Sixers Hold On to Defeat Magic 101-96

Sixers C Joel Embiid
PHILADELPHIA, PA – MAY 05: Philadelphia 76ers Center Joel Embiid (21) looks toward the net during warmups before the Eastern Conference Semifinal Game between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers on May 05, 2018 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

In the year 2021, a game against the Orlando Magic is supposed to be a walk in the park; however, the Sixers made this much more interesting than necessary.

The Philadelphia 76ers hosted Orlando Magic for the second game of a two-game homestand. The Magic were without rising star Cole Anthony, Jonathan Isaac, and Markelle Fultz (among others), while the Sixers were the pinnacle of health, and yet, a game against a 4-18 team came down to the final moments.

The first quarter was encouraging from the Sixers as they finished up 31-19 after the first buzzer. The Magic stormed back and even led for a time, thanks in large part to a 35-27 third quarter. Thankfully, in the end, the Sixers were able to outlast Orlando in large part to Joel Embiid. What really is striking is just how terrible the team’s offense has looked for practically the entire month of November.

The Offense is Struggling

When the team was without the likes of Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, and so on, it was understandable that fans wouldn’t be watching the same offense that ranked first in the league over the first portion of the season. The slide wasn’t expected to be as drastic, though, as the Sixers now rank sixth in the league in offensive efficiency and fifteenth in points per game.

Tonight’s game wasn’t about a powerhouse offense being slowed down by some tremendous defense; the Magic are, in fact, one of the worst defensive teams in the entire league. No, tonight’s game showed that the Sixers’ offense, save for Seth Curry, is struggling, and in a big way.

Not only were Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey abysmal from the floor, but several key role players once again struggled to get their shots to fall. Danny Green, Furkan Korkmaz, and Georges Niang combined to shoot 6/19 from the floor and 3/14 from deep. Far from encouraging numbers, but at the end of the day, a win is a win.

Seth Curry Saves the Day

While the rest of the Sixers’ offense looked about as hot as a nice Gelati, Seth Curry was doing his part and more to carry the scoring load. With 24 points in 33 minutes, Curry led the way and was an incredible example of efficient shooting (10/13 from the field).

This is far from the first game where Curry thrived in a Sixers’ uniform, but it’s important to recognize that Curry is in the midst of a career year. So far this season, Curry is seeing career numbers in scoring, rebounds, FGA, 3PA, FTA, and FT%. That’s an impressive assortment of improvements.

Curry has been a revelation since joining the Sixers during the 2020 NBA Draft in what was, without a doubt, the most important move Daryl Morey has made as the Sixers’ President of Basketball Operations (to date).

The Sixers will next turn their attention to Massachusetts as they travel for a matchup against division rivals the Boston Celtics. Tip-off is at 7:30, and you can expect an all-out brawl of a game between two underperforming titans in the East.