|2013-14 Team Rating|
|26thth Overall||17thth Overall|
Stats Through Jan. 20
Nik Vucevic and Glen Davis are entrenched in their positions and have been productive, although neither has been off the charts. The rotation at small forward has been much more fluid, with Tobias Harris and Maurice Harkless both earning double-digit starts this season.
Victor Oladipo's finding out just how difficult it is to be an every night star in the NBA, something veteran point guard Jameer Nelson could have warned him about in advance of this season. Arron Afflalo leads the Magic in scoring and has had some spectacular performances this season. An All-Star? We'll see.
For a team that won just 11 games in the first half of the season and owns the worst road record in the league, the Magic play defense way above their pay grade. There is a flicker of competitiveness, some fight in this group that might one day help dig them out of their current mess.
A colorful assortment of youngsters (Kyle O'Quinn, Andrew Nicholson and E'Twuan Moore) and veterans (Jason Maxiell) have all made contributions. Still, this group has no discernible identity to speak of. There simply is not enough accomplished talent on hand.
It's hard to grade the job Jacque Vaughn has done because the Magic have been in a perpetual rebuilding mode from the moment he set foot in Orlando. In this case, Vaughn isn't necessarily what his record says he is. But it's hard to know for sure what kind of coach he really is, even now.
No one needs to utter the dreaded "T" word (tanking) in regards to the Magic. They were headed to the Draft lottery before the first training camp whistle was blown. Besides, it's not tanking when you are in the midst of a massive, franchise-altering rebuild that requires more time and young superstar caliber talent than the Magic have either of right now.
The Magic are still digging out from under the rubble of Dwight Howard's departure and all that his decision to leave town the way he did wrought. Folks in Orlando probably hate to admit as much, but the truth stings sometimes. And it will continue to do so until the Magic find a player(s) capable of helping to reverse their current trend.
-- Sekou Smith
Explanation of Marking System
|Golden State Warriors||A-|
|Los Angeles Clippers||A-|
|Los Angeles Lakers||D|
|New Orleans Pelicans||C-|
|New York Knicks||D|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||A|
|Portland Trail Blazers||A|
|San Antonio Spurs||A|