The Orlando Magic stumbled a bit last week as they suffered their first set of back-to-back losses on the 2017-18 NBA season. Week three of the NBA wasn’t kind to Orlando as they attempted to battle through adversity. As a result, the power rankings heading into week four tumbled for the team.
Week three of the NBA power rankings witnessed the Orlando Magic return to earth. The team lost their second starting point guard in DJ Augustin to a hamstring injury and the results were catastrophic. Their once high-powered offense became stagnant as ball movement slowed and open shots began to not fall as frequently. As the Magic finished with a 2-2 record.
The Magic found victories on the road against the New Orleans Pelicans and the Memphis Grizzlies but lost both contests at home against the lowly Chicago Bulls and conference leading Boston Celtics in what transpired into blowout losses. As a result, they loss their top 10 rankings in most outlets weekly power rankings.
ESPN – Current ranking: 14 , Previous ranking: 12
While the rest of the world waits for Aaron Gordon to cool off from beyond the arc, Gordon continued to defy the odds last week. He knocked down 9 of 17 triples and has now scored in double figures in all eight games this season, after doing so in just 61 percent of his games last season. — Micah Adams
NBA – Current ranking: 13 , Previous ranking: 9
Whether it was regression to the mean, injuries to their point guards, or a combination of both, the Magic offense that ranked second in October ranks 30th in November after a couple of ugly losses (without both Elfrid Payton and D.J. Augustin) to Chicago and Boston. Their other four starters have scored 121 points per 100 possessions in 86 total minutes with either Augustin or Payton at point guard, but just 96 in 69 minutes with either Shelvin Mack or Jonathon Simmons. Payton is expected to return from his eight-game absence against New York on Wednesday.
USA Today – Current ranking: 11 , Previous ranking: 14
The Magic entered the weekend leading the league in three-point percentage on offense (44.2%) and defense (28.6%) then proceeded to shoot 16-for-64 from deep in losses to Chicago and Boston.
Sports Illustrated – Current ranking: 18 , Previous ranking: 19
Tickets are on sale now for the regression tour. Somehow Orlando pulled out a win over Memphis, but blowout losses to the Bulls (yikes!) and Celtics should keep the Magic right here.
As embarrassing as the last two losses have been in Magic Kingdom, the Orlando Magic have not shown regression in their two losses. They are simply a team without their starting or reserve point guard trying to stay afloat while they await their returns from injury. If the landslide continues against their opponents this week, then expect a landslide in the power rankings next week. The Orlando Magic face the New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets and need to find their lost shooting touch from deep.
Statistically, the Orlando Magic still hold favorable ranks amongst the league. They rank 5th in pace per game at 104.4. They took a dip in offensive rating at 105.3 — good enough for 12th in the league. Their defensive rating remains top five at 100.9. And they cap it all off with an overall net rating of +4.3 which keeps them in the top 10 of the league at position nine.