Ed Solano’s NBA Play Of The Day: Orlando Magic vs. New Orleans Pelicans

by Pub Sports Radio

Pelicans vs. Magic NBA Play Of The Day

The Pelicans will end their season against the reeling Magic on Thursday night.

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Orlando Magic

Thursday, August 13th – 09:00 PM ET at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Florida

Pelicans Have Nothing to Play For

The Pelicans opened the season 6-22, and it was tough to overcome that start. New Orleans will leave the NBA Bubble after this game, and it seems that they can’t wait for that.

Brandon Ingram, Jrue Holiday, and Zion Williamson once he came back, helped the Pelicans have a chance to make the playoffs before the NBA restart, but a lot of things went wrong in Orlando.

Brandon Ingram, Jrue Holiday, Zion Williamson, JJ Redick, and Derrick Favors all missed the 112-106 loss against the Kings on Tuesday, due to either injuries or rest.

Head coach Alvin Gentry might not take unnecessary risks with these players against the Magic. The game still has to be played, but their top players should rest or see limited minutes.

Lonzo Ball’s shot after the NBA restart has been part of the narrative around this team, but he did play well against the Kings with 16 points, four assists, and three rebounds, while shooting 5-for-9 from the field and 4-for-6 from beyond the arc.

Jahlil Okafor stepped up and also had a strong performance, leading the Pelicans with 21 points in 26 minutes. New Orleans turned the ball over 19 times and missed 17 3-point shots, which doomed them in the end.

 

Magic Can’t Keep Up with Nets

The Magic lacked inspiration from start to finish and lost 108-96 against the Nets on Tuesday.

Better rebounding, more free-throw attempts, limiting turnovers and playing with pace are musts for the Magic if they don’t want to be swept by the Bucks in the playoffs. Orlando did none of these things against Brooklyn, and that explains their bad loss.

The Nets were able to attempt more 3-point shots and limit their turnovers. The Magic shot just 38.6 percent from the field and 30.4 percent from beyond the arc while turning the ball over 17 times against 13 assists…

Sure, Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier, Michael Carter-Williams, and Terrence Ross didn’t play, in addition to Jonathan Isaac (who we all know will miss the rest of the season).

The lousy performance is inexcusable still, considering that the Nets were without Caris LeVert, Joe Harris, Jarrett Allen, and Garrett Temple. LeVert, Harris, Allen, and Temple are four of the team’s top six scorers in the NBA Bubble.

 

Prediction

The Magic went 2-0 to start to play in the NBA Bubble, but they have lost five games in a row, and their effort has been poor, to say the least.

D.J. Augustin hasn’t played well, and Markelle Fultz should start… Yes, his defense has room for improvement, but he led the team with 18 points off the bench on Tuesday, and the Magic plays way better with him running the offense.

This team needs a spark, and Fultz being in the starting five can be just what they need to beat the Pelicans. This is a vital game for the Magic; they need to end their losing streak before dealing with the Bucks.

Keep an eye on the potential matchup between Lonzo Ball and Markelle Fultz. The ball will be a great challenge for Fultz at both ends of the court, and the former Laker does have something to prove before the season ends.

That said, I will invest in the Magic ATS at, as they need this game way more.

 

NBA Pick: Magic 1st half -2 (-110) at 5Dimes

Ed’s 2019-20 NBA picks record through Aug. 12: 3-1 ATS, 2-0 Moneylines, 6-3 Totals

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