It's a huge matchup in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference First Round as the Orlando Magic take on the Indiana Pacers. The game is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on NBA.tv. Currently the odds for this contest have the Pacers favored by 9 points with the total sitting at 187.5 points.
Free Analysis: The Magic were able to steal one in the opening game of this series despite playing without their best player and scoring only 81 points. Thus the Pacers are in a must-win situation tonight because the last thing they need is to go back to Orlando in an 0-2 hole after losing both games in Indiana. The Pacers were a great team at home this year, going 23-10. Orlando obviously struggled on the road overall, finishing at 16-17. The Pacers won 12 of 15 games down the stretch to close out the regular season and finish with the third overall spot in the East. However, they dropped Game 1 in unimpressive fashion. They don't seem to be worried about coming ready in the second game. "We lost a game," forward Danny Granger said. "We watched it. It's not the end of the world. It's a seven-game series. We don't want to overreact." And even as bad as the Pacers played in that game, they nearly had a chance to win. Indiana didn't score at all in the final 4:05. Granger was called for traveling as time was winding down and the Pacers had a chance to tie. Granger didn't make a shot in the fourth quarter and missed both of his free throw attempts. He told reporters that he shot between 800 and 900 free throws and jump shots on Sunday. The Pacers defensively did a pretty decent job allowing just 81 points overall. Roy Hibbert, the big 7-footer for the Pacers, didn't score enough, however. He had eight points, 13 rebounds and a team playoff-record nine blocks. Magic forwards Ryan Anderson and Glen Davis consistently had Hibbert busy. Indiana shot just 35 percent from the floor and they weren't able to get out in transition to get easy baskets. They do like to run the half court sets but just didn't knock down any shots. That's surprising in itself, playing at home. Both teams rebounded the ball well with the Magic pulling down 45 boards. The Pacers swiped 50 boards off the glass and only had 10 turnovers. Ideally, they did just about everything they needed to in order to win but make shots. They shot under 35 percent from the floor, made just four 3-pointers and missed nine of 22 free throws. I think they'll shoot the ball much better tonight.
Free Pick: Magic and the points. They showed me in the first game of this series that they can win ugly. Hell, for them to just win at all on the road is impressive. They're playing without Dwight Howard, which would have been a great battle with Hibbert, but they are still getting to the glass and rebounding the ball. Getting nine points after picking up an ugly win on Saturday is a gift, I think. Orlando can win in a variety of ways and they're going to be close in this one from the beginning. Expect Anderson and Davis to have big games for the team tonight. But at the same time, don't think the Pacers are just going to go away.
$25 of picks FREE! No Obligation - No Credit Card Required - Becoming a member is Fast and Free!
Betting Strategies: Handicapping NBA PlayoffsHost Marco D'Angelo and Pregame Pro Vegas Runner discuss their strategies about betting the NBA Playoffs and being successful.