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Inconsistency is key to recent slide by Orlando Magic

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The only thing consistent about the Orlando Magic these days are the results.

The Magic, losers of five straight games, have struggled to finish lately. They’ve had games where they shot well, games where they shot poorly, games where they protected the ball, games where they did not.

Take, for instance, guard Victor Oladipo. Last week, he had a 45-point scoring effort against the Cavs. Only six other Magic players have scored that many, led by Tracy McGrady’s 62 points in 2004. Shaquille O’Neal had 53 against Minnesota.

Then came Wednesday night, and Oladipo scored only 14 and hit five of 18 shots from the floor.

Olapido, the second overall pick of the 2013 draft, figured to be a player the Magic could build around. But when a team is sputtering, most of its players seem flawed.

The Magic, playing without star center Nik Vucevic for its past seven games, have won only two of their last 10 games. They have played 19 games that have been decided by 3 points or less or gone into overtime; they are 6-13 in those games.

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Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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