The Orlando Magic welcome the Chicago Bulls to the Anway Center in Orlando on Friday night. They are looking to wash away a brutal performance against the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday. Fred VanVleet went off for 54 points to set a Raptors’ record and undrafted player record. VanVleet’s motto is bet on yourself, and despite being ignored in the NBA Draft out of Wichita State, he got rewarded with a new contract and is now the record holder for most points from an undrafted player.
The Magic had no answers for VanVleet, as he was killing them from all over the floor. When it was all said and done, the Raptors emerged with a 123-108 win. Their second win over the Magic in three days. Prior to that win, the Raptors were 115-102 winners on Sunday night in Orlando. The Magic are looking to end a four-game losing streak tonight. Along with the two losses against the Raptors, they fell short against the LA Clippers, 116-90, and Sacramento Kings, 121-107.
Orlando goes into Friday evening with a record of 8-14 and 12th in the East. This is about dead on where I had the Magic at this point in the season. Maybe slightly better, closer to .500, but they’ve been dealing with a rash of injuries. The Magic are dealing with depth issues on their roster at the moment. With Aaron Gordon getting injured against the Raptors, any chance of a surprise season for the Magic goes out the door.
I’m not confident in the Magic doing damage without Gordon in the lineup now. This was in the first game against the Raptors, and the second game was a whole lot more lopsided. The season comes down to Nikola Vucevic and Evan Fournier for the Magic. Those two did their best to carry the load in the second outing against the Raptors, but it wasn’t nearly enough with VanVleet going crazy.
The Bulls are coming off a 107-103 loss against the New York Knicks on Wednesday. This was after roles were reversed a couple of days earlier in a 110-102 win for the Bulls. Both defenses had an opportunity to show who is better in that two-game series. The Bulls enter Friday with a record of 8-12. This isn’t a playoff team, but likely heading in that direction in the next couple of years. It doesn’t take a lot to reach the playoffs in the East. Head below for our free Bulls vs. Magic pick on February 5, 2021.
Chicago Bulls vs. Orlando Magic NBA Betting Odds:
Bulls vs. Magic Prediction:
The Magic are without several key cogs in their lineup now, and just have to hope others step up. Nobody is expecting much from the Magic without Markelle Fultz and Aaron Gordon healthy. There is only so much that Nikola Vucevic and Evan Fournier can do without assistance from elsewhere.
With Fultz and Gordon both out, along with Michael Carter-Williams, the depth for the Magic is going to be severely tested. Even when the Magic are healthy, this isn’t a team scaring off the top contenders in the conference. They are lacking offensive punch, and the absence of Gordon, should hurt their scoring ability more so.
As a healthier unit as we see right now, the Magic have scored an average of 104.8 points per game. That puts them 28th in the NBA offensively. They’re an injury away from Vucevic or Fournier from being in serious trouble. While they’re not at complete rock bottom with their 104.8 points per game, they are when it comes to field goal percentage. The Magic are shooting just 42.8% from the field for dead last in the league.
Their three-point shooting hasn’t been strong either with a conversion rate of 34.9%. The Bulls have struggled defensively, as they’ve conceded 117.1 points per game, 27th in the NBA.I do like what the Bulls did against the Knicks, though. They held them to 102 and 107 points in back-to-back spots. On January 23, the Bulls looked great holding the Lakers to 101 points as well.
Orlando lacks much offensive punch in their lineup due to injuries. While the Bulls don’t have one of the top defenses in the league, they’re playing better basketball lately, and having to deal with a banged up Magic squad shouldn’t post too many problems. Expect Zach LaVine to find plenty of room to operate in this one. Fred VanVleet was free to do whatever he wanted for the Raptors, and LaVine is likely going to be too much to hold down as well. I like the Bulls in this one on a short line.