From being a playoff contender year in and year out, to being at the bottom of the standings, the Orlando Magic have been spiraling downward. Ever since the trade that sent their superstar Dwight Howard packing, there have been talks of the Magic “tanking.”
What is tanking? It’s a word people use to describe a team that loses in order to get a high pick in the upcoming draft. Last year, the Magic had the worst record in the NBA which eventually granted them with the second overall draft pick. They selected Victor Oladipo with the hopes of him being their future superstar.
Throughout the first half of this year, the Magic looked like a team built for the future and not the present. The loses were piling up for the young team and things looked to be going in the same direction as last season. Faced with the daunting task of playing the top two NBA teams in a row, many people saw these games as automatic losses. Something seemed to click though and they did something that would shock everyone.
Facing the top team in the West in the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Magic were down as much as 17. After storming back in the second half, the game was back and forth in the last minute. Down one with the clock ticking down, the Magic led a fast break which concluded with Tobias Harris’ game winning dunk at the buzzer. Two nights later facing the Indiana Pacers, the Magic were again down 17. The Magic made another huge comeback in the fourth quarter leading them to victory. These wins may have been a turning point for the Magic. Tanking doesn’t seem to be their plan anymore.