Magic really likes to beat big teams
Before last night’s game against Orlando, the Sixers looked untouchable behind the Joel Embiid-James Harden duo, riding a seven-game winning streak. But that didn’t settle with the Magic, who came to Philadelphia to enforce his law. Paolo Banchero’s gang sure likes to hit the big boys!
The most in-form team of the moment, 21 points behind the second best team in the East? No problem for Orlando, who came back from a score of 48-27 in the first half, after a second period of sheer dominance, Philly won on the floor (67-47 for the Magic after the break).
We have to get used to it, this version of Orlando is no longer a team to be taken lightly.
Philadelphia found out the hard way, though other big boys also went up against some fine Florida youngsters this season: Especially the Celtics, who are the best team in the NBA, but lost to the Magic three times (!) in a month. Golden State’s defender has lost twice in two games against Orlando. The Clippers – with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George – also lost the only matchup against Mickey’s favorite team, same for Dallas, Phoenix or New Orleans.
Four of the last six Magic wins have come against teams currently in the playoffs.
◻️ W vs. Philadelphia
◻️ W vs. Boston
◻️ W vs. New Orleans
◻️ W vs. Golden State pic.twitter.com/e1LQRYVG7V
— The Athletic NBA (@TheAthleticNBA) January 31, 2023
Little Magic therefore grows. Orlando’s young center was ranked the second-best prospect in the entire NBA behind Memphis in a poll of major league media in early January. A pretty surprising result when you think about other franchises like Oklahoma City, New Orleans or Cleveland, but it makes more and more sense given the recent results of coach Jamahl Mosley’s squad.
Don’t sleep on the Orlando Magic. After beating Philly on the road tonight, the young Magic are 15-11 in their last 26 games after a 6-20 start. The improvement has been phenomenal and Jamahl Mosely deserves a ton of credit.
— Stan Van Gundy (@realStanVG) January 31, 2023
Former Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, who was quick to talk about Orlando’s current good results, was not overlooked. “phenomenal progress” For team Florida. This progress is clearly symbolized by Paolo Banchero’s spectacular rookie campaign, the rise of German bullpen Franz Wagner in his sophomore season, or even the revelation of Bol Bol.
“We are a very good team. We just have to learn to play with the same intensity every night. We have to learn from this match and do the same in the next match regardless of the quality of the opponent.
– Paolo Banchero
What we’ve seen in Orlando this season is a rebuilding franchise taking a real step forward in its rebuilding project. Big wins against Boston, Philadelphia and Co. are there to show for it.
When a team has a core of up-and-coming guys like the Magic, we may think that collective progress is automatic, but this year we can clearly see that this is not the case everywhere. The Houston Rockets still aren’t moving up despite accumulating big draft picks, same for Detroit, which once again finds itself at the bottom of the Eastern Conference (yes, Cade Cunningham is injured, but still). So you have to give credit to this Orlando franchise, the young guys on the field, and Coach Mosley (Last Chance U, not Jamahl) for keeping them in good shape to succeed.
A testament to the Magic’s progress, some insiders are now talking about Orlando as a team that could be aggressive around the trade deadline. We recently talked about the rumored Fred VanVleet who could be coming to bolster Florida’s youth to give him a chance to hang onto the play-in tournament in the East.
Because that’s what we’re talking about right now in Orlando. Play-in, future playoffs and less drafts.