Iron Out The Problems

The Orlando Magic have been frustrated by their poor defensive effort recently.

A matchup against the struggling offense of the Houston Rockets on Wednesday could provide some relief.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Houston –3.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 191 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 56% of bets for this game have been placed on Orlando +3.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

Orlando (17-9) has lost two straight and five of its last six, including a 111-108 defeat at Dallas on Monday. It was the fourth time during the current slump that Orlando has allowed an opponent to score at least 100 points.

The Magic shot 52.4 percent from the field and never let the Mavericks' lead get bigger than 11, but they couldn't stop Dirk Nowitzki, who finished with 31 points.

"Dirk's a great player," coach Stan Van Gundy said, "but everybody can score on us."

Orlando, which lost 123-119 at home to Memphis on Saturday, is allowing 99.4 points per game this season - 107.3 in the last seven contests.

"People have just been able to kind of get what they want on us and that's kind of our reputation," guard Keyon Dooling said. "We've got to kind of change our mentality. Obviously we've got good offensive players, but we've got to become a better defensive team."

While its defense has struggled, Orlando's offense continues to perform well. The Magic have averaged 105.0 points the last seven games and have shot above 50 percent the last three. Hedo Turkoglu had 26 points Monday while Dwight Howard added 22 points and 13 rebounds.

Turkoglu, who is second on the team in scoring at 19.0 points, has averaged 24.0 the last three games. He was 10-of-14 from the field Monday.

Orlando's defense may have a better chance at containing its next opponent given Houston's recent offensive struggles.

The Rockets (12-12) have dropped three of their last four and five of eight, including a 96-83 loss to Dallas on Saturday. Houston has been held to fewer than 90 points in each of its last four games.

Yao Ming had 28 points and 14 rebounds on Saturday while Tracy McGrady added 12 points. Shane Battier was the only other player to score in double figures with 11.

Dallas scored 21 points off 19 Houston turnovers.

"It seems like I say this all the time, but we couldn't make a shot," coach Rick Adelman said. "We missed layups and the only one who was consistent all night long was Yao. ... We just have to find a way to get more people involved and I don't know how we're going to be successful if we can't do that."

The Rockets could be in for even more offensive troubles in this game if a sore knee hinders McGrady like it did Saturday. Houston's leading scorer bruised his left knee on a drive in the first quarter and finished just 5-of-18 from the field.

McGrady, who came out in the second half with a black wrap around his knee, said he's had soreness in the knee for about two weeks.

"I don't know the logical terms of it," said McGrady, who averaged 28.1 points in four seasons with Orlando before being traded to Houston on June 29, 2004. "It has something to do with my kneecap being out of line. Tonight I banged it and it's just one of those things."

Houston has won three straight and nine of 10 against Orlando.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

More NBA Basketball Coverage from theSpread.com

 - NBA Basketball teams
 - NBA Basketball standings
 - NBA Basketball schedule
 - NBA Basketball scoreboard
 - NBA Basketball injuries
 - NBA Basketball matchups
 - NBA Basketball stats
 - NBA Basketball odds
 - NBA Basketball public betting chart
 - NBA Basketball news wire
 - NBA Basketball top stories
 - NBA Basketball trends
 - AccuScore NBA Basketball predictions
 - Expert NBA Basketball picks
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for theSpread.com daily newsletter
 - NBA Basketball Home

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Will Fox be a top-5 pick? With the 2017 NBA Drafttakes place later tonight. Where can we expect one of the top prospects, De’Aaron Fox, to land tonight?
Thumbnail Fultz to go to the 76ers? The Boston Celticshave traded out of the No. 1 pick. The Philadelphia 76ersnow hold the top pick once again. Is it a slam dunk who they will take in the NBA...
Thumbnail 2018 NBA Finals Odds After dominating the 2017 NBA Playoffs, will anyone keep the Golden State Warriors from winning the NBA Finals again...
Thumbnail Stephen Curry Game 5 Props Will Stephen Curry bounce back from a poor showing in Game 4 when the Golden State Warriors host the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 of the NBA Finals tonight at 9PM...
Thumbnail Will James get another triple-double? Will LeBron James add to his NBA Finals record of nine triple-doubles when the Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Golden State Warriors in Game 5 of the NBA Finals...

NBA Headlines

  • PHILADELPHIA (AP) Markelle Fultz already has his first turnover as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers.
    It came in an Instagram post sponsored by a watch company. ''Excited to head to (City) a...
  • NEW YORK (AP) Detroit Pistons guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was suspended for two games without pay by the NBA on Friday for pleading guilty to operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.
    C...
  • HOUSTON (AP) Former NBA player Marcus Camby has been named defendant in a wrongful death lawsuit over the drowning of his 9-year-old autistic nephew in a pond on Camby's Houston-area property last...
  • As draft night approached, some of the heavy hitters in the NBA - Cleveland, San Antonio, Houston, Boston, the Clippers among them - were jockeying, making calls and looking for deals to try to pos...
  • NEW YORK (AP) The NBA draft averaged more than 3.5 million viewers, the second-biggest audience ever on ESPN.
    The telecast Thursday peaked with 5.2 million viewers from 8:15 to 8:30 p.m. EDT,...

NBA Team Pages