injuries

Gary Harris is probable, while Rudy Gobert holds a questionable tag. However, he appears to be more probable than doubtful. If he cannot play, then Naz Reid will likely get the start.

Orlando Magic vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Key Matchups

Turnovers

Both teams are careless with the basketball and sit bottom six in turnover percentage. Winning the possession battle grants a larger margin for error, so the team that cleans up their mistakes will have a huge advantage here. Considering the Magic rank second in opponent turnover percentage (the Wolves are eighth), they have a slight head start.

Jalen Suggs’ Defense

Suggs is one of the top perimeter defenders in the league because it’s extremely difficult to shake him off the bounce. He likely gets the Anthony Edwards assignment in this matchup. If Suggs can pester Edwards and hold him to a below average shooting night, then Orlando’s cover chances look promising.

Braxton has been covering the NBA for Lineups since the 2022 season. He's worked with multiple collegiate coaching staffs regarding analytics and scouting, which has allowed him to understand the game on a deeper level. Braxton is also a contributor at Thunderous Intentions.

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