The Orlando Magic are off to an 0-5 start.
It honestly does not get much worse than that — aside from losing every point guard on the roster to various injuries that seemingly make things feel even worse.
Things do feel really bad for the Magic right now. Being one of the last three teams without a win this season — hello to our good friends with the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings — is not a good place to be. There are a lot of things the team has to sort through even beyond the injuries the team is facing.
The one thing the Magic should not be doing is panicking.
And while there is some rightful hand-wringing to go with the team’s poor start, no one should lose hope. Especially those who believe the team is capable of making the Play-In Tournament.
The Orlando Magic could not have gotten off to a worse start, going 0-5 to begin the year. But all hope is not lost for the team. There are plenty of rookie-led teams that started slow and recovered well.
Orlando is in a hole. But it is not a deep hole. Not yet at least.
A five-game losing streak to start the season is something the team can recover from. There should still be some hope for what the team can accomplish on the court this year beyond watching Paolo Banchero break records and win Rookie of the Year.
The team might need to make some adjustments, but there is a long — and recent — list of premium, high-level stars in the league who saw their teams reach the playoffs in their rookie years but did not get off to the starts that would suggest they would make it.
As always, it is not how you start your season, but how you finish it. The goal for any team is to get better as the season progresses. Teams need to be playing their best in April not necessarily in October and November.
This is the time to work out the struggles the team has, get on the same page, get healthy and figure out roles. All of that will help the team put this poor start behind them and pull together a group of wins — the team’s seven-game homestand that begins Thursday already looks to be a critical moment in the season if the team does have any playoff hopes.
The team needs to win for sure. And once the team gets that victory, there is not much time to waste. The team cannot get a win and then lose another five games. Once they get that taste, they have to keep building on it.
But all hope is not lost. Especially for a young team that is learning how to play together and how to win. That has played its way throughout NBA history. So it should be helpful to look back at other rookies who led their teams to the postseason but struggled out of the gates.