In: NBA Free Picks16 Mar 2011
The last time the Orlando Magic went to Milwaukee, it not only resulted in a loss, it launched the Magic into a losing streak that lasted nearly the entire month of December. They were 13-3 heading into that month. Between December 4 and December 21, the Magic lost eight of nine games.
This was of course the time frame the team made the trade that brought Gilbert Arenas and Hedo Turkoglu to the Magic. They have been solid ever since. That is up until recently.
The Magic have lost four of their last six, and simply haven’t been scoring points. In their most recent game against the Lakers, the Magic were rarely able to get anywhere near the paint, and had to resort to mid-to-long-range jumpers. The result was only 84 points – of which Dwight Howard scored 22.
The Bucks have won three of their last five home games, and have allowed an average of just 89 points per game during that five-game run. Their opponents for those games were the 76ers, Celtics, Pistons, Cavs and Suns. In other words, at times, the Bucks can play good defense at home.
With Orlando looking as out of sync as they did against the Lakers, you can expect the Bucks to try to do the same thing and protect the paint with all five guys to force Orlando out of it’s comfort zone. This could make it difficult for the Magic to cover the -5.5 spread laid down by odds makers.
The Bucks are riding a two-game home winning streak where they scored 110 and 102 points. When they get on a roll, they can score in bunches. With the playoffs looming, and their hopes still alive, the Bucks should show up big tonight and cover.
Pick: Take the Milwaukee Bucks (+5.5)