Prior to the beginning of the regular season, ESPN predicted that the Orlando Magic were expected to end the season with a record of 41-41.
While a record of 41 wins and 41 losses is an improvement over the previous seasons’ records, the Magic were determined to try to improve. They needed to win more than just moral victories.
Over the season, the team saw tremendous strides, such as competing against playoff bound teams and numerous winning streaks. They also had an NBA All-Star appearance by Nikola Vucevic, surprise trades and a playoff appearance that hasn’t happened in seven years.
New management pushing Orlando back to relevance
The team’s numerous success stories could be contributed to the new management led by Magic president, Jeff Weltman, and general manager, John Hammond. In addition, with the new coaching staff led by Steve Clifford, the team was able to look within to make those strides.
What makes the strides significant would be how it was accomplished through the same team that was here from prior seasons. Not to mention, Clifford was able to motivate his players to be more defensive minded. It resulted in the team being more competitive than they were before they hired him.
Additionally, in regards to the front office, GM Hammond’s recent acquisition of new players was great. Whether it was through trades or from the G-League, they all contributed to the Magic’s success this season.
Being unconventional to try and win
For starters, big man Khem Birch was a surprise for many. He was an excellent backup player as well as making contributions that were detrimental to the team. Additionally, the big trade that was between Orlando and the Philadelphia 76ers. They sent Jonathon Simmons to Philly while Markelle Fultz went to Orlando. Another important acquisition to the team was signing Michael Carter-Williams to the team. It gave the team a boost toward reaching the postseason.
In addition, the Magic were also the division winner of the Southeast Division, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished in years.
Thank you to the Orlando Magic for a hard-fought and memorable season.
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