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Orlando Magic acquire Gilbert Arenas
After having a lackluster performance this month, the Orlando Magic decided to revamp their roster, acquiring former all-star point guard Gilbert Arenas in a deal that sent sweet-shooting forward Rashard Lewis to the Washington Wizards on Sunday 18 December.
Orlando Magic general manager Otis Smith said that they felt that they have to make a move in order to stay in the hunt for an NBA title after having poor performances this month, while seeing how their Eastern Conference rivals, Miami Heat and Boston Celtics, destroyed their opponents.
Smith also said that Dwight Howard was on board with the deal, saying that Howard also felt that they need to make necessary changes to their roster in order to compete for the title, and Smith expressed his excitement after announcing the deal.
“Gilbert Arenas is a proven All-Star in this league and we’re excited to add him to our team,” said Smith. “He is one of the top scoring guards in the game, he can create scoring chances for his teammates and he is as tough as they come.”
Smith also added that he is not bothered by the “bad image” of Arenas while he was still with the Wizards, where he was involved in a gun incident last season.
“We have a tendency not to forgive people in this country,” Smith said. “We have a tendency to hold onto things a little bit longer, particularly if they play professional sports. And I always say that sometimes good people do stupid things, and that one's right on the top of the list. But I feel comfortable with who he is, knowing him since he was 19 years old.”
Arenas, on the other hand, was also thrilled upon hearing that he was traded to the Magic, where he would form a deadly combo with arguably the best center in the league right now, Dwight Howard.
“This is a new beginning for me,” said Arenas, who is averaging 17.3 points and 5.6 assists in 21 games this season. “This is a true new beginning. Changing my number was a new beginning, but this is a real new beginning with a new city, new people and new team, and I get to start fresh.”
Arenas, who has been sidelined by several injuries in the past three years and was suspended for the rest of the season last year after the infamous gun incident, also said that he’s glad to be back in playoff hunt after three-straight dismal seasons with the Wizards.
“I'm just glad to be back in the playoff hunt,” Arenas said. “I've been out of it for a while and just glad to be back in competitive basketball with a group of guys who now hope to win, so it's just great.”
With Arenas in their fold, the Magic would have an additional firepower, but it remains to be seen whether they would jell quickly to be a threat to the East leader Boston Celtics and the star-studded Miami Heat, who have been destroying their opponents as of late. With this big deal the Magic are +1800 to win the NBA championship according to the Basketball Odds at sportsbook.com the home of NBA betting.
NBA: Chicago at Orlando on TNT2010-03-11
In their last two games, Football Live Betting Lines Online Bingo NFL Odds
the surging Orlando Magic posted wins against one of the league’s best teams and one of the worst. Their next opponent is playing more like the latter. The Magic look to win their season-high seventh straight game Thursday night when they host the slumping Chicago Bulls. The Magic are listed as a heavy 12.5-point favorite at Sportsbook.com.
Orlando (45-20, 32-39-4 ATS) has matched its longest win streak of the season, giving itself a small cushion over Boston for the second seed in the Eastern Conference. It still trails first-place Cleveland by five games. The Magic beat the Lakers on Sunday in an NBA finals rematch and followed that victory with a 113-87 rout of the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday.
Orlando led by 26 points at the half and cruised the rest of the way. Dwight Howard, who finished with 22 points and 15 rebounds, did most of his damage in the first half, going into the break with 18 points and 11 rebounds. “I liked the way we approached the game coming off a big win the other night,” coach Stan Van Gundy said. “There was no letdown, especially in the second half.” The Magic have covered five of their last seven home games.
The Magic have a good chance at extending their winning streak against a Chicago team that has lost five in a row (0-5 ATS). Orlando hasn’t won seven straight (4-2 ATS) since Jan. 6-17, 2009.
Improved production from point guard Jameer Nelson has provided a boost for the Magic, winners of five straight at home. Nelson is averaging 12.6 points this season, but 16.4 in the last 10 games. He had 17 points and eight assists Tuesday, shooting 3 of 5 from 3-point range. Nelson and the Magic will try to take advantage of the Bulls’ defensive struggles. Chicago equaled its longest losing streak of the season Tuesday with its fifth straight defeat, 132-108 to Utah. It was the most points the team has allowed this season.
