Tonight for us U.K. fans it is an early tip for the Sixers visit to Orlando, as the Magic seek to avoid a season sweep by Philadelphia. The Magic have an opportunity to build on their recent strong form, that sees them rated as the best defensive team in the NBA since the All-Star break.
To watch the game live or on demand in the UK you will need an active NBA League Pass subscription. The tip time from Downtown Orlando is shown on the Orlando Magic website as being 10pm here in the UK (6pm Eastern for our friends in Orlando).
Now lets get into it and see what to expect from the 407!
Season Record And Last Time Out
The Orlando Magic
Last time out Orlando beat Minnesota by 110-118, overcoming an 18 point first half deficit. The NBA’s highest scoring team had threatened to break away. The comeback saw every Magic player locked in defensively. In the final quarter Orlando held the Timberwolves to just 7-of-26 shooting overall and 0-of-15 from three-point land! By the close the Magic had 31 assists, brought down 49 rebounds including 10 on the offensive end and shot 25 free throws, missing only 3.
Mo Bamba had a complete game. His double-double of 27 points and 12 rebounds led the team. Mo added a further two blocks to his season tally of 98 (6th in the NBA). Wendell Carter Jr also had a double-double stat line of 20 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists. For Wendell it was his 30th double-double of the season. Cole Anthony had 15 points, 6 assists, 6 rebounds and a steal. Markelle Fultz brought a drive and poise to the court. Still on a minutes limitation he scored 14 points and made 7 assists. Moritz Wagner had a huge impact with 18 points in 13 minutes played.
After the win over Minnesota, the Magic hold a record of 18 wins and 50 losses. This still sees the Magic last in the Eastern Conference but means that Houston hold the worst record in the NBA by virtue of having played a game less. Over the last 10 games played the Magic have won 5, including the last 2. The home record stands at 8 wins of 31 games played. On the road the record is 10 wins in 37 games played. Points per game sees the Magic scoring 104, whilst conceding 111.6.
Unfortunately through results around Orlando became the first team eliminated from playoff contention.
The Philadelphia 76ers
The Sixers last game was the destruction suffered at the hands of Brooklyn by 129-100. Joel Embiid again led the team with 27 points and 12 rebounds. It was his 33rd double-double of the season.
Philadelphia’s record is 40 wins and 25 losses, seeing them 3rd in the Eastern Conference. Of the last 10 games played they have won 7 times. At home the 76ers have 19 wins in 33 games played and on the road it is 21 wins in 32 played. In points per game Philly score 108.4 whilst conceding 106.4.
Head-To-Head – The Philadelphia 76ers
The Magic lead the all time head-to-head regular season matchup by 79-45 in 123 games played.
This will be the fourth and final meeting this season. The first game came in Philly on Game Day 22 with the 76ers winning 96-101. Franz Wagner scored 27 points and Mo Bamba made 17 rebounds and 6 blocks. It was also the game in which Jalen Suggs fractured his right thumb.
The second match was in Orlando on Game Day 40. It was a hard fought loss for Orlando by 116-106. Orlando failed to avoid both live ball turnovers and committing unnecessary fouls. Joel Embiid made 31 points, as Seth Curry, Tobias Harris and Furkan Korkmaz all scored 20 points or more. Andre Drummond added 12 points from the bench.
The last meeting was a tale of Orlando holding a 10 point half time lead, then collapse in the third quarter, losing by 110-123. Mo Bamba had a career night with 32 points, unfortunately Joel Embiid was unstoppable with a career matching high score of 50 points.
Last season the Magic were swept 3-0. The 76ers now have 7 game winning streak over Orlando. This is not a good road destination for Orlando recently, not winning a fixture in Philadelphia since December 2016.
In the playoffs it is 5-5, Philly taking the 1999 series 3-1, Orlando the 2009 series 4-2. Both series were first round match ups.
Our Opponents – The Philadelphia 76ers
The Doc Rivers coached Philly have a different look to when we last played in January. James Harden, DeAndre Jordan and Paul Millsap have come in. Seth Curry, Ben Simmons and Andre Drummond moved out to Brooklyn.
Injury News – Danny Green is confirmed as out for tonight’s game.
Last Starting Lineup – James Harden (PG), Tyrese Maxey (SG), Tobias Harris (PF), Matisse Thybulle (SF), Joel Embiid (C).
Bench Unit – Shake Milton, Georges Niang, DeAndre Jordan, Furkan Korkmaz, Isaiah Joe, Paul Reed, Paul Millsap (DNP), Charlie Brown Jr (DNP), Charles Bassey (DNP), Myles Powell (DNP), Jaden Springer (DNP)
The Orlando Magic Lineup And Injury Report
Injury Report – Coach Jamahl Mosely will be awaiting information from his support staff before settling on his final selection to start. Jalen Suggs continues to be questionable with the ankle issue that has troubled him recently. The injury was present again during the victory over Minnesota. Mo Bamba is a newly questionable due to calf bruising. Jonathan Isaac (rehabilitation of surgically repaired left knee) and Bol Bol (out for the season after surgery to a foot injury) will remain absent.
Final Thoughts On An Early Tip For The Sixers Visit To Orlando
Orlando will be awaiting the updates on both Bamba and Suggs. The absence of either will be a huge blow to Orlando’s opportunity to win. Bamba has been scoring effectively and continues to be a strong defender, ranking 5th in the league for blocks at 1.7 per game. Suggs brings defensive intensity and explosive pace to the offence. It would be interesting to see him go against Harden now as he progresses towards the end of his first NBA season.
Chuma Okeke will have a role to play again. His defence has seen him rising up the NBA rankings in steals and his impact on the teams defensive plus/minus rating.
There will be a battle again for Wendell Carter Jr to get his teeth into as he tries to slow the impact of Joel Embiid. Embiid will again be falling about exaggerating any contact to get to the free throw line and see his opponent in foul trouble.
Franz Wagner can be impactful in getting Orlando points. His ability to cut to the basket is something to which the Sixers were vulnerable in an earlier meeting. And here’s hoping Markelle Fultz can impact against the team who gave up on him.
Philly do not take a high amount of shots, 29th in the NBA for total field goals attempted and 28th from beyond the three-point line. However their accuracy in shot making is solid. As already mentioned they look to get to the free throw line, being 4th in attempts but are the best for free throws made and percentage. They remain a lowly ranked team in all categories of rebounding but block shots with the best in the league.
Let’s Go Magic!