Los Angeles Clippers vs. Orlando Magic
NBA Point Spread Pick: Orlando +9.5 (January 11th 2017)
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The 16-23 Orlando Magic will be in Staples Center tonight to take on the 26-14 Clippers. The Magic lost 111-95 to the Lakers on Sunday at Staples and have had a few days in LA before this one. I’m not so sure the team much enjoyed itself, as Orlando has lost five of its last six games and has had head coach Frank Vogel perplexed the team’s performances. “It’s tough to figure out, and we just have to feel the game out better,” Vogel said. “When we’re too perimeter-oriented and the shots aren’t falling from the perimeter, we’ve got to drive the basketball more and get it inside and not settle. This team doesn’t pass the ball instinctually very well, and we preach it all the time. We show them the situations where they can improve, and they show flashes where they are making a real genuine effort and it looks good, but it leaves us for whatever reason.”
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The Clippers lost six games in a row from Dec 23 through Dec 31, with most of the damage coming without both PG Chris Paul (17.7-5.3-9.8) and PF Blake Griffin (21.2-8.8-4.7). Griffin remains out after undergoing knee surgery last month but Paul returned Friday (he had sat out seven of eight games) in a 106-98 victory over the Sacramento Kings, hitting some clutch free throws to seal the win late. He was then outstanding Sunday in a 98-86 win over the Miami Heat, scoring 19 points and handed out 18 assists in 29 minutes!
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The Magic are an inconsistent offensive team, ranking 27th in scoring (98.9 PPG), while connecting on 43.8 percent of their shots (25th), including 33. percent on threes (27th). The Magic haven’t been awful on the road (9-10 SU & 10-9 ATS) and they are catching the Clippers at a time when Doc Rivers sees his team coming back together, after a shaky stretch. The Clippers allowed 110.5 PPG during their six-game losing skid but in the four straight wins, have allowed 97.0 PPG. LA owns SIX straight wins over Orlando butthe Magic lost just 113-108 in their last meeting back on Dec 14 at Orlando. The Clipps have righted the ship but this is still a lot of points to lay with Griffin out and Rivers keeping an eye on Paul’s minutes. Take teh points with the Magic. Good luck…Larry