The Bulls (31-32, 30-31-2 ATS) are giving up 115.0 points per game during the skid and their last two opponents have averaged 127.0 points and shot 55.3 percent. All of those losses came without defensive presence Joakim Noah, who is out with plantar fasciitis. Chicago is 5-10 ATS after allowing 100 or more points, including failing to cover last five in a row.
Howard will look again to dominate inside with Noah sidelined. He had 18 points and 14 rebounds in 25 minutes of a 107-87 win Feb. 10 with Noah out. In the previous matchup with Noah in the lineup, Howard was held to nine points and 12 rebounds in a 101-93 loss Jan. 2.
Thursday continues a difficult stretch for Chicago, which in a tight battle with five teams for the final four playoff spots in the East. The Bulls play their next four on the road and their next five opponents are all playoff contenders. “It’s the NBA, you can always change things around,” said Derrick Rose, who had 25 points and 13 assists Wednesday. “Now we go on the road for two big games. We need them.” The Bulls are 19-14 and 15-15-3 ATS on the road and have covered five of last six against teams with winning home records.
It won’t help, however, if the Bulls don’t have Luol Deng, who sat out the fourth quarter with a strained right calf. He was scheduled to undergo an MRI before Thursday’s game. Deng is second on Chicago, averaging 18.0 points and 7.3 rebounds.
Sportsbook.com has Orlando as decided favorites, however they have been unsafe bet on Thursday’s of late, failing to cover four in a row and are merely 2-7-1 ATS off a win by double digits. Chicago on the other hand is 6-2-1 ATS after a butt-whuppin’ of 10 or more points at home and is 9-4 UNDER facing teams with winning records.
The Bulls, who haven’t lost six straight since Nov. 14-24, 2006, have lost four in a row (1-3 ATS) in Orlando by an average of 19.3 points. This TNT matchup starts at 8:00 Eastern and the last five meeting have played UNDER east of Disney World.
The StatFox Power Line shows Orlando by 16 , indicating oddsmakers at Sportsbook.com might not have given the Magic enough credit.
NBA: Top NBA Weekend Power Trends 1/1-1/32010-01-04
The NBA rings in the New Year with three Friday games, 12 Saturday games, and five Sunday games to make up the first full weekend of 2010. Things are starting to sort themselves out as expected in the league, with the projected frontrunners assuming their positions. The Lakers have control in the Western Conference and will be hosting two games this weekend, while in the East, Cleveland, Boston, and Orlando are all within striking distance of one another for the conference’s top spot. Each of those clubs play over the next three days with the Cavs & Magic in action twice. Read on as we take a look at the top games plus reveal this weekend’s Top StatFox Power Trends for you to consider in your wagering.
On Friday, there are just three games, with Atlanta hosting New York, Orlando visiting Minnesota, and the Lakers closing out the calendar year by welcoming the Kings to L.A. The Hawks remain the league’s best spread covering team at over 70%, 22-9 ATS. They come off a disappointing loss in Cleveland in a game that went under protest due to a late shot clock problem on a key possession for them. The Knicks have been horrible against Southeast Division teams this year, going 2-7 SU & 1-8 ATS. The Magic will be in the first of a back-to-back road scenario and haven’t been out of the state of Florida since December 11th. Minnesota of course, is one of the worst home dogs in the NBA typically, but does boast an 8-7 ATS record in that scenario in ’09. The game in Los Angeles on Friday night will be the 2nd of four straight home contests for the Lakers, as they host the Kings. Sacramento nearly turned back L.A. a couple of weeks ago at home, falling in OT. They have been much better at home than on the road though, going 3-11 in their first 14 away.
