The Charlotte Hornets host the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, needing a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Hornets are one game behind the Pistons for the No. 8 seed in the East and they need to beat the Magic and hope the Pistons lose to the Knicks in order to get in. So basically:
If the Pistons beat the Knicks, they're in, regardless of what the Hornets do.
If the Pistons lose to the Knicks and the Hornets lose to the Magic, the Pistons are in.
If the Pistons lose to the Knicks and the Hornets beat the Magic, the Hornets are in.
Wednesday, April 10 at 8:00 PM ET
Who Wants This Game More?
The Magic are playing just for seeding; they're in seventh place but if they beat the Hornets and the Nets lose to the Heat they can move up to sixth place, which means facing the 76ers instead of the Raptors.
Still, the Hornets will be more motivated than them and the Magic will be without Jonathan Issac (9.6 points and 5.5 rebounds) because he's still in concussion protocol after getting hit in the jaw on Sunday's 116-108 win against the Celtics.
With Isaac out, Wes Iwundu (5.0 points and 2.7 rebounds) could get the start at small forward and although he's been a big part of their rotation, Isaac has a plus-2.1 Defensive Box Plus/Minus (DBPM) while Iwundu Defensive Box Plus/Minus is plus-0.6 and Iwundu's backup tonight will be Jarell Martin (minus-0.6 Defensive Box Plus/Minus), hurting their depth, particularly on defense.
The Hornets are on a roll, winning their last four games, including last night's 124-97 road beatdown against the Cavaliers and even though only Nicolas Batum was on the court over 30 minutes, they had to travel back home and playing in the second game of a back-to-back against a Magic team that has been resting since Sunday.
The Orlando Magic are:
6-1 ATS in their last seven games after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game
6-1 ATS in their last seven games when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game
8-2 ATS in their last 10 games against Eastern Conference opponents
The Charlotte Hornets are:
2-8-1 ATS in their last 11 Wednesday games
The Hornets might lead the season series against the Magic 2-1 but they were crushed 127-89 on February 14 in Orlando, ending their 13-game winning streak against them and if the Pistons have a comfortable lead against the Knicks then the Hornets could put their feet off the gas and give up before the fourth quarter.
Not having Isaac doesn't help the Magic's case but we are not asking them to win this game, we just need them to cover and we are getting four points with a very good team that wants to build some momentum ahead of the playoffs.
NBA Pick: Magic +4 (-110) at Jazz Sports
Check odds here: http://bit.ly/jazzonaff