In mid-December, the Magic were a surprising 11-13 and were getting career years from several players. Glen Davis, being the gregarious and good-natured player he is, endorsed a "Vote Glen" campaign to try and get him an invite to the NBA All-Star Game in Houston that year.
That same day, Davis suffered a shoulder injury and his season virtually ended. At least any outside chance of him sniffing a free trip to Houston ended then. Not that it was not a long shot.
The Magic recognize that improvement is the main goal this season and that wins may be tough to come by (not that they are not a goal each day, but the reality of this team is that there will be a little more learning than winning still).
There are still individual goals that these players want to achieve. Goals that are still out there and do appear somewhat achievable if these players have the right seasons.
Both Tobias Harris and Nikola Vucevic have gone on record saying they would like to be NBA All Stars this year.
That would be a dream come true to make the All-Star Game. That game is for the best players in this league and that would be huge for me. But I don’t think about that too much. My only goal this year is to help this team be a better team. Last year was a bitter season because we didn’t have a lot of wins. We don’t want to be a team that is known for losing. My main goal is to just make this team better this season.
Going into the season, being an All-Star is one of my top individual goals. I think I have the ability, and the team and the coaching staff have embraced me as a player. I think it’s important to go into the season with those types of goals, but at the same time, to push myself as a player and push our team to be the best team that we can be.
Both players turned in solid season last year, each's second in the league. Maybe in certain years those individual numbers, with a little more consistency, would get in the conversation.
The plain truth is that these individual goals are long shots.
In last year's All-Star Game, only three players from teams that eventually missed the Playoffs were on the entire All-Star roster -- LaMarcus Aldridge, Jrue Holiday and Kyrie Irving. The year before there were only another three -- Aldridge, Steve Nash and Deron Williams.
The plain truth is that stats alone do not get you onto the All-Star team. Team success does too.
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Both Harris and Vucevic have shown that they have the potential to get to those heights however.
Vucevic last year averaged 13.1 points and 11.9 rebounds per game, averaging the second most rebounds per game in the league last year. Harris averaged 17.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per game in 27 games with Orlando, a true revelation when given the playing time and the ball after the J.J. Redick trade.
Both could probably bump their numbers up a little bit if they want to get into the All-Star conversation. Really though, the Magic's likely record is what works against them in achieving this goal. Unless the Magic are hovering around .500 -- and they are the reason that the Magic are there -- it will be difficult to see either making the All-Star Game.
That does not mean they may not one day be All-Star caliber players. That could very well happen. It could even happen this year without the recognition of an All-Star berth.
Really, any All-Star discussion is just simply recognition for the individual growth these young players have made. If neither player reaches this goal, it would not be a lost season by any means.