The Saturday lineup is the biggest of the weekend but there isn’t a whole lot of compelling action where playoff contenders are concerned. In fact, there figures to be large number of heavy pointspreads on the wagering card. None of those will be bigger than Cleveland at New Jersey. The Cavs have won 11 of their L12 games to take control of the Central Division. The Nets just won their third game of the entire campaign on Wednesday vs. New York. Cleveland boasts an impressive 13-6 SU & ATS mark on the road. Elsewhere, the Magic play their second road game in as many days when they take on the floundering Bulls in Chicago. The East’s top team Boston will be playing host to Toronto, as the Celtics return home for the first time following an unsuccessful West Coast road trip minus Paul Pierce. Finally, the lone game matching quality foes comes from Utah, where the Nuggets and Jazz will square off.
On Sunday, the five NBA games are all evening affairs. San Antonio will visit Toronto for the only time this season, while Philly will be doing the same thing in Denver. The best matchup pits Dallas and the Lakers however. Though separated by 3-games in the standings at presstime, these were the top two clubs in the Western Conference. These teams have played a very competitive series in L.A. over the last three seasons, with the Lakers holding a 4-1 SU edge but Dallas having swept the five games against the spread. The Mavericks have been very effective on the road in the early going this season overall.
Here are those Top StatFox Power Trends you’ve been waiting for. Best wishes for the New Year’s holiday!
(701) NEW YORK vs. (702) ATLANTA
NEW YORK is 18-5 ATS (+12.5 Units) in road games vs. good offensive teams scoring 99+ PPG over the L2 seasons. The average score was NEW YORK 107.3, OPPONENT 111 - (Rating = 2*)
(703) ORLANDO vs. (704) MINNESOTA
ORLANDO is 15-3 ATS (+11.7 Units) when playing against a terrible team (Win Pct. <=25%) over the last 2 seasons. The average score was ORLANDO 106.6, OPPONENT 92.3 - (Rating = 2*)
(705) SACRAMENTO vs. (706) LA LAKERS
SACRAMENTO is 10-1 OVER (+8.9 Units) vs. very good teams outscoring opponents by 6+ PPG over the L2 seasons. The average score was SACRAMENTO 103.3, OPPONENT 116.2 - (Rating = 1*)
(511) HOUSTON vs. (512) NEW ORLEANS
NEW ORLEANS is 1-10 ATS (-10 Units) vs. poor defensive teams - shooting pct defense of >=46% this season. The average score was NEW ORLEANS 100.5, OPPONENT 106.3 - (Rating = 2*)
(517) DENVER vs. (518) UTAH
UTAH is 25-9 ATS (+15.1 Units) in home games vs. good teams outscoring opponents by 3+ PPG over the L3 seasons. The average score was UTAH 104.6, OPPONENT 95.4 - (Rating = 2*)
(519) MEMPHIS vs. (520) PHOENIX
MEMPHIS was 1-13 ATS (-13.3 Units) in January games over last season. The average score was MEMPHIS 88.9, OPPONENT 99.8 - (Rating = 3*)
(521) GOLDEN STATE vs. (522) PORTLAND
PORTLAND is 37-13 UNDER (+22.7 Units) vs. terrible defensive teams - allowing 103+ PPG over the last 3 seasons. The average score was PORTLAND 99, OPPONENT 94.8 - (Rating = 3*)
(703) SAN ANTONIO vs. (704) TORONTO
TORONTO is 1-11 ATS (-11.1 Units) vs. very good shooting teams making >=48% of their shots over the L3 seasons. The average score was TORONTO 98.5, OPPONENT 112.2 - (Rating = 2*)
(705) CHARLOTTE vs. (706) CLEVELAND
CLEVELAND is 15-2 UNDER (+12.8 Units) on Sunday games over the last 2 seasons. The average score was CLEVELAND 95.9, OPPONENT 86.4 - (Rating = 3*)
(707) PHILADELPHIA vs. (708) DENVER
DENVER is 20-9 ATS (+10.1 Units) in home games vs. poor defensive teams allowing 99+ PPG over the last 2 seasons. The average score was DENVER 116.7, OPPONENT 102.9 - (Rating = 1*)