The Orlando Magic are one of the most exciting young and, for lack of a better word, bad teams in the NBA. It’s clear that this team isn’t going to be a poor team in terms of record with building blocks like Victor Oladipo, Nikola Vucevic and Tobias Harris, but as of right now they’re still growing and adjusting to the league as a whole.
One of the biggest signs of a young team that’s still building and developing is when that team is on the defensive end of the floor. Many young players come into this league and are able to find their games offensively relatively soon, but their defense is something that takes time to develop over time. There are exceptions to that, of course, but it’s a pretty acceptable rule of thumb to look at young teams and players with.
The Magic as they are currently constructed certainly fit that bill. On Friday night as they faced off against the ailing New York Knicks, Orlando allowed the Knicks to grab their second consecutive win and look like they were never ailing at all. On the night, New York put up 121 points while shooting 53 percent from the floor and 50 percent from long-range. The Magic also forced the Knicks into only 10 turnovers on the night.
Orlando’s defense is a big reason why they sit at just 6-13 through their first 19 games of the 2013-14 season. They have the seventh worst defense in terms of efficiency at this point in the season, allowing 104.2 points per game. For a team with a young and pretty inconsistent offense, they aren’t going to have much success playing that generously on defense.
In the end, you have to like this Magic team looking to the future. You can see the pieces developing in place and can also tell they still have some moves brewing behind closed doors. For this season, though, the Magic are going to continue to lose games with the defensive effort they’re putting forth. The potential is there, but this team still has a lot of room left to grow and adjust to this league.