Can the Orlando Magic stay in touch with the Playoff race?
In the second quarter of the season, the Magic went just 4-16, that was the worst record in the league in that time. Orlando is sitting with the second-worst record in the league and even management is openly recognizing that this season has lost a lot of its purpose — except for that overarching “evaluation” one.
Jeff Weltman said in a recent radio interview that they are one of those teams where the trade sharks are circling. They were one of those teams that expected to be competing for something and find themselves not. that means they should have some useful players other teams might want to add for their own Playoff pushes.
Orlando is in a position to sell at this season’s deadline.
That did not look like it would be the case back at the quarter mark of the season. In fact, at the quarter mark, it looked like Orlando might be able to get itself back in the race. The portion of the schedule coming up looked extremely advantageous.
At the time I wrote:
Starting with Wednesday’s game against the Hawks, they have nine of 15 games at home (where the Magic are 5-5). After taking two long road trips already, the Magic do not go on the road for more than two games in a road until the beginning of January (when the team hits the midpoint of the season).
There is a ton of opportunity for the team to succeed before the schedule stiffens again at the beginning of January. That is an opportunity to pick up some games.
The Magic were also claiming at the quarter pole they had the second hardest schedule in the league to that point in the season. It did seem like the team had the chance to go on a bit of a run.
They, of course, failed to take advantage of that part of the schedule. A part where they needed to pick up wins. The injuries became too much with Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon both going down to injuries that week.
Things just kept going from bad to worse. And the record reflected that.
We said the Magic’s season would turn on this stretch. It certainly did.