After a 1-3 performance last week, the Orlando Magic own the third-worst record in the NBA at 17-41, and are in 13th place in the Eastern Conference. The Magic are one game ahead of the 14th-place Philadelphia 76ers (15-41), and 5.5 games ahead of the last-place Milwaukee Bucks (10-45).
After losing their 15th straight road game to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday, the Magic continue to have the league's worst road record at 3-26, which doesn't bode well for the team this week: three of its four games are on the road. Here's a look at this week's schedule:
Tuesday, February 25th: Magic at Washington Wizards, 7:00 PM Eastern, Fox Sports Florida
The Wizards have flirted with the .500 mark all season, and after winning their third straight game Sunday are 28-28 good for fifth place in the East. Washington is led by point guard John Wall, who averages 19.7 points per game and 8.6 assists. Two former Magic players play a prominent role with the Wizards, small forward Trevor Ariza and center Marcin Gortat. Ariza averages 14.1 points and 6.4 rebounds per game on career-high 57.8 percent True Shooting, while Gortat averages 12.2 points and 8.9 rebounds per game. Former Magic power forward Al Harrington has missed most of the season with a right knee injury.
In their first meeting this season, the Wizards defeated the Magic in Washington, 98-80, in early December, with Ariza scoring 24 points and Wall adding 13 assists.
Wednesday, February 26th: Magic at Philadelphia 76ers, 7:00 PM Eastern, Fox Sports Florida
Here's where the Magic could end their long road losing streak, as the 76ers have been absolutely brutal, losers of ten games in a row, including consecutive 40-plus-point losses earlier in the month. Philly has lost 20 of 23 games overall, and has the worst point differential in the NBA at minus-10.5. It also dealt its leading scorer, small forward Evan Turner, along with power forward Lavoy Allen to the Indiana Pacers at the trade deadline for Danny Granger, who likely will receive a buyout. The Sixers also traded center Spencer Hawes, with the 76ers getting back former Magic forward Earl Clark. Michael Carter-Williams, a Rookie of the Year candidate, leads all rookies by averaging 17.3 points, 6.3 assists, and two steals, but he is also averaging 3.6 turnovers and owns a True Shooting Percentage of just 47.9 percent. Power forward Thaddeus Young averages 17.3 points per game along with 6.3 rebounds and 2.2 steals.
The teams have split their two games so far, including an exciting 126-125 double-overtime victory by the 76ers in Philly in early December. Magic shooting guard Arron Afflalo scored a career-high 43 points in the loss. Carter-Williams and the Magic's Victor Oladipo both had outstanding games.
Saturday, March 1st: Magic at Miami Heat, 7:30 PM Eastern, Fox Sports Florida
After defeating the Chicago Bulls on Sunday despite not having LeBron James, the Heat are 40-14 and on a five-game winning streak, but trail the Pacers by 1.5 games for the best record in the East. James will likely be available for this game, and will wear a mask to protect his broken nose. Miami is the worst rebounding team in the league, but they have the best field-goal percentage. The Big Three of James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh are all having outstanding seasons, averaging 26.9, 18.7, and 16.9 points per game, respectively.
The Magic have lost their previous three games to the Heat this season, but were very competitive in their only game in Miami, a 101-99 loss in late November. This game will be the final one between the two teams in 2013/14, as the Heat will try for the four-game sweep.
Sunday, March 2nd: 76ers at Magic, 6:00 PM Eastern, Fox Sports Florida
The Magic defeated the 76ers in Orlando 105-94 in late November, with center Nik Vucevic scoring 16 points to lead the Magic. This meeting will be the final one between the two teams in 2013/14.