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With the Magic currently in third place in the East, I find myself wondering, “What’s so bad about this team? Why all the fuss about making trades?”
In the second half of the season, fans need not worry about who is going to make the playoffs or who looks “pretty good even though they don’t have a star.” Fans and analysts alike should only be looking at contenders. Real contenders at that.
Orlando, simply stated, is not a contender. So what should we expect if the Magic’s roster stays the same as it is right now through the rest of the year? A first round knockout from the playoffs is a strong possibility. Well, that is, unless they can play really well for a long stretch in the postseason, a concept that has been foreign in Orlando since the 2010 NBA Playoffs.
The only reason for such grim realism here is the ever-apparent truth that at the moment, Orlando is awfully inconsistent. Just a day or two after Duhon, Davis, and Clark play well, writers and fans are screaming (and tweeting) to have them tarred and feathered and kicked out of town. A day or two after Jason Richardson goes on a sizzling streak from deep, he completely disappears. Even the centerpiece, Dwight Howard, struggles at times with consistency.
We have witnessed writers sing Dwight’s praises for putting up a massive double-double and then turn on him saying that he has given up, lost the desire, or is playing selfishly.
To be clear, two types of teams go deep into the playoffs: 1) teams that have a versatile superstar who can carry a team (LeBron, Wade, Kobe, et al) or 2) teams that get hot at the right time (Dallas).
You just don’t see inconsistent teams — teams that don’t win when they are supposed to — go out of the first round of the playoffs.