By Marc Lawrence — From the Playbook NBA-Only Hoops Newsletter: A garbage-can contest today pairs the league’s No. 14 seeds (or second-worst) from each conference when Houston takes on Orlando, meaning this game has little impact on the fate of either of these frauds. What we do have, though, is a great scheduling spot that is simply too good to pass over.
It starts with the Rockets arriving off a 13-point same-season revenger at home Friday night against Denver with another same-season avenger on tap tomorrow night in Miami. Meanwhile, Houston’s 6-16 ATS record this season in non-conference clashes is certainly not praiseworthy. Nor is its 1-11 ATS mark on Sundays this season.
Remember, Houston is 1-12 SUATS this season versus non-conference opponents seeking revenge from a same-season defeat of 4 or more points. The only win occurred in a 15-point loss as a 19-point dog at Utah.
If you think the Magic won’t be focused this evening, then guess again – a 132-90 loss to the Rockets in their season-opener says otherwise. With it, Orlando has suffered only two losses by a margin of 40-plus points since 1990.