The Orlando Magic ha ve been hit badly early in the season by injuries, illnesses, and suspension.
Vince Carter first missed time because of a sprained ankle. Ryan Anderson was next to be hobbled by the same injury. Mikael Pietrus and Brandon Bass each missed time due to flu-like symptoms. Anthony Johnson was unavailable for one game for personal reasons. Rashard Lewis missed the first 10 games of the season due to suspension.
On Monday night, the Magic finally had their projected starting lineup on the court as Rashard Lewis made his much anticipated season debut after his suspension. But also of note, Marcin Gortat missed this game due to flu-like symptoms.
As if that wasn't enough, starting all-star point guard Jameer Nelson will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Wednesday morning causing the young star to miss 4-6 weeks.
Orlando Magic fans must think this is some kind of joke. Sure, much of the talk as the season began was about the incredible depth Orlando has to work with. But even for a good coach like Stan Van Gundy, shuffling a new lineup every night is getting to be difficult.
The Orlando Magic have had trouble early in the young season developing consistency on offense and defense. As terribly as they've played, somehow they managed to win eight out of their first 11 games.
On Monday night against the Charlotte Bobcats, the Magic shot a terrible 42 percent from the field and allowed the Bobcats shoot over 50 percent. Yet, somehow came away with the win.
This is the story of the young season for the Orlando Magic. Last season the Magic killed teams with the 3-ball and so far this season their shooting as if the trey will kill themselves.
Last season the Magic finished as the best team in the NBA in defensive efficiency, this season they've allowed teams like the Pistons, the Bobcats, the Raptors, and the Thunder to all shoot over 50 percent. This team quickly needs to realize they were not successful last season because of their offensive firepower.
They were deadly because of their stifling defense. They were powerful defensively because Dwight Howard was the most dominant man on the floor.
Thus far, Howard has had trouble staying on the floor. Howard’s numbers are incredibly low early in the season. There are surprisingly four players who ha ve more double-doubles than the Daily Double himself.
With Dwight constantly in foul trouble, and several others not on the floor due to injuries, illnesses, and suspensions, this Orlando Magic team has yet to find its identity. But when most teams search for their identity, they normally ha ve trouble staying competiti ve .
The Magic are still coming away with wins. But how much longer can they continue escaping with wins is yet to be seen. In an 82 game NBA season, you will not go on forever escaping with wins.
Whatever this teams plans on doing, they better do it quick. And they'll be doing it with a guy nicknamed “White Chocolate” at the point.