We will have to wait until next year to see Nik Vucevic in an Orlando Magic uniform.
The Magic have shut down Vucevic for the remainder of the season, deciding to go the ultra-cautious route instead of rushing to bring him back from a sore left Achilles tendon. He was on the court in Brooklyn on Sunday, running sprints and shooting the ball, but the Magic figured that since the season is lost anyway, it made little sense to bring the 7-footer back.
Vucevic’s presence could have really helped against the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, where Orlando was out-muscled by Brooklyn’s big men. Before Vucevic went down for the season, the big fella was averaging a double-double with 14.2 points per game (a career high) and 11 rebounds a game.
All of this spells bad news for the Magic as they take on Joakim Noah and the Chicago Bulls on Monday night in their final road game of the season. Without Vucevic to control the paint, Orlando will be at the mercy of Noah’s punishing defense and Carlos Boozer‘s inside-outside game.
This is where Orlando desperately needs to bring forward Tobias Harris into the starting lineup, as he can neutralize Chicago’s big men with his toughness and athleticism. But as it stands, Dewayne Deadmon and Kyle O’Quin will be the starting big men for the Magic on Monday, which means Orlando’s frontcourt will be pushed around once again like rag dolls.
There is no need to cry over spilled milk now. With a season like this, maybe it was a good decision by the Magic to not bring Vucevic back to this horror show.