Fri, Feb 25, 1:34pm by Kevin Pitstock
The Orlando Magic will host the Oklahoma City Thunder in a battle between two teams that appear to be heading to the postseason. The Orlando Magic come into the game with a 36-22 record; second place in the Southeast Division and fourth overall in the Eastern Conference. The Thunder are 36-20 overall, and first place in the Northwest Division. Coming into Friday night’s game, Oklahoma City was four games ahead of second place Denver.
When these two teams met back in the middle of January, the Thunder won at home 125-124. This will be the final game between the two teams, barring a match-up in the NBA Finals.
Orlando Magic Overview:
The Orlando Magic come into the game fresh off a 111-105 loss to the Sacramento Kings. In the loss, the Magic were led by Dwight Howard, with his 31 points. “Superman” Howard is scoring 23 points per game and 14 rebounds per game. Orlando is scoring 99.8 points per game and allowing 94.2.
The Magic have won 50+ games the past three seasons, and appear to be heading to their fourth straight. Jameer Nelson, who was in the middle of trade talks before the deadline leads the team as the point guard, dishing out nearly 7 assists per game.
Oklahoma City Thunder Overview:
The Oklahoma City Thunder are coming off a trade of their third leading scorer Jeff Green. The Thunder sent Green to Boston for Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson. Oklahoma City has been pleased with several of their young stars, including Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka and Russell Westbrook. Durant leads the NBA in scoring, Ibaka showed his talents in the NBA dunk contest and Westbrook has emerged as a star point guard.
Oklahoma City is coming off a four point loss in San Antonio on Wednesday night. In that loss, Durant scored 30 points, and Ibaka ripped down 15 rebounds. The Thunder rank fifth in the NBA, averaging just shy of 105 points per game.
Magic/Thunder Pick and Prediction:
This should be fun. Both of these teams feel like they need to win to better their playoff position. The Thunder want to hold onto the lead in the Northwest Division, while the Magic want to try gaining ground on Miami.
Look for OKlahoma City to start slow due to the trade, and getting some guys into the rotation. The Magic are a 7 point favorite in this game. We like Orlando to win the game, but Oklahoma City to keep this game close. Oklahoma City +7.
Our pick: Oklahoma City Thunder +7. Bet the Thunder at Centrebet.
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