The Indiana Pacers have already accomplished everything they wanted to accomplish this season. So in their final game of the season, they decided to rest their regulars to gear up for their quest to take down the Miami Heat in the playoffs.
This game was basically gift-wrapped for the Orlando Magic. With the Pacers benching and resting their starting rotation, they all but told the Magic that this was their game to lose. The Pacers did not want to win this game. They were just going along with the flow.
Apparently, going with the flow is all that is required to beat the Magic these days.
In a season filled with failed promises and little continuity, it would had been nice for Orlando to go out on Fan Appreciation Night with a win for their fans. Magic fans already knew that this was another lost season, but it would have been honorable for the team to at least show some pride in the final game of the season.
But in the end, the Magic showed no pride, no heart and no hustle. This was their gift to their tortured fan base, another heartless effort against a Pacers team that really could have cared less about being at the Amway Center. To Indiana, going to Orlando for the final game of the season was like a one-day vacation.
Now the Magic will head into the offseason with more questions than answers. What will happen with Arron Afflalo? Will Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker join the youth movement in Orlando? Will the Magic have a set rotation? Will the Magic show more heart next season? These are all valid questions that will need to be answered if Orlando is going to have any chance of being relevant next season. But one thing we can be thankful for now is that this season has mercifully come to an end.
Maybe that was the best gift for the fans on Fan Appreciation Night.