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Magic vs. 76ers preview: Can the shorthanded Magic best the 76ers?

Down Aaron Gordon and Jonathan Isaac, the Magic look to upset the 76ers as they eye the seventh seed

Philadelphia 76ers v Orlando Magic Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images

The Orlando Magic’s notoriously deep front court grows shorter and shorter from game to game.

Al Farouq-Aminu has long since been sidelined following knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus. Jonathan Isaac’s devastating injury has sidelined him indefinitely as well. Now, Aaron Gordon joins them on the sideline following Kyle Lowry’s flagrant foul on Thursday night.

The Magic, having lost two straight, aren’t necessarily in trouble. The Washington Wizards have shown no signs of challenging them for the play-in spot and could be eliminated as soon as today against the New Orleans Pelicans.

However, if the Magic do hope for a little revenge against the Raptors, they can easily earn that ticket by passing Brooklyn’s modest half-game lead.

They’ll need a lot of help without much of their depth. Much of the onus will fall on veterans Evan Fournier on Nikola Vucevic to carry the load against Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers. Vucevic has kept right in line with his averages at just over 20 points, nine rebounds and three assists per game over the past four. Likewise, Terrence Ross has gone off for 17 points on 45 and 36 percent shooting, respectively.

Fournier has been the online disappointment of the group in what has been a career year, scoring just 12.5 points on 42.9 and 28.6 shooting.

If Markelle Fultz is to take the next step toward justifying his first overall selection, the Magic could certainly use his contributions. Thus far, he’s scored just 10 points per game in 20.5 minutes per game to go along with 3.8 assists and 2.3 rebounds. We’ll see if he steps it up against his former team.

The Magic will again be without Michael Carter-Williams, also a former Sixer, due to a strained tendon in his foot.

The 76ers are dealing with their own set of maladies. Ben Simmons and Zhaire Smith are each out indefinitely and will be joined on the bench by veterans Mike Scott and Glenn Robinson III greatly diminishing the 76ers depth chart.

The 76ers have won two of three against San Antonio and Washington with their lone loss to T.J. Warren and the Indiana Pacers.

Who: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Orlando Magic

When: August 7, 6:30 p.m.

Where to watch: TNT, FSFL

Where to listen: 96.9 FM