Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Wednesday Windmill: The Orlando Magic are having a rough go
The Orlando Magic are having a rough go to say the least. They are 17-27 overall, 2-8 in their last 10 games, and currently on a three game losing skid after getting rocked 118-98 in New Orleans by the Pelicans. Evan Fournier is leading the way for this team with 16.5 points per game while Serge Ibaka is scoring 15.5 points, grabbing 7.1 rebounds, and blocking 1.6 blocks per game.
If I can get to the heart of the matter real quick, the issue with this Orlando team appears to be the lack of a true franchise player. Serge Ibaka was a nice addition, but he so far hasn't lived up to expectations. As for Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton, I am not yet convinced that either one of those guys will become franchise level players even though both guys are improving and scoring in double figures every night.
When the Orland Magic traded Victor Oladipo to get Serge Ibaka, the thought process was that Ibaka was going to be their franchise player and be a better guy to build around than Oladipo, who is currently getting 16.1 points per game playing alongside Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City. While on its face, trading Victor Oladipo to get Serge Ibaka wasn't a bad move, it hasn't exactly energized the franchise. Victor Oladipo (24) is three years younger than Serge Ibaka (27) and appeared to be all the more ready and excited to be the new franchise player in Orlando. Given his youth and upside, the only way it makes sense to trade him is if you can get an instant upgrade and a guy who is more capable of leading your franchise. Serge Ibaka at the moment is not looking like such an upgrade.
Overall, all that the Orlando Magic can do is hope that Serge Ibaka and Evan Fournier get more comfortable being their go to guys and continue to grow in their roles while Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton continue to develop as well. I'm not ready to write off this Magic team as a lost cause, but it's certainly approaching that point. I just don't see this team being a a serious contender for quite a while.
Note: Evan Fournier has missed three straight games with a right heel injury and remains out indefinitely. Not good.
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