5 questions for the third quarter of the Orlando Magic’s 2021 season

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Nikola Vucevic, Orlando magic, Toronto Raptors
Nikola Vucevic and the Orlando Magic are struggling to do the basic things as their season begins to slip away. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /

Can Nikola Vucevic keep it up?

Nikola Vucevic has been the unquestioned leader for this team. He has been a rock standing up against a turbulent season. His composure and cool play have kept this team together even through incredible adversity and frustration.

It is clear this season is not what anyone wanted. And often, the Magic have felt a bit powerless to stop what has come. There is just no way to build consistency when so much is in constant flux for this team. They can barely throw out a consistent lineup let alone build momentum.

Vucevic has stood there just doing his work and elevating his game. If there is a sign that next year can be a whole lot better, the return of Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz alongside the expected draft pick that is the “reward” for such a terrible season along with this version of Nikola Vucevic should be enough to restore the Magic and put them back on track.

Vucevic has been brilliant this year. And that brilliance has simply become commonplace. He has averaged a career-best 24.6 points per game with solid rebounding (11.6 per game) and shooting numbers. His expansion to the 3-point line has transformed his output and performance.

Vucevic has been a picture of consistency in an inconsistent year.

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  • For now, the Magic should be asking for the moon if anyone wants to trade for him. And for now, the Magic should consider Vucevic a key part of their future development in the short-term. He would help stabilize the young roster the Magic are sure to start building around.

    It is important then for Vucevic to keep up this production and show he can get through the entire season playing at this All-Star level.

    That should not be much of a question. Vucevic has been the most consistent player on the Magic’s roster for nearly a decade. There have rarely been times where Vucevic did not give exactly what the team needed or asked of him (offensively, at least).

    Orlando has asked a ton of Vucevic at this point. They will continue to ask a lot of him. Hopefully returning some players from injury will alleviate some of that pressure. But the Magic will still need to have Vucevic playing at a high level.

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    And a strong finish to the season will set him up to make another All-Star run with a healthier roster next season.