3 major offseason fixes Magic must make to reach 2024 NBA Playoffs

After months of basketball, the 2022-23 season is coming down to a wire. The playoff picture is taking its final shape, but there is still a lot to battle for across the league. However, some organizations are already with one eye on the 2023-24 season. This is the case for the Orlando Magic.

The team is currently 34-44 and holds the No. 12 seed in the Eastern Conference. While the Magic can still make it to the Play-In Tournament, the situation is very complicated. Orlando would need to win all of its remaining four games while the No. 10 Chicago Bulls would need to lose all of their four last games.

The Magic will face the 49-30 Cleveland Cavaliers twice at home and then the Brooklyn Nets and Miami Heat on the road, with the latter two still battling for a direct playoff spot.

On the other side, the Bulls will play the struggling Atlanta Hawks and Dallas Mavericks plus the No. 1 Milwaukee Bucks. They will finish their regular season against the 16-62 Detroit Pistons in Chicago.

With such a tough scenario, Orlando might already be thinking about the next season. With that being said, here are three major offseason fixes the Magic must make to reach the 2024 NBA Playoffs.

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3. Build chemistry early on

One thing that is certainly hurting the Magic’s postseason chances is its poor start to the season. In 2022-23, Orlando opened 5-20, which included a nine-game losing streak between November and December.

During those first months of the season, the team notably lost to the Charlotte Hornets, Detroit Pistons, and Houston Rockets, with two of them being at the Amway Center. All three organizations are at the bottom of the standings and have failed to reach 30 wins this season.

If the Magic had at the very least won those three games, it could be in a much better situation.

So, to change the situation, Orlando cannot have such a poor start to the 2023-24 season. One way to address it is to build roster chemistry early on. Whether it is with different training strategies or off-court options, head coach Jamahl Mosley should find a way to make the players be on the same page by the season opener.

With Orlando having a record of at least .500 in the first months of the season, it could certainly be in a good position for the Play-In in 2024.

2. 3-point shooting

Another area that the Magic should pay close attention to this offseason is its offense. The team currently averages 112 points per game, which is the fifth-worst in the league.

While there are many takeaways from this, one way that Orlando could improve its offensive numbers is by getting better from beyond the arc. As a team, the Magic hits only 34.8% of its 3-pointers, placing it in the bottom 10 in the NBA. Regarding total 3-pointers, it goes to the bottom five, a decrease of 12% when compared to last season.

Rookie Paolo Banchero has been outstanding in all areas but the 3-point shooting. He is making just 29.5% of his shots on 4.0 attempts a night. That includes going 1-33 in February.

Guards Markelle Fultz and Jalen Suggs are making 30.5% and 31.9% of the 3s, respectively.

Because of that, the front office should consider adding more 3-point specialists in the offseason. If they are 3-and-D players, it would be even better. With better shooters, the Magic could be more competitive against the top teams in the East, which means it can be closer to a playoff spot.

1. The injury bug, especially with Jonathan Isaac

At the end of the day, something that the Magic certainly needs to address might be a bit out of its control. Throughout the 2022-23 season, multiple key players missed many games due to injuries, hurting the team’s chances of being in the Play-In Tournament zone.

Fultz missed more than 20 games with a fractured toe he injured before training camp. Wendell Carter Jr. has also missed more than 20 contests due to multiple injuries. Cole Anthony suffered an oblique injury just five games into the season and missed the next 18 games. Even Banchero had to sit out for eight straight games with a sprained ankle.

Most notably, Jonathan Isaac suffered another setback. The forward returned to play after two and a half years but underwent a season-ending injury after just 11 games.

Should Orlando want to be a postseason team, it needs to somehow change its injury history, especially with Isaac. The Magic cannot afford to have multiple important players sitting out for 20-plus games in a season. It hurts the team’s chemistry as it needs to basically re-adapt every week.

All things considered, the Magic needs to fix this situation. It could add more conditioning to its practices or maybe rest the more impactful players in the summer and preseason. Either way, if Orlando wants to be a playoff team, it starts with a healthy squad.

The post 3 major offseason fixes Magic must make to reach 2024 NBA Playoffs appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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