On Wednesday, the Philadelphia 76ers managed to finish off the scrappy Orlando Magic on the road for their fifth straight win and move to 21-16 this season. They are now the No. 5 seed in the East as they continue to progress.
However, Wednesday’s victory was not easy. Orlando led by a whopping 10 in the third quarter. The Magic got a good game from December Rookie of the Month Franz Wagner who had 15 points in the evening. He scored very early before having to leave with a foot injury which hampered him a bit late in the game.
“I am really impressed,” said Wagner’s Furkan Korkmaz. “His game is a bit cold. He doesn’t rush, he gets to paint very easily, and he’s a good size so I really like him as a player. He also looks like a good guy.
Wagner also caused problems for the Sixers earlier in the season when they clashed in Philadelphia, so they took a close, personal look at him. Coach Doc Rivers was impressed with him and gave him a few props, even gave him grief over Michigan’s loss to Georgia in the college football playoffs.
“I love it,” Rivers added of Wagner. “Tough. Other than blowing Michigan. We talked about it at halftime, I had Michigan, he’s just a tough boy, man. He can play. He don’t play like a rookie.
This became quite disastrous as the Sixers had to opt for a new formation led by the two big men of Joel Embiid and Andre Drummond who they have not used all season. Embiid was pleased with the way he got some help against the Orlando big-man duo of Wendell Carter Jr. and Mo Bamba who gave the Sixers trouble all night.
This made Wagner’s game worse which got them into trouble and earned Embiid’s respect. It comes after Wagner praised Embiid earlier today.
“I think he’s going to be really good,” Embiid added. “I told Coach (Jamahl) Mosley that I told him I’m proud of the job he’s done here. It’s tough, a bunch of young guys are each trying to figure out how to win and play the right way, but I think he’s done a great job since coming here. Obviously the wins don’t show up, but I watch a lot of games, they are always in every game.
The Magic may be the worst 7-32 in the NBA now, but they have some scheming young talent led by Wagner who could be a big reason for their future.
“You got the Boston game, they probably should have won this game against 12 with about 3:00 am to go, and obviously they caused a lot of trouble for Chicago,” Embiid added. “Tonight (Wednesday) the game was closer than the score says. They play hard. I think he’s going to be extremely good and just needs to keep working.
This post originally appeared on Sixers wire! follow us on Facebook!
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