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March 1st gamethread: Why the 76ers will win tonight

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ORLPHI-gamethreadWTF.jpg

 

Watch live:

http://www.justin.tv/#r=wK22Q1A~

http://atdhe.net/

 

For live updates and previews:

http://www.nba.com

http://espn.go.com/nba/

 

Stan Van Gundy theorized after the Orlando Magic's latest road loss that Dwight Howard must be "absolutely dominant" for his team to win, but it responded with an easy victory in which Howard was hardly a factor.

 

The Magic used a similar formula for success in their last visit to Philadelphia.

 

Orlando visits the Wachovia Center on Monday night for the first time since knocking the 76ers out of the playoffs with Howard suspended, while Philadelphia finds itself needing a major turnaround to return to the postseason.

 

The Magic (40-20) seemed destined for a first-round Game 7 against the 76ers (22-36) last spring after Howard, who had averaged 24.0 points and 15.8 rebounds in the first five games, was suspended for Game 6 for swinging an elbow at Samuel Dalembert.

 

Instead, Orlando cruised to a 114-89 victory in Philadelphia behind 29 points from Rashard Lewis and 11 points and 15 boards from backup center Marcin Gortat.

 

Then-Sixers guard Andre Miller said then he felt the Magic were better without Howard, but this season the numbers - and Van Gundy - hardly agree. Orlando is 19-5 when Howard scores more than 20 points, with his 26-point, 10-rebound effort in a 100-93 loss at New Orleans on Friday a rare exception.

 

"We've gotten to the point where Dwight can't merely be very good," Van Gundy said, lamenting that the Magic played "awful basketball." "He has to be absolutely dominant for us to win."

 

The rest of Van Gundy's team proved him wrong - for at least one night - on Sunday.

 

Like the Game 6 win against the Sixers, Orlando's supporting cast came through against Miami with its star ineffective. Howard was held to seven points in 24 foul-plagued minutes, but Lewis scored 22, Vince Carter added 17 and Gortat chipped in nine points, seven boards and three blocks in a 96-80 win.

 

"You never want to see a guy struggle the way Dwight did, but if he does, we've got no choice but to step up and contribute a little more,'' Lewis said.

 

That ended Howard's run of 20 consecutive double-doubles, though he has a six-game streak - playoffs included - against the Sixers. Howard had 21 points and 15 boards in a 120-106 home victory over Philadelphia on Oct. 28 as Lewis served a suspension.

 

Monday's meeting is the first of three against Orlando over the Sixers' final 24 games, but a playoff rematch seems highly unlikely. Philadelphia has lost five of seven after a five-game winning streak, and it's currently 6 1/2 games behind Charlotte for the East's eighth playoff spot.

 

The Sixers lost the last half of their four-game western road trip, including a visit to the Magic's NBA finals opponent on Friday. Philadelphia held a one-point halftime lead on the Los Angeles Lakers but lost 99-90 despite a game-high 24 points from Dalembert.

 

"We feel like we can win against everybody," said Andre Iguodala, who had 13 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds. "... We are going to have to take a chance and sneak up on them and we almost did that tonight."

 

Point guard Louis Williams (18.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists) has been playing well over his last five games, but Philadelphia's chances of a win Monday may depend on what it can get from Elton Brand.

 

Brand had averaged 15.1 points over his last 16 games before being held to two against the Lakers. The Sixers are 12-9 when Brand scores 16 points or more.

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ORLPHI-gamethreadWTF.jpg

 

Watch live:

http://www.justin.tv/#r=wK22Q1A~

http://atdhe.net/

 

For live updates and previews:

http://www.nba.com

http://espn.go.com/nba/

 

Stan Van Gundy theorized after the Orlando Magic's latest road loss that Dwight Howard must be "absolutely dominant" for his team to win, but it responded with an easy victory in which Howard was hardly a factor.

 

The Magic used a similar formula for success in their last visit to Philadelphia.

 

Orlando visits the Wachovia Center on Monday night for the first time since knocking the 76ers out of the playoffs with Howard suspended, while Philadelphia finds itself needing a major turnaround to return to the postseason.

 

The Magic (40-20) seemed destined for a first-round Game 7 against the 76ers (22-36) last spring after Howard, who had averaged 24.0 points and 15.8 rebounds in the first five games, was suspended for Game 6 for swinging an elbow at Samuel Dalembert.

 

Instead, Orlando cruised to a 114-89 victory in Philadelphia behind 29 points from Rashard Lewis and 11 points and 15 boards from backup center Marcin Gortat.

 

Then-Sixers guard Andre Miller said then he felt the Magic were better without Howard, but this season the numbers - and Van Gundy - hardly agree. Orlando is 19-5 when Howard scores more than 20 points, with his 26-point, 10-rebound effort in a 100-93 loss at New Orleans on Friday a rare exception.

 

"We've gotten to the point where Dwight can't merely be very good," Van Gundy said, lamenting that the Magic played "awful basketball." "He has to be absolutely dominant for us to win."

 

The rest of Van Gundy's team proved him wrong - for at least one night - on Sunday.

 

Like the Game 6 win against the Sixers, Orlando's supporting cast came through against Miami with its star ineffective. Howard was held to seven points in 24 foul-plagued minutes, but Lewis scored 22, Vince Carter added 17 and Gortat chipped in nine points, seven boards and three blocks in a 96-80 win.

 

"You never want to see a guy struggle the way Dwight did, but if he does, we've got no choice but to step up and contribute a little more,'' Lewis said.

 

That ended Howard's run of 20 consecutive double-doubles, though he has a six-game streak - playoffs included - against the Sixers. Howard had 21 points and 15 boards in a 120-106 home victory over Philadelphia on Oct. 28 as Lewis served a suspension.

 

Monday's meeting is the first of three against Orlando over the Sixers' final 24 games, but a playoff rematch seems highly unlikely. Philadelphia has lost five of seven after a five-game winning streak, and it's currently 6 1/2 games behind Charlotte for the East's eighth playoff spot.

 

The Sixers lost the last half of their four-game western road trip, including a visit to the Magic's NBA finals opponent on Friday. Philadelphia held a one-point halftime lead on the Los Angeles Lakers but lost 99-90 despite a game-high 24 points from Dalembert.

 

"We feel like we can win against everybody," said Andre Iguodala, who had 13 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds. "... We are going to have to take a chance and sneak up on them and we almost did that tonight."

 

Point guard Louis Williams (18.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists) has been playing well over his last five games, but Philadelphia's chances of a win Monday may depend on what it can get from Elton Brand.

 

Brand had averaged 15.1 points over his last 16 games before being held to two against the Lakers. The Sixers are 12-9 when Brand scores 16 points or more.

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if you took the time to make this cartoon then I must say get a life. Its just a thread that wont last more than 1 day. So hours of work wouldnt have paid off.

 

I will play this on NBA 2k10 and tell u the final score

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