The Orlando Magic take the trip up the coast to meet the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night. The teams are a combined 0-5, which means a first win is in the mix for somebody. Gone, perhaps, are the days when Philadelphia was a place for decent NBA franchises to stop, beat the hapless 76ers and grab a cheesesteak — before moving on to Boston or New York. The Sixers have been so aggressive in simultaneously stockpiling talent and losses that they now have too much talent to lose so much. The tanking — if you’re allowed to call it that — is over, it seems.
Even so, the Sixers are playing their stockpiled talent sparingly — with Jahlil Okafor set to split time with the brightest new spot in the Sixers universe, a finally healthy Joel Embiid. (Embiid reminds basketball fans of Hakeem Olajuwon — or as some Sixers fans call him, Hakeem Moses Chamberlain.) Apparently not wanting Sixers fans to get too used to so much talent on the floor, Sixers’ brass has said Okafor will sit it out against the Magic. The next night in Charlotte, Okafor will play and Embiid will sit. And so it goes, as Kurt Vonnegut liked to say. No matter how hungry Sixers fans are for wins. With Orlando winless so far and also having the ignominy of being a victim in one of the 10 76ers’ scarce wins last year, it’d be fun for fans to see the team go full force for a victory. Someday.