The Miami Heat will go for win number 27 in their pursuit of the NBA’s longest-ever winning streak on Monday night. They face the lowly Orlando Magic, needing just seven more victories to equal the current mark of 33. They’re now just 4.50 to take at least a share of the record.
It’s unlikely the Magic – who have lost six in a row - will put their Florida rivals under their spell with their two leading scorers, Arron Affalo and Nikola Vucecic, both out. That could give the Heat a chance to rest Dwyane Wade for the second straight game as Miami look ahead to trips to Chicago, New Orleans and San Antonio later this week. But they’re still good enough to crush Orlando and close in on history.
Last week in Cleveland, LeBron James was confronted by a fan wearing a t-shirt begging the reigning MVP to come back to the Cavaliers when his Heat deal ends in 2014. It’s unlikely he’ll want to depart with Miami in such dominant form but he is available at 4.75 to go back to his former team. The New York Knicks surely covet his services and are 75.00 to make a raid. James is 1.25 to stay put, however.
An abdominal injury to Marc Gasol could hit the Memphis Grizzlies' hopes of securing homecourt advantage in the play-offs. With three consecutive road defeats, that could dent their chances of a long post-season run.
The Grizzlies go to Washington on Monday night with Gasol a doubt to face a Wizards team which has won three of its last five in a late burst of self-improvement. Minus the Spaniard, Memphis lose a step on defence and that might allow Washington to come up trumps on the handicap of +2.5 at 1.91.
Best bet: Take Miami on the handicap over Orlando at 1.91