PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The last time the Sixers won three straight games, it was the end of November. They’ve got a chance to win their third in a row on Monday night at the Wells Fargo Center, and it seems like the basketball gods are swinging chances in their favor.
The Magic not only sit with a record of 14-33, and have lost nine straight games, but will likely be without four players in their matchup with the Sixers. Orlando will play the game without Arron Afflalo, and JJ Redick, arguably their two best players, as well as point guard Jameer Nelson and DeQuan Jones. The injuries will leave the Magic with only eight players available for the game, the minimum number that an NBA team must dress to be eligible for a game.
One of the players in uniform for Orlando will look familiar, perhaps to the distress to many Sixers fans, that’s Magic center Nikola Vucevic. Vucevic went to the Magic as part of the Andrew Bynum trade, and has been very productive this year, turning himself into one of the best defensive rebounders in the league. Vucevic has started all 47 games for the Magic, averaging 13.5 points and 12.5 rebounds per game, while shooting almost 53% from the field.
The other former Sixer that landed in Orlando in that trade was Moe Harkless, the Sixers’ first round pick in 2012. Harkless, largely considered to be a project, has seen more playing time while Afflalo has been out with a calf injury. Harkless has played 30 minutes or more for three straight games, the first time he’s played more than 30 minutes in any game this season.
KYW’s Matt Leon talked to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Bob Cooney about tonight’s game: