Orlando Magic Daily Mailbag Volume 44: Looking forward past the midpoint of the season

The Orlando Magic are hitting the midpoint of the season and find themselves in a strong position to make the postseason but with a lot of things to learn and develop within their roster. The last half of the season will be big for pointing the team's direction.
Paolo Banchero and the Orlando Magic are hitting a crossroads as they try to find their rhythm to make the playoffs and prepare for their future.
Paolo Banchero and the Orlando Magic are hitting a crossroads as they try to find their rhythm to make the playoffs and prepare for their future. / David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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The Orlando Magic have had a wild ride already this season.

They started off hot as their continuity and depth seemed to overwhelm opponents. They were hounding teams defensively and forcing turnovers, getting out in transition to feed their offense and letting their young players find themselves and their identity.

Then the injuries (inevitably) hit. The team dealt with injuries to several key players and had to learn to survive. Only in the last few weeks did it seem to overtake them.

That has pushed the Magic down the standings. After winning nine games in a row and nearly advancing in the In-Season Tournament, the Magic were sitting in second in the Eastern Conference. Now they are sitting in eighth at the back end of a tight pack in the middle of the Eastern Conference.

There is certainly still a lot of games left to play. And the Magic are slated to have the easiest remaining schedule in the league by opponent win percentage in the second half of the season, with a host of home games including an upcoming three-game stand this weekend and an eight-game homestand in March.

Orlando still has a lot of room to grow. And the second half of this season will be about that growth.

Still, there is a lot that is volatile with the Magic for the next 41 games.

The trade deadline is coming in less than a month and there is already an opportunity for the team to make some changes. And the team already seems to need those changes. Everyone can sense the Magic have gone very far with this group, but they will need more to go farther.

To be sure, the final half of this season will have all eyes on the playoffs and what this Magic team looks like when they reach the postseason. It is the driving force of this year and its ultimate goal.

There is a lot to get to. And a lot of the questions we had lingering from around the In-Season Tournament are still hovering around this team.

With that in mind, we are going to revisit some of those questions. I did a live watch along for the final day of the In-Season Tournament and took your questions. Many of them are still relevant to the team today and deserve a bit of an extended -- or updated -- answer.

This is part two of that mailbag. You can read the first part of that mailbag here.

With the Magic reaching the midpoint of their season, it feels like a good time to clean the mailbag out and get us set for an exciting second half of the season.