Jalen Suggs,Tyrese Haliburton
Orlando Magic guard Jalen Suggs (4) steals the ball in front of Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton (0) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Feb. 28, 2022, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

MAGIC VS. PACERS MARCH 2

Kyle Barrette

After last night’s annoying push, we turn to an Eastern conference matchup today between two teams with not a lot going for them. The Pacers are trying to reshape their roster after making some moves at the trade deadline as well as dealing with some injuries. The Magic seem to be stuck and continue to struggle. So who has the advantage in this matchup? Let’s break down both sides and find out.

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Magic:
The Magic actually won both of their games coming back from the all-star break. One of those games was actually against this Pacer team. It was an interesting stat line for the Magic, who shot worse from three and had a worse overall field goal percentage but still won the game by 16. Looking further, the Magic doubled up the Pacers in offensive rebounds and steals, and had half of the turnovers. The Magic come in with the 28th ranked offense but have increased their offense by 16 points over their season average in the first two games back. Orlando ranks 21st defensively, allowing almost 114 points each game. If it mainly wasn’t for turnovers that led to a dominant third quarter for the Magic, this game would probably look a whole lot different than it will be. It’ll be interesting to see if they can keep up the intensity.

Pacers:
This Pacers team definitely had some ups and downs in their three games back from the break. They suffered an overtime loss to the Thunder, then went to town on a red-hot Celtics team and followed that up with a 16-point loss to the Magic. The Pacers have shot the ball well in all three games, almost at 50%, but have suffered from fundamental issues in the two losses. The Pacers are scheduled to play a key piece that was missing from this Pacers offense and has the ability to tip the scales in their favor for this rematch. Also, the Pacers were on the second night of a back-to-back road series when they played Orlando in their last game, which will not be the case here.

Pacers vs Magic the pick: Pacers ML -115
I do think all those things played into how the Pacers played. The back-to-back travel and playing without Brogdon. Remove the travel and insert Brogdon into this game, and I’ll take the Pacers on the money line.

Same Game Parlay:
Pacers ML, Jalen Suggs First Basket, Wendell Carter Over 16.5 Points, Brogdon 20+ Pts and Pacers to win by 1-10 Pts.

SGP Odds +10907

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