NBA Friday Night Betting: Orlando Magic at Boston CelticsOrlando Magic at Boston Celtics
Time: 7:30 PM EST
Spread: BOS -8.5
M/L: BOS -450, ORL +370
Most people wrote the Boston Celtics off when Rajon Rondo went down with his season-ending ACL injury. It’s premature to say that was a mistake, but the Celtics have won two straight since Rondo went down and can get back to .500 with a win today.
Compounding the injury to Rondo, though, is the news that Jared Sullinger will miss the rest of the season with a back injury. Sullinger had been a productive spark off the bench for the C’s and their frontcourt was already thin prior to him going down.
The real question for Boston is whether it even matters if they make the playoffs as an eighth seed. It would almost certainly spell first round doom against Miami without Rajon Rondo, while moving up to the seventh or sixth seed wouldn’t guarantee a better fate, either.
“We have to play overall, just simple, good basketball,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said.
In the absence of Rondo, the C’s have inserted Courtney Lee to start in his place. Lee has struggled, despite the C’s great play. He’s just 4-of-15 from the floor in those two contests and is averaging 6.5 points per game. As a rookie, Lee looked a lot more promising in Orlando, but hasn’t found his niche as an NBA player since thriving in central Florida.
The Magic, meanwhile, are a disaster. They’ve lost 17 of their last 19 games and are now without Glen Davis for the remainder of the season, as he suffered a broken foot in their loss to New York on Jan. 30. The Magic struggle to find offense without Davis, and are on the verge of setting a league record for fewest free throw attempts in a season.
The Magic have some nice pieces in Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Afflalo, and even J.J. Redick, but they are still years away from even being a playoff contender, and find themselves as 8.5 point underdogs according to NBA oddsmakers, against a fringe playoff team without their best player.
Better days are to come.