Boston Celtics (7-2 SU, 8-1 ATS, 3-6 O/U) vs. Orlando Magic (6-3 SU, 5-4 ATS, 4-5 O/U)
NBA: Sunday, November 5, 2017, Amway Center, Orlando, Florida, 6 pm ET
Line: Boston -3; Over/Under: 207.5
It’s a contest featuring the top two teams in the Eastern Conference during the early part of the season down in the Sunshine State. The sizzling Boston Celtics are on the road again as they take on the surprising Orlando Magic Sunday evening. Boston won its seventh in a row with a 101-94 road win over Oklahoma City Friday night. Orlando had won five of six before getting demolished 105-83 at home by the Bulls Friday. The Celtics have a 60-47 edge in the all-time regular season series and won the last four meetings, including all three in 2016-17.
Boston Celtics Seeking Eighth Straight Win
Boston has put the memories of their 0-2 start far back in the closet as they’ve been the hottest team in the league since. The Celtics reeled off their seventh straight victory by going on the road and beating Oklahoma City. Boston was down 13 after the opening quarter and 18 at the half before rallying. The Celtics outscored the Thunder 64-39 in the second half, including 34-23 in the fourth quarter, to get the win. Boston shot 42.9 percent from the floor and drilled 13 of 28 three point attempts in the contest. The Celtics limited the Thunder to 40.2 percent shooting in the game. Kyrie Irving had 25 points plus six assists in the win to lead Boston.
The Celtics are 23rd in the league in scoring offense with 102.8 points per game. Boston is 5th in the league in rebounding with 47.3 boards per game and stand 12th with 22.4 assists per contest. Boston is above average on the defensive end: they are 1st in scoring defense, allowing 93.8 points per game. Kyrie Irving leads the team with 22.1 points and 5.7 assists per game in his first year with the team. Al Horford averages 14.7 points, nine rebounds and 4.3 assists per game. Marcus Smart chips in 9.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and five assists per contest. Jaylen Brown (15.6 points, 6.6 rebounds), rookie Jayson Tatum (13.7 points, 6.6 rebounds), Terry Rozier and Aron Baynes are key pieces in the rotation. Boston will miss their big free agent signing, Gordon Hayward, who is likely done for the year after suffering a fracture dislocation of his ankle in the opener. They do hope to get Marcus Morris back in the near future. The Celtics are 21st in field goal percentage as they shoot 44.2 percent from the floor as a team. Boston is tied for 7th in three pointers per game with 11.2 per night while the team is 10th in three point percentage as they hit 37.3 percent from beyond the arc.
Orlando Magic Look to Regroup
Orlando was on a roll before getting dismantled in the second half by a Bulls team that came in with just one victory. The Magic now hopes to regroup and get back on track after their disappointing performance. Orlando held a 45-44 edge at the half but was outscored 61-38 in the second half as they were unable to shoot the ball well. The Magic hit only 40.7 percent from the floor in the contest while going 10 of 35 from three point range. Orlando went just three of five at the free throw line while the Bulls were 11 of 12. Evan Fournier led the Magic with 21 points in the loss.
The Magic has been good in the early going putting the ball in the basket: they are tied for 4th in the league with 111.3 points per game. Orlando stands 18th on the glass with 43.1 boards per contest and is 3rd with 25 assists a night. The Magic is 17th in scoring defense as they allow 106.7 points a game. Nikola Vucevic is third on Orlando with 18.4 points plus 7.7 rebounds per game. Evan Fournier contributes 21.9 points a night, Aaron Gordon averages 19.3 points and 8.4 boards a game while Johnathon Simmons contributes 14.7 points a night. Elfrid Payton, D.J. Augustin (8.3 points, 5.1 assists), Terrence Ross, Mario Hezonja, Arron Afflalo, Shelvin Mack, Marreese Speights and Jonathan Isaac are all components of Frank Vogel’s rotation. The Magic is 4th in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 48 percent as a team. Orlando is 3rd with 12.4 made threes per game while the team is 1st in three point percentage as they shoot 42.1 percent from downtown.
- Celtics are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600
- Celtics are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS win
- Celtics are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 vs. Eastern Conference
- Magic are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. Eastern Conference
- Magic are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 vs. NBA Atlantic
Few would have expected Orlando to get off to a hot start and most of those people will point to their dismantling by the Bulls as a sign of what’s to come. The Magic still have played decent basketball so far as they’ve opened up the floor with solid shooting options. Boston has reeled off seven straight wins as they have regrouped since their 0-2 start. The Celtics are 4-1 on the road and have momentum after rallying from 18 down to beat the Thunder. Give the points as Boston makes it eight wins in a row here.