5 questions for fourth quarter of the Orlando Magic's 2024 Season

This season the Orlando Magic solidified the foundation of their rebuild. They end the third quarter of the season firmly in the Eastern Conference playoff race. There are still a lot of questions about this team that will be answered in the fourth quarter.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero (5) and forward
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero (5) and forward / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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5 questions for the fourth quarter of the Orlando Magic's 2024 season

Will Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner finish as Orlando's first 20-points-per-game scoring duo since Shaq and Penny?

While the focus should be on the team down the stretch not on the individual, it would be egregious to ignore the fact that Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner have a chance at a historic accomplishment if they finish the season as strong as they have started it.

As it stands at the start of the fourth quarter Paolo Banchero is averaging 22.9 points per game and Franz Wagner is averaging 20.5 points per game. Those are both stellar and career seasons for the Orlando Magic's two young, budding stars.

It also puts them at the doorstep of a bit of history.

The last duo to average 20-plus points per game for the Orlando Magic were Shaquille O'Neal and Anfernee Hardaway in the 1996 season.

Let me repeat: THE LAST DUO TO AVERAGE 20-PLUS POINTS PER GAME FOR THE ORLANDO MAGIC WERE SHAQUILLE O'NEAL AND ANFERNEE HARDWAY.

There have been a few close calls -- Hedo Turkoglu had 19.5 points per game in 2008 -- but that is a long time without a star duo like the one the Magic have today.

The craziest part of all of this is that both Banchero and Wagner are extremely good defensive players and rebounders in addition to their contributions on offense.

Between Banchero becoming a freight train when he puts his head down and goes to the rim, and Wanger weaving his way through the lane and finishing at an almost unstoppable clip the Magic have a very bright future.

Although only Banchero made the All-Star team this year, most NBA junkies agree he has a running mate in Wagner who will be joining Banchero in future NBA All-Star Sunday games. And while Wagner has not had the strongest season with his efficiency, he is still putting up big scoring numbers and capable of taking over games.

The Magic have a great one-two punch.

Banchero and Wagner have gotten more and more comfortable with their roles on this team. They are building chemistry together that has already yielded better-than-expected results for the season.

They are both eager to grow this team together.

"This is only the second year, and I think we've built great chemistry," Paolo Banchero told former Magic forward Dennis Scott on an episode of Shooter's Paradise for NBATV. "We're going to keep building as the years go by. Shoot, by year 5, year 6 it's going to be scary."

Banchero and Wagner have played their way into direct sight of a historic achievement that would undoubtedly be another sign of how good this duo is and can be.