5 questions for fourth quarter of the Orlando Magic's 2024 Season

This season the Orlando Magic solidified the foundation of their rebuild. They end the third quarter of the season firmly in the Eastern Conference playoff race. There are still a lot of questions about this team that will be answered in the fourth quarter.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero (5) and forward
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero (5) and forward / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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5 questions for the fourth quarter of the Orlando Magic's 2024 season

Is Cole Anthony out of his third quarter slump?

Cole Anthony is an explosive guard with the ability to score at all three levels on offense and crash the glass on both ends.

He struggled most of the third quarter of the season, averaging just 9.4 points in February in addition to an uncharacteristic 72 percent at the free throw line.

In January, Anthony really struggled, shooting 37.5 percent from the floor and 23.8 percent from beyond the arc. He averaged only 8.8 points per game.

For the third quarter of the season, Anthony averaged 8.3 points per game while shooting 41.8 percent from the floor and 31.4 percent from beyond the arc. He has never been the most efficient player, but he was always a reliable shooter and scorer. That is the part that the Magic were missing much of the last 20-plus games.

On defense, he was consistently being put on an island and his effort was not enough to shut down scorers.

In the last three games in February, Anthony appeared to have started to bounce back a bit, increasing his scoring output to an efficient 12.0 points per game in that stretch. He made just 30.8 percent of his threes in those games. He still has to work his way out of the slump.

But there is good news. After the All-Star Break, Anthony looked refreshed, averaging 11.1 points per game and shooting 43.7 percent from the floor. He is still hitting only 30.8 percent of his threes. But he was able to start hitting shots more consistently.

That was a good sign as the Magic need the lift off the bench. Anthony is going to have to give the team a little bit more for this playoff push.

Anthony's cold streak has been extended throughout some of January and February. But Anthony has started to play better recently and it would be surprising for him not to have a strong fourth quarter given his work ethic, athletic ability and basketball IQ.