Sixers look to win fifth straight game in Orlando

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For a team that so often draws the wrath of the fan base (myself included), the Sixers are on a nice little straight right now. Four straight wins have seen the Sixers surpass 0.500 for the first time since November, and there’s a mild January schedule to come over the next week or two.

The Sixers travel to Orlando to take on a Magic 7-31 team stuck in the Eastern Conference basement. This should be an easy win, even though that term is not in this team’s vocabulary.

Before the game, here are some observations and notes from me:

  • Tobias Harris’ revenge game? Harris spent two full seasons and two half-seasons with Orlando from 2013 through 2016. The common joke is that Harris frequently crushes his old teams (there are a fair number of them!), But in 21 games against the Magic in his career. , he averages just 16 points with a live shooting percentage of 53.7%, below his career rate of 56.3%. If there’s a time for Harris to step up, it’ll be in a nearly empty arena down the road where he doesn’t feel the need to drop f-bombs on Sixers fans who rightly boo him.
  • Who is the Magic player who has a massive first quarter and puts the Sixers in a first hole? I think Franz Wagner drains a few three while Harris and a few other guys are just doing the moves in defense.
  • Ignaz Brazdeikis has appeared in 16 games for the Magic this season. He played eight minutes in a single game last year for the Sixers last year. If the Sixers had won the championship in 2021, old Iggy would have had a ring. I will never get over it for the rest of my life.
  • Joel Embiid’s numbers since early December: 29.4 points, 11.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game with a true shooting percentage of 62.4%. That is compared to 28.5 points, 10.9 points and 2.8 assists per night with a true shooting percentage of 63.6% in his MVP finalist season in 2021. The dude is just bonkers. Imagine watching this team constantly without him on the team. Disgusting to think of it!
  • I hope Isaiah Joe has a few extra minutes tonight. He doesn’t care if there are two guys in his face, he pulls back from the bottom if he wants to. He went 5 of 8 to three and lost 18 points to Houston on Monday. Getting him to get those reps so he can be used as an instant attack weapon during the playoffs is important.
  • The fact that Markelle Fultz and Michael Carter-Williams are both on Magic’s roster, but neither playing tonight is a shame for all the material I could have used in this preview and on Twitter tonight.


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