December 19 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“Forget whatever you thought you knew about the 76ers.
That they can’t shoot, don’t defend, and aren’t worth the price of admission.
Because right now the Sixers are reinventing themselves. They’re morphing into a playoff basketball team.
On Saturday night inside the Amway Center, the Sixers defeated the shorthanded Orlando Magic, 97-89.
It took a heck of a lot of defense and a stroke of good timing.
Only hours before the game’s tip, Orlando’s front office executed two separate trades, sending four key players – two of them starters – to two different teams.
Any opponent could have been in Orlando on Saturday night. It turned out to be the Sixers.
The moves left the Magic with only eight active players, and the Sixers spent 48 minutes defending every single one of them.
Led by Lou Williams’ 24 points, the Sixers improved to 11-16. The Magic, who got 26 points and 20 rebounds from Dwight Howard, dropped to 16-10.
“Anytime a team trades guys and they’re down a few men, you always want to take advantage,” said Sixers forward Thaddeus Young. “Those guys are a great team even without those guys. When we looked at their lineup we were like, ‘They still got a good team.’ ”
In place of traded forward Rashard Lewis and guard Vince Carter, the Magic started Quentin Richardson and J.J. Redick.”
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