The Wizards visit the Magic on Tuesday night and Kyle Kuzma will be in street clothes after suffering a sprained ankle on Saturday. Kristaps Porzingis is returning from an illness that kept him out of that game and should have a big night while helping to make up for Kuzma’s absence.
The Pacers laid an egg and let us down on Monday but we’re going to bounce back tonight.
Wizards injuries and key players
With Kuzma out, Corey Kispert should sneak into the starting lineup for the Wizards. He doesn’t do much of anything outside of scoring and hitting 3-pointers but he’s scored in double digits in nine of his last 10 games and scored 25 against the Sixers on March 12. The Wizards give up 23.28 points to opposing small forwards, second-worst in the league.
Another player who has to step up with Kuzma out is Porzingis, who’s averaging 23 points and eight rebounds in March. He scored 30 and 17 points in two previous meetings against the Magic but Kuzma played in both of those. Take his 21.2 points and 7.2 rebounds out of the equation and Porzingis should go off tonight.
Bradley Beal, Rui Hachimura, Daniel Gafford and Monte Morris should also contribute for the Wizards tonight and all of them played well in their last meeting. Beal had 17 points and eight assists, Hachimura went off for 30 points off the bench, and Gafford and Morris both scored in double figures in that one. Deni Avdija had 11 rebounds against the Kings on Saturday and will also see an increased role with Kuzma in street clothes.
Magic injuries and key players
The Magic will be looking for big games from Paolo Banchero, Franz Wagner, Wendell Carter Jr. and Markelle Fultz tonight. Cole Anthony should also be in the mix with Jalen Suggs out for the third straight game due to a concussion. Anthony had 17 points, five rebounds, three assists, a steal and a block against the Lakers on Sunday.
Fultz had 23 points, five boards, eight assists, a steal and three 3-pointers in their previous meeting against the Wizards, Wagner scored 20 points and Banchero had 15 points, but just four rebounds in that one. Carter Jr. just missed a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds and those are the only Magic players we trust, in addition to Anthony. The Wizards are the fifth-worst team in the league at stopping opposing centers from scoring (23.78 ppg) so Carter Jr. should be able to feast tonight. WCJ had 16 points and 11 rebounds against the Lakers on Sunday and Fultz also double-doubled with 12 points and 10 assists. Wagner has scored at least 20 points in two straight games and has hit the 20-point plateau in five of his last eight games.
The Magic are 16-19 at home and the Wizards are 16-21 on the road, so something’s going to have to give tonight. Both teams are currently on the outside looking in at the playoffs as the No. 11 Wizards are 2.0 games behind the No. 10 Bulls and the Wizards have nearly lost all hope, sitting 5.5 games behind the Bulls.
The Wizards have more to play for than the Magic do at this point but the Magic have home-court advantage. The Magic are just 2-6 over their last eight games while the Wizards are struggling just as much, winning just two of their last nine games. The key here is that the Magic are 4-1 against the spread in their last five, while the Wizards are 1-4 ATS in their last five. And given that Kuzma will be in street clothes tonight, we’re taking the Magic minus the point.
Pick: Magic -1
Same Game +1469 Parlay
Leg 1: Kristaps Porzingis to score 25+ points
Leg 2: Kristaps Porzingis to record 10+ rebounds
Leg 3: Franz Wagner to score 20+ points
Leg 4: Markelle Fultz to score 15+ points
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