Orlando Magic: Inconsistency Has Doomed The Magic
Despite swinging for the fences last summer, inconsistency has doomed the Orlando Magic during the 2016-17 season
The Orlando Magic have been somewhat of an enigma this season. They went out and signed/traded for some guys in the offseason that suggested that the team wanted to make the playoffs this year.
Giving up a young asset like Victor Oladipo for Serge Ibaka was one of those moves, and they also decided to sign Bismack Biyombo and Jeff Green to some huge contracts in free agency.
All of those things were signs that the team wanted to win now, but so far in the season that hasn’t been the case, and it all comes down to one thing – inconsistency.
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You just never know what team you’re going to get on a nightly basis. One day they’ll play great, and the next night they’ll just come out with little to no energy.
A prime example of that was their game against Atlanta Feb 4. The team came out right from the opening tip giving up points at will.
The Hawks outscored them 65-39 in the first half, and that was just a hole they couldn’t dig themselves out of. But that’s just one example. Some games they’ll actually play well, but they just don’t do a great job closing.
They lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves (Jan 30) that exact same way. The team had so many chances to close out the game, but they just couldn’t do it. In the end it all came down to Elfrid Payton who decided to take a tough three-pointer to try to win it for the Magic, and as anybody would have guessed he missed the shot (career 29% shooter from deep).
After the missed opportunity passed, Minnesota rallied in the fourth quarter to ultimately win the game in overtime.
But again, that’s another example of how they just always seem to lose games even when they have so many chances at winning. However, the odd thing about that is the team seems to do really good when going up against the top-level competition in the league.
I mean, they’ve beaten the Toronto Raptors and the Washington twice now, and the Memphis Grizzlies once. So that says something about how good they really could be.
It’s all going to come down to if the team can rally together and make a push these for the postseason over these last 28 games. If Orlando can do that they’ll have a shot at making the eighth seed. They have enough talent with Evan Fournier, Nikola Vucevic, Elfrid Payton, Serge Ibaka and Aaron Gordon.
But they’ve got to do a better job putting it all together.
Losing to teams like Minnesota, Phoenix and the L.A. Lakers is a recipe for disaster. So in order for them to right this ship, they’re going to need to start beating the teams that they’re supposed to beat.
If the Orlando Magic can just start doing that the wins will slowly start piling up. But again, it’s ultimately going to come down to the teams’ effort on a nightly basis. If they start playing better defense (something Frank Vogel preaches) and smarter offensively, they have just as good a chance as any other team has to making the eighth and final seed in the Eastern Conference standings.