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The Magic Take On The Philadelphia 76ers

  • Today starts the second half of the regular season for Orlando and the Magic take on the Philadelphia 76ers for a second time this campaign.

Regular Season Game 42 – Philadelphia 76ers vs Orlando Magic 

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

Orlando Magic 

  • Regular Season Record: 22-19
  • Run: Lost 1 and are 3-7 in the last 10 played.
  • Home Record 13-5 (13-4 in the Kia Center; one “home court” loss was in Mexico City)
  • Road Record 9-14
  • Standing: 8th in the East 
  • Points Per GameFor 112 Against 111.1
  • RatingOffensive 24th Defensive 3rd

Last Time Out – vs The Atlanta Hawks 

  • A third meeting of the season between the two again came down to the wire. On Wednesday night in Atlanta, the Hawks snatched a 104-106 home court victory when at the buzzer Dejounte Murray hit a game-winning jump shot. It was a gut punch after Paolo Banchero had tied the game with a 3-point dagger with nine seconds left. 
  • This was another defensive effort by the team but unlike in New York they could not find that extra stop late or the shooting spark. The Hawks scoring 106 was 15 points lower than their average and was the fourth game of the road trip that saw Orlando hold its opponent significantly below their points per game scoring averages.
  • Paolo Banchero finished with 26 points, but truthfully had some struggles going 8-of-25. Facing the obligatory double teams Paolo was able to make plays for others.
  • Wendell Carter Jr went 3-for-4 from beyond the arc to finish with a season-high 18 points. He had again come off of the bench.
  • Jalen Suggs made each of his three shots from 3-point-range, ending with 16 points.
  • The Magic as a team managed to make just 10 of their 35 attempts with the three-ball (28.6 percent%).
  • Despite the shooting struggles, the Magic continue to give 100 percent defensively.
  • Orlando forced Atlanta into 23 turnovers, equaling the most by an opponent this season. 
  • The starting unit was again Jalen Suggs, Caleb Houstan, Chuma Okeke, Paolo Banchero and Goga Bitadze.
  • From the bench came Cole Anthony, Wendell Carter Jr, Jonathan Isaac, Markelle Fultz and Joe Ingles. Well, technically Anthony Black played as well, being on for 6 seconds
  • Moritz Wagner and Trevelin Queen were available but did not play. Admiral Schofield was available but did not dress.

Tonight

  • Franz Wagner (ankle) and Gary Harris (calf) are listed as out
  • Jett Howard is available having been recalled from being on a G League assignment.
  • Kevon Harris is for the first time in forever available.
  • With again having increasingly fit personnel available Coach Mosley will be able to evaluate his starting group as the Magic take on the Philadelphia 76ers. It is possible we see more recognised starters at the opening tip.

The Philadelphia 76ers 

Season Stats

  • Regular Season Record: 26-13 Run: Won 3 and are 6-4 in the last 10 played (this started with the Magic on December 27th)
  • Standing: 3rd in the East (2 games back of Milwaukee in second and have played 2 games less)
  • Points Per GameFor 119.9 Against 111.9
  • RatingOffensive 6th Defensive 5th
  • This is the second of 3 games for the season between these two teams, meeting last on December 27th. The final meeting comes in Philadelphia on April 12th, being the penultimate game of the regular season for each team (game day 81).
  • On the road the Sixers are at a 10-7 record.
  • They Sixers are first in free throw attempts and makes on the season, hitting 22.8 of their 27.2 attempts per game. They have a focus on attacking the 2 point and whilst not a volume three-point shooting team they do have a strong success rate. These two teams match closely in scoring second chance points, makes from turnovers and points in the paint. The Sixers also rate highly in fast break points, leading the league in steals. They look after the ball when in possession, having the third fewest turnovers. 
  • On defence they limit second chance opportunities, defend the three effectively and are 4th in blocks per game.
  • A massive part of what the Sixers do is based on having reigning MVP Joel Embiid on the team. At 35.1 ppg he leads the NBA and is again in the conversation for the award. His contribution is phenomenal for the team, 5th in rebounds per game, 20th in assists and 9th in blocks. He has made 304 of his 345 free throws this season.
  • However you can not ignore the play of Tyrese Maxey, who himself is averaging 26.1 ppg and 6.7 assists.

Last Time Out For The Sixers

  • Three nights ago the Sixers took a 121-126 home court win over the defending champions, the Denver Nuggets.
  • The final quarter saw the Sixers outscoring Denver by 10 points in what had been a tight game throughout. 
  • Joel Embiid put up a 41 points, 10 assist double-double.
  • Tyrese Maxey followed on with 25 points, 9 assists and 2 steals.
  • Former Orlando Magic forward Tobias Harris had 24 points.
  • Starting 5 – Tyrese Maxey, Nicolas Batum, Kelly Oubre Jr, Tobias Harris, Joel Embiid 
  • From the bench came Patrick Beverley, Marcus Morris, Furkan Korkmaz and Paul Reed. Danuel House Jr did not dress and KJ Martin did not play.

Tonight

  • De’Anthony Melton, Mo Bamba and Robert Covington are all out. Two-way player Kenneth Lofton Jr is also shown as out.
  • Jaden Springer is day-to-day and considered questionable.
  • Their two other G League Two-Way players are available and with the team, being Ricky Council IV and Terquavion Smith.
  • Expect a similar starting 5 to that of the last outing for Head Coach Nick Nurse.

Head-To-Head With The Sixers

  • In 130 regular season games played and the score stands at 80-50 to Orlando.
  • In the opening game of three between the two teams this season on December 27th the Sixers came into the Kia Center, taking a strong win by 112-92 over the Magic. The game was closer for most of the way than the score suggests. From Orlando being just 3 down early in the final quarter the Sixers went on a 26-6 run to seal it. Without Joel Embiid saw big games from Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris and De’Anthony Melton. Franz Wagner led the Magic, being one of only three Magic players to score in double digits.
  • Last season saw the Sixers win the series 1-3, Orlando winning on January 30th in Philadelphia.
  • The Sixers have won 12 of the last 13 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 Take On The Philadelphia 76ers

  • At present there are few more challenging encounters than against the Philadelphia 76ers. In changing the head coach during the offseason, hiring Nick Nurse has given them a grittier mentality.
  • That being said the Magic seem to enjoy these opportunities to test themselves.
  • To win Orlando will have to find a way to score. The December 27th match saw the Sixers clog the paint on the defensive end and unable to penetrate Orlando were ineffective in shooting the three all night. That 92 points remains a season low for the Magic, was the third worst field goal percentage of the season and saw Orlando giving up 16 turnovers. 
  • A repeat of of that inefficiency on offence will result in another home court loss. 
  • This game is not on the second night of a back-to-back as per the previous matchup. Unfortunately it does come as the Magic return from a testing 4 game road trip, against a rested Philadelphia team.

The Let’s Talk Magic Game Preview

GO MAGIC!