Who: Philadelphia 76ers (0-4) vs Orlando Magic (0-4)
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
Watch On : Comcast SportsNet/97.5 The Fanatic
The Lowdown: In what can only be billed as a Battle of the Rebuilds, the still-winless Sixers match up against the also winless Orlando Magic at the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday night. This could be the Sixers best chance to get their first win of the 2014-15 season as their following four games are all against teams with winning records and a lot of talent, including the Chicago Bulls, the Toronto Raptors and the Houston Rockets.
Luckily for the Sixers, at least on paper the two teams are pretty evenly matched. The Sixers are averaging 90.3 points scored and 103.5 points allowed per game this year to the Magic’s 92.3 points scored and 104.7 points allowed.
In all four of the 76ers’ losses this season they kept the score close and played some good basketball right up until the fourth quarter, which is quickly becoming a real issue for this team. Three games in a row the Sixers saw close, winnable games turn into routs in the final frame, including being embarrassed by going the final 8:19 of the loss to the Milwaukee Bucks without scoring a basket. If this roster wants to get at least a couple wins this year, that is going to have to change and change soon.
The Magic seem to have troubles of their own playing a full 48 minutes of basketball, with their issues coming in the third quarter where they have been outscored 96-64 this season.
But for the Magic, this year is all about rookie point guard Elfrid Payton. Drafted with the No.10 pick by the Sixers and then traded to the Magic, Payton is the face of the future for this franchise, replacing the immensely popular and talented Jameer Nelson. He continues to get better seemingly with each game he plays, averaging 7.3 points, 7.7 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game so far this season.
But what really hurts about playing the Magic is that the Sixers have to see former teammate Nikola Vucevic. In his fourth year, Vucevic is averaging 17.7 points and 15.7 rebounds a game this season and he could have been doing all of that for the Sixers if it wasn’t for the Andrew Bynum fiasco.