Orlando Magic’s Blue and Silver Linings: 3 key takeaways from the 2021 season

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Mohamed Bamba, Orlando Magic, Boston Celtics
Mohamed Bamba has put up some impressive stat lines but the Orlando Magic center knows some of it is hollow. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports /

They say that even in the most unfortunate circumstances, there is always a silver lining.

It is true the Orlando Magic’s 2021 campaign was . . . rough.

And while there have been some genuinely discouraging performances Magic fans have had the unfortunate pleasure of witnessing during the past few months, there is something to be said about the team’s desire to start over from a model.

The team aims to leave where it has been for the better part of a decade — meandering and hopeless.

If there is one thing that could be said about the 2021 Orlando Magic season, it is that the front office has set up the team for a potential reawakening in the following seasons.

The Orlando Magic’s season limped to a finish as the team looks to turn the page to a new era. We look back at the bright spots the team can use to grow from.

Today, we will be taking a look at the Magic’s strengths and weaknesses in order to determine what the Magic should do in this off-season to build from this trying season.

Despite how much the Magic struggled, there are still clear building blocks for this young team to grow from. That with the established coaching of Steve Clifford and the Magic believe they can take important steps as they add talent to the roster.


One of the few strengths of the Orlando Magic this season was the rebounding. The Magic ranked seventh in total rebounds per game — a result of stellar center play from Nikola Vucevic prior to the trade deadline that was continued by the play of Wendell Carter and Mohamed Bamba.

For the entire season, the Magic finished eighth in defensive rebound rate at 74.4-percent.

However, after the trade deadline, the team’s rebounding slipped. They grabbed only 71.8-percent of their defensive rebounds, finishing in the bottom five of the league. Losing one of the best rebounders in the league undoubtedly hurt the team.

This was not for a lack of trying. While neither Carter nor Bamba are rebounding at the level that Vucevic did, both got better as the season went on. Bamba finished May with a 25.8-percent defensive rebound rate. Carter’s dropped in his limited time in May to 20.0-percent.

Rebounding will be a major focus for the Magic in the offseason. It is a central skill to Clifford’s teams and their ability to compete and win games.

Both Carter and Bamba had encouraging play — especially in the final weeks of the season. They both remain a major bright spot for Magic fans heading into the offseason. The development of both players will help to provide the Magic with an intimidating frontcourt rotation capable of setting the tone on the boards.

But each silver lining this season comes with a potential weakness. That is the reality of a 21-win team. The Magic know they have to get back to rebounding effectively to have a chance to compete next season.