Rob Lunder covers the NBA for Rant Sports. For all NBA news go to the league homepage on Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @rlunder18
The Orlando Magic made one of the biggest trades in recent memory over the offseason, trading franchise cornerstone Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers as part of a massive three team deal. They were heavily criticized for the trade, originally being accused of not getting enough back in return. Aaron Afflalo was the centerpiece of the deal, along with Nikola Vucevic and St. John’s rookie Moe Harkless. Many analysts felt that they should have been the team to acquire Andrew Bynum, not the Philadelphia 76ers. Boy has time changed. Bynum has yet to play for the 76ers because of injury issues and his career outlook looks cloudier by the day.
The Magic on the other hand are having a terrific season based on predictions of where they would finish to start the season. Most people felt that they would finish with one of the worst records in the NBA and compete to win the draft lottery. That does not look accurate at all anymore as they currently sit 12-14 on the young season. Most people were skeptical that they would win 12 games all season, but here they are. Head coach Jacque Vaughn has been a terrific hire for the organization, always preaching defense to a team that is one of the youngest in the league.
Glen Davis was having a great season before his recent injury and Afflalo has stepped up to be the team’s leader, along with incumbent shooting guard J.J. Reddick. Vucevic has been a nice surprise and the team is also receiving surprising contributions from a number of other players.
The Magic have been a nice surprise this season and Orlando fans have to be thinking playoffs as the Eastern Conference appears to be wide open.