The Orlando Magic (8-19) has been struggling as of late. They did not have a good road trip and looked to regain some momentum at home for the holidays but now have dropped their first two games of the six-game homestand at Amway Center. The Magic are usually a much stronger team at home but have not proved it this week. To begin the six-game homestand they could not overcome the Sacramento Kings on Saturday and the Utah Jazz on Wednesday. The bench seems to show up for the home games as most young teams tend to play better at home but these are teams you need to beat regardless. The Magic dropped the game in the fourth quarter against the Sacramento Kings (8-19) on Saturday night 105-100. Afflalo did play and led the way once again with 26 points. Tobias Harris got the start and put up solid numbers with 21 points as five more players were in double figures again. This is a young athletic team that needs to get out and run more in the open court. If they pick up the pace on offense fans could be surprised with the scoring the Magic can produce. It's tough to drop games you should win though.
Last Wednesday night they came back to the Amway Center after they were able to hold off the Chicago Bulls to a one point victory on Monday in Chicago to end the road trip in which they went (2-6). The Magic are now in the middle of this home stretch and need to turn it around on Monday. On Wednesday they fell short to the Utah Jazz 86-82 to start the homestand that lasts through 2013. Jameer Nelson had a team high of only 17 points against the Jazz (7-22) on Wednesday as the offense struggled to score without Afflalo. The team shot its lowest shooting percentage all year. Afflalo has been leading the way in scoring night in and night out but did not play due to illness on Wednesday and you can tell the offense missed him. Tobias Harris got the start on Wednesday night as well as Saturday night. Harris will continue to work his way into the starting lineup. Orlando had five more players in double digits but it was not enough to overcome Trey Burke and his 30 points with the Jazz to start the six-game homestand. A healthy Glen Davis will always help down in the post as he continues to get back in gear. Aaron Afflalo continues to put up big numbers to go with Nik Vucevic who is a double-double machine at the center position. This is a young team that will continue to grow each game. But this team could be one superstar away from being a great team. A mid-season trade may be in affect sooner than later.
Victor Oladipo will continue to develop as he is an all-around player that will put fans in the stands for many years to come. Jacque Vaughn is still juggling with the lineup here and there to find the best five to start. This team is very balanced as they have had five or more players in double figures in many games this season. Orlando will continue to adhere together as a team as they may surprise some fans this season. Now is the time to make a run with four more home games in a row as the Eastern Conference has not been very strong this season. The Magic will welcome in the struggling New York Knicks on Monday. The Knicks (8-18) put a whooping on Orlando the last time these two teams faced off. They end the homestand with the Detroit Pistons (13-16), Atlanta Hawks (15-12) and the Golden State Warriors (14-13) to finish up 2013. Maybe a new year is all the Magic need to turn things around.