New York Knicks vs. Orlando Magic
The Orlando Magic will only get worse at the deadline. With a 22-32 record, the Magic are probably ahead of schedule. By that, I mean they’ve probably won too many games in the first half of the season. Another top draft pick would do that young team wonders.
The Magic have been solid defensively, holding teams to 114.8 points per 100 possessions. Orlando has earned 14.5% turnovers and held teams to under 26% of offensive rebounds.
But the Knicks are usually very good at holding onto the ball and have earned 31.5% of offensive rebounds. New York will still do the little things well on the offensive end, even if they’re still without Mitchell Robinson.
Meanwhile, the Magic scored only 111.9 points per 100 possessions this season. They’ve played better recently, winning three of their last four games on the road. But the offense will struggle to get quality looks against a Knicks team that has allowed a 53.2% effective field goal percentage.
Orlando isn’t nearly as good on the offensive glass as the Knicks. That should be the difference. Back the Knicks as they look for win No. 30 on the road.
Bet: Knicks -1.5 (-110)
Atlanta Hawks vs. New Orleans Pelicans
The Atlanta Hawks could be in the trade market. They’re 27-27 on the season and don’t know if they’re contenders or pretenders. But with Trae Young and Dejounte Murray paired up, you’d like to think that the Hawks will only get better by the trade deadline.
The Pelicans are in the same boat. They’re patiently waiting for Zion Williamson to return. He’d be the best deadline acquisition possible for New Orleans.
This is why I wouldn’t hit the panic button if I were the Pelicans. I’d wait for Zion to make a run this season.
Brandon Ingram is finally settling in for the Pelicans. New Orleans has won two straight over the Lakers and Kings and scored at least 131 in both home games.
They’ll be home tonight against a Hawks team that allowed 128 to the Denver Nuggets last time. Atlanta’s been on a long road trip. It continues tonight.
Grab the Pelicans at -1.5 at home.
Bet: Pelicans -1.5 (-110)