3 Things that went right for the Orlando Magic in 2024, 3 things that went wrong

The Orlando Magic had a successful season that saw them break through to the Playoffs. As they look ahead to a busy offseason here is what went right and what went wrong.
Paolo Banchero and the Orlando Magic had a breakthrough season. Plenty went right, but there is plenty to build upon.
Paolo Banchero and the Orlando Magic had a breakthrough season. Plenty went right, but there is plenty to build upon. / Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports
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3 things that went right for the Orlando Magic in 2024

1. Camaraderie and Togetherness

The Orlando Magic knew very early on they had something special. The rest of the league had a sense of it too.

The Magic were constantly described as playing extremely hard—usually a backhanded compliment to teams that are not winning a lot of games but are still engaged and doing the right things. They were constantly described as having something of a college vibe and atmosphere.

Everyone took notice of it. And when the Magic started winning, it remained something that differentiated the Magic.

A season that early on everyone felt would be similar to the 2000 Heart and Hustle team quickly became something more. This team did not just play hard; they were endearing and seemed so tight and together. That is how the team survived early season injuries and stuck together through all the ups and downs of the season.

It may have ended up being a strength that carried the team through most of the season. The Magic stuck together and created a culture that meant something.

Jeff Weltman has often dismissed the term culture, especially in a rebuilding context. But there is an undeniable culture the Magic have built.

More than the Xs and Os, Jamahl Mosley created an environment where players solved problems on their own, held each other accountable, and took true ownership of their success. Mo Wagner said it repeatedly—but first during the team's nine-game win streak in November—the success this season was not built just in this season. It was built over three years of working and playing together.

The 2024 season was about how this team grew over the next three years.

Replicating this camaraderie and togetherness will be the Magic's biggest challenge. If there is a concern about this summer and adding to the roster, it is disrupting the chemistry the team built. That is the reason the Magic stood pat at the trade deadline. The risk of interrupting what the team had built was not worth it.

Betting on that proved correct. The Magic went 20-11 after the trade deadline and clinched the 5-seed. Now the team has to figure out how to bottle and replicate it for next season.