Tonight we are checking out a match between Orlando Magic and Indiana Pacers, which will take place at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, where Indiana holds a 3rd best home record in the East (24-8) and will hope to keep it that way.
Indiana Pacers… I’m still impressed. I’ve mentioned it numerous times before and I’ll continue doing it. I expected Indiana Pacers to fall out of the top 3 but are still holding on up there. Indiana Pacers are coming into this match after a 122:115 win over Timberwolves on Friday, which was their 1st win in 3 games. As it stands now, Indiana Pacers are 3rd in the league with an overall record of 41-22 and a 3-2 record in the last 5 games played. Looking at their performances in the last 5, Indiana lost to Detroit Pistons (113:109) and Dallas Mavericks (110:101), however, managed to defeat New Orleans Pelicans (126:111), Washington Wizards (112:119) and as mentioned Minnesota Timberwolves (112:119). While they are holding on to the top 3 in the East, there is an obvious decrease in their performances, at least from what we have seen in recent matches.
Orlando Magic are still at the 9th spot in the East with an overall record of 29-34 and a 3-2 record in the last 5. In the course of the last 5 matches, Orlando Magic were defeated by Chicago Bulls (109:110) and New York Knicks (108:103), but managed to outperform Charlotte Hornets (127:89), Raptors (98:113) and most recently Golden State Warriors (103:96). I mentioned before I was not too impressed with Orlando victories, as they did not prove me they are as good as it seemed, but after an impressive 103:96 win against Golden State, I’ll bite my tongue and say; they are not that bad. While GSW were without Durant, Iguodala and Jones, a win against a team like Golden State, is a sign of something good. Do I believe Magic are capable of achieving anything surprising this season? No. Do I believe they will give Indiana a run for their money tonight? Yes. Orlando Magic will enter this match without Bamba, Fultz and Mozgov, who have all been out for a while, so nothing new here. On the other side, Indiana will miss Johnson, Evans, Sabonis as well as Oladipo, which is old news.
Ok, I admit, winning against Golden State was an impressive result for Orlando Magic, however, the question is; will they manage to outperform Indiana at their home court? To be fair, I believe they can. Indiana are not in a great spot right now after a losing 2 of their last 3 games, and even against Minnesota, they had a lot of issues stopping Towns. On the other side, Magic might not be one of the best offensive teams, but they got an ace in their sleeve which will cause some problems for Indiana. That “ace” is no other than Vucevic, who is an excellent player in the paint, where Indiana struggles. Looking at their match against Timberwolves, Pacers did not find an answer for Towns who racked up 42 points 4 assists and 17 rebounds. If he can score 42 points, I don’t believe Pacers will be able to stop Vucevic who had 12 points 6 assists and 13 rebounds against GSW. In addition, Magic have proven to have an excellent defence, which will stop the already mediocre offence of Indiana Pacers. Taking all into consideration, I like Orlando Magic better in this match.
Prediction: Orlando Magic to win
Odds: 2.41 Pinnacle