On Dec. 1, the Orlando Magic sat second in the Eastern Conference -- above the Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers and Cleveland Cavaliers. Now, Orlando sits eighth in a packed middle ground of the conference, fighting to stay alive in the Play-In race amongst the likes of the Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls and those pesky Atlanta Hawks.
A lot has changed since the hot start to the season. But the Magic may have found themselves disappointed with where they stand.
Orlando was projected to have 37.5 wins before the beginning of the year and were picked to be an improving young squad. But they still needed development. Opposing NBA teams thought the same but were unprepared to see the young squad fly around as efficiently as they did at the year's start.
Playoff teams saw themselves at the mercy of the Magic buzzsaw set to the tune of AYO's Orlando Magic remix. Second-year pro Paolo Banchero looks like an All-Star. Franz Wagner continued his ascent as one of the best young players in basketball. Jalen Suggs looks like the guard of the future.
All started to come back to Earth as the season progressed. Playoff teams began to figure out the glaring outside shooting weakness, shutting down the paint and limiting Orlando to shooting themselves back into ballgames. Opposing squads feasted on the litany of injuries that had taken over the Magic's roster.
With less than three months to go in the reguular season, here is how Orlando can look at the remainder of the season to maxmize how they finish the year.