Orlando Magic coach discusses the Magic loss to the Celtics.

It had to happen sooner or later for the Magic: Frustrated veterans coming to the realization that this rebuilding deal isn’t a lot of fun.

My question: What took ‘em so long?

Actually, Glen Davis and Arron Afflalo likely knew all along that their team didn’t have enough horses to be threats. Sometimes, the competitor in you needs to experience it first-hand. 

Davis and Afflalo privately huddled together in the locker room after San Antonio dismantled the Magic, who fell to 5-9.

Publicly, each later talked about unnamed teammates, experienced or not, sticking to their roles and knowing their jobs, questions that never dog the Spurs of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.

Davis: “They play well together…they’re the prototype of what I think (Magic Coach Jacque) Vaughn wants us to play. When I think of all those guys, they know their roles extremely well. We still to find out our guys. And then everybody can kind of move on. At the same time, we need to grow, to find out who’s our energy guy. Who’s our vocal guy?"

Afflalo: “It’s not a free-for-all. There has to be some clarity.”

Davis: “We have to hold those guys accountable.”

Afflalo: “We are going to start….building in the right direction as a unit.”

Davis and Afflalo seemed to be sending messages to teammates, but  Vaughn does set the   starting lineup and rotations and monitor player performances.

Afflalo even brought up the fact that apparently one player had a towel over his face during the game. “We have to develop a winning mentality and winning habits,” he said.

Afflalo said, given the Magic’s rebuilding status, it’s not so much about wins and losses, but “to understand what winning looks like. It doesn’t happen in the next game, but the building block (for it) does,”

I’m not sure it’s all that complex, really. I understand the attention to building a winning culture. But the Magic were facing three Hall of Famers in Duncan, Parker and Ginobili and were up against one of the NBA’s most consistently sound franchises.

“We can’t do anything about the hall-of-famers. We just have to go out there and do what we need to do,” Davis said. “We need to build our culture here. It’s the beginning, we’re trying to work on something that’s bigger than ourselves. So we all have to do the things that are going to put us in the situation that’s going to get that type of culture.”

The simple answer: get better players.

Davis finally hit the truth of the matter.

“We’re still building and learning, but we got our ass kicked today,” he said.

Brian Schmitz is the Magic Insider for the Orlando Sentinel. You can reach him at bschmitz@tribune.com. And you can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/@magicinsider.