The Orlando Magic have lost five games in a row and sit only 2.5 games up on the Sixers for the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference. Dwight Howard has shoved his head firmly up his own ass while trying or not trying to get Stan Van Gundy fired. The Sixers, as you know, have lost to both the Washington Wizards and Toronto Raptors by significant margins lately. Good thing this isn't football or hockey - one of these teams will definitely win this game. Hooray!
A win tonight would be huge for the Sixers playoff hopes and would go along way towards avoiding the Miami Heat juggernaut in the first round. Even though the offense got all the credit (blame) for boasting a second half against the Raptors were they managed all of 22 points, the defense gave up 55 first half points to the 24th ranked offense in the league. They're somehow still the top team in defensive efficiency though, and they've held Dwight to an average of 17 points on 16 shots in both games this season. Expect a lot of man-on-man banging down low with he and Elton Brand. Spencer Hawes will probably give it a shot at some point, too. That should give us a few laughs.
The Magic are pretty shorthanded tonight, minus Ryan Anderson and Hedo Turkoglu who are out with a sprained ankle and a busted cheekbone, respectively. The goal should be to get to Orlando in loads of foul trouble so the depleted bench is exposed, but the Sixers aren't the best at getting to the line, didn't you know? In the last five games, they've averaged 10.4 made free throws, even worse than their previous average of 13.1 per game. Only Elton has attempted more than 2 foul shots per game in that span. We'll see how much they attack tonight. They've been horrendous on the road of late. Not a good indicator of playoff success as a lower seed.
Some other major NBA Action (with Ahmad Rashad) tonight includes Boston taking on Indiana, Atlanta on the road against the tenacious Bobcats, and Milwaukee hosting the Portland Tankblazers. All with major playoff implications. Keep an eye on those. I'm excited to have Sixers basketball back on, if only because I'm tired of talking about the Raptors loss.