The Sixers have struggled to stay healthy recently. Both Spencer Hawes and Nikola Vucevic have been sidelined with injuries recently. Hawes has missed the last seven games and has been ruled out for tonight’s game with a left Achilles strain. Vucevic has missed the last four games and is listed as a game time decision with left knee quad strain. The Sixers signed free agent center Francisco Elson to give them some front court depth behind Tony Battie and Lavoy Allen. The Sixers currently have seven guys averaging in double figures and Jodie Meeks right on the edge of double digits as he averages 9.4 points per game. The Sixers are back in first place in points allowed per game at a staggering 87.0 points allowed per game. They are fourth in the NBA in points per game averaging 98.7 points per game.
The Sixers strength feeds off of the Magic’s weakness. The Magic have been held below 85 points in each of their last four losses, including a league low 56 points last Monday in Boston. The Magic have not won a game this year when scoring less than 94 points. In the Magic’s eight losses this year, they have not scored more than 89 points. The Sixers defense is going to cause problems for the magic. The Magic are lead by center Dwight Howard who is averaging 20.2 points per game to go along with 15.5 rebounds per game. They are also getting significant production out of fourth year power forward Ryan Anderson, who is averaging 16.3 points per game.
Tonight’s game serves as a homecoming of sorts for magic starting point guard Jameer Nelson. Nelson played in 125 games at Saint Joseph’s University, leading them to an undefeated regular season in 2003-04. He also attended Chester High School. Former Sixers first round pick (8th overall in 1998) Larry Hughes returns to the city where he first played as a member of the Magic.
Tipoff is at 7:00 pm at the Wells Fargo Center. Tickets are still available for tonight’s contest. The game can be seen on Comcast Sportsnet and heard on 94.1 WIP.
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