The 2013-14 NBA season did not end on a cheery note for the Orlando Magic. Their last four games of the season can be described as lacking the will and the effort to bring about a positive end result. Others say that the Magic were simply tanking on purpose just to have a better shot at the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.
I would much rather buy the excuse of tanking than believe that Orlando was playing with no heart to end the season.
But despite their mind-numbing last week of the season, there is hope in the Magic Kingdom. Yes, it was another grueling, loss filled season in which the Magic made history by being the worst road team in franchise history. Even the expansion 1989-90 team had more road wins than the 2013-14 version of the Magic, and this season’s version had more talent.
But there are bright spots that we can all look forward to. Guard Victor Oladipo was as good as advertised coming out of college and should be in the running, if not the winner, of this season’s Rookie of the Year Award. Forward Tobias Harris is making a name for himself as the next great Magic forward. And center Nik Vucevic, if he can stay healthy, has made Magic fans forget all about that former player who snaked his way out of town.
Oladipo, Harris and Vucevic, along with Maurice Harkless, are clearly the future of the franchise. One of the big question marks going into the offseason is whether or not guard and leading scorer Arron Afflalo will be around to see the growth of the Magic young guns or will Orlando sacrifice its one true veteran talent in order to land Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins in the draft.
Believe in Magic, Orlando.