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Do You Believe in Magic? Podcast, Episode 11: Learning to Close

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The OPP crew discuss the Magic’s inability to close games, the upcoming trade deadline and more

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Orlando Magic Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Only two of the Orlando Magic’s previous 12 games have been decided by more than seven points.

The Magic have fought hard to topple opponents like the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, Sacramento Kings, and Brooklyn Nets.

But more often than not, it hasn’t been enough.

The Magic found themselves in the driver seat once against against the Indiana Pacers, where they led by as many as 21, including 17 at the break. However, they were forced to watch helplessly as Victor Oladipo put together enough pick-and-rolls to bury the Magic. He finished with 24 points and 6 assists in another back-breaker for a Magic team that finds themselves last in the standings once again.

But are these Magic what their record says that they are? Multiple opportunities to steal the game late seemed to fizzle out of their hands: Jonathon Simmons’ three, Aaron Gordon’s free throw shots.

As the trade deadline approaches there is no doubt the Blake Griffin trade is looming large in each of these players’ minds. They know any one of them can be sent to John Hammond’s office at any time.

Whatever the reason, we can certainly expect changes coming soon. The Magic will probably seek cap relief in the forms of unloading Mario Hezonja and Elfrid Payton for whatever they can get. Likewise, Evan Fournier’s contract can probably be had for expirings and very little else.

The page is turning on the 2017-18 Magic, and unfortunately, another rebuild looms around the corner.

Next up

The Magic will face off with the Houston Rockets this Wednesday in Houston. They’ll be challenging a team who has been near perfect this season with Chris Paul, James Harden and Clint Capela in the lineup, standing at a remarkable 20-1. Their one loss? A two point thriller involving the infamous ruptured Achilles to Demarcus Cousins, 115-113.

Join Will Ogburn and Aaron Goldstone as we talk the these topics and so many more, and please subscribe and rate the pod on iTunes today!