Houston Rockets vs. Orlando Magic 1/27/19: Starting Lineups, Matchup Breakdown, Odds, Daily Fantasy, Betting
Houston Rockets vs. Orlando Magic Preview
The Orlando Magic (20-29) look to revitalize their playoff hopes as they travel to Houston tonight to face James Harden and the red-hot Rockets (28-20) in a tantalizing inter-conference matchup. The Rockets had a slow start to the season, hovering around .500 until Christmastime, but have used an incredible January stretch by James Harden to propel themselves into the 5th spot in a competitive Western Conference.
Harden has scored at least 30 points in his last 22 games, the longest such streak by someone not named Wilt Chamberlin, putting the team on his back through a tough midseason stretch. On the other hand, the Magic started off the season strong, but have faltered while the Rockets have thrived.
Orlando was in playoff position in December, but they have gone a dreadful 3-9 in their last 12 games, and they now find themselves 3.5 games back of the 8th seeded team in the Eastern Conference.
Time: 7:00pm ET
Arena: Toyota Center, Houston, TX
Channel: FSFL, ATTSN-SW
Houston Rockets Starting Lineup
While Harden’s scoring has been the biggest story for the Rockets, his performance against the Magic while probably be overshadowed by the return of star point guard Chris Paul. Paul hasn’t played since suffering a hamstring strain in a December 20th loss to the Heat, but the Rockets have managed to go 12-5 in his absence. The Rockets have recently been ravaged by injuries, also losing center Clint Capela in mid-January, and it will be interesting to see how Harden reacts to having another superstar on the floor after being the sole alpha during their January run.
The Rockets were also bolstered by strong performances from Harden’s supporting cast in their last game against the Raptors. With only an 8 man rotation, the Rockets starting five all played massive minutes, and they used their opportunities to put up impressive stat lines. Shooting guard Eric Gordon, who is averaging over 20 points in the month of January, added 24 points, while point guard Austin Rivers contributed 6 assists in Paul’s absence.
However, the most notable performance of Friday’s win was the newly-acquired Kenneth Faried. Faried was on the Nets for the first half of the season but only played in a handful of games. After the Rockets lost Clint Capela to injury, they signed the 6’8” power forward to play as their big man in a small-ball lineup. Faried has taken full advantage of his minutes, highlighted by his impressive 21 point, 14 rebound double-double against the Raptors. Faried has quickly become an integral part of Houston’s offense, and it will be interesting to see if he can continue to put up big numbers moving forward.
Orlando Magic Starting Lineup
After Friday’s loss to the Wizards, the Magic have now lost five of their last 6 games, with their only win coming against the lowly Hawks. The lack of an elite guard continues to hurt the struggling Magic, as almost their entire offense revolved around center Nikola Vucevic and small forward Aaron Gordon in their most recent loss. The Magic’s 2 starting guards, Evan Fournier and D.J. Augustin, combined for a total of 7 points and 3 assists in their 58 combined minutes. With the lack of perimeter shooting from Fournier and Augustin, the Magic offense has become increasingly one-dimensional, and Vucevic can only do so much inside.
Thankfully, Aaron Gordon looked like his former self against the Wizards after struggling against the Nets in the Magic’s previous game. Friday’s game was Gordon’s second game after a minor injury held him out of two contests last week, and the 39 minutes he played seems to indicate he is back to full health. Gordon took full advantage of his minutes, adding an impressive 22 points and 11 rebounds, and he will look to build on his momentum against the Rockets.
One positive the Magic can take from their most recent loss was the performance of 3-point specialist Terrence Ross. Ross, a veteran shooting guard, came off the bench for the Magic but drastically outplayed the Magic’s starting guards. Ross is sometimes known as a streaky shooter, but when he’s shooting well from behind the arc, he’s extremely difficult to stop. Against the Wizards, Ross was able to come on the court and help ignite a struggling Magic offense. His 16 points helped to keep the game close, and he may receive an increased workload against the Rockets as Fournier struggles.
Houston Rockets vs. Orlando Magic Betting Odds
The Rockets currently sit as a 9 point favorite for tonight’s matchup in Houston. In their last 10 home games, Houston is an impressive 15-5-1 ATS, while the Magic have struggled away from home, going 3-8 ATS in their last 11 road games.
In addition, the Magic are only 1-5 ATS in their last 6 road games against teams with a winning record. The over-under currently sits at 223 points, which is less than the 225 points the team’s combined for in their January 13th matchup.
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DraftKings & FanDuel Fantasy Picks
Tonight’s NBA DraftKings slate may be filled with excellent matchups, but the Rockets and Magic both have some potentially valuable options. James Harden ($13,700) is by far the most expensive option of the night, but he’s averaging an absolutely ridiculous 62.8 FPPG. His recent performances indicate even higher numbers, as he has only failed to top 70 fantasy points in 2 of his last 9 games. Power forward/ center Kenneth Faried ($5,300) is also an interesting pick on the Rockets as he continues to get big minutes in Clint Capela’s absence.
For the Magic, shooting guard/small forward Terrence Ross ($5,100) could be a cheap steal. The 3-point specialist has recently been receiving big minutes as Evan Fournier struggles, and his price has dropped from $5,700 a few games ago. Aaron Gordon ($6,600) also looks to be a steal after his 47.8 fantasy point performance in the Magic’s last game, and will likely continue to receive big minutes as the Magic fight to stay in the playoff race.
Find all of our Fanduel and Draftkings projections here: https://www.lineups.com/nba/nba-fantasy-basketball-projections.