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Orlando Magic won 10 more games, but fell short of post-season

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It was better. It wasn’t good enough.

How else are the Orlando Magic supposed to look at another season that didn’t end up in the playoffs? They won 35 games, 10 more than a year ago. But they fell short of their goal of the post-season.

So was it improvement by young players who are getting better? Or was it biding time until a new group gets here? Was the good start (19-13 on New Year’s Day) a sign of things to come?

“We got comfortable. We were satisfied and happy that we had improved so much from last year and we got comfortable,’’ Alex Gordon told PureMagic.com. “When you get comfortable you start to slack and your urgency loses (its edge). That’s the formula for how January was for us because we all got too comfortable.’’

When a team talks about the playoffs, it is a letdown when it doesn’t reach them. But, really, how many games should the Magic have won?

“That’s something we talk about every day. We just got away from some of the things that we were doing well on that end,’’ coach Scott Skiles said. “We’d sprinkle in a couple of games where we’d get our opponent down to 42 percent and a decent percentage from three and we didn’t foul so much and the opponent didn’t get to the line so much. There’s a lot of things that have gone into (the drop-off). I just don’t have a great answer for that question, quite honestly.’’

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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