New Orleans Hornets (27-24 24-27 ATS) vs. Orlando Magic (34-17 25-23-3 ATS) Amway Arena, Orlando, FL 8 PM EST Monday February 8, 2010 on TNT
by Jason Green at Predictem.com
Point Spread: Hornets +7.5 / Magic -7.5
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Tonight in the Sunshine State in a match up of a couple of teams that are coming off a win the Orlando Magic host the New Orleans Hornets. Maybe the Hornets can take some momentum in this game knowing their Saints won the Super Bowl on Sunday, but winning will not be easy against an Orlando squad that recently beat the Celtics in Boston and is 8-2 in their last 10 games. Even without Chris Paul the Hornets are staying in the playoff race even though they are only 5-5 in their last 10 games.
This season the Magic are 19-5 at home and the Hornets are 11-16 on the road.
The Magic have won 9 of their last 11 games and are now in the 2nd position in the Eastern Conference.
Many people, including me, thought the Magic could not win without Vince Carter snapping out of his shooting slump and he may have done just that in burying 3 of 4 3-point bombs in the win over the Celtics and shooing over 50% from the field in yesterday’s win.
The Hornets are not only missing Paul, but they have played without rookie Marcus Thornton (10.9 ppg) for the last 2 games, but should have him back tonight.
The Magic will need Thornton and fellow rookie Darren Collison (7.7 ppg) to have good games tonight if they are going to beat the streaking Magic. In his last 5 games since taking over for Paul, Collison has averaged 16.6 ppg and 9.8 assists per game including dropping a season high 24 points in the Hornets last win.
Dwight Howard is the best center in the league and Hornets C Emeka Okafor has to play good D on him not allowing him easy buckets in the paint. He also has to keep Howard, who leads the league in rebounds per game (13.4 rpg), from dominating the boards.
Rashard Lewis (14.9 ppg) and Carter (15.8 ppg) have to shoot the rock well tonight so the Hornets don’t pack the lane to stop Howard.
The Hornets have to rebound well tonight, which is not their strength, but if they cannot hit the boards hard as a team the Magic will take them to school.
In their last game the Hornets beat the Charlotte Bobcats 104-99 on Saturday. The high scorer for the Hornets in the game was Collison going for 24 points on 9/17 shooting. For the game the Hornets shot well going 39/77 from the field for a FG% of 50.6%. On defense the Hornets allowed the Bobcats to shoot 37/77 for a FG% of 48.1%.
The Magic beat the Celtics 96-89 on Sunday afternoon. The high scorer for Orlando in the game was Vince Carter going for 20 points on 7/13 shooting. For the game the Magic shot 31/67 for a FG% of 46.3%. On D the Magic were solid holding the Celtics to 35/83 shooting for a FG% of 42.2%.
This season the Magic rank 15th in scoring (100.5 ppg) and the Hornets are right behind them ranking 16th (99.8 ppg). On defense the Magic are solid ranking 5th in points allowed (95.4 ppg) while the Hornets only rank 19th (101.1 ppg). The Magic have been much better on the boards this season, as they have a rebounding differential of +2.3 rpg while the Hornets are only at -2.9 rpg.
According to the Sagarin NBA ratings the Magic rank 3rd (94.62) and the Hornets rank 19th (89.55).
New Orleans is # 5-0 ATS in their last 5 road games, 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games as a road underdog, and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games as an underdog.
New Orleans has an Over record of 5-0 in their last 5 games on the road and the total has gone over in 8 of their last 9 games.
Orlando is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games, 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games as a home favorite of 5.0-10.5, and 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games against teams in the Western Conference.
Orlando has an Under record of 19-7 in their last 26 games and has an Under record of 6-1 in their last 7 home games.
On the injury front PG Chris Paul is Out for New Orleans and SF Mickael Pietrus and PG Jameer Nelson are day-to-day for Orlando.
Jason’s Pick: OK, so New Orleans is partying on Bourbon Street since the Saints won the Super Bowl, but that will not help the Hornets tonight. New Orleans simply does not have the inside game to keep up with the Magic, not to mention they’re banged up as well. Orlando will win this game and cover the spread.