Orlando Magic @ Philadelphia 76ers


The Orlando Magic will look to win for the 11th time in 12 games when they travel to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers on Monday night. The Magic have enjoyed some rest – they have not played in three days. Their last game, back on Thursday night, was a 108-102 victory over the Miami Heat in overtime. Philadelphia has played twice during that same span, losing 92-88 in New York to the Knicks on Friday night and 98-84 at home against Chicago on Saturday. The 76ers have lost seven of their last eight and 12 of their last 14.

These two teams have met twice this season. The Magic won 120-106 in Orlando on opening night and 126-105 in Philadelphia just three weeks ago.

These two squads also met in the first round of the 2009 playoffs with the Magic winning the series four games to two.

The Magic will likely be without backup Small Forward Mickael Pietrus and the 76ers will be without second-leading scorer Lou Williams, who left Saturday’s game against Chicago with back spasms. Allen Iverson will miss the remainded of the season and Thaddeus Young is out with a broken thumb.

The 76ers are just 24-46, but have been surprinsgly better on the road (13-23) than at home (11-23). The Magic, who enter the game with a record of 49-21, are 28-7 at home.

Tip-off from Wachovia Center in Philadelphia is scheduled for 7:00 pm EST and the game will be shown locally by FSN Florida. 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 -8.5


Orlando Magic

Dwight Howard
Rashard Lewis
Matt Barnes
Vince Carter
Jameer Nelson

Philadelphia 76ers

Samuel Dalembert
Elton Brand
Jason Kapono
Andre Iguodala
Jrue Holiday

The 76ers, despiste being a poor offensive team (they rank 21st in offensive rating (105.3) and score just 97.0 points per game), have had a lot of success against the Magic this season, scoring 105.5 points per game.

Of course, in each game, Orlando’s defense has relaxed because their offense eploded for 120 and 126 points in their two meetings.

The 76ers will be without Lou Williams but rookie Jrue Holiday lit up the Magic for a career-high 23 points, 6 assists and 2 steals three weeks ago. The Magic have struggled guarding opposing point guards so Holiday could be in for more success. Holiday, who is averaging just 7.5 points, 3.1 assists and grabbing 2.6 rebounds per game on the season, is scoring 14.1 points and dishing out 4.8 assists, and grabbing 4.8 rebounds per game during the month of March.

The 76ers are led by Andre Iguodala’s 16.9 points per game, but he’s shooting just 42.5% from the field (he shoots 46.1% for his career). 42.5% is the lowest of Iguodala’s career.

With Lou Williams injured, Allen Iverson out dealing with personal issues and Thaddeus Young out with a borken thumb, Elton Brand is the only player who averages in double figures in scoring, putting up 13.8 points per game on 48.4% shooting.

Second-year big man Marreese Speights who missed six game and the majority of three other games with an injured knee, scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds on Saturday against Chicago. Speights has averaged 17.0 points per game against the Magic this season including a 26-point performance on opening night.

Philadelphia’s defense hasn’t been much better than their offense. The 76ers give up 100.7 points per game and rank 18th in defensive rating (109.2).

The Magic have absolutely lit up the 76ers this season and there is no reason that they shouldn’t be ale to do it again. Jameer Nelson, a Philadelphia native, had one of his best games of the season against the 76ers three weeks back. He scored 22 points and dished out 10 assists in front of his hometown crowd and will no doubt be excited to play in front of the Philadelphia fans again.

Magic Forward Rashard Lewis, who seems to have slipped out of his slump, averaging 22.0 points per game over the last two games, may see his recent streak of good shooting continue. He has scored 19.0 points per game against the 76ers this season.

Not only do the Magic have a better team, but the 76ers are riddled with injury and played both Friday and Saturday, while the Magic have not taken to the court since Thursday.

(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).