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Playoffs Contenders: Orlando Magic

The 2018-2019 NBA regular season ended on a positive note for Orlando Magic as they strived to secure a spot in the playoff rounds for the first time in almost seven years after they last qualified in the 2011-2012 season. Orlando Magic finished the season in 7th on the Eastern Conference and first on the Southeast Division log with a 42-40 win-loss record and a .512 win percentage. However, the team failed to carry their fairytale run into the playoffs round as they suffered elimination in the first round against eventual winners Toronto Raptors in five games.

Despite the disappointment in the playoffs, Orlando Magic has managed to reappear once again in the picture for a playoffs spot at the end of the season if it resumes. This season, Orlando Magic have shown how good they are as a team despite going through some rough patches on several occasions in the season. They are currently sitting comfortably in the 8th position on the Eastern Conference and second position on the Southeast Division with a 30-35 win-loss record and a .462 win percentage. They were also in excellent form before the season’s suspension. Here is a look at Orlando Magic’s season so far and highlight some of the positives and negatives from their season.

 

Orlando Magic’s season so far

Orlando Magic began the season with an impressive 94-85 win over Cleveland Cavaliers before going on to record just two victories and seven defeats in their next nine games. After ten games into the season, Orlando Magic had recorded three wins and seven losses, giving them a 3-7 win-loss record. For Head Coach Steve Clifford and his Orlando Magic team, this was a terrible start to a season that started on a promising note. The Magic team would then get their season back on track with three consecutive wins over Philadelphia 76ers, San Antonio Spurs and Washington Wizards. The Magic’s winning run came to an abrupt end as Orlando Magic lost 4 of the next five games with the sole win during that period coming against Cleveland Cavaliers in their second encounter of the season. The Magic recovered from the setbacks to go on a 4-game winning run with wins over Golden State Warriors, Washington Wizards, Phoenix Suns, and Cleveland Cavaliers again. However, inconsistencies set in once again as Orlando Magic failed to build on the impressive winning run, recording a single win and six losses in the next seven games. The end of 2019 saw the Magic record two wins and two losses in the last four games of the year. After the opening 33 games of the season, Orlando Magic had won 14 games and lost 19 games, giving them a 14-19 win-loss record.

They began the New Year on a good note as they claimed four wins from five games. Three wins and three losses followed in their next six games before inconsistencies resurfaced again as they lost eight and won once in their next nine games. That miserable run came to an end as Orlando Magic bounced back to win two straight games going on to record six wins and four defeats in the last ten games before the suspension of the NBA season.

 

Positives from Orlando Magic’s Season

Orlando Magic experienced an inconsistent season before the suspension of the league. However, there have been some positives in the team’s performances this season. The biggest positive has been their impressive roster built in recent seasons.

The Magic roster has a group of talented players who all been the difference-makers for the team this season. The likes of Center Nikola Vučević, Shooting Guards Evan Fournier and Terence Ross, Power Forwards Aaron Gordon and Jonathan Isaac and Point Guards Markelle Fultz and D.J. Augustin have all been standout performers in the team this season.

Center Nikola Vučević, in his 8th season with Orlando Magic, has once again been the central figure for his side so far this season. This season, he has averaged 19.5 points per game, 11.0 rebounds per game. He also has an average of 3.7 assists per game in 54 games for Orlando Magic this season.

Evan Fournier has averaged 18.8 points per game, 2.6 rebounds per game, 3.2 assists per game, and 2.0 turnovers per game in 61 games while Terence Ross also has an average of 14.8 points per game, 3.2 rebounds per game and 1.2 assists per game in 63 games.

Aaron Gordon has also averaged 14.4 points per game, 7.6 rebounds per game, 3.7 assists per game and 1.6 turnovers in 58 games with Jonathan Isaac also averaging 12.0 points per game, 6.9 rebounds per game, 1.4 assists per game, 1.6 steals per game and 2.4 blocks per game in 32 games.

Markelle Fultz has also averaged 12.1 points per game, 3.3 rebounds per game, 5.2 assists per game, 1.3 steals per game, and 2.0 turnovers per game in 64 games while D.J. Augustin has averaged 10.4 points per game, 2.2 rebounds per game and 4.6 assists per game. Augustin also averaged 1.4 turnovers per game in 49 games.

 

Negatives from Orlando Magic’s season

The primary concern for Orlando Magic this season has been their inconsistencies. This season, the Magic have had difficulties going on a longer winning run. Unlike some of their rivals in the fight for the playoffs spot, the Magic have been unable to record more than four straight wins this season. The team’s habit of losing multiple games is also a big problem for a side that wants to make the playoffs for the second season in a row. Their record on the road this season has also been abysmal. This season, Orlando Magic has won just 14 games on the road and lost 20. With a lot of away games remaining for them, the Magic will have to improve on the road to stand a chance of making the playoffs once again if the season resumes.

 

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