Tonight, on the road against the New Orleans Hornets, the Orlando Magic seek out their 10th straight win of the regular season. The last time the Magic had a double-digit winning streak in the franchise’s 22 years of existence? Never.
Needless to say, a little history is at stake.
Before Orlando plays later this evening, it’s only fair to put into perspective what they’ve been able to accomplish the last few weeks.
Fortunately for those interested in the numbers, Daniel — a frequent contributor of the APBRmetrics discussion board — crunched some numbers and revealed that the Magic have been playing a lot of above-average basketball lately, sans their performance against the Milwaukee Bucks a week ago.
In fact, despite jettisoning noted defenders like Marcin Gortat and Mickael Pietrus, the defense has remained static thanks in large part to the combined powers of Dwight Howard and head coach Stan Van Gundy. The most important part, and the primary reason that general manager Otis Smith made the trades, is that Orlando’s offense has improved dramatically in recent weeks. Smith made the gamble that Howard, the two-time Defensive Player of the Year, would be enough to anchor the Magic’s defense and so far his decision has been paying off in spades.
Orlando has a tough road ahead — literally — with four games left away from home, including a rematch with the Boston Celtics on January 17. Still, even if the Magic drop a game, whether it’s tonight or another night, it’s been fascinating to note the improvements on offense.
It’s been a season-saver.