40 points. 15 rebounds. And 4 steals. Those are the incredible numbers Magic forward Aaron Gordon pulled down in their game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. This isn't just one of those freak happenings either, as he's been proving his consistency and skills this far into the season. Although, not everything is all good in Orlando. In fact, it's the complete opposite. After starting off the season on fire, they poured a bucket of cold water on themselves, which resulted in a 9 game losing streak. Currently standing with a 9-13 record, the Magic need to stay strong to dust off that dirty record. In order to do that, they will need to trust their best player, Aaron Gordon.
So far this season, Gordon is averaging 18.6 points, 8.4 boards, and shooting 43.8 percent from the three-point line. Pretty good numbers, that's for sure. If he can keep this up, winning Most Improved Player of the Year could definitely be in his future. Maybe even an All-Star nod. However, it's his stellar play for the team that seems to matter the most right now.
After the disappointing loss to the Indiana Pacers this past Monday, Aaron Gordon said,
"I'm not taking a moral victory out of that. The coaching staff can take whatever moral victory they'd like out of that, but I don't. I don't think the other on the team will either."
Now that right there sounds a leader on the rise. For the past five seasons, the Magic have had two glaring problems. One, they're not consistent. And two, they don't have a go-to guy or a leader. The consistency problem is a team effort thing, so that is out of Gordon's control. However, Gordon himself seems to be stepping up to the plate. Whenever Orlando is in a rut, he is the most reliable player to score the ball or defend the best opponent.
He'll make mistakes along the way, but he's undoubtedly going in the right direction. Head coach Frank Vogel also needs to see how well Gordon has improved. A few years ago, Gordon was just a super athletic defender who had handles. Now, he's transforming into an all-around threat. He deserves the ball more, and if the Magic want to win more games, drawing up plays for Gordon is a good option.
Overall, it's still early in the season. Anything could happen. However, as long as Gordon stays healthy and motivated, Orlando has a future star in their hands. Thing is, this is his contract ending year. Hopefully, the Magic have a future with Gordon himself, or else things will look dark in the Magic Kingdom.