Understanding Orlando Magic’s Bad Season

Sports
Aaron Gordon

The Orlando Magic have missed the playoffs for the sixth year in a row. Most analysts never predicted they’d reach the post-season this year anyway. However, the expectation was for the team to make real progress. Instead, the team backtracked. In fact, the team record went from 35 wins to 25 in only two seasons. The Magic’s bad season is due to poor roster management, horrible injuries, and just general lack of talent.
Understanding Orlando Magic’s Bad Season
By and large, the Magic didn’t manage the line-up well at all this season. Really, the team didn’t have a choice. After all, the injury problem was a hindrance all season. However, the Magic still ran the floor with too much focus on length and athleticism.
Orlando’s Bad Lineup Rotation
Last season, Orlando lost too many games due to poor bench play. New management did a good job building Orlando’s new bench last off-season. Regardless, the team still digressed. Length and athleticism remain too prioritized on this team.

Surely, those aren’t bad qualities, even in today’s league. Players like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kevin Durant are obvious proof. However, the Magic have made drafting for physical qualities over talent too much of a priority the last several years. Even the newer, better management is guilty of this.
Drafting is Orlando’s Biggest Woe
Drafting Jonathan Isaac showed that even new general manager John Hammond looks more towards physical qualities than talent in the draft, similar to his predecessor. Of course, Isaac has a great deal of potential despite being a project of a player. But the draft mentality of the Magic remains the same. If the Magic are going to see real improvement, they need to draft for talent instead of roster design.
Injuries Beat the Magic
Ultimately, you can chalk down the Magic’s bad season to injuries. Sure, a healthy Magic team probably wouldn’t have made the playoffs. But it’s worth noting that the Magic probably don’t win a measly 25 games if they had been a healthier team. Notably, the Magic only had a full roster for one of their eighty-two games. That was the home opener against the Miami Heat.

Since then, the injury bug plagued Orlando all season long. At one point, none of the starting players were healthy. Additionally, important players like Jonathan Isaac and Jonathon Simmons also dealt with injuries. Particularly, Isaac’s injury …read more

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