Magic (21-49, 10-24) at 76ers (47-23, 27-7 home )
- Time: 5 PST – 7 CST – 8 EST
- Place: The Center, Philadelphia, PA
- TV: Bally Sports Florida, NBC Sports Philadelphia, NBA League Pass
Simply put, the Philadelphia 76ers can nail down the top seed in the Eastern Conference with a win over the struggling Magic this evening.
Philly was blasted in Miami last night and maintains a one-game lead over the Nets and a two-game cushion on the Bucks with two games for each team remaining.
The 76ers had won eight in a row before dropping two in the last three nights to Indiana and the Heat.
Orlando is playing out the string with a plethora of upper echelon players from the roster continuing to be out with various injuries. The Magic have lost five in a row and 12 out of their last 15 games.
Philadelphia took the only other meeting between the two on Dec. 31 in Orlando, 116-92.
- Magic – Mo Bamba – (non-covid illness) – Questionable Michael Carter Williams – (ankle) James Ennis III – (calf) Markelle Fultz – (knee) Jonathan Isaac – (knee) Chuma Okeke – (ankle) Otto Porter Jr. – (foot) Terrence Ross – (back spasms)
- 76ers Joel Embiid – (non-covid illness) Furkan Korkmaz – (ankle) Shake Milton – (knee) Matisse Thybulle – (hand) – OUT
Vs. The Spread:
Magic (32-36-1, ATS)
- The Magic are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games
- The total has gone OVER in 12 of Orlando’s last 17 games
- Orlando is 5-12-1 ATS in the last 18 games this season
76ers (36-30-4, ATS)
- The UNDER has been the play in 4 of the Sixers’ last 6 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Philadelphia’s last 7 games
- The 76ers are 5-0 SU in their last 5 games vs. the Magic
Last Time Out:
The Atlanta Hawks smacked Orlando, 116-93, in Orlando as the Magic once again played with a thing roster due to injuries. R.J. Hampton led the Magic as he scored 18 points off the bench. Orlando shot only 38.6 percent from the floor while the Hawks continue their hold on the 4-seed as Miami and the Knicks are 0.5 games back.
An ailing Joel Embiid gave it a go, but scored only six points as he logged 25 minutes after dealing with the flu earlier this week. Tobias Harris led Philadelphia with 21 points while Shake Milton scored 12. The 76ers trailed 38-22 at the end of the first quarter and never recovered as Miami out-rebounded them, 47-30. It was only the third time all season Philadelphia had been out-rebounded.
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Orlando||+14 (-110)||+170||O 213½ (-110)|
|Sixers||-14 (-110)||-1400||U 213½ (-110)|
*Odds Courtesy of BetUS Sportsbook
The only advantage that the Magic could potentially have in this game is if for some reason Philadelphia doesn’t come out with a killer-instinct and toys with the Magic and leaves them in the game by the fourth quarter. That won’t happen as Orlando is the worst shooting team in the NBA at 42.9 percent and they also only make 34.3 percent (27th/NBA) from behind the arc. Orlando has shot 41.8 percent or worse in each game of the current five-game losing streak.
Key Magic Stat:
The Magic stat sheet is jumbled with comings and goings but the only full-time player in the post in tonight’s lineup is big man Wendell Carter, Jr., who was the prime component in the Nikola Vucevic trade to the Bulls in March. Carter has even struggled scoring the ball of late as he has averaged only 8.3 points in his last six games and has sat out three of the last nine. He has averaged 12.2 points and 8.3 rebounds in 26.8 minutes in his 21 games with Orlando.
Cole Anthony and Gary Harris should be a go in the Magic backcourt as Orlando’s struggling offense will likely run through what Anthony can do off the dribble and what Harris can do from behind the arc. Anthony only shoots 32.3 percent from long range, but have dished a team-high 187 assists and has gotten to the line 114 times and made 94 (82.5%). Harris has only made six triples in his last four games.
The ability to play at home against a lesser opponent for home court advantage in the East is a huge motivator here. With Joel Embiid listed as probable, it stands to reason hat he is feeling better from his bout with the flu and will probably be able to carry more of the load that last night as Orlando’s defense is last in the NBA at defending the paint and mid-range at 47.6 percent. Tobias Harris (19.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg) has proven all season his leadership and ability to rally the team if Embiid is injured on ill.
Key 76ers Stat:
Depth at guard is a luxury for the Sixers as Ben Simmons (14.3 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 6.9 apg) not only asserts himself at a top level on the offensive end, but he is Philadelphia’s defensive stopper. He is size and length on the point should keep Anthony out of the lane, which will look down Orlando’s offense. Seth Curry (44.4%-3) and Danny Green (40.4%-3) are a terrific tandem from three which allows Philly to play inside-out better than most teams with Embiid’s passing skills out of the boxes as he is fifth on the team with a 2.7 average per game.
Green and Curry have continued their efficiency in May. Green has made 89 threes out of the corner or off of the baseline while he is third in the NBA in players with at least 150 attempts off the baseline. Curry has shot 58.8 percent from three this month as that number leads the NBA for players with at least 150 attempts.
Winner: Sixers (-14) 120, Magic 103