The Orlando Magic have been bitten bad by the injury bug. While a series of injuries in a short period of time is usually a bad thing, it may actually be helpful for the Magic. The 2012-13 season is already lost but with a series of injuries to veterans, an opportunity may have arisen. It could be something that could help the Magic in the long run.
Last week veteran Glen Davis fractured his foot against the New York Knicks. It may have ended his season prematurely. Just days later J.J. Redick began suffering from a sore right shoulder. Despite the fact that an MRI exam revealed that there was no structural damage, he is out for the time being. With these two veterans currently injured, in addition to Arron Afflalo, an opportunity has come for others.
The Magic season is officially lost. After a strong start, the team hit the skids mid-way through the season. They’ve lost 10 straight games and 12 of their last 14 contests. It’s looking less like the 1999-2000 “heart and hustle” Magic that finished 41-41 and more like the 2003-2004 Magic that won just 21 games. Currently that Magic sit at 14-34.
The Magic are in a rebuilding period right now which is led by the young players acquired in the Dwight Howard trade this past off-season. While Nikola Vucevic and E’Twaun Moore have received significant minutes from Jacque Vaughn, others have been less fortunate. These injuries to Davis, Redick and Afflalo, who play more than 30 minutes a game, will give more opportunity for experience for the younger players.
The Magic currently have six players at 23 years of age or younger. Of those six only Vucevic and Moore receive more than 20 minutes a game. These six players are the future of the Magic organization and the injuries to the older veterans may give players like Kyle O’Quinn, who only plays 6.1 minutes per game, more experience.
With more experience these young players will grow faster and the Magic may compete at an earlier time. Whether they deal with injuries or not, the Magic will likely have a lottery pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. The Magic have been lucky in those draws as Pat Williams has come away with the top pick three times in the team’s 24-year history. With a top draft pick and a young but experienced team, the Magic could soon be ready to compete again.