The Orlando Magic played a brutal schedule from Nov. 11 through Monday. They played nine of their 13 games on the road. The Magic also played some of the NBA’s best teams, including the Golden State Warriors twice, Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves; combined, their 11 different opponents had won 57.3 percent of their games through Wednesday. The Magic struggled over that lethal stretch. They posted a 2-11 record. They also had the league’s 22nd-best offense and its second-worst defense as measured by points per possession. But help is on the way, courtesy of an easier schedule. On Wednesday night, the Magic hosted the Atlanta Hawks, the team with the NBA’s second-worst record. The game opened a new — and critical — stretch of the Magic’s schedule. The Magic will play 10 different opponents over their 13 games from Wednesday through Jan. 1, including the Hawks twice and the league’s worst team, the Chicago Bulls. Entering Wednesday, those 10 different teams had combined to win only 43.7 percent of their games. Translation: The Magic must—absolutely must — make up the ground they lost recently by piling up as many wins as possible against cellar-dwelling teams such as the Hawks and the Bulls and also beat teams that are missing key players due to injuries, including the Los Angeles Clippers.