On the surface, this doesn’t seem to be that newsworthy; after all, shouldn’t players and coaches sit down and hash things out if the team is getting blown out on a regular basis?
Maybe, but that’s not necessarily standard operating procedure in the NBA.
There are few practices in between the heavy slate of games and the incessant travel, so when players and coaches carve out time for meetings, things are getting fairly serious.
That was apparently the case in Orlando, after the Magic were blown out at home by a Spurs team that actually decided to play its opponent at full strength.
Magic players and coaches held a team meeting before Thursday’s practice to address several issues such as effort, accountability and defining roles.
Frustrated veterans Arron Afflalo and Glen Davis likely triggered the meeting after speaking publicly after the loss to the Spurs, especially about teammates learning their roles.
“I think we still need to find out who’s our guys and who’s not our guys,” Davis said. “Then everybody can kind of move on. At the same time, we need to grow. We need to find out who’s our energy guy, who’s our vocal guy.
“At times like this, we really need to bite down and check each other…and see what we can all do to make this team better.”
What the Magic need to know is that it’s going to be a long season.
A quick look up and down the roster shows that there isn’t enough talent to beat most teams on most nights, and while the attempt at organization and accountability is admiral to a certain extent, the timing of this meeting is laughable, considering it came after a blowout loss to the Spurs — one of the league’s best teams — which had to be somewhat expected.
Now, if Orlando were to lose by 40 to someone like the Pistons, for example? Then something like this would be completely understandable.