ORLANDO MAGIC (14-29)
at BROOKLYN NETS (26-18)
Tip-off: Monday, 7:35 p.m. ET
Line: Brooklyn -9, Total: 194
Both the Nets and the Magic are looking to put an end to their losing streaks when they square off in Brooklyn on Monday night.
The Nets have lost their past two games (SU and ATS) in blowout fashion, falling to Memphis 101-77 on Friday and then giving up 119 points in a 13-point defeat in Houston one night later. The Magic have dropped five in a row (SU and ATS), but four of those losses came by six points or less including back-to-back, two-point defeats to Toronto and Detroit. Orlando is 5-1 SU (4-2 ATS) in its past six road games against the Nets, but the one loss was on Nov. 11 when Brooklyn prevailed in a low-scoring affair, 82-74. The Nets are 3-0 SU (2-1 ATS) versus Orlando this season.
Can the Nets add to the Magic misery on Monday night? For the answer, connect to NBA Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. For NBA Totals, the experts are a stellar 11-2 (85%) this past weekend with StatFox Gary going 6-0 and StatFox Brian going 3-0 on Friday/Saturday/Sunday. Scott is also 11-7 (61%) since Jan. 15, boosting his impressive season NBA Totals record to 64-47 (58%). For Best Bets, Scott is 5-2 ATS (71%) in the past four days to boost his season Best Bets mark to 53.3% ATS (64-56-1). Brian is at 51.1% ATS (68-65-3) while Gary is an even 50% ATS for the season. StatFox Dave is 6-4 ATS (60%) since Friday. The experts are collectively 50% ATS for the season in NBA Best Bets.
The Magic are on a five-game losing streak, but they’ve hung around in nearly every loss, so there’s reason to believe they are going to turn it around soon. Over the past two games, C Nikola Vucevic has been a force to be reckoned with in the paint all season with 23 double-doubles (6th-most in NBA), but these last two games he’s played exceptionally well, with 15.5 PPG, 15.5 RPG and 2.0 BPG. He also had 14 points and 13 rebounds in the Nov. 11 meeting in Brooklyn. PG Jameer Nelson has struggled with his shot all season (41% FG), but he's played pretty well during the five-game losing skid with 17.6 PPG, 8.0 APG and 5.4 RPG. SG Arron Afflalo left Sunday's game against the Pistons in the fourth quarter after suffering a slight calf strain, but he expects to start on Monday night. Afflalo is averaging 16.7 PPG on 44% FG and 35% 3-pt FG this season, but his offense has been missing in this series with just 12.0 PPG on 38.5% FG and 0-for-9 threes in the three losses to the Nets.
Brooklyn held three straight opponents below 90 points during a three-game win streak, but it has given up 110.0 PPG on 51% FG during its current two-game skid. PG Deron Williams played well in the loss to the Rockets on Saturday with 27 points (10-of-15 FG, 5-of-9 threes) and 11 assists. It was one of Williams’ best shooting performances this season, and boosted his January numbers to 44.3% FG (42.3% threes), a big jump from his 40.8% FG clip (32.9% threes) in December. Williams has also shot the ball well against Orlando this season (48.3% FG), but has just 13.3 PPG and 6.0 APG in the three games, and 17.4 PPG and 8.0 APG versus all other teams. SG Joe Johnson has been off the mark in the past two defeats, making just 9-of-24 FG (37.5% FG), but C Brook Lopez has scored 20+ points in five of his past seven contests, averaging 19.9 PPG on 56% FG during this stretch. He's also been a beast defensively in the past four contests with 3.5 BPG, including five blocks in Saturday's loss in Houston. But Lopez only grabbed seven rebounds against the Rockets, and was a big reason the Nets got crushed 50-31 on the boards. Since Christmas, the Nets are 11-0 SU when they win the rebounding battle, and 1-6 SU when their opponents outrebound them.