The Orlando Magic have to break down their past as they prepare for their future. The 2020 season showed hints of progress but more offensive trouble.
The Orlando Magic spent six years in the wilderness as they tried to rebuild following the trade of Dwight Howard.
Losing a superstar can be a devastating moment for any franchise. The team lost a player from its Mt. Rushmore in soul-crushing fashion. There was very little the team could get in return that would make up for this loss. They hoped the Lottery would deliver.
It did not. And mismanagement and poor coaching and development prevented the Magic from taking any significant step back into contention — even for the playoffs.
A general manager and six years later, the Magic were still trying to figure out who they wanted to be and the kind of team they would be.
Jeff Weltman took over and made rebuilding the organization and its bones his priority — even if that meant some window dressing with players he inherited. Hiring Steve Clifford was meant to give the team a foundation. They would play a certain way and it would give them the stability to grow at last.
No one should be able to argue with those long-term results so far. The Magic have made the playoffs in back-to-back years and have established at least the contours of an identity they can build upon.
Of course, the team failed to meet the new standard it has made for itself. After going 42-40 in the 2019 season, the team at least matched its regular-season consistency at 33-40 (injuries gutted the team some) and returned to the playoffs. But the same five-game first-round exit left a sour taste.
Yes, the Magic acquitted themselves better in this second playoff appearance. But the result was the same. And now the optimism of a fresh playoff team has descended to the uncertainty of a repeat performer.
Orlando is asking itself how does it get better?
The easy answer is with the team’s offense. The Magic ranked 23rd in the league in offensive rating and near the bottom of the league for most offensive categories.
Undoubtedly the most glaring need facing the Magic is their need to find shooting and more offensive weapons. With the team establishing a strong defensive foundation, the Magic have to put some investment and focus in easing the margin for error with some offensive firepower.
The team once again showed some hints of offensive acumen with the way the team finished the season– at least before the pandemic.
Today, we will look at the team’s offensive numbers and where thing slipped and hints of where things might have gone right.