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Magic in midst of tough road trip

Magic on the road again
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Orlando Magic (10-25) has not got off to a good start in 2014. The Magic have gone (0-4) this year. The Magic have dropped five straight games and need to get it turned around in the win column. On Wednesday in Portland they faced off against the Trail Blazers (27-9). This was the first time these two teams have met this season. The Magic fell 110-94 in Portland as the Trail Blazers shot lights out in the fourth quarter. The Magic had the lead for a good portion of the game but couldn’t finish it. Afflalo led the Magic in scoring with 22 once again. Tobias Harris has looked good as a starter as of late. Victor Oladipo got the start as well on Wednesday night. This is a young and athletic duo that needs to get out in transition and run more. Oladipo in the starting lineup is always a good thing for Orlando as he can do it all while providing tons of energy. Victor had a ridiculous block in the fourth quarter in the open court. All five of the starters were in double figures for the Magic but it was not enough to overcome the Trail Blazers. The Trail Blazers have had a great season but the Magic needed to be more competitive in the fourth quarter as a team during this late game on Wednesday night. Portland outscored Orlando 39 to 19 in the fourth. The Magic needed to attack the bucket more and failed to do so down the stretch which led to the loss as they watched their twelve point lead fade away.

Nik Vucevic was sidelined due to a concussion he had on Monday night against the Clippers. Vucevic has been putting up big numbers this season and may be out for a while which will lead to big troubles down in the post. Everyone is going to have to play better defensively as he is their anchor. Glen Davis is too small to play center for this team. Anytime there seems to be a dominant center on the opposing team the Magic tend to struggle. Davis may be a bruiser down low but the Magic need a true center like Vucevic. The Magic will have to make do with what they have for now. Everyone is going to have to step up while he is out. The bench needed to show up a little bit more on Wednesday and the team defense needs to step up. Afflalo and Nelson seem to be trade bait as the season goes on. Afflalo, 28, has his highest trade value right now. He is playing out of his mind right now averaging 20 points a game this season.

This team has not played well vs the Western Conference dropping the last eleven games against the West. The Magic have not been able to mustard a win against the West in two months. The West is a much stronger conference then the Eastern Conference though. The Magic are not scoring enough and they need to pick up the pace on offense. Jacque Vaughn has plenty of young talent on this team and he needs to find the best way to use them. The Blazers got off to a fantastic start this season and continued to showcase their great team on Wednesday. Portland was in a tough stretch before this game dropping five of the last seven games. The Magic are now (3-14) away from the Amway Center.

The Magic began the year with a loss in Cleveland to start the year, then fell to the Heat at home and then dropped the game in Los Angeles vs the Clippers on Monday. Orlando has three more road games before they return home. This could be a very deadly stretch of the season. To finish off the road trip they go to Sacramento Kings (11-22), Denver Nuggets (17-17) and Dallas Mavericks (20-16) before returning home next Wednesday against the Chicago Bulls. This five-game western road trip is going to be a big test for the Magic and they need to continue to battle and be competitive. The Magic get another shot against the Trail Blazers in March at the Amway Center.

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