Orlando Magic at New Orleans Pelicans – NBA April 1

Magic (16-31, 6-16) at Pelicans (21-25, 14-11)

  • Time: 5PM PST – 7PM CST – 8PM EST
  • Place: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA
  • TV: Bally Sports New Orleans | NBA League Pass

Opening Tip

The Orlando Magic held what was basically a fire sale that sent its Big Three – Nikola Vucević, Evan Fournier, and Aaron Gordon – to other venues as a rebuild is in full effect. Orlando is 2-2 since the three were moved on as the NBA Draft Lottery is totally in Orlando’s immediate future.

The Magic snapped a 7-game road losing streak with the 103-96 win over the Clippers in LA on Tuesday night.

New Orleans has won four out of its last five as the Pelicans as they are 3.5 out of eighth place in the Western Conference and also 1.5 games out of the play-in scenario of the NBA Playoffs.

The Magic have a 21-18 all-time lead over the Pelicans as Orlando has won 9 out of the last 11 and 11 out of 15.

Key Injuries

  • Orlando MagicCole Anthony (rib) OUT | Markelle Fultz (knee) OUT | Gary Harris (thigh) OUT
  • New Orleans PelicansLonzo Ball (hip) Day to Day | Zion Williamson (thumb) Day to Day

Magic:

  • The Magic is 4-1 ATS in Orlando’s last 5 games
  • The UNDER has been the play in 7 of the Magic’s last 10 outings
  • Orlando is 5-1 ATS in it’s last 6 games

Pelicans:

  • The Pelicans are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games
  • The UNDER has been the play in 5 of New Orleans’ last 6 games
  • The UNDER has been the call in 10 of the last 13 games between the Pelicans and Magic

Last Time Out

Chuma Okeke lead five Orlando players in double figures with 18 points as the Magic came from 16 points down to defeat the LA Clippers, 103-96, at Staples Center. Orlando had lost 14 in a row to the Clippers dating back to 2013. Terrence Ross, Jr., also scored 15 points off the bench for Orlando, who closed the game on a 19-5 run.

Zion Williamson scored 28 points as the New Orleans Pelicans held off a late Boston charge to shade the Celtics, 115-109. Boston scored 13 consecutive points late in the game as the Celtics cut the Pelicans’ lead to 110-107 as Brandon Ingram hit a jumper just inside the arc with 34 seconds remaining. Ingram finished with 25 points and nine assists.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Magic +4 (-113) +155 O 213 (-110)
Pelicans -4 (-107) -175 U 213 (-110)

Advantage, Orlando

Orlando Magic LogoAfter the trade deadline, Orlando started its rebuild with this starting line up:

  • F – Chuma Okeke
  • F – James Ennis, III
  • C – Khem Birch
  • PG – Michael Carter-Williams
  • SG – Dwayne Bacon

Okeke, in his second year out of Auburn, is a big-time talent who feels ready for stardom in the NBA, He is athletic and can work through the lane or he can go on the perimeter and knock down threes. Coach Steve Clifford played 11 players an immense amount of the time on Tuesday as they all had double figures in minutes which varied between 14 and 32 minutes.

Key Magic Stat

Dwayne Bacon’s role is obviously going to become larger as he has 25 starts on the season and he has scored in double figures 25 times and has three games with 20-plus points. Bacon had a career-high 26 points against the Lakers on Sunday.

X-Factor

Terrence Ross is the stalwart and a continued catalyst off the bench as he is averaging a career-high 15.9 points so far this season. In addition, his 13.7 shots per game are the most in Ross’s career as well. He has struggled lately with injuries but should be in the lineup vs. New Orleans.

Advantage, New Orleans

New Orleans Pelicans LogoZion Williamson in the post has allowed the Pelicans to thrive as one of the top offensive teams in the NBA. Williamson (26.4 ppg) shoots 62.4 percent from the floor as the Pelicans average 53.4 points in the paint (3rd/NBA). Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart are also keys off the dribble as both get to the line regularly. New Orleans needs a more solid three-point game as they only make 35.9 percent (20th/NBA) from distance. Lonzo Ball, who is listed as out this evening, has made a team-high 114 threes.

Key Spurs Stat:

Defense is going to be the determinant in whether New Orleans makes the playoffs. The three-point line is the biggest concern here as opponents shoot 39 percent (29th/NBA) and are taking and making a high volume of shots which averages out to about 15 makes (30th/NBA) and 39 attempts (28th/NBA each evening.

X-Factor:

Steven Adams (7.9 ppg, 8.9 rpg) complements Williamson in shooting 63.1 percent from the field. He contributed most on the boards as he figures in where coach Stan Van Gundy needs him by averaging 28.1 minutes per game.

Winner: Pelicans (-4) 116, Magic 106

The Bets
New Orleans Pelicans -4
-107
New Orleans Pelicans
-175
OVER 213
-110
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.