After a tough loss at Indiana we look for the Orlando Magic to bounce right back and win tonight against the Bucks for our plus money line play of the day.
What has happened to Milwaukee is not really that surprising, usually bad things happen when you TRADE YOUR BEST PLAYER! The Bucks were one of the surprise teams this year, with Knight, the Greek Freak, and Kidd running the show it seemed like they were primed for a playoff spot. Then the trade of Knight and they have not been the same, period. At the time of writing the NBA odds were on hold; and prior to the All Star break and the trade the Bucks were ranked as one of best in the league offensively shooting 46.6% from the field and 37.8% from beyond the arc, very solid numbers. Since the break they are now at the bottom part of the league shooting 43% from the field and 33% beyond the arc. So maybe they are relying on their defense like Memphis to get them through this tough shooting stretch… nope. In the last three games they are allowing opponents almost 49% shooting from the field for third worst in the league during this stretch, and just above 41% from beyond the arc, also third worst in this stretch. They are not moving the ball either averaging about 20 assists per game the last three compared to their 23 per game average. The biggest sign though of how bad they are playing to us is the turnover problem. In the last three they are leading the league in turnovers at 18 per game (tied with Golden State surprisingly but the Warriors have averaged more field goals attempted and more possessions).
We are not putting too much stock into Orlando getting throttled at Indiana yesterday. The Pacers have been on fire and playing arguably better than anyone in the league since the break, so the loss was no big surprise. Orlando has been ok off of back to backs this season shooting about 45% on the year on those second games. Overall they have been playing pretty well since the break although their record may not reflect it. Not including the loss yesterday, the Magic are shooting 46% from the field since the break, fourth best in the NBA. In the last three, again not including the Pacers game, they shot at a 49% clip per average from the field, again fourth best, and 54% in effective field goal percentage, as well, fourth best the last three games. In this same time frame they haven’t played the best defense allowing opponents an effective field goal percentage of 50%, but the Bucks have been worse allowing 56%. Vucevic is now back and healthy for the Magic which should be a major boost.
Prior to the break it was all but a lock for Milwaukee, but with some key personnel changes they have slipped a lot these past weeks. They are looking like last year, which in this case is not a compliment. Orlando has played everyone tough since the break despite yesterday’s blowout. We look for them to have a strong bounce back game for our NBA picks while they shock the Bucks who although desperate, may be overlooking the hard playing Magic.
NBA Pick: Orlando plus money line at BetOnline