After another embarrassing loss, the Orlando Magic look to rebound when they take on the Philadelphia 76ers Monday night.
Orlando’s 106-85 loss to Indiana Sunday evening was their fourth in five games and dropped their record to 12-8. The 76ers enter with a record of 14-6.
The Magic are 16th in offensive rating (102.7), have improved to 15th in defensive rating (101.9) and play at the league’s 26th-fastest pace (89.5). The 76ers are fifth in offense (107.4), first in defense (94.6) and play at the league’s 20th fastest pace (90.9).
Tip-off from the Wells Fargo Center is scheduled for 7:00 pm EST and will be shown locally on Sun Sports.
As always, if you can’t watch the game, you can listen on the radio – in English on AM 580 WDBO and FM 96.5 and in Spanish on AM 1270 WRLZ.
The officials for tonight’s game are Mike Callahan, Josh Tiven and Sean Wright.
The Line: Philadelphia – 7.5 (179.5u)
*Jason Richardson is getting a night off. Rookie DeAndre Liggins is active.
**Jameer Nelson will miss his second straight game with concussion-like symptoms.
The Orlando Magic are reeling, having now lost four of their last five games, including three blowouts and a blown 27-point lead. They are in desperate need of a victory and their going to find that winning in Philadelphia is quite the task now – the Sixers are 10-2 at home.
The Sixers also boast the league’s top defense so the Magic are going to have to be much more careful on the offensive end. Orlando had their best shooting night in a while Sunday but turnovers and missed free throws absolutely killed them. They have to protect the ball and they can’t shoot under 50.0% from the charity stripe.
The Sixers have also been excellent on offense despite not having a go-to-guy. Sixth man Lou Williams is one of seven Sixers who average in double figures in scoring (one of them, big man Spencer Hawes, remains sidelined with an Achilles injury). Williams and starting point guard Jrue Holiday are going to create quite the challenge for Orlando’s point guards, especially with Jameer Nelson out of the lineup.
Dwight Howard is going to have to have a monster night. With Hawes out and the Sixers lacking size (7-footer Nikola Vucevic is also injured), former Magic player and Howard’s one-time mentor and friend, Tony Battie will be matched up with him. Battie who will be 36 in just under two weeks shouldn’t be any match for Howard at all.
(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN Florida’s Magic Insider (http://ESPNFlorida.com) and is the co-host of the ESPNFlorida.com Insiders Show Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him onTwitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here)
Tags: Andre Iguodala Chris Duhon Doug Collins Dwight Howard Elton Brand Glen Davis Hedo Turkoglu J.j. Redick Jameer Nelson Jason Richardson Jodie Meeks Jrue Holiday Larry Hughes Lou Williams Orlando Magic Otis Smith Philadelphia 76ers Quentin Richardson Ryan Anderson Spencer Hawes Stan Van Gundy Thaddeus Young Tony Battie Von Wafer