Snap Judgments: Orlando Magic at Philadelphia 76ers (11.25.17)

Debby Wong/ALOST


akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief



OK, so Philadelphia 76ers fans will not be saying that anytime soon, as phenom point guard Ben Simmons is the present and the future of the up-and-coming franchise. But, as of tonight, Simmons was a no-show, sitting out Saturday’s game against the Orlando Magic with an elbow issue. Fortunately enough, a player eight inches shorter and with not as much athletic ability as last year’s No. 1 overall draft selection did a pretty good impression of the Australian in his stead.

Starting for the first time this season, regular backup point guard T.J. McConnell assumed the role of “do-everything-point guard,” as he scored 15 points, dished out 13 assists, grabbed seven rebounds and had three steals as the Sixers cruised to a 130-111 victory over the Magic at Wells Fargo Center, the team’s fifth win in its last six games overall.

Surprisingly enough, the Sixers’ offense did not skip a beat without Simmons, who sat out due to swelling in his left elbow. Philadelphia scored at least 30 points in each of the first three quarters as the offense was steered by the steady McConnell, already one of the best sixth men in the NBA this season. Each of the Sixers starters scored at least 14 points.

McConnell’s backcourt mate, JJ Redick, led the Sixers with 29 points, hitting eight of his 12 three-point attempts. In just 28 minutes, Joel Embiid put up 18 points, 14 rebounds and six assists.

Reserve point guard Jerryd Bayless, who recently came back from a wrist injury and normally splits time with McConnell as the team’s backup point guard, had 14 points and four assists.

The 130 points were the most points scored in regulation by Philadelphia since 1994.

McConnell’s opposite number at point guard, Orlando’s Elfrid Payton, also flirted with a triple-double, leading the Magic with 22 points, eight rebounds and nine assists. Seven players scored in double figures for the Magic, who now have lost eight straight games after starting the season at 8-4.

*Editor’s note: Above the byline and story is the photo gallery from Saturday night’s game, with all photos taken by photographer Debby Wong. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 15 pictures in total.

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