By: Kylan Watson
After an emotional win on Saturday Afternoon the Philadelphia 76ers faced the Orlando Magic for the beginning of a two-game series. Despite dominating the first half and giving them every reason to quit the Magic went on a third quarter scoring run that Philly had no answers for, and they were able to beat them 119-109.
The Sixers started the game off hot and they put the Magic on their heels early in the game. Joel Embiid (30-points and grabbed 11-rebounds), Tobias Harris (17-points), and Matisse Thybulle (10-points) scored 24 combined points in the first quarter that was as many points as the Magic had in that quarter. The Sixers were able to use their length to disrupt the Magic’s offensive plays and they were threatening to run the young and athletic Orlando squad off the court. Had the game ended by half-time the Sixers would have their eighth straight victory instead of this disappointing game that they let get away from them.
Orlando had everything working against them and to their credit they made this a competitive game. They were able to finally get off the blocks and scored 48-points in the third quarter to take this game from Philly. The trio of Paolo Banchero (29-points), Mo Wagner (22-points), and Franz Wagner (19-points) combined for 70 of the Magic’s 119-points and Philly had no answers for them. Banchero in particular would use his athleticism and quickness to get whatever shot he wanted from the field and if he was cutoff. He would find the open teammate for the wide-open shot. Orlando outhustled and outshot the Sixers. For example, if the ball was loose it found a Magic player and the possession ended with a wide-open shot. Philly just could not get a stop when it mattered, the Sixers put it in cruise control tonight after getting out to a 21-point lead. The Magic showed them that anything can happen in the NBA and tonight they were on the losing side of a comeback victory. Thanks to the youth and athleticism of the Magic.
The Sixers have to improve their perimeter defense and must find that team that dominated the Denver Nuggets and Brooklyn Nets the last two games. The offensive and defensive execution was not there tonight and they have to face this same Magic team again on Wednesday night. If they want to get back in the win column they will need to get back to basics. That includes keeping the ball moving like they did earlier in the contest to find the best shot on offense. Additionally, they need to stay attached to their man if they want to stifle the Magic’s athleticism. Tonight, they had to use a zone defense to protect their players who were in foul trouble, they will need to communicate on defense and cut off the paint opportunities for the Magic. They are not a good jump shooting team and forcing them to take jump shots could help the Sixers get their 33rd victory of the season.
One thought on “Downed Sixers”