The NBA season is in its final sprint.
The trade deadline and All-Star Break are in the rearview mirror and the focus is wholly on the basketball. Or mostly on the basketball.
The culmination of the long NBA season is finally coming into focus. The playoffs and the chase for a championship are on the horizon. Everything around the league is about to ratchet up in its intensity.
That includes for the Orlando Magic.
Even though the Magic currently sit at the 13th seed in the Eastern Conference, they find themselves squarely in the Play-In chase, even if on the periphery of it. They are only 3.5 games back of the Washington Wizards for the 10th seed and a spot in the Play-In Tournament.
With 21 games left in the season, this is more than doable if the Magic can just get better in a couple of key areas that they struggle in.
The Orlando Magic find themselves playing meaningful games after the All-Star Break as they stare down a real chance to make a Play-In push if they can get their game right.
The Magic need to improve on three main parts of their team in order to have a real fighting chance at getting an opportunity at some playoff basketball: Their scoring, their rebounding and their turnovers.
All these are normal struggles for a young team learning and finding their way in the NBA, but the Magic need to overcome these struggles to prepare for their bright future.
To get to a play-in spot will be difficult. But it is not impossible. It is also the well-needed competitive gameplay the Magic need a taste of, and there is a recipe to achieve it.