The Orlando Magic are somehow playing some good basketball to start this new season. What's been the cause?
Orlando is doing something that fans didn't expect in the slightest, and that's winning ball games. So far, they're sitting 2nd in the Eastern Conference with a 5-2 record to go with it. It's not like they're barely beating teams either, or just getting an easy schedule. On Oct. 21st, right off a back to back, the Magic obliterated the Cleveland Cavaliers, 114 to 93. Just to prove themselves, even more, six days later they took down the San Antonio Spurs, 114 to 87. Last season, either of those games would've been an easy blow out from the opposing team. Now, something is different. The blood in this Magic roster is pumping, and it's all starts with the new front office.
This past summer, Jeff Weltman and John Hammond were hired to turn this rebuilding team into a threat. So far, so good. They drafted a potential-filled player in Jonathan Isaac and signed some solid players in Jonathan Simmons and Mo Speights. Every team needs a great front office to get the wheels rolling. Now, it appears Orlando finally has the right brains for their team. However, this 5-2 start is really a credit to the players. Nikola Vucevic has been showing up and scoring like there's no tomorrow. Evan Fournier is shaking out of his recent slump and has been outstanding. And Jonathan Simmons is just an angry dog, who'll hustle and boost the team up any day of the week.
Then, they have the biggest man on campus so far, which is Aaron Gordon. In the seven games the Magic have been through, Gordon is averaging 21 points, 9 boards, and 1 block per game. It's still early, but his presence is such an important factor. He's improved his shooting without a doubt, and his defensive tools were already there, to begin with. He's turning into quite the all-around player, so hopefully, he can build on that.
What seems so different from the Magic this season from last season is the chemistry. Last season, there didn't seem to be much of a unit. Everyone seemed lackadaisical, no one played for each other, and the losses didn't help. Fast forward to now, everyone seems on the same page. It's basically a fresh new team, and that's what they needed.
Again, it's still really early to come to conclusions. However, this is definitely a sign. Not just luck. Not just by chance. The Magic are finally getting the big picture. As long as they keep their consistency up, the entire league will know this Magic squad is dangerous.