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Sixers-Magic preview: praying for a dry court

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The Sixers will play the Magic on Friday night, if the court holds up.

NBA: Orlando Magic at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

After an unexpected three day break from game action, the Philadelphia 76ers (4-14) return to a dry court on Friday evening to take on the Orlando Magic (7-12).

Coming off a 122-95 slaughter at the hands of the Toronto Raptors, the Sixers were hoping to rebound against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night. Brett Brown announced prior to the game that Joel Embiid’s playing allotment had been increased to 28 minutes per game, and a matchup against star center DeMarcus Cousins would’ve been the perfect matchup for the 22-year-old to showcase his skills.

But it was not meant to be, as the court was covered in a wet, filmy substance, causing the game to be postponed to a later date. The Sixers will hope that the playing conditions will be good enough to suit up, and so will the fans, who will get to see Embiid play. Philadelphia announced on Thursday that Embiid, who was named Rookie Of The Month alongside Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, will play 28 minutes on Friday night against the Orlando Magic. He will sit for the team’s game against the Boston Celtics on Saturday evening. The Magic’s frontline of Nikola Vucevic and Bismack Biyombo provide a quality mix of solid defense and scoring, but Embiid dismissed them rather easily earlier in the season, tallying 18 points, 10 rebounds, and four blocks in just his third professional basketball game.

The Sixers are also catching the Orlando Magic catching the Magic on the back end of a back-to-back. On Friday night, they went down to the wire with the Memphis Grizzlies in a chippy contest, eventually falling 95-94 after Marc Gasol knocked down two free throws with 12.2 seconds left. Evan Forunier led the way for Orlando with 28 points on 11-14 shooting. The French shooting guard has been on a roll over his past five games, averaging 20.8 points and 4.8 assists on 50.7 percent shooting.

Expect a solid defensive matchup in Philadelphia. The Sixers are giving up just 98.3 points when Embiid plays, and Orlando has the sixth highest defensive efficiency in the league.


Time: 7:00 p.m.

TV: CSN Philly

Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic