Is Jalen Suggs playing tonight (Mar. 23) vs. Knicks?

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Magic Is Jalen Suggs playing tonight (Mar 23) vs Knicks

Jalen Suggs (concussion) of the Orlando Magic has been downgraded to out for Thursday night’s home game against the New York Knicks. This will be the fourth straight contest and 29th game the second-year guard has missed so far this season.

Through 45 appearances this season, Jalen Suggs is averaging 9.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.3 steals, and 23.7 minutes per game. Plus, the Gonzaga product is shooting career bests of 41.7% from the floor and 31.1% beyond the arc.

Referring to a few NBA betting sites, while Jalen Suggs and the Magic can still make the playoffs, they would have to win out. Sportsbooks are showing greater odds for the Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors.

In Tuesday’s 122-112 victory over the Washington Wizards, rookie forward Paolo Banchero ended his outing with 18 points, nine rebounds, eight assists, and one steal in 37 minutes played. Although it was the Magic’s first win against Washington in eight games, the team still needs Jalen Suggs.

“That’s the biggest part about his game. He does love to pass the basketball,” Magic coach Jamahl Mosley said of Banchero. “He wants to find the pass and find his teammates. I think it’s great that he was recognizing the things going on the game, recognizing the coverages they were in. And on the other side of it, he made shots.”

Magic guard Jalen Suggs (concussion) remains out versus Knicks for Thursday night’s home game

Banchero is the favorite to win Rookie of the Year. Last year’s top overall pick out of Duke is playing lights out. However, Magic fans would probably much rather see their team make the playoffs for the first time since the 2019-20 season. At the moment, Orlando is 29-43 and ranks 13th in the Eastern Conference standings.

For the Magic to qualify, they would have to win out and the Bulls, Raptors, Wizards, and Pacers would need to lose a couple of games. Of course, the odds of that occurring are not in their favor, especially with Jalen Suggs out. Even with Cole Anthony making an impact off the bench behind Markelle Fultz and Gary Harris, it’s all not enough.

In Orlando’s 130-129 win versus the Golden State Warriors on Nov. 3, Jalen Suggs scored a career-high 26 points in 37 minutes as a starter. Along with logging one board, nine dimes, and four steals, the fifth overall pick of the 2021 NBA Draft finished 9-of-17 (52.9%) shooting from the field and knocked down two 3-pointers.

Entering Thursday night’s East matchup, the Magic are 4-6 in their last 10 contests. They’re 6-13 in their past 19 meetings versus Atlantic Division teams as well. Not to mention, Orlando has covered the spread in five of its previous six contests.

Meanwhile, New York is 5-5 in its last 10 games. The Knicks are coming off back-to-back losses. Sportsbooks show the Magic as 3.5-point underdogs against the Knicks at home. To add to the betting trends above, New York is 22-15 away this season, whereas Orlando is 17-19 at home. Can the Magic win again without Jalen Suggs?

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