With the NBA season a little over halfway done, many basketball fans and analysts are starting to take note of whom will make the playoffs and whom will miss it. Currently, the Orlando Magic are struggling to create an identity in which the team can compete in the postseason.
The Magic’s recent win came against the Houston Rockets, back on January 13th, when they won 116-109. However, the Magic struggled in their next three games. They took a trip to Detroit and then hosted two games against the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks. The Magic were unable to close out those close games.
Add that with the fact that many in the fan base aren’t sure on whether this year will be seen as trying to push for the playoffs or to rebuild around a set group of players; in addition, there’s the fact that the trade deadline is looming closer, so the question on who stays and who goes has many performing much better than previously seen.
Not to mention the recent rumors regarding the Magic, Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks for the Dallas Mavericks’ Dennis Smith Jr. He is a player that the Magic may benefit from as he can help the team with it’s point guard related issues.
When speaking with the media during Saturday’s practice in Atlanta, center Nikola Vucevic touched on how the team will need to play much better if it wants to see any significant improvements.
Needing some urgency
“Next game in Atlanta is big for us and the one after that (too) because we can’t keep digging ourselves such a hole,” Vucevic said. “This is it for us. Every game for us on the board is like a game seven. We don’t have any margin for error any more. This is it for us and this is our season. So, we either show that we’re built to do this or not. So, we’ll see how we all react.”
There is truth to Vucevic’s statement. Upon viewing the current NBA standing for the Eastern Conference, you will see that the Magic have a record of 20-27. That has them in 11th place in the Eastern Conference. As a result of this, it makes sense to see the urgency the Magic have, due to the seriousness of this situation.
Getting the urgency
The Magic were able to get a good win against the Atlanta Hawks on Martin Luther King Day. Vucevic and Evan Fournier both finished with 29 points each to pace the Magic to a 122-103 win. Terrence Ross also had 16 points off the bench for Orlando’s 20th win of the year.
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