Sixers Don’t Believe in Magic, Win 96-88


Sixers came into game trying  to avenge themselves after a horrible showing in the teams final home game of 2014 in a blowout lost to the Charlotte Hornets. Sixers defeated the Orlando Magic by a final score of 96-88. Sixers are 3-23 on the season and played with so much energy it was actually exciting to watch this team tonight. Sixers finished the game with 20 fast break points after only having nine players available  to play. As I watched this game I actually had to say to myself that even though it was a lowly talented Magic squad, games like this are what this “rebuild” is all about. Sixers played active on the defensive end and it led to easy scoring. So much easy scoring that three Sixer players finished the game in double figures.

This game was huge for a team who is not expected to make much of any impact at all at least in the win column. The Sixers, who are notoriously bad from the free throw line shot 20/25 and that is saying a lot because they have the worst team free throw shooting percentage in the league. Early in the game Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel exchanged what looked to be fierce words with one another and had to be separated by team officials. After that the two really fed the hunger of one another and used that intensity to propel this team to a win. Lets look at some of the stand out players from tonight’s victory.

Stars of the Game

Michael Carter-Williams: B+

Carter-Williams finished with 21 points, six assists and four rebounds. He clearly is in a zone after a slow start returning from injury. He has exuded a ton of leadership and it feels good to see him be rewarded with a win tonight. Shooting 7-of-12 from the field and 6-of-8 from the free-throw line. Of course. to some he needs to get his turnovers in check and to the outsiders he wont get respect until he does. Tonight he finished with six turnovers. All in all, I think he played a solid game and hope he continues to improve his shot selection.

K.J. McDaniels: B

McDaniels is a real bright spot on this team and is a true custom of what Hinkie can find in the second round. McDaniels finished with nine points and played with so much energy it really brought the team to life when it was struggling and need a spark. Whether it was a block or a timely rebound not only did the bench enjoy it but his outing tonight was even “Mother Approved” as KJ’s mother was in attendance and was not quiet about cheering for her baby boy.

Henry Sims/ Nerlens Noel: A

Shocking that I saved my perfect grade for the Sixers big-men, but I had no choice. If you watched the game tonight, both Henry Sims and Nerlens are really the key reason why the team came away with a win. Sims finished with a double-double and set the tone early while the team had the task of keeping the opposition out of the painted area. Shooting 5-of-11 is  far from perfect but Sims hit a ton of timely baskets that kept this team alive. Nerlens, finished 5-of-13 for 13 points and was perfect from the free throw line. After a heated exchange with Carter-Williams and few minutes on the bench, Noel came in and absolutely played very aggressive and it was a moment that Sixers fans have longed for. Noel seems to be coming into his own but still has a long way to go. Tonight is a was stepping stone in his maturity of his game as an NBA player.

Next Game

The Sixers play the Miami Heat next and can steal a win because they are vastly under achieving due to injury and poor play. Stay tuned as this holiday road trip is about to heat up, literally.