New Jersey Nets AT Orlando Magic
Mar 25, 2011 at 7:05 PM EST
Opening Line: Orlando -12.5
Current Line: Orlando -13
Opening Total: 188
Current Total: 188
Opening Moneyline: Orl -1300 / NJ +850
Current Moneyline: Orl -1400 / NJ +980
Dwight Howard has many supporters, but none may be bigger than his own coach Stan Van Gundy. Van Gundy feels Howard is unfairly being excluded from MVP discussions and given the Magic’s resiliency this season, from adapting to the post trade chaos to fighting a tougher Eastern Conference, it’s not really easy to ascertain how Howard could be the forgotten man.
“To me with his rebounding, his scoring and his defense, I just don’t think there’s anybody that impacts as many possessions in a game as Dwight does,” Van Gundy said.
Howard will have an odd test tonight on the boards. Kris Humphries, who was looking like a failed middle of the first round type draft selection recently blossomed this year and is averaging 10.4 rebounds per game this year, in 27 minutes of play. He just recorded a 23 rebound, 18 point game against Cleveland in a 4 point Nets’ victory in overtime. He made first round pick Derrick Favors and veteran Troy Murphy expendable with his tough hard nosed play and knack for rebounding.
Some betting trends:
The total has gone OVER In 9 of New Jersey’s past 13 games and New Jersey is 1-4 SU in their last 5 games. New Jersey is 3-8 ATS in their last 11 road games and the total has gone OVER in 4 of their last 5 on the road. New Jersey is 2-17 SU in their last 19 on the road and the total has gone UNDER In 11 of their last 15 against the Magic. New Jersey is 0-5 SU in their last 5 against the Orlando Magic and the total has gone UNDER in 11 of the last 15 road meetings with Orlando. New Jersey is 0-5 SU in their last 5 on the road with the Magic.
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Orlando’s last 6 games and Orlando is 5-1 SU in those games. They are also 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 at home. The total has gone UNDER in 5 of their last 6 at home and Orlando is 16-6 SU in their last 22 at home. The total has gone UNDER In 11 of the last 15 against the Nets and Orlando is 5-0 SU in their last 5 games against New Jersey. The total has gone UNDER in 11 of the last 15 home games against the Nets and Orlando is 5-0 SU in their last 5 at home against the New Jersey Nets. Orlando is 8-14-1 ATS in their last 23 games at home against the Nets.
Brook Lopez vs. Dwight Howard
While Lopez has continued to improve his offense this year, one perplexing thing has been his lack of propensity to hit the boards. After averaging over 8 rebounds a game for both of his first two seasons in the NBA, Lopez has begun to look more like Andrea Bargnani down low than Tim Duncan and is now averaging 6.0 rebounds a game, actually up from being in the 5.00s earlier this season. It won’t bode well against Howard who already is a demon on the glass. Lopez really has no chance of keeping Dwight from getting 25 rebounds this game, but Kris Humprhies will pick up some of the slack Lopez leaves. Still, for Lopez to ever enter the discussion of elite centers, he will have to grab closer to 9 rebounds than to 6. Howard has continued to dominate and leave many to wonder how high he will eventually rank in the all-time list of centers. If his offense continues to improve, he will have to go down as one of the better centers in the history of the league.
Deron Williams vs. Jameer Nelson & Gilbert Arenas
Deron Williams is argued by some to be the best point guard in the NBA. With players like Chris Paul, Steve Nash, and Russell Westbrook, it’s a tough argument, but anyone would have to agree Williams is one of the best point guards to come through the league in recent years. He scores (20.4 points per game) and dishes well (10.1 assists per game; 13.1 since joining the Nets) and is still only 27, just entering his prime. Nelson is too small to cover Williams; Arenas is too slow. Neither will matchup favorably against the All Star and Orlando is going to have to really work to patch the holes left in the perimeter offense. Williams will have no problem at all getting off a lot of top of the key area threes and will get into the paint to create for Humphries and Lopez.
Tonight’s game should not be close. Orlando is a superior team and if they come out and take care of business, there’s no reason that this game should be any closer than 10 points. For Orlando to cover the spread it is going to require that the Magic at least find some way to slow down Deron Williams, though.