Orlando Magic vs. Los Angeles Lakers
NBA Basketball: Sunday, January 8th, 9:30 pm EST
Line: LA Lakers -2
The Orlando Magic head to Los Angeles to take on the Lakers on Sunday night. Two teams that can call Shaquille O’Neal their own who also faced off in the finals, have something in common this year as well. They both have young talent, but are too young to win many games. The Magic are 16-22 overall and have lost four of five, while the Lakers have won two of three and are 14-26 overall.
The Magic are a bit of a more defensive oriented team as they average 99.2 points per game while giving up 103.6 for a +/- of -4.4. The Lakers, meanwhile, put up 104.6 points per game but give up 110.4 for a +/- of -5.8. Both teams had decent starts to the season, but have fallen off in the last month or two.
Orlando loses to Houston
A seven point loss to the Rockets is really nothing to hang your head over right now, especially if you can hold Houston to a mere 100 points. Still, this the Pro’s and you don’t get points for staying close. Orlando had an eight point half time lead and they had every chance in the second half to win the game, but couldn’t hit any big shots down the stretch. They only shot 41% for the game and missed 15 of their 23 three pointers.
On the plus side, their defense has been very solid lately. They held the Rockets to only 100 points, and held James Harden to only 14 points. Not many teams can say that this year. Their defensive strategy seemed to be to let Eric Gordon shoot three pointers. He was three of 16 from beyond the arc, a remarkable amount from someone coming off the bench.
The Lakers have won two of three
Not that winning two of three is anything to write home about, but it looks like the Lakers are starting to play better basketball of late. They beat the Grizzlies by 14 three games back, lost a winnable game at Portland two back, and then beat the Heat by 27 in their latest. They shot exactly 50% as a team and scored over 30 points in three of the four quarters.
They were led in scoring by Louis Williams who had 24 points off the bench. He’s been fantastic all season off the bench and is averaging 18 points per game. He’s been rumored to be on the trading block, but the Lakers are getting closer to being a playoff team and I don’t think they should trade him just yet. With D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle the Lakers have a nice one-two punch to build around.
The Orlando Magic are:
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- 7-18-1 ATS in their last 26 games playing on 1 days rest.
The Los Angeles Lakers are:
- 5-2 ATS in their last 7 vs. NBA Southeast.
The Lakers have talent, but they have young talent. What that means is that when they are playing well, they are a good team to bet on and you should stay away from them when they are struggling. Now that they are playing a little better again, I think they might be a team to bet on over the next few weeks. Staples will have a loud Sunday night crowd and I think it will help the Lakers to an easy win.