Cast this Orlando Magic season into the sun, please just get to the end

The Orlando Magic's season has been one to forget. (Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images)
The Orlando Magic's season has been one to forget. (Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images) /

Cast this Orlando Magic season into the sun.

Just expel it into the farthest reaches of the known universe or in the deepest, darkest trench we can fin. Just destroy it.

As Kylo Ren said: Forget the past, kill it if you have to. This season has done about all it can to lay waste to everything in the Magic franchise.

The Magic started the year with high hopes — even with one injury already hampering the team — and end the season with an uncertain future and mere hope of some Lottery luck. It is not entirely clear what the team’s future is and the team’s path forward might literally depend on the right numbers popping up in the hopper.

It has left fans ending the season cheering for losses as the perverse nature of the Lottery has taken over every opportunity for the team.

That might be fine if the team could at least gain something positive from the remaining games on the court.

The team has been so destroyed and wrecked by injuries that the team has not been able to establish consistent rotations or playing groups for young players. They have tried their best to keep them in roles they can still succeed in.

Injuries have left a sour taste in everyone’s mouth this season as the Orlando Magic have drifted to the bottom of the standings and hope for the promise of a draft pick.

But without veterans to keep them organized and support them in those roles, the Magic have quickly found themselves falling behind. The games have quickly lost all meaning and while the coaches want to get something out of these final outings and put their young players in situations where they can learn and experience the NBA, it is becoming increasingly difficult.

It certainly feels like everyone is counting down these final 11 games. Official playoff elimination is coming within the week and the team is in position to secure the top odds in the Lottery, despite their best efforts to avoid this fate.

As much hope as those Lottery chances provide, it is still no fun getting there. Playing games where the team has little chance to win and that competing requires the team to play at an impossibly perfect level is nerve-wracking and frustrating.

The team probably thought it had all the bad luck it could take when Jonathan Isaac made his triumphant return in the bubble only to tear his ACL at the end of a blowout win only two games later. Coach Steve Clifford is convinced the Magic were prepared to do damage in the bubble before injuries started hitting the team — starting with Jonathan Isaac and then taking out Aaron Gordon, Michael Carter-Williams and others before the team limped to the end of the season.

This year has not gotten any better. Injuries have been the dominant story keeping the Magic from accomplishing much of anything.

Gordon’s hamstring injury from the bubble lingered into the shortened offseason and the regular season. James Ennis had a lingering calf injury throughout the shortened training camp. Evan Fournier started dealing with back spasms five games into the season. Carter-Williams started having injury issues early in the season.

Disaster only struck eight games into the season when Markelle Fultz tore his ACL in the midst of a breakout second season (even if he was slowing down by that point from a hot start to the season).

The Magic losing their starting point guard for the season and a second starter to a torn ACL in less than a calendar year was enough to believe the franchise was cursed. But the injuries were not done with the team yet. Not by a longshot.

Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic /

Orlando Magic

Chuma Okeke missed a month with a bone bruise in his knee, raising concerns after he had just returned from his own torn ACL. Cole Anthony would fracture a rib just as the rookie was getting into a rhythm. His makeshift replacement in Frank Mason would tear a muscle in his groin one game later, leaving the Magic without a point guard for a short stretch of games. Aaron Gordon missed a month with a severely sprained ankle.

Devin Cannady’s catastrophic — yet somehow still fortunate — dislocated ankle was merely icing on the cake of a season that has been filled with catastrophic injuries.

Orlando has lost more games to injury than any team in the league by a lot. And all this while rarely dealing with the health and safety protocols that were the biggest concern entering the season.

The Magic have always been behind in a season that had a schedule that would not stop. Orlando needed to play all of its players on the roster, all while fearing overuse injuries during a schedule with limited off days and virtually no practice time.

This was a debt the Magic have not been able to pay all season.

About the only good thing that has come from this season was Nikola Vucevic’s consistent play and All-Star berth. But the team understood that was not enough to propel the franchise forward. They probably understood they were spinning their wheels, but without the carrot of a playoff berth, it no longer seemed justified to keep things going.

More from Orlando Magic Daily

Even this positive got snuffed out quickly.

The team has struggled to find much footing on either end. The principles and identity they built in the two prior years in playoff trips never took hold this year with the constant shifting in the lineup and rotation. It would be hard to describe the Magic’s play style as entertaining.

The Magic pulled the plug on their team and started from scratch at the trade deadline. But even that has not ended the pain.

Orlando has played as close to the worst team in the league since the trade deadline. Injuries have continued to slow the team down. And even with a few bright spots from individual players, there is not a cohesive thing to carry through to the offseason.

This is a team drifting toward the bottom of the standings. With the Minnesota Timberwolves’ win over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday, their third straight, the Orlando Magic are now owners of the second-worst record in the league.

Disaster was always possible this season. But nobody ever imagined something like this. Something that was just one disaster and challenge after another.

The only reward that would make this season seem worth it would be a pick in this year’s loaded top-5 class. But not even that is guaranteed.

This season has just left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. It is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Waiting for June to see if this was all worth it feels a bit hollow.

There are 11 games left. The Magic are going to do all they can to make the most of this time and give their young players a chance to grow and learn something. No time on the court should be wasted.

Next. Orlando Magic must find their diamond in the rough. dark

But the sooner the team can forget this season happened, the better. Hopefully, this pain will be worth it for the franchise.