Tuesday , Mar , 06 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Magic fall victim to rough road stretch

(Sports Network) – The Orlando Magic had to have been wondering what they did
to deserve their recent four-game road trip.

Either the victims of just plain bad luck or excellent foreshadowing by the
NBA, the Magic recently completed a brutal four-game road trip a mere 1-3.
However, most would have forgiven them if they lost all four games.

Orlando opened up the trek on February 26 with a win over Chicago, a club
making a push to move to the top of the Eastern Conference, before falling to
Allen Iverson, Carmelo Anthony and the Denver Nuggets. Both of those clubs are
much alive in the playoff hunt in their respective conferences.

The Magic then concluded the trip with losses to San Antonio and Dallas. The
Mavericks have won 15 games in a row, the Spurs nine. Both are powerhouses in
the Western Conference.

A split of the swing would have been nice, but victories became more of a
necessity since Orlando, perhaps looking ahead to the tough trip, lost four in
a row heading into the journey. After the swing, The Magic rebounded slightly
on Monday with a home win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

So now, with seven losses in its last nine games, Orlando finds itself tied
with New Jersey for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern
Conference. The Knicks are just a half-game back of the two teams.

Also, the Magic have slipped six games behind Washington for the top spot in
the Southeast Division.

On the injury front, forward Grant Hill has missed Orlando’s last three games
because of arthritis in his left foot. Hill is second on the team in scoring
at 14.5 points per game and he is also grabbing 4.1 rebounds per outing.

The Magic will hope for Hill’s return soon as the club has tough games against
Chicago and Houston coming up this week.