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 wrong for the Orlando Magic in 2024

1. Injuries remained key

Orlando Magic fans would often point to the site ManGamesLost.com to explain why they were so far behind. The Magic the last two years were among the league leaders in losing games to injury. In fact, they were often lapping the field.

It is hard to be successful in the league when key players are out. Availability is the best ability.

The Magic were better this year. Jonathan Isaac did not miss the entire season. Franz Wagner missed a couple of weeks with sprained ankles. Paolo Banchero only sat out two games. Orlando was very healthy.

And yet, injuries were still the story. And injuries remain a major concern for the team heading into next season.

Just four games into the season, Markelle Fultz sat out for the majority of the next 30 games with left knee tendinitis—itwas later revealed that he had a small fracture in that knee.

During that game too, Wendell Carter skied for a game-clinching rebound and fractured his hand. Carter missed the next 21 games. It was revealed after the season Carter would need a second surgery on that hand. He admitted that he tried to come back quickly and put a lot of pressure on himself.

It is a credit to the Magic that Anthony Black and Goga Bitadze stepped into the lineup and more than held the boat steady. Orlando went on a nine-game win streak with both starters out and nearly advanced in the NBA's In-Season Tournament.

Undoubtedly, Fultz and Carter had their worst seasons in a Magic uniform. Fultz averaged only 7.8 points per game settling into a bench role. And Carter averaged 11.0 points per game and 6.9 rebounds per game.

The Magic are now pondering how to replace Fultz as the starting point guard (he is unlikely to re-sign this summer as a free agent, although perhaps the Magic bring him back on a reduced salary at the end of the summer). And they may be thinking about whether Carter is the right answer at center.

Both players will need bounceback seasons wherever they end up.

Injuries are a story every year. How a team handles and manages those injuries often defines their season. Orlando was better equipped to deal with injuries this season than in the previous two years of their rebuild.

Still, it is hard to think the Magic were not held back again by injuries. Perhaps Orlando did not get a full picture of their team.