The Pacers continued their shockingly brilliant play last night, throttling the Magic to win their 14th game in 16 tries. That is good for the best record in all of the NBA since Feb 1st, and they’ve done it all while still anxiously awaiting the return of Paul George. Frankly, I still have NO IDEA how they are doing it. Rodney Stuckey scored 30+ yet again last night, but aside from that odd anomaly, it makes no sense that the Pacers are doing what they are doing. Well, frankly, it does. Frank. As in ‘Vogel.’ Remember the morons who wanted to run him out of town amidst some late-season drama last year? Um, be glad you didn’t Pacer fans. My vote is still for Steve Kerr, but anyone who doesn’t at least consider Frank Vogel on their ballot for Coach of the Year is insane. The job Vogel has done this season is simply amazing.
Things have been pretty amazing around here as well. 16-5 ATS since the All-Star break and looking to pad the record a little more with another big NBA week. Let’s dive in with today’s free pick.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Orlando Magic at Milwaukee Bucks -6.5
Suffice it to say the Bucks will be happy to be home again. They had won nine of ten home games before a rough road stretch where they dropped five straight road games. Tonight, they are back home, where aside from last game’s loss to red-hot New Orleans dampened the enthusiasm just a little. To make things a little bit better the Magic are on the back end of a back to back, less than 24-hours after getting manhandled by Indiana.
The Bucks are 17-12 at home, while the Magic are one of the worst road teams in the NBA at 10-23. I think Milwaukee wins tonight, but the question is will they cover the six and a half. I think they’ll do that as well. Orlando is 5-8 ATS on the back-end of back-to-backs and has dropped eight straight road games and eleven of twelve overall. I see no reason they will snap that streak as a tired team taking on a good Milwaukee squad.
It will be interesting to see if Milwaukee can hold off Indiana for the sixth spot in the playoffs, a very important slot if you subscribe to the theory that I do that Cleveland is leaps and bounds better than Chicago/Toronto. Expect games like tonight’s to be a huge determinant; Milwaukee can simply NOT afford to drop home games to non-playoff teams. I think they’ll play with that level of focus tonight.