It has been a brutal year for the Magic, who enter action at 13-26. They face a Knicks team with seven more wins than them for the season. As the two meet at MSG, it will be a battle of All-Star bigs from 2021 that will be going head-to-head. Julius Randle and Nikola Vucevic are the respective reasons for their teams not being lower in the standings.
The injuries have been stacking up for the Magic since last year. They lost Jonathan Isaac to a long-term injury very early in the bubble, while Markelle Fultz was lost for the year early in 2020-21. They have been without Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon for long stretches of the year as well. Plus, rookie Chuma Okeke has been in and out of the lineup. All they can count on is Vooch, really.
The Knicks meanwhile have been struggling a bit of late. They’ll hopefully get Derrick Rose and Elfrid Payton back soon, as it appears Frank Ntilikina is struggling with his added responsibility over the last few games. Immanuel Quickley has been solid as a floor general, but isn’t doing enough to involve his teammates. NY can also use a big game from RJ Barrett as they seek to get back to .500.
Magic vs Knicks Pick and Video Preview
- SPREAD: KNICKS -6.5
- MONEYLINE: ORL +220, NYK -270
Orlando Seeking Rare Win
At 13-26, this has obviously been a tough year for the Magic. Michael Carter-Williams has been the starting point guard for the last few months as Cole Anthony and Fultz recover from their respective injuries. Anthony had been starting to show flashes of talent that we saw from his father Greg during his long NBA career. Chasson Randle has been serving as MCW’s backup.
Evan Fournier has also been in and out of the lineup, and in his absence, there haven’t been many promising performances from Dwayne Bacon. There are some teams that Orlando can get by with the Vucevic “and everybody else” lineup, but generally speaking, the losses are piling up for the team. After making the playoffs the last few seasons, it would appear their fortunes will be different in 2021.
At the end of the day, all of the players on the roster are there for a reason. They’re making seven-figures to play basketball. They’re talented. You can only make so many excuses.
Knicks Looking for Twenty-First Win
Though they have struggled of late, this appears to be a prime opportunity for the Knicks to break out of their funk. They match up well at most positions, and have plenty of scoring on the wing to try and guide them. Alec Burks has been playing well off the bench, while Reggie Bullock looks to be better of late. The center position has been weak with Mitchell Robinson out.
It would not be surprising if Andre Drummond winds up in New York. The team does not have a consistent finisher on the team, as Taj Gibson and Nerlens Noel tend to focus their efforts on the defensive end. Drummond would give them somebody that can make a few players, find cutters, and also give them some buckets that they desperately need.
New York is currently the Nets city, even though it appears that Knicks diehards will continue to fight that. Madison Square Garden is a terrific venue, and the world’s “Most Famous Arena” for a reason. But with how they’ve played in the last week, those fans might just be laughed at for saying so. Brooklyn’s got “Scary Hours” while the Knicks have “Randle Hours”.
If they can stop Nikola Vucevic from scoring 40 points, NY Should be able to win.
Magic vs Knicks Pick
- SPREAD: Make sure to go Knicks -6.5. Randle and Barrett will have big nights.
- MONEYLINE: Knicks -270 all day. They’ve got this.