No Bosh For Raptors

After Chris Bosh's latest brilliant performance against the Orlando Magic, Stan Van Gundy was prepared to double-team the Toronto Raptors' young All-Star the next time they met.

It looks like Van Gundy's plan will have to wait.

Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Orlando –8.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 209.5 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 65% of bets for this game have been placed on Orlando –8.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

Bosh - who scored 40 points against Orlando less than two weeks ago - will sit out his second consecutive game with a swollen knee on Tuesday when the Raptors visit the Magic, who are looking for their fifth win in six games.

"I'm just waiting until I don't have any more pain," Bosh said Sunday. "That's my biggest concern right now."

Toronto (32-26) has lost back-to-back games for the first time since Jan. 4-6, and Bosh's absence is a big reason why. He left the team's home game against Indiana on Friday late in the first quarter and the Raptors went on to lose 122-111. Two nights later, with Bosh in street clothes, they lost 110-98 at Charlotte.

The Bobcats outscored Toronto 32-0 in second-chance points - the largest differential in the league since 1996 - with Bosh's 6-foot-11 frame not a factor.

"We didn't box out. They beat us up on the glass," coach Sam Mitchell said. "There's nothing else to say."

Toronto may miss Bosh, but Orlando certainly won't. The Magic (38-23) have seen him record two of his five career 40-point games, including Bosh's 14-for-16 shooting effort on Feb. 20 when he scored 40 in the Raptors' 127-110 win.

Bosh has averaged 33.8 points in his last five games against Orlando.

"There was not one thing they did that we could guard," Van Gundy said after that game. "Chris Bosh, we could not guard. We're going to have to think about double-teaming him next time."

Jose Calderon also burned the Magic in that game, scoring 19 points and handing out 13 assists. Calderon has struggled with his scoring since that contest, only averaging 8.5 points in six games, but he has reached double digits in assists in his last two.

With Bosh out, Anthony Parker has taken on more of a scoring role. Parker, who averages 12.0 points, has scored 24.5 per game in his last two.

The Magic have a 3 1/2 game lead over Cleveland for the third spot in the Eastern Conference, and just began a stretch in which they'll play nine of 11 games at home.

They opened March with an easy victory, 118-92 over New York on Saturday, their most lopsided home win since Nov. 13.

Dwight Howard led the way with 26 points and 22 rebounds - his seventh 20-20 game this season - but it was Hedo Turkoglu's all-around excellence that helped Orlando pull away early.

With guards Keyon Dooling and Jameer Nelson nursing injuries, Turkoglu saw some minutes at the point. He delivered, finishing with 25 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.

"I don't want to get too excited. It's just one night, until the other guys come back," said Turkoglu, who's averaging 22.8 points, 6.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists in his last five games. "I just tried to control the game, tried to make smart decisions."

Bosh isn't the only one who has played well when Orlando and Toronto have met. Turkoglu has scored 25.7 points per game in his last three against the Raptors while Howard is averaging 24.2 points and 12.0 rebounds in his last five.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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