5 questions the Orlando Magic face in the second quarter of the 2021 season

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Steve Clifford, Orlando Magic
The Orlando Magic are trying to hold onto their season as injuries have decimated the roster. (Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images) /

On one hand, the Orlando Magic are no further behind or ahead of where they were last year.

At the quarter mark of the season, the Magic were 8-10. One game better than they were in the 2020 season and only one game behind the pace set in 2019.

That is all to say, there is clearly a lot of season left to play. And if the Magic’s goal is simply to make the playoffs, they are still on track to do so. Nobody can clinch a playoff spot in the first quarter of the season, but certainly, teams can put themselves out of the race or make it that much more daunting to come back.

Orlando found itself at the quarter mark of the season not having the start the team wanted. The Magic got off to a 6-2 start before Markelle Fultz’s torn ACL flipped the team on its side. Suddenly, the Magic did not have its point guard anymore. And the team had to change its identity on the fly.

The team obviously struggled in the final 10 games, winning just two of the final 10 before this arbitrary mark. The team fell from its perch atop the Eastern Conference — or at least, staying in the middle of the playoff pack — to being on the fringes and fighting both to get into the eighth seed or in the packed race for the play-in tournament.

Injuries have further decimated the roster and the team could quickly fall into the deep lottery.

The Magic have not been able to stick to their goal of climbing the playoff ladder and are seemingly fighting for their playoff lives again. The Magic have to find their way to play again and that has been the biggest struggle of the first quarter of the season.

That is not a place anyone wants to be a quarter of the way through the season. Teams are going to start separating themselves more in the next 18-20 games and the lines will clearly be drawn of who is in and out of the playoff picture.

And the way the second quarter of the season has started has certainly made things look even bleaker. The season is quickly falling apart.

The Magic will not have much time to get things back if they slip any further. They will have to get themselves right quickly. And that process is proving to be an ongoing and lengthy process.

Orlando is struggling to start the second quarter of the season already. Another major injury is going to make that task even harder. There is a lot of work to do and a lot of questions to answer.