76ers Eye Bounce-Back Win Over the Magic in South Philly.
The 76ers had a humbling encounter with the Wizards on Monday with a nearly 30-point loss down in DC.
There was simply zero help for Joel Embiid and the team crumbled defensively, showing that the Sixers are, in fact, human after their hot streak to start the new year. Now, the 76ers have been gifted a golden opportunity to bounce back into the win column tonight, hosting the league-bottom Orlando Magic.
The Magic come into this contest having won a single game since facing off against the 76ers. Orlando currently sits with the league-worst record at 8-37, obviously good for the bottom of the Eastern Conference.
Despite Monday’s loss, the 76ers are still in the hunt for a top-seeded spot in the East. Philly currently holds a 25-18 record, good for the sixth spot in the East, with the Bucks and Cavs not far ahead of them.
Injuries/Health and Safety Protocols
The last time these two teams matched up, the Magic had about half their roster on the injury report; this time around, Orlando should be in a healthier spot for the contest. The Magic are still missing former Sixer Markelle Fultz as he rehabs from a knee injury. The other notable injuries on the report are Wendell Carter, who is questionable for tonight’s contest with a hamstring issue, and Michael Carter-Williams, who will miss the game with an ankle injury.
For the 76ers, the injury report is light but notable. Shake Milton is still trying to return from the back injury that has sidelined him for a month. Danny Green will not suit up for tonight’s contest against Orlando with the hip injury he sustained last week. Matisse Thybulle, who took a very scary fall against the Celtics last week, is still out with a shoulder sprain he suffered in the fall.
Get Embiid SOME HELP
While the 76ers were certainly due an off game after such a hot stretch to kick off January, Monday’s loss to the Wizards did give Sixers fans a glimpse into the painful world of Joel Embiid getting no help.
Even looking at the box score, it becomes clear how bad it got down in the nation’s capital. Outside of Tyrese Maxey, who ended up with 18 points running the second unit, no Sixer scored above eight points in the contest. That includes Tobias Harris, who had another terrible offensive output and Seth Curry, who took only nine shots.
While the 76ers have climbed the standings and overall rankings in the NBA, some obvious weaknesses will hold this team back down the line. On Monday against the Wizards, one of the glaring issues showed its ugly head against a team that isn’t an easy win like the Rockets or Magic. If Embiid is the only contributor on the offensive end, this team cannot go far. Even if Embiid gets compared to some of the GOATs, he needs help.
The defense was undoubtedly another big issue and could continue with Matisse Thybulle still sidelined for the foreseeable future. Thanks to foul trouble, Tobias Harris missed an extended amount of the Wizards game, and Washington got any look they wanted on the perimeter thanks to lackluster guard defense from Philly. Hopefully, Doc Rivers can get the fellas back on track going into tonight’s contest.
Magic-76ers Odds from Parx Sportsbook
Tonight’s odds brought to you by Parx Sportsbook, the official gambling partner of The Liberty Line.
|Orlando Magic||+550||+12(-110)||O 214.5(-108)|
|Philadelphia 76ers||-835||-12(-112)||U 214.5(-113)|
The NBA regular season is full of hot and cold streaks; the schedule can make any team string wins together or drop easy games. Luckily the 76ers have a chance to get back into the win column tonight against the certified worst team in the league. Don’t be surprised if the Magic keep it close again as they did down in Florida earlier in the month.
Still, I expect a 76ers win even if I incorrectly predicted that on my last preview. Just sit back, and appreciate Joel Embiid’s dominance as Philly should cruise to an easy bounce-back win. It is the Sixers, though, so don’t fully buy any game as a win in this day and age.
Mandatory Credit: Tayfun Coskun.