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Magic’s Nikola Vucevic ramping up work in return bid, but still days away from playing

Nikola Vucevic, Magic

Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic is still not ready to play after suffering a right lateral ankle sprain in November.

However, Vucevic has ramped up his on-court work.

Vucevic re-signed with the Magic on a four-year, $100 million deal in the offseason. In 14 games this season, he’s averaging 17.1 points, 11.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists while shooting 45.0 percent from the field, 32.0 percent from beyond the arc and 84.6 percent from the free-throw line.

The Magic are 11-11 on the season, good for eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings. It’s going to be interesting to see if Orlando can continue stay afloat in the East while Vucevic is out.

Last season, the Magic made the playoffs for the first time since 2012, the final season of the Dwight Howard era. Orlando fell to the Toronto Raptors in the first round in five games.

With Vucevic out, everyone on the Magic has to continue take their games to another level. Vucevic made his first All-Star team last season and is one of the more underrated players in the league.

Aaron Gordon being back for the Magic is huge since he’s a good scorer. Gordon is putting up 13.8 points per game on the season.