The Orlando Magic are at a bit of a crossroads as they begin the third quarter of the 2024 regular season.
Monday's 126-99 home loss at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers might prove the Orlando Magic are improved but not quite ready to hang with the big boys in the Eastern Conference.
The team currently sits at 23-21, just two games above .500. They are in the 8-seed, 2.5 games ahead of the Chicago Bulls for that spot in the 7/8 Play-In Tournament and only 1.5 games back of the 6th seed and avoiding the Play-In Tournament altogether.
Simply put, the Magic are smack-dab in the middle of the playoff race and right where we had hoped they would be. If not for their offense being stuck in the mud, they might be even higher in the standings. Right now, they find themselves a step below the real contenders in the conference.
The inconsistency, offensive struggles and changing rotations contribute to the many questions the fanbase seems to be asking as the team turns for home and begins a playoff push. Although there is general positivity around the Magic, most understand windows are only so long and waiting too long to take your shot could be deadly.
The difference between this season and past seasons is these questions revolve around actual basketball like: Who is the best center off the bench? And who do the Magic need to add for a playoff push?
It is a little bit different than refreshing Tankathon and looking at mock drafts. There is a playoff chase to pursue and basketball to play past the 82nd game of the season if this team keeps trendingin the right direction.
I say all of that to say, be thankful for these questions Orlando Magic fans. It means your team is playing competitive, meaningful basketball on a nightly basis and that’s exciting.
But the second half of the season will have far-reaching effects for the team and not only set them up for this year's playoff push but just how quickly the Magic can make that climb to contention.
It starts with the urgency of the next 20 games into the third quarter of the season.