2/13/2012 8:08:00 AM
Two of the premier big men in the NBA square
off tonight in Orlando when Dwight Howard and the Magic host Kevin Love and the
Minnesota Timberwolves. Orlando have not exactly been ‘magic’ in NBA picks
Game time is slated for 7 PM ET from the
Amway Center where the Magic are favored by -5.5 with the total at 190 on the NBA odds board.
The Wolves take a three-game losing streak - one fueled by mistakes and turnovers on offense - to Orlando to face a Magic
team that might be getting its groove back. After losing four in a row, Orlando
has won five of its past seven games and sits in sixth place in the East.
(13-15 SU, 15-13 ATS)
blew a seven-point fourth quarter lead on Saturday, falling 100-98 to the
red-hot Knicks who won their fifth straight game. Love notched his league-
leading 24th double-double - finishing with 32 points and 21 rebounds. It
was also his franchise record sixth 30-plus-point, 20-plus-rebound game The
Wolves scored a season-low 11 points and missed 16 of their 19 shots in the
fourth quarter. They also committed 23 turnovers leading to 29 New York points.
Point guard Jeremy Lin continued his amazing run scoring 19 points including a
clinching free throw with 4.9 seconds remaining.
(17-11 SU, 15-13 ATS)
is coming off a 99-94 victory over Milwaukee on Saturday. Jason Richardson
scored 28 of his season-high 31 points in the second half and made nine
3-pointers to lead the Magic. Howard, who averages 20.6 points, missed 10 of 15
shots to finish with 11 points and 14 rebounds. Hedo Turkoglu had 19 points for
Orlando, which beat the Bucks for the 11th time in 13 games.
Orlando is 28-16 all-time vs. Minnesota
including a 42-point Magic victory early last season.
The Love vs. Howard matchup is worth the
price of admission. Howard is the league’s premier big man and continues to be
the subject of trade rumors on a daily basis. He’ll become a free agent at the
end of the season but there’s good chance he’ll be traded by the Magic who
would at least get something—instead of nothing—if he leaves as FA.
Howard is the three-time reigning Defensive
Player of the Year and had won three straight rebounding titles until Love
supplanted him last season. One third of the way into this season, Howard leads
the league in boards with 15.5 per game compared to Loves 13.9.
Love is a power forward to Howard’s center
and the primary difference is Love’s ability to shoot from the outside. He’s
fourth in the league in scoring this season (25.6 ppg) and along with Ricky
Rubio has helped transform the Timberwolves into team that’s competitive on a
Orlando has won all six matchups against the
Timberwolves since Love entered the league. The big men finished with very
similar stat lines in the 2010-11 contests, as Howard combined for 34 points
and 25 rebounds while Love totaled 33 points and 24 boards.
Minnesota is 9-3 ATS in their last 12 road
games and the road team is 8-2 ATS in the last 10 series meetings.
The Timberwolves are 6-5 SU on the road
including 8-3 ATS. The Magic is 9-6 SU but 6-9 vs. the number.
Minnesota 6-1 to ‘over’ in its last seven
games and the defense has been the culprit giving up least 106 points in four
of those contests.
Harvey’s Take: You know what they say about tugging on Superman’s
cape. That’s what Milwaukee did on Saturday and tonight Minnesota will pay.
Look for a big game from Howard and a win and cover from the Magic.