The Orlando Magic jumped out to an early 30-15 lead against the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series, and have not really looked back since. The Magic hold a commanding 62-48 advantage at intermission, resembling an offensive juggernaut in the process.
|Team||Pace||Efficiency||eFG%||FT Rate||OReb%||TO Rate|
Rashard Lewis has indeed seized the opportunity to carry the Magic to victory, leading the team with 17 points, 3 assists, and 2 blocked shots, so the 56% of 3QC readers who picked him to pace the team in scoring this evening look pretty smart right now. With Dwight Howard suspended, Lewis has more freedom to operate in the low post, from which he has scored effectively. In fact, Philadelphia hasn't defended anyone particularly well. The best defense on Rafer Alston (6-of-11 for 14 points in 18 minutes) and Hedo Turkoglu (10 points on 4-of-4 shooting in 16 minutes) has been played by themselves; Skip has missed his fair share of layups, while Turk has committed 3 turnovers. J.J. Redick has lit up the Sixers with 9 points on 3-of-3 from three-point range. Even Tony Battie has gotten in on the act, with 7 points in 7 minutes off the bench. 7 first-half minutes for Battie, with is 28-times as much time he played in Games 4 and 5 combined.
Orlando's hot start from the field has limited the Sixers' vaunted transition offense, thus forcing them to execute in the halfcourt, in which they are far less effective. Andre Miller and Louis Williams, the point guards, have 23 points on 7-of-11 shooting; the rest of the team has 25 on 10-of-28. Obviously they need more production from Andre Iguodala from Thaddeus Young. Don't count against those guys eventually turning it on... but the entire team--save for the veteran Miller--has looked rattled in what is an elimination game for them.
Orlando needs to maintain its defensive intensity. If it does that, it stands a great chance of coming back to Orlando with the series in hand.