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The Orlando Magic are looking to get back on track on their home court against the Boston Celtics on Saturday night.
Celtics fueled by balanced play
Following a slow start out of the gate to the 2018-19 season, the Celtics have picked it up over the last several weeks. Boston is coming off a strong month of December where they were one of the top teams in the league. The Celtics are coming off a highly productive month of December where they led the league with 117.6 points per contest along with being tied for ninth with 49.6 percent shooting from the floor and ninth hitting 36.9 percent from beyond the arc. They have begun to find their fluidity offensively with their talented deep roster that has pushed them to hold one of the top records in the Eastern Conference currently sitting in the fifth spot while being five games out of the top spot in the conference.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 11, 2019
The Celtics have been led offensively by All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving is currently averaging 22.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 6.6 assists on the season. He is one of just seven players this season to be averaging at least 22.0 points, 6.0 assists, and 4.0 rebounds joining James Harden, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard and DeMar DeRozan. His production has been key to steadying Boston in the right direction over the last few weeks. What has also been a major factor has been their play defensively as one of the top teams in the league. They are currently tied for fifth with 105.6 points per contest allowed along with being 44.3 percent shooting from the floor and 33.4 percent from beyond the arc. This balanced play should be enough to push them past a struggling Magic team on Saturday night.
Magic struggling to find their way offensively
It has been yet another season where the Magic have had plenty of issues breaking through in the Eastern Conference. Orlando has dropped seven out of their last 10 games including the last four straight. They possess a young roster that has yet to truly take strides forward on the court with them having major issues in pushing themselves forward toward competing for the playoffs as they are hovering outside the top-eight spots in the conference. Much of which has stemmed from their porous play offensively being one of the least productive teams in the league on that end of the floor that has only pushed them south as the season has worn on. This has been the case over the last several weeks as they have struggled to find any fluidity offensively outside the play of big man Nikola Vucevic, who has been their leading offensive factor on a nightly basis.
Double Vooch, pay the price. pic.twitter.com/ynGth6GhYk
— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) January 10, 2019
Orlando is currently 27th averaging 103.o points per contest and 44.3 percent shooting from the floor while being 17th shooting 35.0 percent from the floor. Their lack of fire punch on that end of the floor has continued to be discouraging on a nightly basis for the franchise. Vucevic has been their lone dependable factor as he’s putting together a breakout year averaging 20.2 points on 52.9 percent shooting from the floor along with 12.0 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game. This has seen him score in double figures 37 times, post 20-or-more points 21 times and 30-plus points on five occasions. However, if the Magic want to get the edge over the Celtics it will need them to step up offensively around Vucevic against one of the top defenses in the league. If not, it will be a long night on their home floor.
- Magic are 1-4 ATS in their last five games following a straight up loss of more than 10 points.
- Magic are 0-4 ATS in their last four games overall.
- Magic are 0-5 ATS in their last five games when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Celtics are 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall.
- Celtics are 4-1 ATS in their last five games against Eastern Conference opponents.
- Celtics are 4-1 ATS in their last five games against Southeast division opponents.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Magic have struggled to find any level of consistency this season, which should see the Celtics get back on track at home. Boston has had their issues this year but they are the more balanced team on both ends of the floor with their offense picking it up. Keep in mind, the road team is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings between these two teams.
Prediction: Boston -5.5
Full-Game Total Pick
The Magic’s struggles offensively should be enough to warrant a lowering scoring affair between these two teams on Saturday night. The Celtics may have picked it up over the last few weeks, but Orlando has had plenty of problems on that end of the floor that put them on the bottom of the league. The under is also 4-1 in the last five meetings between both teams.
Prediction: Under 214