Philadelphia 76ers at Orlando Magic Preview
The Philadelphia 76ers hope to continue their hot streak tonight as they are on the road to take on the Orlando Magic. The 76ers have won their last three games, including their Christmas Day matchup against the number one Milwaukee Bucks.
The 76ers are 23-10 and currently sit at fourth in the Eastern Conference. They are 7-3 in their last 10 but have been just 7-8 on the road this season. The Magic are 13-17 on the season and are 8th in the East. They won their last game and are 4-6 in their last 10. At home, they have a 9-6 record this season at Amway Center.
The 76ers and Magic last squared off on November 13, with the Magic walking away with a blowout win 112-97. Nikola Vucevic led the Magic with 25 points and Josh Richardson had 19 for Philly.
Time: 7 PM ET
Arena: Amway Center, Orlando, FL
Channel: NBA TV
76ers: Matisse Thybulle (O)
Magic: Mo Bamba (DTD), Al-Farouq Aminu, Michael Carter-Williams (O)
Philadelphia 76ers Starting Lineup
On Christmas Day, the Philadelphia 76ers proved that they should still be considered a legitimate title contender coming out of the Eastern Conference. Aside from a fourth-quarter rally by the NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks, they soundly beat the most dominant and one of the hottest franchises in the NBA.
“I think this team is designed for the playoffs,” Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said after the win. “I believe that the road that we have traveled so far has been a little bit erratic at times.
“Whether it’s the infrequency of our five players playing together, it’s still less than half the season we’ve had them. Whether it’s navigating through some zone, at times some lost leads. It’s like you’re under a microscope trying to move this team forward and trying to get it whole and improve it. But I think the landing spot is exciting.”
The 76ers limited all-star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo to just 18 points and they had six players score in double figures, including all five starters. Center Joel Embiid led Philadelphia with 31 points and 11 rebounds. Tobias Harris scored 22, Josh Richardson finished with 18 points and Ben Simmons racked up 15 points, 14 assists, and seven rebounds.
Furkan Korkmaz seemed to return to form off the bench as he scored 16 points in just 25 minutes.
Orlando Magic Starting Lineup
The Orlando Magic ended their three-game skid on Monday night with a 103-95 win over the Chicago Bulls. The Magic defense allowed just three Bulls players to finish with 10 or more points, while several of their own players had no problem finding the bottom of the net.
Terrence Ross led the Magic in scoring, with 26 points, which was a welcome sight after he had struggled mightily in their three-game losing streak.
“It felt good to finally make some shots,” Ross said. “Any time somebody makes shots, it’s going to have an impact on the whole team. It just happened to be me (against the Bulls).”
Nikola Vucevic had 21 points and seven rebounds in the game, Aaron Gordon added 16 points and 11 rebounds, Jonathan Isaac added 13 points and nine rebounds, and former 76er Markelle Fults had 13 points.
The Magic will need Ross again tonight, and they’ll need more from Evan Fournier in order to compete with the 76ers.
Key Player Matchups
Joel Embiid vs. Nikola Vucevic
Joel Embiid and Nikola Vucevic are two of the top centers in the NBA, so this always makes for an interesting matchup. Currently, Embiid is coming off a big game against the Bucks, but Vucevic is a slight step up in competition over Brook Lopez.
Ben Simmons vs. Markelle Fultz
Ben Simmons may receive a lot of flak for his lack of outside shooting prowess, but he has had a good season with Philadelphia. He can score, rebound and is the team’s primary distributor. He has the height to make him a tough defender and tough player to guard for other point guards, but he also has the speed and athleticism to not allow blow-bys. Fultz is likely chomping at the bit to look good against his former team that essentially gave up on him. He’s now a starter in Orlando and has done well this season.
Joel Embiid has the best projection of any player in game action tonight. He is available for $9.5k and is projected for 47.1 points. Fellow center Nikola Vucevic is available for $7.9k and is expected to finish with 42.7 fantasy points.
Tobias Harris is a solid value pickup, although his salary of $7.1k is on the higher end, but he is projected for 35.4 points. Jonathan Isaac is available for $6.2k with a fantasy points projection of 31.9 points.
Bet on Matchup
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