3 goals for the Orlando Magic to finish the season

The Orlando Magic have struggled in their record, but Jamahl Mosley has some very successful lineups he can use to soften that blow. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
The Orlando Magic have struggled in their record, but Jamahl Mosley has some very successful lineups he can use to soften that blow. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports /

The Orlando Magic have kicked off the post-All-Star Break run of the season in good fashion by winning the first two games before falling to the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night. With the recent return of Markelle Fultz, the team is the healthiest it has been all season.

But the Magic still find themselves at the bottom of the Eastern Conference with virtually no chance at making the playoffs.

Coach Jamahl Mosley, as well as Magic fans, were expecting this to be a rebuilding season. The season has been openly about progress and development. The team itself is not judging itself based on its record.

The Orlando Magic are entering the final quarter of the season with a lot they still want to accomplish. A lot of it will have to do with the team’s continued growth and development.

Even though the record does not indicate, there have been many positive takeaways from this year.

With less than 20 games remaining, it is important for the Magic to build momentum going into the offseason.

They can achieve this by focusing on these 3 goals for the remainder of the season:

Goal #1Build a Team Identity

The Orlando Magic currently have the third-youngest roster in the NBA.

Naturally, younger teams are prone to struggle in key areas such as turnovers and closing out games. Both of these played a major role in the Orlando Magic’s 122-114 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday.

At some point, the team is going to have to start developing an identity. We know the Magic would like to play faster on offense and they are currently in the top half of the league in pace of play, but that is not translating to points.

They are averaging only 103.8 points per game which is 27th in the league. One of the problems with playing in an up-tempo offense with young guards is the probability of turnovers.

This has plagued the Magic all season and they are currently fifth in the league in turnovers per game. As the turnover issues improve, this team should get more shot attempts and score more points.

Defensively, the Magic are 24th in defensive rating and allow 112 points per game which is 21st in the league. One area the Magic excel in is limiting their opponents scoring in the paint.

Orlando is sixth in the league in fewest points allowed in the paint at 44.5 per game. This is an area coach Jamahl Mosley and his coaching staff should be lauded for.

The Magic should build on this strength the rest of the season and focus on improving other areas of their defense such as limiting their opponents’ second-chance points.

Using a consistent rotation for the remainder of the season will help Orlando develop and hold true to the identity Mosley wants the team to have.

Related Story. Orlando Magic have put focus on winning third quarters. light

Goal #2Build chemistry and cohesion

Putting together a winning basketball team is more complex than simply putting pieces together like a puzzle. It takes many practices, games, and familiarity with one another to get the team to gel on a consistent basis.

This also includes finding the right lineups to put on the court, not only at the start of the game but also in the last five minutes. Coach Jamahl Mosley has a lot of versatility with this roster and he can use different lineups to combat opposing teams.

The big lineup with Mo Bamba and Wendell Carter works at the beginning of the game but we have seen Jamahl Mosley use a smaller lineup in other stretches of the game, depending on the opponent.

Jalen Suggs and Cole Anthony have had the majority of the season to play together and their chemistry will only improve as they both continue to develop their game.

Markelle Fultz’s return from the injured list is a great addition to the roster with all he can do on the court. But it further crowds the backcourt where starters, Anthony and Suggs must get their minutes.

In addition, the Magic also have to find time for talented guard R.J. Hampton, who can do multiple things on the court as well.

In order to do so, it might be beneficial down the stretch for Mosley to limit the minutes of veterans Terrance Ross and Gary Harris to give more playing time to the players previously mentioned to help them develop for the future.

We are all still waiting to see if Jonathan Isaac will make a return to the court this season. But with every day that passes, it lessens the probability of his return. The Magic should focus on the players who are healthy and part of future plans to get them as much time on the court as possible.

This season was all about the development of the young talent on this roster and creating a formula that can translate into winning basketball. With less than 20 games to play, it is time for the Magic to stay competitive and win some games.

Orlando Magic see R.J. Hampton's biggest growth on defense. light. Related Story

Goal #3Stay competitive and win

“Tanking” is a strategy used by teams in almost all of the major American sports. There is a time and place to lose games down the stretch in order to gain better positioning in the draft. The Magic are at the bottom of the standings with the worst record in the league are seemingly assured of receiving the top odds to win the NBA Draft Lottery.

That is something for fans to pay attention to. The team needs to be thinking about themselves and how they can continue to develop their team.

Right now, it would be beneficial for Orlando to stay as competitive as possible for the final weeks of the season.

Orlando has already positioned itself to have a great opportunity for a top-five pick. With the current lottery rules, they would be guaranteed a top-five pick if they finish with the worst record In the league.

Either way, the odds are the Magic will be picking near the top of the draft in June.

I love the potential of Auburn forward Jabari Smith and Duke Forward Paolo Banchero, but neither player is going to make the Magic a championship contender in the immediate future.

It is more important for the Magic to continue developing their young core and win as many games as possible.

Coach Jamahl Mosley is trying to build a winning culture in Orlando and the only way to accomplish that goal is by winning games. If there were a Tim Duncan or LeBron James in the upcoming draft, I would change my tune in a heartbeat.

Orlando Magic's key matchups in March. dark. Next

The future for Orlando lies with the development of its current players. They have tasted enough losing for one season. With only 20 games left in the season, it’s time to start winning games and build momentum for the 2022-23 season.