Orlando Magic @ Philadelphia 76ers


The Orlando Magic will look to start a new win streak when they take on the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night. The Magic got a consistent effort from their supporting cast to survive a poor game from Dwight Howard (7 points, 5 rebounds) and earn a 96-80 win over the Miami Heat. The 76ers are coming off a 99-90 loss at the hands of the Lakers in Los Angeles on Friday night.

Update: Elton Brand will not start because of his calf injury.

These two teams met in the first round of the NBA playoffs a year ago. Philadelphia pushed Orlando to six games after taking a 2-1 series lead behind two game-winning buzzer beaters, one from Andre Iguodala in game one and one from Thaddeus Young in game three. Orlando went on to win the next three games, including a blowout game six victory without suspended Center Dwight Howard and injured Shooting Guard Courtney Lee.

These two teams also met on opening night. Orlando won 120-106.

The Sixers enter the game with a record of just 22-36 and are only 10-17 at home. Orlando is 40-20 and has posted a 17-14 road record.

Tip-off from the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, PA is scheduled for 7:00 pm EST and you can watch the game locally on FSN Florida and nationally on NBA TV. As always, if you can’t watch the game, you can listen to it locally on WDBO AM 580 and in Spanish on WONQ AM 1030.

The Line: Orlando -3.5



Dwight Howard
Rashard Lewis
Matt Barnes
Vince Carter
Jameer Nelson


Samuel Dalembert
Thaddeus Young
Andre Iguodala
Jrue Holiday
Lou Williams

These two teams met on opening night and the Magic ran the 76ers off the court, winning 120-106. Orlando had six players score in double figures led by Dwight Howard’s 21 points and 15 rebounds. Orlando scored 41 second half points, built a 23-point halftime and led by 31 entering the fourth quarter. Marreese Speights came off the bench to lead the 76ers with 26 points.

Despite the loss of Point Guard Andre Miller to the Portland Trail Blazers, the 76ers were looking forward to a third straight playoff appearance but that was not in the cards.

Elton Brand returned from his injury but he has struggled mightily. Brand is averaging just 13.8 points per game and 6.5 rebounds per game, the worst numbers of his career. Brand’s injuries have caught up to him and he just doesn’t seem to have it any more from a physical standpoint.

The 76ers rank just 20th in offensive efficiency and score 97.6 points per game.

The offense is led by Andre Iguodala, who scored 17.2 points per game but shoots just 43.2%. Iguodala is also Philadelphia’s second-leading rebounder (6.9 per game) and their leader in assists (5.9 per game). During the regular season last year, Iguodala averaged 18.3 points per game, 7.3 rebounds per game and 6.3 assists per game against the Magic. He averaged 21.5 points per game, 6.6 assists per game and 6.3 rebounds per game in the postseason last year.

Lou Williams has been a nice player at guard, scoring 14.8 points per game and 4.1 assists per game.

The 76ers will need other players, like Brand or Forward Thaddeus Young, to step up if they hope to have a chance of defeating the Magic.

Rookie Jrue Holiday has replaced Allen Iverson in the starting lineup. Iverson is caring for his sick daughter.

Defensively, the 76ers give up 100.3 points per game and rank 11th in efficiency.

Magic Center Marcin Gortat is returning to the scene of what he calls his best memory in the NBA – his 11-point, 15-rebound performance against the 76ers in game 6 of their first round playoff series. Gortat was filling in for the suspended Dwight Howard and started in the game. Gortat isn’t sure if he will play much against the 76ers on Monday but he said the Wachovia Center will bring back some good memories.

“I got all those great memories from that place,” Gortat said. “We’ll see. Probably Dwight’s going to play 44-and-a-half minutes tomorrow and I’m just going to step in for three-and-a-half, but I’ll be ready. I’ll be ready If coach tells me to play more, I’m ready. I’m working every day, working on my strengths and working on my energy.”

This is another game the Magic should win as long as they come out with good energy and give a good effort, but the Magic are on the second night of a back-to-back. Philadelphia hasn’t played since Friday and they gave a strong effort against the Los Angeles Lakers in that game.

HTD will leave you with an old school Magic-Sixers picture featuring one of the greatest players in the history of each franchise.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger and a contributor at NFL Mocks Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Twitter to follow him daily and you can get the HTD app here).