Philadelphia 76ers vs. Orlando Magic Game 2 Preview and Pick

Philadelphia 76ers +10 at Orlando Magic -10 O/U 193.5 7 PM ET Wednesday April 22, 2009 on NBA TV

76ers lead best of 7 series 1-0.

This season the Magic were 32-9 at home and the 76ers were 17-24 away from the City of Brotherly Love

Boy was I wrong. If you had asked me which series would most likely see a sweep I would have said Orlando over Philadelphia. Well, that aint gonna happen, as the 76ers shocked the Magic in game 1 to take a 1-0 lead in the series. The 76ers made a furious 4th quarter rally in game 1 outscoring the Magic 35-19 in the final period to win by 2 points. I was right in predicting that the 76ers could not contain Dwight Howard, as he did have a big game 1, but I did not think that the 76ers could shoot a FG of 51%, which is exactly what they did. Andre Iguodala was the hero of game 1 burying a late jumper with only a few seconds remaining for the win.

The Magic have to play better perimeter defense and not let the 76ers back into the game after getting such a big lead. The 76ers trailed by 14 points heading into the 4th quarter and won the game. Howard and the Magic simply can’t do that again. They had a chance to take a 1-0 series lead, but blew it in the final period and now they have to win tonight or they will head to Philly in an 0-2 hole.

Basketball Sportsbooks have the Magic as 10-point favorites in this game with a total around 193.5. The Magic are posted at -600 as home favorites and the 76ers are posted at +450 as road dogs.

In game 1 the 76ers beat the Magic 100-98. The high scorer for the 76ers in that game was Andre Iguodala going for 20 points on 10/23 shooting. For the game the 76ers were on fire shooting 41/80 for a FG% of 51.3%. The high scorer for the Magic in game 1 was Dwight Howard going for 31 points on 11/13 shooting and he also pulled down 16 boards. For the game the Magic shot 37/76 for a FG% of 48.7%.

This season the Magic ranked 4th in scoring (101 ppg) and the 76ers ranked 22nd (97.4 ppg). On defense the Magic ranked 6th this season in points allowed (94.4 ppg) and the 76ers ranked 11th (97.3 ppg). The Magic only allowed opponents to shoot a FG% of just above 43% in the regular season, but in game one allowed the 76ers to shoot just over 51%, which is not going to get it done. Philly had the slight edge this season on the boards, as they had a rebounding differential of +1.9 rpg and the Magic were at +1.1 rpg.

This season the Magic were an NBA best 49-32-1 ATS and the 76ers were 36-45-1. In terms of Over/Under games this season the Magic were 36-45-1 and the 76ers were 41-39-2.

On the injury front neither team is reporting any significant injuries.

Even though the Magic are not reporting injuries two of their starters, Hedo Turkoglu (sprained left ankle) and Rashard Lewis (right knee tendinitis), are banged up and it showed in game 1. The 76ers attacked them all night and the two legit scorers also had problems on the offensive end only scoring 21 points on a combined 7/19 shooting. Howard can’t do it all, as was shown in game 1, and these guys need to help Superman out in the scoring department. If these guys can put up their usual numbers the Magic will be hard to beat.

Howard received a scratched eye in game 1, but he should go tonight and you do not need that much vision to throw down from a few feet away.

PG Rafer Alston also had a poor shooting night only going 5/15 from the floor.

The perimeter players of the Magic have to play better D tonight, as in game 1 they allowed the 76ers to shoot a 3-point FG% of 58.3%. Seldom used 76ers F Donyell Marshall came in and was 3/4 from downtown.

The Magic have to get back to playing their game, which is defense and a big dose of Howard and 3 point bombs, The Magic were the best 3-point shooting team in the league this season, but in game 1 they only shot 5/18 from beyond the arc for a 3-point FG% of only 27.8%.

Howard needs help and if he gets it tonight and the Magic can play some defense they should even this series at a game apiece.

Jason’s Pick: I don’t know how else to sway it other than the 76ers are going to get punished for that stunt they pulled in game 1. (by winning) Look for the Magic to win big tonight.