The Orlando Magic enter the final stretch of the regular season with plenty of work to do to ensure they make it back to the postseason. Here’s how they can do it.
The Orlando Magic have most of this coming week off after the All-Star break, not returning to action again until Friday evening. This provides them with ample time to game plan for the rest of the regular season, and to get over the injustices that came their way during the weekend celebration in Chicago.
Once they resume play, however, every game will be important, as they are clinging on to the eighth seed in the East right now, with the Washington Wizards gaining some ground on them in recent weeks. Perhaps trading away one of their own players has helped them to improve, and this is something the Magic should be wary of if they want to add to their own roster.
Whatever happens, we can safely say at this point that the first half of the season did not go to plan for the franchise. They have yet to get into a winning groove, and injuries to key players such as Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon at the wrong times have hampered their ability to be competitive every night.
The Magic will also have to make a run for the playoffs without Jonathan Isaac, the best young player on the team but who looks set to miss the remainder of the regular season through injury. His absence through a knee injury could have been worse, and it certainly could have ruled him out for a lot longer than it looks like it will, but that is scant consolation to them at this point.
As you can imagine, there is no quick fix to making the Orlando Magic better again, and there is no one area where simply turning things around will lead to more wins. The final 30 or so games will be a balancing act of trying to do enough of the right things on any given night to pull out a win. Let’s examine the three biggest areas that will determine whether they make the playoffs or not.