The Magic fared about as well as could be expected on their six-game road trip, going 3-3. But since, they have dropped three straight, including two blow out losses to Indiana and Dallas.
As a result, they have dropped in NBA Power Rankings above, and as you can see in the photo above, Steve Clifford is not thrilled about it.
Still, the Magic are sitting in the eighth sport in the quarter-season Eastern Conference standings. And the upcoming schedule offers reason for hope and an opportunity to better position themselves in the standings and future power rankings.
Click on each publication for the full rankings...
ESPN - Magic fall from 21 to 24
The Magic are a decidedly average team right now, having won their past three games against teams with records under .500 and having lost their past four against teams with records over .500. They are hanging onto the final playoff slot in the East, but only three games separate them from the 11th-seeded Nets. -- Andre Snellings
CBS Sports - Magic remain at 22
A hidden reason for the Magic’s success: Terrance Ross, who is coming off the bench and having the best season of his career. Ross is averaging a career-high 14.4 points per game on career-high 40 percent three-point shooting. -- Reid Forgrave
NBA.com - Magic remain at 21
The Magic’s two games in Mexico City this week count as home games, and maybe it’s not a bad thing that they’re getting two fewer games at the Amway Center, where they’re now 6-8 after losses to the Nuggets and shorthanded Pacers last week. The Indy loss on Friday was the sixth time they’ve scored less than a point per possession at home (the Suns are the only other team that has done it six times at home). The Magic remain pretty good as long as their four main starters are on the floor, but the latest fifth starter -- Jonathon Simmons -- has shot 32 percent in his six starts and has an effective field goal percentage of 35.3 percent for the season, down from 51.1 percent last season. That’s the biggest drop among 197 players with at least 300 field goal attempts last season and 100 this season. -- John Schuhmann
SI.com - Magic fall from 22 to 24
After getting back to .500, Orlando dropped two straight at home. It seemed like the Magic were on a roll after forcing overtime against the Nuggets, but they didn’t have enough in the extra period. With two of their next five against the Bulls, the door is open for Orlando to get better situated in the Eastern Conference standings. But it will take a few more games of 30-plus assist nights if this team is going to really establish itself in the playoff picture. -- Khadrice Rollins
UPROXX - Magic fall from 23 to 25
It isn’t a surprise to most, but regression is striking in Orlando. The Magic are in the midst of a three-game losing streak and, on Monday evening, they were bludgeoned by the Mavericks in dominant fashion. It would be unfair to say this is a “new normal” for Orlando but their playoff dream may have to wait. -- Brad Rowland
Rotoworld - Magic at 23
After getting back to .500 following road wins in Phoenix and Miami early last week, the Magic came back home and lost two straight to the Nuggets and Pacers. Orlando travels Dallas on Monday, but then play seven of their next eight games in Orlando. The only road game over that stretch is against the Bulls in Chicago. -- Tommy Beer
Bleacher Report - Magic at 22 (Posted December 7)
Wins over the Suns and Heat got the Magic off to a strong start this week, and the Nuggets needed overtime to take them down by a final of 124-118 on Wednesday. That knocked Orlando back to 12-13 on the season.
Orlando could benefit from more looks at close range, but the offense lacks downhill attackers, which is largely why the Magic rank 27th in frequency of attempts at the rim. Keep an eye on these guys if the market for point guards opens up; a slithery ball-handler that gets into the lane could unlock some new offensive dimensions. -- Grant Hughes