Orlando -3.5 at Phoenix O/U 226
Here’s the key quote, from Suns veteran big man Jared Dudley, after Phoenix lost their fourth straight game earlier in the week: "We are going to have a problem with consistency throughout the year... Since Jay took over, we might have had one or one-and-a-half practices. We've had a lot of games, and there is only so much you can go over, so much film you can do. I think he's a done great job so far. I just think that we need to ride this stretch before next week beginning a couple practices and going over certain things that we need to go through on the defensive end."
The Suns have gotten a little bit better since Jay Triano took over for Earl Watson following their dismal start, at least from an effort standpoint. But from a defensive standpoint, the Suns remain a bottom five team. It’s the same story on offense, no surprise for a team that suspended, then traded their starting point guard, leaving D-League veteran (but undrafted NBA rookie) Mike James as the starter at the point. This is not a strong homecourt either, as clearly evidenced by the Suns home losses to the Nets, Heat and Lakers already.
There’s a lot to like about the 2017-18 Orlando Magic. With Aaron Gordon, Nikola Vucevic and Evan Fournier, Frank Vogel’s squad has a legitimate Big 3; all of whom can score, pass and rebound at a high level. The supporting cast is stepping up, most notably wing Jonathan Simmons. And with starting point guard Elfrid Payton healthy again, coming off an 11 point, 11 assist effort in his first game back following an eight game absence, matchup edges for this home underdog are few and far between. We’ve already seen the Magic win SU and ATS on the highway at Memphis, New Orleans and Cleveland, primed to do it again at Talking Stick Arena tonight as they step down in class.