The NBA rounds out a busy weekend of basketball with seven games on the board for Sunday night. One of the games will be a matchup between the Orlando Magic and the Los Angeles Clippers. The Magic have struggled in the early parts of the season, while Los Angeles has been off to a strong start. The game will be on at 3:30 PM Eastern time.
The Magic have started out the season with a record of 17-21, which has them in tenth place of the Eastern Conference. Orlando is sitting one game back from the playoff picture. The Magic have played well recently, winning three of their last five games. Orlando is coming off a tough loss in Minnesota to the Timberwolves. The Magic will look to bounce back with a win on the road on Sunday afternoon.
Los Angeles has jumped out to a start of 22-16 this season. The Clippers are currently sitting in fifth place of the Western Conference standings. Los Angeles won their last game against the Phoenix Suns, but had lost two in a row before that win. The Clippers will look to turn the last win into a streak with a home victory over the Magic.
Sunday afternoon’s matchup between the Magic and the Clippers will be the second matchup of the season series. Los Angeles is looking to keep up in the upper half of the standings in the Western Conference, while Orlando will look to sneak into the playoff picture with a victory.
Last season, Orlando and Los Angeles met up two times. The first game was hosted by the Magic. The Clippers were able to get a solid 106-95 win on the road. The second game of the season series shifted back to Los Angeles, where the Clippers pulled off a 113-105 win in front of their home fans. Both teams ended up missing the playoffs, but Los Angeles ended higher in the standings.
The first matchup of this season’s series was hosted by Orlando on November 2. Nikola Vucevic had a good night in front of the home fans. He dropped 22 points and 11 rebounds, but did not get much help from the rest of the lineup. Lou Williams had a big night coming off the bench, scoring 28 points. Tobias Harris had a 21 point night. This helped lead the Clippers to a 120-95 win on the road.
Los Angeles has dominated the Magic in recent history. The Clippers have won the last ten games in a row against Orlando. The last win against Los Angeles by the Magic came on November 6, 2013. The Magic have struggled over the last couple seasons, which doesn’t help. Orlando will look to end that losing streak with a win in Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon.
Three Point Shooting
Orlando has not been the greatest three point shooting team this season. The Magic have been making around 11 three pointers per game made, with a percentage of 35 percent. Orlando is around middle of the league in three point shooting percentage this season. Their three point defense is not great though. The Magic allow opposing teams to make 37.2 percent of their three point shots.
The Clippers are a really solid three point shooting team. Los Angeles makes around 38.3 percent of their three pointers attempted per game. The Clippers are only averaging 9.5 three pointers made per game though. Los Angeles’ chooses their three point shots carefully and make them count when they shoot them. The Clippers three point defense is not great though, allowing a percentage of 34.8 percent, which is around middle of the league.
Los Angeles has a clear edge when shooting three pointers, but what might be the Magic’s saving grace is that the Clippers do not shoot many threes. Orlando will need to be effective from behind the arc if they want to end the losing streak against Los Angeles on Sunday.
The Magic have been led by their big men this season. Nikola Vucevic is averaging around 20.5 points and 12 rebounds per game. Aaron Gordan has averaged 15 points and 7.5 rebounds per game from the Small Forward spot. Evan Fournier has had a solid season from the Shooting Guard spot. He is averaging 15 points per game and has had some big moments in the clutch this season. Terrence Ross has been doing a solid job coming in off the bench. He is averaging 13 points per game.
Tobias Harris has been the leader for Los Angeles this season. Harris is averaging 21 points and 8 rebounds per game. Danilo Gallinari has been playing strong this season, averaging 19.5 points per game. A big part of the Clippers success has come from their strong bench. Lou Williams has averaged 18 points per game. Montrezl Harrell is averaging 16 points per game off the bench.
Orlando will need their big men to win the battle in the paint if they want to pull off the upset on Sunday afternoon. Vucevic will have a chance to put up another good game as he goes up against Marcin Gortat, who has not been great. Gordan and Gallinari will go head to head at the Small Forward position, which should be a good matchup.
The Clippers have won ten games in a row against Orlando, but I believe the Magic have a chance to pull off the upset on Sunday night. Orlando is coming off a tough loss against the Timberwolves. The Magic will need to use the paint to their advantage and defend the three point line closely. All long losing streaks like Los Angeles’ come to an end and I believe that Orlando could pull off the upset on the road.
BetOnline has the Clippers listed as a -7 against the spread on Sunday night. This is a pretty big spread, even with Los Angeles at home. The Clippers won their last game against a struggling Phoenix Suns team, but have not been great recently besides that. I believe that the Magic will take advantage of Los Angeles’ recent struggles and keep this game close.