Orlando Magic vs. Phoenix Suns
NBA Point Spread Pick: Phoenix -2.5 (March 17th 2017)
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The set-up: Both the 24-45 Orlando Magic and the 22-46 Phoenix Suns have been well out of the playoff race for quite some time. Phoenix is currently just two games ahead of the 20-48 LA Lakers for the West’s worst record but it seems obvious that the Lakers are ‘tanking’ in order to insure more ping pong balls. Phoenix has actually shown some interest in winning lately but has now announced that it has decided to rest standout PG Eric Bledsoe (21.1-4.8-6.3) for the remainder of the season.
Orlando: The Magic lost for the fourth straight time last night, getting drilled in Oakland, 122-92 by the Warriors. Orlando’s loss to Golden State was its 11th consecutive defeat against Western Conference foes and it stands just 8-20 against the West this season. “It’s unacceptable how we played,” head coach Frank Vogel told reporters. “We need to pick ourselves and try to win a game (Friday). … We didn’t come ready to play against the best team in the NBA in their building.” Let’s see if his team plays any better here in Phoenix, against a team with the third-worst record in the league.
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Phoenix: Rookie PG Tyler Ulis (4.6 & 2.4 APG) will now get a long look over the final 14 games with Bledsoe out of the mix, playing along side SG Booker (21.1) . Ulis made his first career start in Wednesday’s 107-101 loss to the Sacramento Kings and recorded 13 points and a career-best 13 assists. Already being given a “long look” is 6-7 forward Alan Williams, who plays “much bigger” than his size. He has seven double-doubles in eight games this month, averaging 13.5 points and 10.8 rebounds during the stretch. Quietly having a very good season is small forward T.J. Warren (13.6 & 4.7), who scored 24 points on 12-of-16 shooting against the Kings for his 12th straight double-digit outing.
The pick: Yes, Bledsoe is being held out but in Booker, Warren and now Williams, the Suns have quality players, something the Magic can’t claim. Orlando has lost 14 of its last 17 road games and have lost by 20 or more points seven times during that stretch. The Suns have won six of the last seven meetings between the two teams, including a 92-87 road victory back on Nov. 23. Suns win (and cover) again!
Category: NBA Basketball Picks