Magic vs. Clippers NBA Pick
The Magic will be playing in the second game of a back-to-back in Los Angeles after beating the Lakers last night. Should we back them tonight?
Orlando Magic (20-21) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (28-13)
Thursday, January 16 at 10:30 PM ET, STAPLES Center
Markelle Fultz Delivers Amazing Performance Against Lakers
Markelle Fultz led the way for the Magic in what can be considered their best win of the season last night.
Fultz had his second career triple-double. He finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists and hit huge baskets in the closing moments of the game.
The Magic won 119-118 despite missing Evan Fournier (plus-2.8 Offensive Box Plus/Minus), D.J. Augustin (plus-0.3 Offensive Box Plus/Minus), Michael Carter-Williams (plus-2.8 Defensive Box Plus/Minus), Jonathan Isaac (plus-5.3 Defensive Box Plus/Minus) and Al-Farouq Aminu (plus-2.5 Defensive Box Plus/Minus).
All of the players mentioned above have been key contributors at both ends of the floor for the Magic this season but BJ Johnson and Gary Clark helped carry the load, combining for 19 points and seven rebounds off the bench.
Wes Iwundu had a chance to start and he played extremely well, delivering 19 points and four rebounds in 32 minutes.
Aaron Gordon was a difference-maker as well, he had 21 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals and possibly his two best dunks of the season.
Nikola Vucevic and Terrence Ross also did their part. Vucevichad 19 points and four rebounds and Ross contributed with 15 points, four rebounds and three assists in 31 minutes off the bench.
It was Fultz who left it all on the court, giving the Lakers their first loss to a team with a losing record this season. The Lake Show was the only team left without such a loss. The Magic also ended LA’s nine-game winning streak.
LeBron James was interviewed after the game and had this to say about Markelle Fultz: “Confident.. He’s been given an opportunity to go out and play the game how he grew up playing… I been supportive of him ever since he was in high school, as a rookie in Philly, through his situation, and till this day. I’m happy as hell for him.”
Sports analytics and strategy site Positive Residual explained why Fultz’ performance was so special:
“Wonderful game from Markelle Fultz, who had just 21 points on 20 true shot attempts, but was 7/10 at the rim, including a pair of clutch shots down the stretch. None of his made field goals was assisted. He dished 10 assists, half at the rim and half from 3, with just 1 turnover.“
Betting Trends and Prediction
The Orlando Magic are:
5-0 ATS in their last five games overall
4-0 ATS in their last four road games
4-0 ATS in their last four games after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game
The Los Angeles Clippers are:
2-5 ATS in their last seven games as a home favorite
2-5 ATS in their last seven home games
1-4 ATS in their last five games overall
Paul George (plus-3.2 Offensive Box Plus/Minus) won’t play against the Magic due to a left hamstring injury. PG13 originally suffered the injury during a January 2 126-112 win against the Pistons. He sat out the next game on January 4, a 140-114 home loss against the Grizzlies, before playing 26 minutes in a 135-132 win against the Knicks on January 5.
The Clippers are 2-1 in their last three games without George and they will use a committee approach to fill his void against the Magic.
Maurice Harkless (minus-1.2 Offensive Box Plus/Minus), Rodney McGruder (minus-2.5 Offensive Box Plus/Minus), Jerome Robinson (minus-4.6 Offensive Box Plus/Minus) and Derrick Walton Jr. (minus-0.6 Offensive Box Plus/Minus) will see an uptick in playing time but I can’t trust them to help the Clippers cover this number.