The NBA regular season is finally here. The Orlando Magic will open their season at home versus the division/in-state rival Miami Heat.
The Miami Heat are one of the Orlando Magic’s toughest rivals. The energy in the arena will be electric as Miami fans tend to pour into the Orlando arena to support their team. The crowd is usually split 50/50 causing a ruckus the entire game as the teams go back and forth. Both teams have been in a bit of a rebuild recently with Miami showing more promise than Orlando. Both teams will look to challenge the Washington Wizards for supremacy in the South East division this season. It’s imperative for Orlando to get off on the right foot as they take this season one game at a time. Here are a few things to watch for as Orlando goes into tonight’s game.
The Orlando Magic will be an exciting team to watch this season. The up-tempo style of play that Coach Frank Vogel has installed proved successful during the preseason. Orlando is an average shooting team and has more players suited for scoring in the paint. Whether they are driving to the basket on isolation or catching lobs in the lane the Magic have athletes that can score at the rim. Pushing the ball up the court on makes or misses to get the jump on the defense will be a staple of the Magic offense. Starting the season with their foot on the gas the entire game will set the tone for the rest of the season. Look for Orlando to score a ton in transition.
Aaron Gordon has had a terrific preseason for the Orlando Magic. Gordon has teased the NBA with flashes of greatness for three seasons. He is on a mission to show that he is the All-Star Orlando has been missing since Dwight Howard’s departure. Gordon is also entering the final season of his rookie contract and decided to bet on himself instead of signing an extension. Coming out hard in the first game of the season is critical for his confidence and continuing the momentum gained during the preseason. Gordon will be all over the court both on offense and defense. His presence must be felt in this game. Look for Gordon to get to the rim often.
Coach Frank Vogel is known around the league for his defense. The Orlando Magic have put together a roster that is more than capable of being a top-tier defensive team. The team is long and athletic with versatility at each position. The ability to defend multiple positions is not an asset anymore, it is a must. The Orlando Magic are embracing position-less basketball and have no problem switching pick and rolls or playing one on one. Look for the Orlando Magic defense to fuel the offense. Tough defense causing bad passes and tipped balls will allow the Magic to get out into transition and score.