The Orlando Magic start their home stand by hosting the in-form Philadelphia 76ers. The Magic find themselves atop the Eastern Conference standings heading into this game while the Sixers continue adapting to life under Doc Rivers' tutelage.
Fixture: Philadelphia 76ers vs Orlando Magic | NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Thursday, December 31st, 6:30 PM ET (Friday, 5 AM IST)
Venue: Amway Center, Orlando, FL
Philadelphia 76ers Preview
The Philadelphia 76ers have picked up on their biggest strength from last season and doubled down on defense to start the 2020-21 campaign. Despite having more shooters on the team now, efficiency on the offensive side of things is still a work in progress.
Danny Green trends on Twitter for the wrong reasons every time the Philadelphia 76ers play. But Seth Curry has made the starter's spot his own. He's averaging 45% from beyond the arc. Tobias Harris has also found his rhythm going while Joel Embiid seems to have left his injury troubles behind.
Key Player - Joel Embiid
Joel Embiid is the Philadelphia 76ers' best player on both ends of the court right now. He's averaging 28.3 points and 13.3 rebounds through four games. Embiid's managing to get to the free-throw line often to keep the scoreboard ticking on nights where his shots aren't falling as was the case against Toronto.
Philadelphia 76ers Predicted Lineup
G Ben Simmons, G Seth Curry, F Danny Green, F Tobias Harris, C Joel Embiid
Orlando Magic Preview
The Orlando Magic have made good use of a favorable schedule to record a 4-0 start for the first time in franchise history. Steve Clifford's side ranks in the top 10 for both offensive and defensive ratings. They have four home games coming up now and doing well against the Philadelphia 76ers will set the tone for the other three.
Terrence Ross continued to be the Orlando Magic's scoring leader with 21 points per game despite coming off the bench. Markelle Fultz has also taken a huge leap while improving both his scoring and playmaking ability.
Key Player - Nikola Vucevic
Nikola Vucevic is the one setting the tone for the Orlando Magic on both ends of the court. He's a volume scorer who can space the floor in addition to his rebounding abilities. He scored 28 points on 12-of-18 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds in Orlando Magic's last game against OKC Thunder.
Orlando Magic Predicted Lineup
G Markelle Fultz, G Evan Fournier, F Dwayne Bacon, F Aaron Gordon, C Nikola Vucevic
Sixers vs Magic Match Prediction
It's a game of defense versus offense as the Philadelphia 76ers take on the Orlando Magic. Even though the Sixers are stronger on paper, they just don't have that edge to their game while going forward. The Magic, meanwhile, aren't slouches on defense and can turn to several options for getting a bucket. Expect Vucevic and co. to come out on top in a close affair.
Where to watch Sixers vs Magic?
National broadcast of the game will be available on NBA TV. Local coverage of the same will be carried by NBC Sports Philadelphia and FOX Sports Florida. You can also live stream this matchup via the NBA League Pass.
Published 31 Dec 2020, 14:34 IST