Never fear, Magic fans. Orlando may be slumping now, but the team navigated its way back from an identical three-game slide last December, as The Athletic’s Josh Robbins observes.
Though the Magic’s shooting and defense are declining at present, Robbins opines that this too shall pass. Last season, a two-game win streak in Mexico City immediately following three demoralizing blowout losses seemed to galvanize the team.
After the losing streak dropped the Magic to a 12-15, they rallied back to finish the season with a 42-40 overall record and the No. 7 seed in the East. This year, their 12-17 record currently has them clinging to the No. 8 seed by percentage points over the 13-19 Hornets.
Magic power forward Jonathan Isaac preached optimism, too. “We’re the same team [as last year], with the same guys plus a couple of guys that make us better,” Isaac observed. “So the same guys that had that heart and that mindset last year are the same guys that are on this team. All we can do is look forward.”
There’s more from the Southeast:
- Ira Winderman of the Florida Sun Sentinel wonders if rookie Heat power forward Chris Silva, currently on a two-way contract with the team, would benefit from time logged in the G League, where he would presumably receive more consistent playing time than he does with the Heat. Meyers Leonard, Derrick Jones and Kelly Olynyk are all ahead of Silva in coach Erik Spoelstra‘s rotation.
- The 13-19 Hornets are 4-3 over their last seven contests, and their improving defensive development is a big component of that, according to Sam Perley of Hornets.com (they were 4-2 in their last six games at the time of Perley’s article, but lost last night). Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer also notes that Hornets players are buying in to a directive from coach James Borrego requesting they prioritize defensive effort.
- The current Wizards lineup is depleted beyond All-Star Bradley Beal, as Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington details. Second-leading scorer Davis Bertans, third-leading scorer Rui Hachimura and fourth-leading scorer Thomas Bryant are all unavailable with ailments. Fifth-leading scorer Isaiah Thomas awaits discipline after an altercation with two fans in Philadelphia.