ORLANDO - One of the main reasons for the 76ers' early success was the matchup problem they posed to opponents.

But times have been rough of late, and winning games hasn't been the easy task it used to be. So to have a better shot at winning, coach Doug Collins is now matching his team against the opponent. At least he did for Monday's game against the Orlando Magic.

Shorthanded because of injuries to starting center Dwight Howard (back) and his backup, Glen Davis (sprained knee), Orlando was a (smaller) shell of itself, so Collins saw fit to change his starting lineup, the second time in less than a week.

Monday, he started forward Thaddeus Young and played Elton Brand at center. Nikola Vucevic, who was just inserted as a starter last week, was moved to the bench. It was a move to try to eliminate the three-point shooting of the Magic, which averaged 22.3 three-point tries in its three previous meetings against the Sixers this season.

"It's just sometimes you have to do things a little bit different," said Young, who was making his first start of the season. "When things aren't working, you try to look to other ways and maybe try something a little bit different. We usually start two big, big guys, and they [Orlando] were a little bit shorthanded there, so we're just trying to match up to stop what it is that they want to do. Ryan Anderson is great at getting out there and spacing the floor. With me on him, I can get back on him quickly on his screen and roll."

In the first of three games in 3 days, Collins insisted that this lineup change was due only to the many three-point threats Orlando possessed in Anderson, Jason Richardson and J.J. Redick.

"Ryan Anderson poses so many problems," Collins said. "He really hurts us. The last time we played in here, we tried to start a big lineup against him, and he hit about three threes early in the game. So we're hoping that Thad's speed will help us with Ryan Anderson and all those drag screens he sets and then tries to roll out and get those quick threes. He's hurt us with his post game and his rebounding and stuff. He's been a real matchup problem for us, so we're hoping with Thad's speed, it'll help against them, especially from getting those three-point shots up early in the game."

For the first quarter against the Magic it worked, as the Sixers limited Orlando to a single three-pointer in four attempts. However, Orlando warmed up in the second quarter, draining all five of its treys en route to a 40-point quarter that gave it a 61-55 halftime lead and ultimately led to a 113-100 win.

As for what kind of lineup Collins expects against the visiting Indiana Pacers on Tuesday, it will be back to normal. Well, back to the most recent normal.

"I'd like to keep it [a starting lineup of Vucevic, Andre Iguodala, Brand, Jrue Holiday and Jodie Meeks] the way I had it, because I think when we've played well, when I changed the lineup [last Tuesday]," Collins said "I thought we had eight or nine guys playing well. The only reason I'm starting Thad is because of matchups. We don't have another big forward with that kind of size. I don't want to start Evan [Turner], because now you're very, very small."

One down, two to go

Monday started a stretch of three straight games; the Sixers will host the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday before traveling to Cleveland for a game with the Cavaliers on Wednesday.

With the wear and tear those games will cause, particularly this late in such a grueling season, it wouldn't be surprising to see some of the seldom-used players get dusted off for some playing time.

"I think it's doable," Thaddeus Young said about playing well during the stretch. "We have a lot of fresh guys, a lot of guys who haven't played a lot this season and I think they're going to be able to go out there and step up and do some things for us that maybe we haven't seen in a little while. The three in 3, I think it is a perfect situation for us. When you're back is up against the wall you have to see how you fare against some of the other guys."