The Orlando Magic and their final record of 25-57 last season set their highest win mark since 2012. The Magic have now missed out on playoff action for the third consecutive year, tied for the second longest drought in their 25-year history. However, now that general manager, Rob Hennigan, has assembled a core of talented young players, the Magic are ready to turn the page and compete.
Many basketball pundits agree that the Orlando Magic have a dark-horse opportunity to sneak into the Eastern Conference playoffs this season if all goes well. To do this, they are going to need to have matured significantly as a team during the offseason. This will be shown immediately from the beginning of the season as their first 6 games come against 6 different opponents who finished 2014-2015 with at least 45 wins. The Magic will take on the Wizards, Thunder, Bulls, Pelicans, Rockets and finally the Raptors to kick off October/November.
One interesting storyline to pay attention to in the early going will be the play of 23-year old Victor Oladipo. The combo guard is coming off of a breakout sophomore season in which he saw averages of 17.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.7 steals. Nonetheless still Oladipo has major room for growth, particularly concerning his efficiency and defense. However, if Dipo can sufficiently build on his 2014-2015 campaign, he could be considered for an outside shot to receive his first All-Star nod.
One key match-up to look out for will come on November 18th, when the Minnesota Timberwolves enter the Amway Center to take on the Magic. The obvious head-to-head battle to watch will come at the wing position, where two of the league’s brightest young perimeter players will take the stage. Both Oladipo and Wiggins are seen as clear-cut cornerstones of their respective franchises and both are poised for monster years. The two are both young, athletic and bring a high intensity to the court on a nightly basis, so though the two teams may be struggling, it will be a competition worth tuning in for.
Courtesy of Hoopshabit.com