Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#733 Sacramento Kings 221 vs.
#734 Orlando Magic -1.5
Sunday, August 2, 2020 at 6:05pm EDT
Amway Center, Orlando
Written by Chris Kubala

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The seeding game portion of the NBA’s restart continues with an interconference contest on the hardwood in the Sunshine State. It’s the Sacramento Kings on the road as they visit the Orlando Magic on Sunday afternoon. Sacramento was knocked off 129-120 as the visiting team in the bubble by the Spurs on Friday night in their first game out of the COVID-19 pause. Orlando rolled to a 128-118 road win over Brooklyn in their first game since the pause on Friday afternoon. The Kings own a 33-28 advantage in the all-time regular season series between the teams but it was the Magic taking a 114-112 road win in the first meeting this season on January 13, 2020.

Kings Trying to Gain Ground in Playoff Picture

Sacramento battled but ended up on the short end of the stick against San Antonio in a high-scoring affair as both teams played their first game since the season restarted. The Kings need to make up some ground quickly as they entered Saturday 12th in the Western Conference, 3.5 games behind the Grizzlies for the final playoff spot. Sacramento needs to stay within four games of the eight seed in order to have a chance to try and get into the play-in games. The Kings erased a 13-point deficit after the opening quarter to take a one-point lead at the half. In the second half, the teams battled back and forth with the game tied with four minutes to play before the Spurs went on a 6-0 run to take control for good. Sacramento shot 48.4 percent from the field, including 12 of 38 from beyond the arc, but allowed San Antonio to shoot 53.3 percent in the game. De’Aaron Fox led the Kings with 39 points and six assists in the loss.

The Kings enter this contest 23rd in the league in scoring offense as they put up an average of 109.2 points per game this season. Sacramento is 27th in rebounding with 42.5 boards per game and 22nd in assists by dishing out 23.4 dimes per contest. The Kings are 17th in the league in scoring defense as they allow 111.2 points a night this season. De’Aaron Fox is second on Sacramento with 20.8 points plus 6.7 assists a night on the season. Buddy Hield contributes 19.6 points a game while Harrison Barnes (14.6 points, 4.8 boards) and Richaun Holmes (12.8 points, 8.3 rebounds) are contributing offensively this season. Nemanja Bjelica (11.9 points), Bogdan Bogdanovic (14.6 points), Cory Joseph, Alex Len along with Kent Bazemore and Harry Giles III need to put more points on the board to help the team. Marvin Bagley III (14.2 points, 7.5 boards) suffered a fractured thumb in the opener and battled injuries all season, playing in only 13 games. He’s out for the year with a lateral foot sprain. Sacramento is tied for 17th in the league in field goal percentage as they hit 46 percent from the floor this season. The Kings are tied for 10th in threes per game as they splash 12.6 triples a night while they are tied for 11th in three-point shooting by connecting on 36.3 percent from beyond the arc.

Orlando Magic Pushing Up the Playoff Standings

Orlando came out of the pause flying as they battered the shorthanded Nets into submission before easing off the gas in the fourth quarter. The Magic earned their fourth straight win and look to maintain that momentum here. Orlando entered Saturday seventh in the Eastern Conference, half a game ahead of eighth-place Brooklyn and 6.5 games ahead of ninth-place Washington. The Magic trailed by three after the opening quarter but outscored the Nets 75-43 over the middle two quarters to take a 29-point lead after three quarters. In the fourth quarter, Orlando emptied the bench, going scoreless over the final 6:59, but still won by double figures. The Magic shot 52.9 percent from the field, including 11 of 31 from three-point range, and drained 25 of 28 free throws in the contest. Evan Fournier led the team with 24 points and five assists in the win.

The Magic is 27th in the league in scoring offense with 106.7 points per game so far this season. Orlando is 17th in the league in rebounding with 44.5 boards per contest and 16th with 24.1 assists per game this season. The Magic is eighth in the league in scoring defense as they allow only 107.5 points per contest. Nikola Vucevic contributes 19.5 points plus 11 rebounds per contest this season. Evan Fournier puts up 18.9 points per game this season. Terrence Ross (14.7 points), Markelle Fultz (12 points, 5.2 assists) and D.J. Augustin (10.4 points, 4.5 assists) have contributed on the offensive end. The Magic needs more consistency from Aaron Gordon (14.3 points, 7.7 rebounds), Al-Farouq Aminu and Jonathan Isaac (12.1 points, 6.9 rebounds) in order to have success. Mo Bamba, Gary Clark and James Ennis III are key rotation pieces as well. Orlando is 27th in the league in field goal percentage by shooting 44.3 percent from the floor as a team. The Magic are tied for 24th in the league in threes per game as they knock down 10.9 triples per contest while the team is 25th in three-point shooting by converting 34.2 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc.

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Sacramento tried to run and gun against San Antonio but came up on the short end as Hield (two of 13 from the floor) struggled to provide the scoring punch that the team could have utilized in the second unit. The Kings clearly will miss Bagley III as they are a bit short in effective post presences. That is something that the Magic has in spades with Vucevic, Gordon, Birch, Bamba and the return of Isaac to the mix. Orlando is very good on the defensive end of the floor and their offensive numbers trended upward down the stretch before the pause. Look for the Magic to earn the win here to maintain their momentum.

 

Prediction: Orlando Magic -2.5

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We saw both teams put up some hefty point totals in their first games back after the pause. The Kings hung 120 in a loss to the Spurs while Orlando put up 128 despite not putting up a point for the final 6:59 of regulation. That's a hefty point total, more so when you factor in that the points were scored in 41 minutes instead of the usual 48. Sacramento has had some defensive deficiencies all season long and they're going to have their work cut out for them in this contest. The Kings like to push the pace and Orlando's offense was razor-sharp against the Nets, continuing their late-season success on that end of the floor. This one ends up being played at a fast tempo and goes over the total.

Prediction: Over 225

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Orlando is tied for 25th in first half scoring offense this season as they put up an average of 53.6 points per game this year. The Magic is just 28th in first half scoring offense at home as their number drops to 52.8 points per game as the hosts this season. When it comes to first half scoring differential, the Magic stands 17th by holding a -0.7 ppg scoring margin on the year. That number improves to -0.2 ppg at home, though that leaves them tied for 18th in that category. Sacramento is just 24th in first half scoring with an average of 54.4 points per game. The Kings stand tied for 12th on the road in first half scoring as they improve to 55.1 points a night. In first half scoring differential, the Kings are 15th with a -0.4 ppg margin: that number improves as the team is tied for ninth on the road in that category with a +0.3 ppg margin. Still, with the Kings' defensive issues, the Magic gets the nod here.

Prediction: Orlando Magic -1

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Orlando is eighth in the league in first half scoring defense by allowing an average of 54.2 points per game. When it came to playing at home, the Magic stands ninth by allowing 53 points per contest. When it comes to first half totals, the Magic sees an average of 107.8 points per game, though that number trends down to 105.8 points per game when they are the home team this season. Sacramento is 12th in the league in first half scoring defense as they give up an average of 54.7 points a night. The Kings are a solid tied for sixth when it comes to first half scoring defense on the road as they allow 54.8 points per game as the visitor. Sacramento's average first half total comes in at 109.1 points per game though that does trend up slightly on the road, as the average is 109.9 points a night. We saw both teams put up solid numbers in their openers, which helps push this one over the mark.

Prediction: Over 112
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.