The only thing that looks magic about Orlando at the moment is their ability to stay in the playoff picture despite their turgid offence. They sit fourth last in points per game, but are tenth in the Eastern Conference and just a couple of games out of the eighth seed.
That’s because they’re able to beat up on teams in the feeble Southeast Division.
Unfortunately they’ve to play teams from the west occasionally too.
Tonight they face the other team in LA, the Clippers, who are one of the best offences in the league and who would be a real contender for the title if they closed down opponents more effectively.
They’re 6-3 over on the total in the their last nine, while Orlando have also seen the line topped in 5 of their last seven, so the the line of 220 looks low to me.
The sun ain’t shining for the Lakers at the moment, and not just because they’re hunkered up around the Great Lakes for this away trip.
LeBron James is still out. He hadn’t missed a night in 156 games prior to Christmas day, but tweaked a groin muscle and has been absent for the last five since.
He won’t be back for the next week either, and that means the Lakers will likely slide further down the Western Conference. They’re eighth at the moment but and have lost four of five since he disappeared from the line-up.
This is one they’d expect to win with the big man healthy, but the Timberwolves are rounding into some form right now thanks to Karl-Anthony Towns’ recent play and will fancy taking down this wounded LA side as they try to scrap back up the standings.
Though the Lakers are going under for the season, on the road they’re .500 on overs, while Minnesota are going over like like a ‘keeper stepping up in a penalty shootout.
Charlotte could without a six-game road trip out west right now, but that’s what they’ve got. Injuries to Cody Zeller and Jeremy Lamb disrupts their starting line-up for this slog across the country, and things haven’t been going all that swell even when they were at full strength.
If they go winless on this trip – they’ve already lost to Denver – it could mean they’ll start to ship out some of their veteran talent in prepartion for overhauling the roster.
Not much at stake then.
Phoenix have reverted to type after a four-game winning streak had their ears popping like passengers on take off. Well now they’re back down to earth. they’ve lost five in a row and continue to take shellackings early, making every game seem a mountainous task.
The fact that Charlotte played last night should help them here. It’s not a slam dunk, but I like the underdog Suns at home given the Charlotte’s injuries and travel.
*All odds correct at time of posting