Playoff Result: N/A
Key Additions: Victor Oladipo (draft)
Key Losses: None. Seriously, they lost no one important.
Projected 2013-14 Record: 25-57 (14th in East)*
What to expect: The Magic are going to be bad. Like so bad. Like “OH DEAR LORD YOU’RE ON ANOTHER LOSING STREAK!?” kind of bad. They won’t be the worst team in the NBA this season however, that’s going to go to the Sixers or Suns. As bad as they’ll be, the Magic should still be pretty fun this season. With all of their young players a little older and a little more experienced they should have a better idea of how to play at the NBA level. There were times last season where the offense would go stagnant, less of that should happen this season.
Harris finally got his chance to shine last season after being traded from the Bucks at the trade deadline; his minutes per game went from 11 minutes to 36 a game and in the process his scoring went from five points a game to 17 a game.
Maurice Harkless and Andrew Nicholson, another promising rookie, both added some muscle to their game this season. This will help the two players the closer they get to the basket. Harkless had a hard time finishing shots with the type of contact you aren’t going to receive calls for in the NBA. This season he should be able to finish that shot. Nicholson, on the other hand, has not only gotten bigger but has added a corner 3 point shot to his game.
Victor Oladipo was the #2 pick in this past NBA draft and is going to be exciting as all get out. He’s going to be playing a lot of PG this season so it’ll be fun to see if the experiment goes haywire or not for the young hyper athletic guard. He showed some promise in summer league and his early pre-season games but he has a problem with picking up his dribble too early.
While a few of the veterans on this team like Jason Maxiell are on the team to be mentors for the younger players, some of the players in their prime
The Magic are going to be right in the draft lottery race this season just like last year. Although they’ll be a very bad team they’ll still be fun to watch thanks to their young players and the majorly athletic Oladipo.
Matchup with the Hawks: The Hawks are going to beat the Magic hands down this season. They’re better in every single category. The Hawks are a potential playoff contender while the Magic are a lottery contender. These two teams couldn’t be any further apart from each other.
The frontcourt of Al Horford and Paul Millsap is just going to overpower the Nicola Vucevic, Glen Davis, Nicholson, Harris, and any other frontcourt players the Magic throw out there. Horford and Millsap just too good and too strong. Davis might be able to give Millsap some trouble as he is actually a sneaky good defender, but Al Horford is light years better than the four players mentioned previously. Nobody on this team is stopping or getting past Horford.
The backcourt of the Magic is a little inconsistent right now, but it mainly consists of Oladipo, Jameer Nelson, E’Twaun Moore, and Harkless. Teague is a better player than everybody mentioned, although in the defense of Harkless and Oladipo they’re still very young. Lou Williams is what Moore wants to be and Kyle Korver is going to make a young Harkless chase him all over the place and fight through screens. They’re just more skilled than the younger Magic backcourt right now.
The Magic have a lot of potential to cause a few problems for the Hawks, but more than likely the Hawks will sweep this season series.
*predicted record based on Bo’s ESPN Forecast projections for every team