ORLANDO — The Magic's lofty preseason goals have morphed into disappointment and possibly more postseason futility.
After years of coaching changes and constant reimagining of the team, this was supposed to be the Magic's breakthrough year into the playoffs. But with the season more than halfway over and the team sitting at 19-32 as of Thursday and on the outside of the playoff race, the outlook appears dismal.
"I anticipated being as far over .500 as we are under .500," said first-year coach Frank Vogel. "Overall I'm disappointed in our record and working diligently to turn it around."
Despite Vogel's efforts to turn things around — shifting players in and out of the starting lineup and mixing and matching various combinations — it just hasn't worked and doesn't seem like it's going to anytime soon.
"We all planned, had thoughts about being a better team than we are," forward Jeff Green said.
Magic time for Lakers: The Lakers brought Magic Johnson back to the team as an adviser to owner Jeanie Buss. Johnson, one of the most beloved players in franchise history, will assist Buss "in all areas of basketball and business," according to the team.
Game highlights: Dwight Howard scored 24 and grabbed 23 rebounds to lead the visiting Hawks to a 113-108 win over the Rockets. … John Wall scored 33 as the host Wizards won their sixth straight, 116-108 over the Lakers.
Around the League: The Magic's Aaron Gordon, who finished second in last year's All-Star dunk contest, is returning for another shot, Feb. 18 in New Orleans. Also, defending 3-point champ Klay Thompson of the Warriors will defend his title (full fields, 2C).