Philadelphia 76ers

Third Times The Charm, Sixers Look To Clinch Top Seed Against Orlando

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The Sixers look to regain some of their regular season magic as they look to take on Orlando in hopes of clinching the top seed in the east.

Back to back frustrating losses have the Philadelphia 76ers feeling down, but they’re not out yet. The team still has two opportunities to secure the top seed in the East, both against the Orlando Magic. Not only are both games against Orlando, but they’re both at home for Philly as well.

The excuses have run out, it’s time for results.

Joel Embiid will be more motivated than perhaps anyone as he’s made it clear, he means business this year. The rest of the team must approach the game with a similar attitude or before they know it, they could be down to the final game of the season.

Everybody must step up and do their part. Embiid, Simmons, and Tobias Harris must lead the team but the rest of the starters and the bench must perform as well. This is especially the case with Dwight Howard suspended.

Who Can Replace Superman?

In his absence, Doc Rivers will likely call upon Mike Scott to back up Embiid though many, including logic (not that one) would suggest he should utilize Paul Reed.

The idea of giving Howard’s minutes to Reed makes sense on two levels. First, you know what you’re getting out of Mike Scott (not enough) while in Reed, you have a chance to uncover a major diamond in the rough.

Second, whether or not Reed is going to make the playoff rotation (he won’t), his development is crucial for the bench’s future, especially since he is at least a net-neutral to Scott in terms of impact.

Injuries Favor The Sixers

For the Sixers, only Matisse Thybulle appears in the injury report and he’s yet to be ruled out completely. The Magic however are a different story. They’ve suffered and unjust amount of injuries this season and are effectively limping into the offseason.

They will be without the following players: Jonathan Isaac, Markelle Fultz, James Ennis, Terrence Ross, Michael Carter-Williams and Chuma Okeke. The team could also be without Otto Porter Jr. and Mo Bamba. It’s amazing they’re even able to field a team but they will, and the Sixers have to treat them as if they were at full health.

The Sixers will tip off against Orlando at 8:00 PM EST tonight and you can watch the game on NBC Sports Philadelphia or NBA League Pass. You can also listen live as always at 97.5 FM The Fanatic.

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Philadelphia 76ers Managing Editor for Philly Sports Network and host of the @baseline_scoop. Follow me on Twitter @ZCiavoPSN and follow the rest of our team for more quality content.

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical" - DR. J

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