The 2016-17 season came to an end for the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night. Not long after they hung on for a 113-109 victory over the Detroit Pistons, players, coaches and the front office had to be thinking about the offseason just a little.
Much needs to be done to make this team competitive. Players will need to improve deficiencies in their game while Frank Vogel and his coaching staff need to be figuring out ways to motivate this team to give their best effort every time out.
As for the front office, will general manager Rob Hennigan be part of the offseason changes? Vogel is widely expected to be given another chance to improve on his first year at the helm, but a new general manager may wish to bring in his own coach.
No one on this team is off the table when it comes to trades. The recent solid play of Aaron Gordon either makes him a building block for the future or someone who might bring a good return in a trade.
He had a monster game on Wednesday with 32 points and 12 rebounds. Elfrid Payton had a solid 21 points and 13 assists. With Vogel’s effort to “build a winning culture” a work in progress, both players will likely return.
Vogel knows that culture is not there now, but he was pleased with the play of his team on Wednesday. Despite losing all of a 21-point, first half lead, his team hung in to take the victory.
“I was hoping the starters could bounce back from recent poor performances to play well,” he said. “I’m happy with how the game went and pleased to get the W. I’m proud of how the starters responded.”
The Magic maintained a double-digit lead for most of the game, but the Pistons came on to take a four-point advantage in the fourth quarter. Instead of crumbling, the Magic, paced by Gordon and Payton, made the necessary plays down the stretch.
Vogel was most appreciative of the fans, who packed the Amway Center on Wednesday night.
“It’s been a tough season, but the way they hung in there was great, especially tonight.” Vogel said.
Perhaps the Magic will make the right moves in the off season that will build the winning culture and give the fans a lot more to cheer about next season.
“We have to work together to get better with what we have and we have to add some pieces,” Vogel said.
In the meantime, it will be an interesting spring and summer.