Oct 9, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo (5) is consoled by head coach Jacque Vaughn after their game against the New Orleans Pelicans at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. The New Orleans Pelicans beat the Orlando Magic 99-95. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando Magic: Losing with a purpose

Losing sucks. That still hasn’t changed.

However, losing with a purpose is better than winning without one. If the goal is winning titles, it’s better to be Orlando or Philadelphia than Atlanta or Milwaukee.

The Magic don’t have a shot at the 2014 NBA Finals. This year is an investment for Orlando in which losses will yield better returns than any win. Another loss, another dollar invested in the future.

Oklahoma City is the blueprint for most small market teams. Draft well, be patient and you will compete for championships in due time. We see what the Thunder are now and tend to forget that even with a budding star in Kevin Durant and rookie Russell Westbrook, OKC still lost a lot of games.

The start to the inaugural season for the Oklahoma City Thunder back in 2008 could not have gone much worse. They began the year 1-12 before Scott Brooks took over as head coach. The mindset in OKC was always optimistic, mostly because the city was just happy to have an NBA team. The Thunder were an exciting team to watch. Kevin Durant was in his second season and really looked to be improving from his rookie year. Russell Westbrook was a controversial draft choice, but quickly began winning over fans with his play. It wasn’t long after this season that the Thunder began to get a reputation as the team with some of the most intense practices in the NBA. The credit for establishing that work ethic and drive has always gone to Durant and Westbrook, who often reference that season and how tough it was to go through those growing pains, losing so often, yet beneficial for the long term. Some franchises are able to sign free agents and make trades and quickly become relevant. Sam Presti and OKC knew they weren’t going to be able to build a champion like that. They had to establish a culture and a winning tradition. That started the very first day of that first season.

Andrew Kennedy, Thunderous Intentions

For Magic fans concerned about the final score, it’s going to be a long season.

From time to time Victor Oladipo, Tobias Harris, Nikola Vucevic and Maurice Harkless will dazzle us with moments of brilliance. However, those moments will be buried within a campaign of growing pains.

We here at Presto in the Paint will still write game recaps. We’ll tell you the score and break down what happened the night before. But most importantly, we’ll analyze the individuals on this team and explain how they can help this team win a championship five years from now, because that’s the purpose of this season.

 

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