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

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Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic, Matisse Thybulle, Philadelphia 76ers
The Orlando Magic will push Cole Anthony into a bigger role than they were prepared for thanks to Markelle Fultz’s injury. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

Will the Orlando Magic be able to solve their point guard problems?

Undoubtedly, the Orlando Magic have been down a lot of players and key players. There is probably a point for every team where they just lose so much that they break.

The better teams have a softer cushion to fall on. The Magic were always a team that had a small margin for error and the wrong injury to the wrong player would break the team.

Last year, Orlando survived injuries to everyone at the power forward position essentially — Jonathan Isaac was out for most of the year, as was Al-Farouq Aminu, and Aaron Gordon was in and out of the lineup until the All-Star Break. So there was some confidence they could weather the storm.

But this year, the Magic made a very specific gamble that has turned up craps for them.

The Magic decided to let D.J. Augustin walk in free agency and drafted a rookie in Cole Anthony to back up Markelle Fultz. The team was relying a whole lot on Fultz to help the team push the pace and give the team its offensive force.

Losing him has caused a lot of the team to collapse.

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  • Anthony has done his best for sure. He averaged 11.0 points per game and 3.3 assists per game while shooting 36.9-percent and 33.9-percent from beyond the arc. He got better as he got more comfortable in the starting role.

    But the Magic are still trying to do their best to protect him too. They wanted to bring him slowly off the bench and put him in lineups where he could experience success and slowly grow his responsibility.

    Even though he is starting, Anthony is still largely in a secondary role. The team is not using him as their primary initiator a lot of the time.

    Even when he is, the Magic still look a bit disorganized and unable to get into their sets quickly and efficiently. Anthony is probably still thinking too much out there. But that is expected from a rookie.

    Orlando’s efforts to turn Aaron Gordon into a point guard or initiator has had a lot of inconsistency. Gordon has either looked really good or really poorly. And it has let him go into his over-dribble mode that takes him out of the game and the magic out of their offense.

    And now that option is completely gone likely for the rest of the quarter with his sprained ankle, which occurred while Gordon was bringing the ball up against pressure defense. The Magic may have no choice but to trust Anthony to play the point guard more fully. He may have to take on more responsibility.

    Orlando’s offense is inconsistent not just because of the team’s poor shooting, but because the team has no answers at point guard right now. It is impossible to win without this organization.

    The Magic are unfortunately stuck though. Unless the team fully trusts Cole Anthony or Jordan Bone to run the team, the Magic have no open roster spots to add anyone. They might have to wait until they are ready for trade season to make this change.