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Getting everyone back


Kim Klement/USA TODAY

It might have meant two more losses, but this weekend was actually a pretty good and encouraging one for the Magic. After nearly a month of the season, the Magic finally have a complete roster of 14 players (well, Kyle O'Quinn is still out, but should be returning soon).

Orlando saw the returns of Glen Davis and Tobias Harris this weekend after they missed the entire season to this point. Davis had not played since January and was stellar in his first game back in the lineup Saturday. He came back to Earth a bit in scoring only six points in his home debut Sunday in 21 minutes. Tobias Harris also had six points as he struggled to find his rhythm, something that will come in future games.

"It felt great checking in and getting back into the flow of things," Harris said. "It was just good to get my feet wet out there, go out and play and get back into the flow of things. My rhythm is going to come. Just game after game and continue to get my flow and just continue to progress from today."

Harris said the entire team is going to have to work together to incorporate those players coming back, it is going to be a process. But the Magic should still be searching for wins while going through that.

Everyone recognizes the talent coming back.

Already we have seen what little things Davis can do on the defensive end to help the team improve and give Nikola Vucevic some more freedom. His smarts in playing the pick and roll also have helped Victor Oladipo and the Magic point guards distribute the ball better.

They are already helping the team get better. It just takes time for everyone to incorporate and learn to play with each other. Particularly during the grind of an NBA season. This stretch is particularly tough for the Magic as they are in the midst of playing five games in seven nights.

It is better to get thrown into the fire than to wait on the sidelines, it appears.

But while the Magic want to get wins, there will certainly be an adjustment period as players fit into their new roles and learn to play with each other. Harris and Davis, after all, have not played with each other in a regular season game before Sunday's loss to the Suns.

"Hopefully we can incorporate and learn and do whatever we need to do while getting some wins," Arron Afflalo said. "Those guys, they have worked really hard to get themselves ready to play.

"Honestly, it just becomes a matter of comfort and stability within the actual 48 minutes of the game. I think those guys are ready to play, it's just how we mix and mingle and have a feel for each other out there on the court in terms of being cohesiveo n teh defensive end. offensively, I think we will be fine just understanding our roles and being consistent in what we do."

Jacque Vaughn is personally hoping there are no more injuries. That has plagued him throughout his tenure in Orlando. It seems like one injury after another has kept Vaughn from having his full compliment of players.

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Now, his job is to manage minutes and help the team find its rhythm. That is something that will take some times. The hope is that it will not happen with any more hiccups.

"It's going to take time for the chemistry to come," Jameer Nelson said. "But the main thing is guys are still playi;ng hard. Even though we were down by however many points, guys played hard and we didn't get discouraged. We didn't have it, we didn't bring it. You have games like that in the NBA where you have to be mature enough to come back the next game and bring energy."

That is the biggest thing the Magic have to continue to do. Play with energy and play with heart even through the adjustments that come with returning players from injury.

Harris said he noticed that heart and energy early on.

"[I saw] just a lot of heart and energy," Harris said. "We play with a lot of passion night in and night out. If we continue do that and with everyone back with this stretch of games that we have, it would be good to get some more wins for us. That's what we look forward to doing."

At least now, as the Magic try to put together wins, they can do so with a full complement of players.

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily

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