With a highly anticipated 2014 draft class waiting in the wings, there has been plenty of talk around the NBA about teams giving up on the season, in order to land a top lottery pick. Amongst those teams reported to “tank” are the Orlando Magic and Milwaukee Bucks. The league’s worst teams met Friday night in Orlando as we wish David Stern a happy retirement and usher in new Commissioner Adam Silver.
Stern is an entire separate topic that requires numerous articles to cover his three decade career, so let’s get back to the bottom of the barrel. Believe me, I’d rather discuss Stern as much as you, but there was a game and it needs to be covered. To make something out of nothing, the Magic defeated the Bucks, 113-102, jumping out to a first quarter lead and never relinquishing it.
The win moves Orlando to 13-35, an ugly record, but mathematically still alive in the playoff hunt. Arron Afflalo led the team with 21 points and Tobias Harris had 18 points and six rebounds off the bench. With the victory, the Magic are only seven and a half games back of the eighth place Charlotte Bobcats.
Even though they beat the worst team in the association Friday night, Orlando has no chance at making the playoffs. Yeah, the Eastern Conference is weak, but Orlando is weaker and Milwaukee might as well play in the WNBA. As for purposely tanking, the Bucks might be better off.
Orlando, on the other hand, have a strong group of young players with a bright future. There might be a piece or two missing or it might take time, but there is a future in the Sunshine State. For all the Magic fans, just remember the old saying, “It’s always darkest just before the dawn.” As for Bucks fans, pray, dance or just wear a paper bag over your head because it doesn’t really matter.