The Orlando Magic pulled off a major shakeup of their roster today, shipping out four players in two separate trades. They first dealt Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat, Mickael Pietrus & a first-round draft pick to the Phoenix Suns for Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu and Earl Clark. They then sent Rashard Lewis to the Washington Wizards for Gilbert Arenas. When you consider that they also have two players injured tonight, the Magic are left with just eight players able to dress tonight.
As Orlando Pinstriped Post points out, their bench for tonight consists of point guards Jason Williams and Chris Duhon, as well as big man (and Villanova grad) Malik Allen. Orlando come into this game having lost 5 of their last 6, while the Sixers are enjoying their best run of the season winning 5 of their last 7. Magic coach Stan Van Gundy was pretty frank when asked to explain the teams' poor play of late.
"(It's) not mismatches, not fatigue. Lack of effort, lack of toughness, lack of any desire to defend anyone." No wonder they decided to ship off a huge chunk of their roster... The Magic will be looking to get things back on track against a team they've owned recently, winning 8 straight against Philly and 12 of the last 13 matchups.
Tonight marks the first of an eight game, eighteen day road trip for the Sixers, who won't play at home again until January 5th.