Orlando Magic Daily Mailbag Volume 39: The unknown will soon be known

There are a lot of unknown facing Aaron Gordon and the Orlando Magic beyond just the start of the season. (Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images)
There are a lot of unknown facing Aaron Gordon and the Orlando Magic beyond just the start of the season. (Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images) /
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Evan Fournier, Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons, Blake Griffin
Evan Fournier could not get the Orlando Magic offense moving in a loss to the Detroit Pistons. (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Orlando Magic are getting ready to being their seeding round schedule to finish their 2020 season. But a lot of questions surround the team.

There has been a consistent and constant drumbeat through the Orlando Magic’s return to the practice court in the last week. Despite everyone’s desire to try to find parallels to previous experiences, nothing seems to penetrate the one message coach Steve Clifford has tried to hammer into the media.

Nobody really knows what this is going to look like. Nobody knows how ready these players will be. The basketball is going to be pretty rough as players get back into something resembling a rhythm.

Nikola Vucevic perhaps described this sensation best: every players’ mindset will be as if these are April games and everything is gearing up for the Playoffs. Their bodies will think it is September, just ramping up for the season.

That is part of the inconsistency and mystery of the season restarting at the Disney campus.

If there is a silver lining to all of this, every team is dealing with the same struggle and same mystery as they restart. The players at least think that might be an avenue for them to score an upset and surprise people if they keep themselves ready.

This is not a resumption of the previous 2020 season. Not fully at least.

This is essentially a new season entirely for every team in the league. And eight-game sprint to prepare for the Playoffs (and finalize seeding) and then the Playoffs as normally as possible. At least by schedule if not physically.

Nobody knows how this is going to turn out. That might be the excitement or mystery of it all.

For the Orlando Magic, all the season’s goals are still in front of them and achievable. The reset to the season is a chance to reset those goals and make good on the mistakes they made earlier in the year. It is a chance to accomplish something.

But it is also a chance to answer some questions about the team’s future. Those questions have not gone away.

After a disappointing 30-35 start to this season, sitting in eighth place with at least a coin flip’s chance of climbing to seventh, the Magic have some major questions to answer about how they get to that next level.

Jonathan Isaac’s recovery from injury and Mohamed Bamba’s added strength are added storylines to the restart of this season that will have implications beyond this season and preview perhaps what this team might become.

Regardless, the front office has some key decisions to make to help the team not only maintain its playoff spot but continue to grow.

All that comes to a head in these final eight seeding round games and the team’s (likely) second straight playoff appearance.

There are a lot of questions swirling around this team as the season gets set to resume. It is perhaps time we try to answer some of them.

Let’s dive into this edition of the mailbag.