The Orlando Magic have now lost 12 straight, and 23 of their last 25 games. A main reason for this is that they are only playing half the game. In several of the games they’ve played during this losing streak, they were tied, led, or were within striking distance at halftime, but have gotten blown out in the second half.
This team must learn to play both halves.
The problem usually comes during the third quarter. After a strong first half, the team comes out flat early in the third quarter which allows the opposition to extend their lead to an insurmountable level. In many of the games they’ve been in, even a furious fourth quarter comeback isn’t enough to erase a single-digit deficit.
There were two games they’ve played where they’ve been near the opposition after three quarters. Against the New York Knicks, the Magic trailed by just six after three quarters, but were then outscored by ten in the fourth. The night before, the Magic played their best third quarter, outscoring the Brooklyn Nets by nine, before being outscored by thirteen in the fourth quarter to lose by 20.
Playing well in one of the two halves won’t win games in the NBA. The Magic have been playing well in the first half, but they’ve been unable to keep that play going coming out of the locker room. The rebuilding Magic have a lot to work on, and at the top of the list should be being able to play a complete game.