The Orlando Magic let a very winnable game get away from them in a 98-97 loss to a very good Chicago Bulls team. Tonight, NBA odds are stacked against them as huge underdogs to the Wizards.
Tip-off is set for 7:00pm ET tonight at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. NBA betting odds list the Wizards as an 8.5 point betting favorite at home and the total for the game is listed at 195.5. Normally, I would see the Wizards as a double-digit favorite in this game, but Orlando put up a fight yesterday and they now have a healthy Tobias Harris and Victor Oladipo to support their offense.
The Maturation Process
When John Wall came out of Kentucky and into the pros, people expected instant results. For a while, it appeared that Wall would be a decent pro, but not live up to expectations. As the Wizards started to build a supporting cast, John Wall's greatness started to show.
This is a star that not only looks to score, but makes other players better on his team and that adds to his greatness. At 17.5 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 4.4 assists, John Wall is turning into one of the best point guards in the league. He's the total package. At 6 foot 4, he has the size and also possess lightening quick speed. Most importantly, Wall has made his team a winner, by being a more consistent basketball player. He's an efficient shooter that can drill the 3-ball and that makes him a complete player.
In his last 10 games, Wall's numbers have stayed around his average to prove his consistency as he's averaged 19.4 points,10.9 assists, and 5 rebounds per game. While the Magic have some very talented young players, nobody on their team can stop John Wall as he's the best player in tonight's game.
With Marcin Gortat stuck in an extended slump, Kris Humphries has come up big as of late. Humphries has the ability to start for some teams, but as one Brooklyn Nets announcer put, Humphries is more effective off of the the bench as he's the spark that the Wizards team needs and he's a very important player on this Wizards team.
In his last game, Humphries had a 9 point,11 rebound effort against his old team, the Brooklyn Nets, as the Wizards crushed the Nets. Look for Humphries to be a presence in this game as he'll be guarding one of the best centers in the NBA in Nikola Vucevic.
The grind of the NBA season doesn't seem to bother Vucevic as he puts up a nightly 20 points and 10 rebounds every single night. That said, last night, Vucevic got off to a horrendous start and came on strong in the 3rd quarter.
In all, he managed to salvage the night with 14 points and 7 rebounds, but if he played up to his usual standards, Orlando should've beaten Chicago. Victor Oladipo had a huge game and Tobias Harris also came on late, but the better team won in the end. Look for Vucevic and Harris especially to play well tonight as they're the 2 top offensive options on the Magic squad.
Both of these teams have been awful lately. The Magic have lost 9 out of their last 10 games and the Wizards have lost 7 out of 10. Even though Washington is at home and the much better team, I look for a big game out of Vucevic and for the Magic to keep this game close, which is why I'm making them part of my NBA picks.
NBA Pick- Orlando +8.5 at 5 Dimes