Looking For Four Straight

Ben Wallace was once the top rebounder on some of the NBA's best teams. Dwight Howard seems more than ready to assume that role.

Howard and the Orlando Magic look for their fourth win in a row when they visit Wallace's Bulls on Monday afternoon at the United Center.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Orlando –2.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 199.5 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 89% of bets for this game have been placed on Orlando –2.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

Wallace's 15.4 rebounding average during the 2002-03 season - for a Detroit Pistons club that reached the Eastern Conference finals - was the highest in the NBA over the past decade. This season, Howard is approaching Wallace's mark with a league-leading 15.3 boards per game.

Howard has averaged 12.0 rebounds since he entered the league in 2004-05, trailing only Kevin Garnett's 12.8 over that span. Wallace ranks fourth with 11.1 rebounds per game.

As Howard takes his place as the league's elite player on the glass, Wallace appears to be declining at age 33. He's averaging 8.5 rebounds, his lowest total since grabbing 8.2 per game in 1999-2000 - his lone season as a member of the Magic.

Howard is also Orlando's leading scorer, averaging a career-high 23.1 points. He has had 17 games of at least 15 points and 15 rebounds while leading the Magic (21-11) to the top of the Southeast Division.

"I know it's not about points every night,'' Howard said. "It's about playing defense, blocking shots and controlling the paint at both ends."

He had 15 points and 21 rebounds in the Magic's 104-95 victory over Charlotte on Saturday, and has averaged 15.8 points and 13.6 rebounds in 10 career games against the Bulls.

With Howard dominating the paint, Orlando has had plenty of room along the perimeter. The Magic have three players - Hedo Turkoglu, Rashard Lewis and Keith Bogans - among the league's top 10 in 3-pointers made per game.

The Magic beat the Bobcats without point guard Jameer Nelson in the lineup. He's listed as day-to-day with a strained back.

Chicago (11-17) has won consecutive games for the first time since Dec. 5-7. The Bulls dropped their first game after coach Scott Skiles was fired on Dec. 24, but are 2-0 since Jim Boylan was named the team's interim head coach three days later.

The Bulls average a league-low 91.9 points, but they've scored at least 100 in their last two wins after reaching the century mark only six times under Skiles.

They shot 50 percent from the field for just the third time this season in Sunday's 100-83 win at New York.

"I think everybody is playing more relaxed," said guard Ben Gordon, who had a team-high 25 points. "We are trying to play together more and guys are moving the ball."

Gordon came off the bench for the second game in a row after starting Chicago's first 26 contests. He's averaged 28 points in two games in his new role.

"I wasn't happy, but (coach) wanted to bring some more scoring off of the bench,'' Gordon said. "At the end of the day, I just always want the team to win and for everybody to do well. So I told him if that's what he thinks will work, then I was for it.''

Gordon has averaged 17.4 points in 10 career games against Orlando.

The Magic took two of three meetings with the Bulls last season, including the lone game in Chicago.

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 Updated NBA Finals Odds After a busy week with the NBA Draft taking place, which team improved their odds to win the 2018 NBA Finals?
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...

NBA Headlines

  • PHOENIX (AP) Phoenix Suns forward Jared Dudley has undergone a left toe ligament and bone procedure.
    The Suns issued a statement on Tuesday saying Dudley had surgery last Friday and is expect...
  • EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) Miles Simon has joined the Los Angeles Lakers as an assistant coach.
    Lakers coach Luke Walton announced the hire of his fellow former University of Arizona star Tuesda...
  • CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls set a clear direction by trading All-Star Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves on draft night last week.
    As for whether they got enough in return? Vice pr...
  • CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls are not ready to say whether veteran point guard Rajon Rondo will be back for a second season.
    Vice president of basketball operations John Paxson says that ''i...
  • NEW YORK (AP) Russell Westbrook has earned kudos from Michael Jordan and Taylor Swift after being honored with his first league MVP trophy at the NBA Awards show.
    A letter signed by Jordan an...

NBA Team Pages