Magic Rally Back After Slow Start

Orlando

After a slow start and losing their first 4 games, the Magic turned a corner winning 6 of their next 10 games, including a 23 point comeback on the road against the Hornets.

The Magic have played more road games than any other NBA team this season, and the schedule doesn’t get any easier with their next seven of eight games away from home.

This would be a tough start for any team, let alone one that only managed to win (a league low) 4 games away from home all last season.

However, when the Magic completed their 23 point comeback against the Hornets on Friday night, they notched up their 4th road win in nine attempts this season, showing just how far they have progressed from last season.

In this recent stretch of games, Orlando kept close against the best in the Eastern Conference, matching the Raptors, Wizards and the Heat until the last few possessions of the game.

The Magic also beat the Pistons by 14 on the road and the Bucks at home by 16.  They were however easily beaten twice in this stretch by the LA Clippers and most recently the Cavaliers.  The Magic looked impressive with close wins against the Knicks and the Hornets.

The Hornets win was made more special with the manner in which the Magic got back in the game after trailing by 23 points.

Jacque Vaughn looked to his bench searching for some kind of spark.  He found it with Elfrid Payton, Ben Gordon and Willie Green.

The Magic trailed by 15 entering the final quarter, but Orlando shot a blistering 71.4 percent (15 of 21) in the fourth quarter and outscored the Hornets 41-21.

In the final period, Willie Green and Ben Gordon both scored all of their nine points, whilst Payton added eight of his impressive 16.  The 23 point comeback against the Hornets was the 3rd biggest comeback in the Magics 26-year history.

Return of Victor Oladipo

Oladipo surprised many when he returned to game action against the Bucks. Originally he wasn’t expected to return till mid December, but he scored 13 points in 25 minutes of his first action of the season. He scored a season-high 22 in the 106-74 loss against the Cavaliers.

Other News

Aaron Gordon had successful surgery on his left fractured left foot on Friday and will be re-evaluated in 6-8 weeks.

Performer of the week

Nikola Vucevic has been strong all season at the centre spot for the Magic, averaging over 12 rebounds and 20 points a game in the last 10 games.  He was particularly impressive against the Heat scoring 33 points and securing 17 rebounds.

Upcoming fixtures

November 26th v Warriors

November 28th @ Pacers

November 30th @ Suns

December 2nd @ Warriors

December 3rd @ Clippers

What to watch out for

With seven of the next eight games on the road, its going to be a tough stretch for the Magic. Orlando has also been severely hit by the injury bug, with three starters Kyle O’Quinn, Evan Fournier and Tobias Harris all sidelined.

With the return of Victor Oladipo, Elfrid Payton has lost his starting place and his minutes have been severely cut. Elfrid and Victor have rarely shared the back court at the same time, and Payton’s growth has definitely suffered.

What are your thoughts on the Orlando Magic’s season so far? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

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