NBA Central: Bucks Look to Avoid 4-Game Skid
At 32-32, the Milwaukee Bucks are still in solid playoff position, locked in the No.8 spot seven games ahead of Toronto with just 18 games to play. However, they would still love to finish the season strong heading into what seems to be an inevitable first round match-up against the indestructible Miami Heat. And to get on the right track, they’ll have to shake this nasty three-game losing streak first by picking up a win at home against the lowly Orlando Magic.
The Bucks are getting nine points today against Orlando, which may seem generous considering how much Milwaukee has struggled recently, but those struggles can’t begin to compare to the doldrums that Orlando has resided in all season. As the owner of the NBA’s second worst record, the Magic are used to being big dogs against everyone – well, except for the last place Charlotte Bobcats.
Milwaukee hasn’t been particularly strong at home this season – in fact it is 16-16 both home and away – but against the Magic, who are 8-23 away from sunny Orlando, the home floor should be a true advantage once again. The fans should also will the Bucks out of this recent skid, as well as help J.J. Redick climb out of his shooting slump as he faces off against his former team – a team he played more than half this season with.
Shooters like Redick should find plenty of open spots in the floor in this game, as both teams are allowing more than 100 points per game coming into tonight’s match-up. This will most likely favor the Bucks, who score more on average than Orlando with offensive threats such as Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis.
When the teams met back in early February, it was Milwaukee who came out on top at home by nine points. Considering both teams are playing worse than they were a couple of months ago, we may be in for a closer game. There’s no question that the Bucks have the edge and should win the game, but to give them nine points when they are struggling like this does seem a bit generous after all.
Take Orlando to cover +9, but take the Bucks to win on the moneyline (-105).