What we are thankful for from each Orlando Magic player

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Steve Clifford, Orlando magic
Coach Steve Clifford is well known for his preparation and with so much free time, he is well at work to prepare for the rest of this Orlando Magic season. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /


Steve Clifford – the foundation

The Orlando Magic hired Steve Clifford to provide a winning foundation. Their vision in bringing him in after a fairly nondescript five years in Charlotte was to give the Orlando Magic the same thing he provided the Charlotte Hornets.

After six years lost in the wilderness after trading away Dwight Howard, the Magic were desperate for stability. They were desperate for an identity.

Clifford has not taken the team over the hill yet. But the team had to start somewhere. And Clifford was the perfect coach to do that.

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The Magic went from a team that clearly had a lot of talent but could not break the 30-win plateau into one that expects and is frankly disappointed with a mere playoff appearance. That is some incredible work no matter how you slice it.

There are philosophical differences at times with Clifford and his approach. Fans are right to want more. The Magic certainly want more. But it is important to take a step back and appreciate the foundation Clifford has helped build. He raised the expectations inside the Amway Center.

Jeff Weltman – patience

This might raise some ire among Orlando Magic fans.

Jeff Weltman’s seeming inactivity this offseason has a lot of fans on pins and needles. Everyone recognizes the team will have to turn the page on this group at some point and some point soon. But Weltman has not made the major changes everyone anticipated this offseason.

At some point, he will have to make a bold move and push some chips in. But the right moves have not presented themselves. And Weltman has stuck to his core beliefs about how to build a team and the right way to approach people.

That patience should pay off. It should be seen as a virtue as he continues to lay the foundation for this team and give the young players on this roster a good environment to develop and grow.

Patience does run out. But only with opportunity. And Weltman is waiting for his chance. Until then, he is going to do his best to prop up his team and create the environment he wants.