The Orlando Magic will be facing the Philadelphia 76ers in a back-to-back set at Wells Fargo Center on Friday. The visitors have the second-worst record in the East at 21-49, just a game ahead of the Detroit Pistons.
Having lost five consecutive matches, the Orlando Magic will finish off their season playing two games on the road against one of the top teams in the NBA. Their chances of winning at least one of the two are slim at best, considering the Sixers are among the elite defenders in the league.
The Philadelphia 76ers (47-23), meanwhile, have lost two straight games after winning eight consecutively. They will look to correct themselves when they return home from a two-game road trip. A single win would help them clinch the best record in the East, giving them added motivation to pounce on the Orlando Magic early on Sunday.
Fixture - Orlando Magic vs Philadelphia 76ers | 2020-21 NBA Season
Date & Time - Friday, May 14th, 8:00 PM ET (Saturday, May 15th, 5:30 AM IST)
Venue - Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
Orlando Magic Preview
The Orlando Magic have lost their previous five games by an average of 22.6 points while giving up 122.4 points per game during that stretch. These are major offensive and defensive issues that cannot be addressed until the offseason.
Health is another issue, with three players out for the season and five others who will likely be shut down to prevent their injuries from worsening. Orlando Magic coach Steve Clifford has but a few players that he can rely on for the Philadelphia 76ers contest.
Key Player - Dwayne Bacon
In his last seven games, Dwayne Bacon had scoring nights of 23, 20, 28 and 18 points. The other three matches were disappointing as he only had nine points in one game and a pair of five-point outings.
Bacon’s inconsistency in recent games is one of the reasons why the Orlando Magic were unable to breach the 100-point mark in three of their last five contests. Though more of a backup, the 25-year-old has been thrust into the starting lineup due to injuries to key players. But he has made great strides, averaging career-highs in three major categories in his fourth season in the league.
Orlando Magic Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Cole Anthony l Shooting Guard - Gary Harris l Small Forward - Dwayne Bacon l Power Forward - Wendell Carter Jr. l Center - Moritz Wagner
Philadelphia 76ers Preview
The Philadelphia 76ers have been waiting a few days now to clinch the best record in the East. They have two opportunities when they face the Orlando Magic but are hoping to secure the No. 1 seed as soon as Friday.
Unlike other title contenders, the Philadelphia 76ers are healthy with only Matisse Thybulle possibly out for the game. All-Star center and MVP candidate Joel Embiid is probably not 100 percent yet from a non-COVID-19 illness but it’s not a major issue. The Philadelphia 76ers will likely play him to get that top seed.
Key Player - Joel Embiid
Joel Embiid has missed 20 games so far this season due to various injuries and it has hurt his MVP chances. If he had been healthier, the 27-year-old would have given Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic and the other candidates stiffer competition.
In his fifth season in the league, Embiid is averaging a career-high 28.8 points with 10.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. Health has always been an issue with him, but he has managed to be available enough for the Philadelphia 76ers this year to put them on top of the Eastern Conference.
The Orlando Magic’s Moritz Wagner will have his hands full guarding the talented big man.
Philadelphia 76ers Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Ben Simmons l Shooting Guard - Seth Curry l Small Forward - Danny Green l Power Forward - Tobias Harris l Center - Joel Embiid
Magic vs Sixers Match Prediction
The Orlando Magic are not only undermanned, but they are also overmatched when they face the Philadelphia 76ers. Granted, this is the NBA where anything can happen, the Sixers are unlikely to lose focus, given the benefits of winning the Friday matchup.
Where to Watch Magic vs Sixers?