Orlando showed some passion by winning their season opener (109-94) against one of the east new powerhouses Chicago. And they did it with ease. The Magic looked so good mainly because Dwight Howard looked like a superstar regardless of being mostly guarded by four-time defensive player of the year Ben Wallace. Howard had 27 points and 11 rebounds. He made 9 of 12 shots on an assortment of dunks and low post moves.
The Magic, however, have many other reasons to be happy about. Jameer Nelson proved he was ready for being the go-to guy, finishing with 21 points and Grant Hill showed exactly how he can help the Magic to win putting up 19 points on 5 of 7 shooting. Assuming those three playing the unselfish, high-speed game throughout the season, and as long as Hill is healthy, the Magic should win more regularly than they have been for many years.
The 76ers got Iverson and Webber and some mediocre role players but what they desperately need is someone inside who can make his presence felt defensively. As a matter of fact they also need a stronger bench plus, a decent shooting guard to be competitive in this league. Philly overcame poor Atlanta in their opener only thanks to Allen Iverson`s great play. Webber had a difficult time getting untracked offensively and made just 4 of 16 shots for eight points. That kind of effort is hardly enough against the Magic tonight.
We expect the Magic to play inside-out as much as possible during tonigh`s game. They want to try to establish Dwight's presence at the post and see how the 76ers are going to try to defend him. If the Sixers are going to double team him, expect Nelson and Hill taking care of the offense. The 76ers might have a punchers chance going into the 4th but at the end they still going to get man handled. Pinnacle offers -6 as a handicap for the Magic. Take it with medium (-) stakes.
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