Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic Yes, it was just a Game 1 win for the No. 8 Orlando Magic against the No. 1 Milwaukee Bucks in a 7 game series. But try to say that to those who followed the betting spread and the die-hard fans. The Bucks entered the playoffs with an astonishing record of 39-4 in the regular season against losing teams.
The Magic are one of those futile teams with a 33-40 (.452) in the standings for the regular season. The Bucks had a spread of -12 (-110) in that game and were unbelievable against those with a below-.500 teams. Take that information about the Bucks and put it in reverse because the Magic have been terrible in games with winning teams (9-18-2). The Magic tied for the third-largest playoff game to upset the spread over the last 20 seasons. Orlando joined the Portland Trail Blazers as the only time No. 8 seeds to win an opener against No. 1 seeds since 2003. On Thursday night in Game 2, the Bucks got a lot of help from Giannis Antetokounmpo with 28 points and 20 rebounds in a 111-96 win.
Milwaukee tied the series with a quick and assertive 25-13 first-quarter. The win does help the Bucks regain a piece of faith in themselves that was certainly needed. After starting the playoffs with the NBA’s best regular-season record and that first game loss, Milwaukee is trying to assure those who were questioning them as favors. In their last 10 meetings, the Bucks have destroyed the Magic with eight wins. Adding another win to that list is made a bit easier as Orlando has Aaron Gordon as questionable. The Magic are trying to overcome last year’s playoffs failure after winning the opener over Toronto Raptors but losing four straight.