The Orlando Magic have emerged from the All-Star break healthier and more rested, as reinforcements have arrived in the form of starting center Nikola Vucevic and power forward Aaron Gordon. Those two players represent the Magic's No. 1 and No. 3 scorer on a per-game basis this year, and the stability of their familiar production is sure to take the strain off of the bench and role players.
As for the Knicks, they have lost eight-straight games coming into Thursday night's contest, and their season was effectively ended by the injury of All-Star Kristaps Porzingis earlier this month. The Knicks still have plenty of firepower in wing Tim Hardaway Jr. and center Enes Kanter, however, both of whom have been enjoying career seasons in New York.
For the Magic to win this game, they will need to share the ball and capitalize on the Knicks shorthaded dfeense, which wasn't very good even with Porzingis leading the league in blocks. If the Magic can captialize on their fresh legs, this should be a fun one.
Line: ORL –3.5
Orlando — Aaron Gordon (Hip) – IN; Nikola Vucevic (Hand) – IN Jonathan Isaac (Ankle) – OUT; Terrence Ross (MCL) – OUT;
New York — Ron Baker (Shoulder) – OUT; Michael Beasley (Ear) – IN; Kristaps Porzingis (Knee) – OUT