Orlando comes in having won three games in a row, now trying to overtake Brooklyn and slide into the #7 spot in the conference. It does, in fact, matter because anything can happen in this postseason, well anything but having any chance against Milwaukee in the opening round.
Orlando picked up a nice win over Minnesota last night in which they lit up the scoreboard, putting up 137 points. Not too shabby for a team known more for their ability on the defensive end.
San Antonio, on the other side, is free-falling and is ultimately likely to miss the postseason and have their long run of consecutive years of qualifying come to its end. Things have just not been rolling their way as another losing skid is happening now, LaMarcus Aldridge also struggling to stay healthy at the moment.
And you knew it was going to happen at some point, but considering the success of last year’s team, plus the return of Dejounte Murray, it happened before we expected it to.
The spread for tonight’s game favors San Antonio by two points. San Antonio’s moneyline is -128, while it is +108 for Orlando.
Magic looking to keep it rolling
Aaron Gordon posted his first career triple-double to lift them past Minnesota in a shootout, and now they’ll need him to perform well once again. He and Nikola Vucevic are the two biggest keys to victory and will need to play like it.
It also helps to have an athletic point guard in Markelle Fultz who thrives on the defensive end. He may have to cover DeMar DeRozan for stretches, but it would be no big thing for him. And though they are five games under .500 in a struggling conference, Orlando has been able to sustain injuries and still put up a good fight on most nights.
Evan Fournier and Terrence Ross have both been scoring it well of late, Ross adding in 33 off the bench in the last win. When they are locked in and firing on all cylinders, Steve Clifford’s team is hard to take down.
Spurs looking to break out of their funk
It is unclear if Gregg Popovich is coming back next year, so they have to make the final 25-game stretch count for something. Their playoff journey is a tale as old as time, quite literally. Since they took Tim Duncan #1 overall, the franchise has not failed to qualify for postseason play.
But even with the Grizzlies struggling and possibly dropping from the #8 seed, it doesn’t affect these guys. Portland and Memphis, along with the streaking Kings are ahead of them in the standings. So with four teams to pass, things look more and more unlikely by the day.
DeRozan and Aldridge normally lead them, but with LaMarcus still out, they’ll need the other guys to play up to their potential.
Orlando stifles San Antonio on the road
Another day another win as Orlando knocks off the Spurs tonight.
Free Play: ORL +2