The Magic have spent the last two off-seasons rebuilding a young, athletic roster. They were able to draft Victor Oladipo to guard wings, Elfrid Payton to play the point and Aaron Gordon to do the freakishly athletic things he’s expected to do in the NBA. Orlando is off to a nice start.
How far away is the Magic from being a playoff team?
We will be posting a team preview for every team up until the start of the regular season.
Here is the 2014-15 NBA season preview for the Orlando Magic.
2013-14 Win/Loss Record: 23-59
Key Additions: PF Aaron Gordon, SG Evan Fournier, PG Elfrid Payton, PF Channing Frye, SG Ben Gordon, PG Luke Ridnour, SG Willie Green, & SG Devyn Marble
Key Losses: SG Arron Afflalo, PG Jameer Nelson, SG E-Twayn Moore, SG Doron Lamb, PF Jason Maxiell & PG Ronnie Price
Projected Starters: Nikola Vucevic, Channing Frye, Tobias Harris, Victor Oladipo & Elfrid Payton
Fantasy Sleeper: SG Evan Fournier – Victor Oladipo is expected to miss the first month of the season with a fractured facial bone. Fournier had some moments last season with the Nuggets. If you’re looking for points, he could be a guy you can stream in and out of your lineup. He might also pick up some 3-pointers (he shot 38% behind the arc last season).
Team Analysis: The Magic may have found their corps of young guys to build around. I’m saying ‘may’ because Oladipo, Payton and Gordon all each have at least one glaring flaw in their game. It is up to them if they want to be a success in the NBA.
A huge question mark in Orlando is their head coach, Jacque Vaughn. He’s the kind of coach an NBA team can let cut their teeth on the job. Vaughn should have a fruit basket ready for the Magic front office. There should be a card attached that reads, “Thanks for letting me get some coaching experience while you tank.” Vaughn will be replaced by the end of the season.
Once Oladipo is back from injury, they will be fun to watch. They will catch a top team sleeping a couple times this year.
2014-15 Wins Over/Under Betting Line: 28.5 (Prediction: OVER)
2014-15 Projected Win/Loss Record: 29-53 (12th in Eastern Conference)
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.