As the NBA season quickly approaches, Right Down Euclid will be previewing all 30 NBA teams, breaking down the strengths and weaknesses of each franchise. This preview will focus on the Orlando Magic, who last year had a record of 20-62 and missed the playoffs.
Team: Orlando Magic
Coach: Jacque Vaughn
General Manager: Rob Hennigan
2012-2013 Record: 20-62
Place in Conference: 15th
Leading Scorer: Aaron Afflalo
Key Additions: Victor Oladipo, Jason Maxiel
Key Loses: Al Harrington, Beno Udrih
Last season was the first time since 2007 that the Magic missed the playoffs. This was expected though, after losing Dwight Howard via trade. After having the league’s worst record, they received the second overall pick. They selected Indiana standout Victor Oladipo.
Strengths: The Magic has depth in the frontcourt. Nikola Vucevic will anchor the team. Last season, he averaged 13.1 points and 11.9 rebounds. Look for him to only improve throughout the course of the year. In 2012-13, they were 10th in the league in total rebounding. Adding Maxiel will only solidify their big-man rotation. The Magic played team basketball last year; they were 10th in the league in team assists. As a team, they assisted on 59.4 percent of their field goals. Leading the team was Jameer Nelson, with a career high 7.4 APG.
Weaknesses: Although they assisted on a lot of their baskets, they struggled on the offensive end last year, only scoring 94.1 PPG. This lack of output was good enough for 24th in the league. This lack of scoring is due to a result of weak wing players, but Maurice Harkless should be a bright spot there this season. Defensively, the Magic struggled last year as well. In points allowed, they ranked 24th. Opponents shot a true shooting percentage of 54.3% against them last year, which was the 11th highest out of all 30 teams.
2013-2014 Predictions: This is another rebuilding year for the Magic. After a dismal 20 wins the year before, I do not expect huge leaps to this year. Within the first month of the season, they have two games against the Miami Heat and one versus the San Antonio Spurs. These tough games will show fans a lot about the Magic. Oladipo and Vucevic are the two best players on the team. They should entertain fans and give them hope for the future.