When and where: November 17, 2019, Amway Center, Orlando, FL, 6:00 PM ET
The streaking Orlando Magic will be looking for a third consecutive win in Sunday’s run-in with the visiting Washington Wizards. With back-to-back victories over the Philadelphia 76ers and San Antonio Spurs, the offense is clearly surging to abnormal levels for the Magic. Whether they can actually continue to score 110-plus points per game remains to be seen. Meanwhile, the Wizards toppled the Minnesota Timberwolves to put an end to a three-game losing streak.
Beal comes to lifeWizards star guard Bradley Beal was under the microscope for early struggles in the season. There was a shared belief that he was succumbing to the pressure of being the lone superstar on an NBA team. With all of the extra attention aimed in his direction, we weren’t seeing the burgeoning offensive juggernaut that suddenly emerged last season.
And then it happened.
Beal dropped 44 points in a loss to the Celtics before matching that same scoring output against the Minnesota Timberwolves. It’s safe to assume he’s back to his old ways after scoring a total of 88 points in back-to-back outings.
That’s the kind of offensive prowess that typically scares a team like the Magic. Someone would have to be pretty naïve to think the Magic’s impressive two-game run will last. They’re the second-worst scoring team in the league with an average output of 100.3 points per game. The lack of offensive efficiency puts tremendous stress on the defense to be spectacular on a nightly basis.
Then there’s the reality of the Wizards defense not being very good. Even a bad defensive team like the Magic might end up looking competent in this meeting.
Can the Magic sustain their offense?A lack of offensive firepower is the only thing keeping the Magic from making a run in the playoffs. I could brag about their impressive defensive play until I’m blue in the face, but it won’t matter until they’re finally able to keep up in a league empowered by high-scoring offenses. Even when they make opponents play ugly, they still aren’t getting the job done well enough to seal the deal on the offensive end of the floor.
Those issues make Sunday’s game even more intriguing considering the juxtaposition of problems with both teams. Unlike the Magic, the Wizards are playing superb offense while looking downright awful at times on defense. So the entire game will come down to how effective the Magic are at slowing down Beal.
The Magic rank fifth in the league in defensive efficiency, and teams are only averaging 99.9 points per game against them. If only that same level of consistency existed for them on the offensive end of the floor as well. The team is shooting 42.0 percent from the floor and 29.5 percent from 3-pointer.
Most of the offense still runs through center Nikola Vucevic, and there aren’t any signs of that changing ahead of a Wizards team allowing an average 47.4 shooting percentage.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on Covers.com, are:
- Wizards are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win of more than 10 points.
- Wizards are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 road games.
- Wizards are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 road games against a team with a winning home record.
- Wizards are 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Magic are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Magic are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games against teams in the Eastern Conference.
- Magic are 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Magic are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win.