It's been a bit of an up-and-down season for the Orlando Magic through the first 70 games. After starting the season with intriguing upside which was highlighted by some young talent and recently-acquired forward Serge Ibaka, things have swung a bit.
The Magic now sit with a 25-45 record and are preparing to find out where they'll be in the draft lottery, as opposed to potentially pushing for a playoff berth. It seems that the team is now in full rebuilding mode, but at the very least, they were able to pick up a 109-103 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Friday night. While the win was a nice one to pick up, not all things went perfectly, and even the player who had one of the best games of the night in big man Nikola Vucevic saw a few bounces not go his way.
Actually, it was really just one half-court heave attempt (that, fortunately, didn't count) which pretty much summed up the Magic's season to some extent. Even the team's official Twitter was able to laugh it off a bit.
The heave from Vucevic was ugly, as the ball literally got lodged in the bars behind the backboard. Fortunately, the big man just laughed it off and his teammates seemed to do the same. There wasn't really any reason to care too much about it, but hey, that does still show why big men don't attempt these long-range shots when time is (usually) expiring.
The good news is that the Magic's win over the Suns in this one featured Vuc playing a huge role. He tallied an impressive 18 point, 17 rebound performance, which was complete with three steals and two assists as well. He had the best +/- on the team (+15) and has proven to be a key part of the team's future. At just 26 years old, there's plenty to love about Vucevic's game, as he currently averages 14.6 points and 10.2 boards per game.
Orlando may be lottery bound this season, but with a core that features Vucevic, Aaron Gordon, Terrence Ross, Elfrid Payton and Evan Fournier, the pieces are there for them to at least make a playoff push in the very near future. Could it come in 2017-18? It's possible, and it'll also help that the Magic are expected to have a high draft pick in what should be a very loaded draft class this offseason.