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The Magic Face The Sixers In Orlando

  • On the second night of a back-to-back the Magic face the Sixers in Orlando, a tough matchup between third and fourth seeds in the East.

Regular Season Game 30 – Philadelphia 76ers vs Orlando Magic 

  • Venue – Kia Center, Orlando, Florida
  • U.K. tip time is midnight, which is 7pm local for our friends in Orlando.
  • To watch here in the U.K. you will again need an active NBA League Pass subscription.

Orlando Magic 

  • Regular Season Record: 18-11
  • Run: won 2 games consecutively and are 4-6 in the last 10 played.
  • Home Record 11-3 (11-2 in the Kia Center; the Atlanta “home court” loss was in Mexico City)
  • Road Record 7-8
  • Standing: 4th in the East 
  • Points Per GameFor 113.6 (18th) Against 110.7 (5th)
  • RatingOffensive 19th Defensive 3rd
  • Back-to-backs see the Magic fairing a shade better than last season so far.
    • This Season – First Night 3-3 : Second Night 2-3
    • Last Season – First Night 6-7 : Second Night 1-12
  • Scoring is being led by Paolo Banchero at 21.7 points per game and Franz Wagner follows up at 20.5. Third on the team and leading the bench is Cole Anthony who stays strong with 14.9 points per game. Jalen Suggs, Mo Wagner and Markelle Fultz all average over 11.4 ppg.

Last Time Out

Since our last game preview (sorry Christmas celebrations got in the way of both games) the Magic have played and won twice on the road.

vs Indiana Pacers

  • A four game losing skid was stopped by a 117-110 victory in Indianapolis on the 23rd. 
  • In this win the Magic found a way to play their style of basketball. Orlando scored in the paint and protected it effectively on defence. The Magic defence was physical, took advantage of length and saw the hustle play being disruptive to the Pacers rhythm.  
  • Unlike the previous meeting (where the Magic had a 40 point lead) this game was far more competitive. It wasn’t until midway in the final quarter that Orlando built a significant advantage on the scoreboard.
  • Paolo Banchero finished with 34 points and Franz Wagner 24. Gary Harris again troubled his home town team, finishing with 15. Cole Anthony had 12 points.
  • Caleb Houstan had 6 points but was highly effective finishing with the team’s best plus/minus rating.
  • The starting unit was Anthony Black, Gary Harris, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and Wendell Carter Jr.
  • From the bench came Cole Anthony, Moritz Wagner, Goga Bitadze, Jonathan Isaac and Caleb Houstan.

vs Washington Wizards

  • Last night (26th) the Magic took a third win of the season over the Washington Wizards. A 127-119 road win was closer than it needed to be thanks to some sloppy turnovers by the Magic.
  • Again the Magic created a cushion in the second half, with a 15-5 late third/early fourth quarter run. 
  • Rookie Anthony Black was a demon on defence and hit a career high 23 points as he found a beautiful shooting rhythm.
  • For a 10th time this season Franz and Paolo each scored 20-plus points in the same game. Franz Wagner finished with 28 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists. Paolo Banchero had 24 points, 3 rebounds and 8 assists. 
  • As a team despite the turnovers the continued offensive focus on ball movement and teamwork saw Orlando have 30 assists.
  • Goga Bitadze, Cole Anthony, Jalen Suggs and Moritz Wagner rounded out the double digit scoring for Orlando. 
  • The starting unit was Anthony Black, Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and Wendell Carter Jr.
  • From the bench came Cole Anthony, Moritz Wagner, Goga Bitadze, Gary Harris and Caleb Houstan.

Tonight

  • As the Magic face the Sixers in Orlando the injury report sees Gary Harris (right calf; strain), Jonathan Isaac (right hamstring; soreness) and Joe Ingles (left ankle; sprain) all listed as questionable.
  • Markelle Fultz (left knee tendinitis) is again absent. He has now missed the last 21 games and featured in just 1 of past 25 games through injury. 
  • Jett Howard is as of tonight (7pm GMT) available. Having been on G-League assignment he has been recalled to the squad.
  • Two-way player Trevelin Queen is not part of the squad.
  • Kevon Harris is listed as a coach’s decision to not play.
  • Chuma Okeke has been available but has not featured as a coaching decision by Jamahl Mosley.
  • The same is true of two-way player Admiral Schofield. He is fit, however he has not suited up recently but is available if required.
  • Expect Orlando to run with the same opening 5 tonight again.

The Philadelphia 76ers 

Season Stats

  • Regular Season Record: 20-9 Run: Lost 1 but have won 8 of their last 10 played.
  • Standing: 3rd in the East 
  • Points Per GameFor 122 (4th) Against 111.2 (6th)
  • RatingOffensive 2nd Defensive 5th
  • In his first season with the team head coach Nick Nurse has them first in free throw attempts on the season and with a focus on attacking the 2 point. They match up closely to the Magic in second chance points, scoring from turnovers and points in the paint. The Sixers also rate highly in fast break points, leading the league in steals. 
  • On defence they limit second chance opportunities and are 7th in blocks per game.
  • Whilst the Sixers have a great record so far this season they have struggled for wins over opponents who have are at .500 or above. 
  • On the road Philly are at 8-5. 
  • A massive part of what the Sixers do is based on having reigning MVP Joel Embiid on the team.

Last Time Out For The Sixers

  • On Christmas Day and without Embiid the Sixers fell to a road loss in Miami, the Heat taking it 113-119.
  • Former Orlando Magic forward Tobias Harris led the team in all three major stats, with 27 points, 6 assists and 7 rebounds.
  • Kelly Oubre Jr followed closely with 25 points 7 rebounds and 3 assists.
  • Another ex Magic player Mo Bamba had a 18 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals to lead the bench.
  • Starting 5 – Tyrese Maxey, De’Anthony Melton, Kelly Oubre Jr, Tobias Harris, Paul Reed
  • From the bench came Mo Bamba, Patrick Beverley, Marcus Morris, Danuel House Jr, KJ Martin and Jaden Springer.
  • Robert Covington and Furkan Korkmaz did not play.

Tonight

  • The big news is that again Joel Embiid is out. He is joined on the injury list by Nicolas Batum, who will also be absent. 
  • All three G League Two-Way players are out, being Ricky Council IV, Kenneth Lofton Jr and Terquavion Smith.
  • Expect a similar starting 5 to that of Christmas Day.

Head-To-Head With The Sixers 

  • In 129 regular season games played and the score stands at 80-49 to Orlando.
  • Last season saw the Sixers win the series 1-3, Orlando winning on January 30th in Philadelphia.
  • The Sixers have won 11 of the last 12 games played, seeing them take each of the past three series. 
  • Orlando last won on home court in December 2019. That season (2019-20) was the last series taken by Orlando (2-1 including a victory in the NBA Bubble once the season resumed).

A Final Thought As The Magic Face The Sixers In Orlando

  • This is the first of three meetings between the two teams this season.
  • For Orlando it is the second night of a back-to-back having been on the road and to travel back home. The 76ers arrived in Orlando after the Miami game, so are rested. That is far from ideal when you are taking on one of the NBA’s most fancied teams.
  • In the absence of Embiid the Sixers still have plenty of firepower. Tyrese Maxey currently ranks top 20 in the league in points (25.9) and assists (6.7) per game. He, along with Tobias Harris and Kelly Oubre Jr will share some of the extra offensive load. 
  • Once again the Magic will need to be at their defensive best as they seek to pull within one game of the 3rd seed position. 

The Let’s Talk Magic Game Preview

GO MAGIC!