Building around their talented and athletic core of young players, it may be the first time since the Dwight Howard days to be excited about the upcoming Orlando Magic season. With all of their key youngsters on the verge of hitting their stride at the same time, the Magic just might be a playoff team as early as next season.
Before that, though, the Magic are busy playing host to the Orlando Summer League, which began on July 4 and runs through July 10. Other teams in this abbreviated league include the Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, Charlotte Hornets, Brooklyn Nets, Indiana Pacers, Detroit Pistons and Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Magic has two teams playing, Blue and White. The Blue team consists of Aaron Gordon, 2015 second-round pick Tyler Harvey, 2015 first-round and No. 5 overall pick Mario Hezonja, Devyn Marble, Elfrid Payton, Jordan Sibert, TaShawn Thomas and others. The White roster is made up of Keith Appling, Jordan Bachynski, Jahail Carson, Melvin Ejim, Glen Rice Jr., Chris Singleton, Scottie Wilbekin and others.
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Gordon has been the most impressive thus far, registering 22 points and 18 rebounds in his one game played. On July 4, Orlando Blue defeated the Clippers by one point and have a second game on July 6. The next two games are on Tuesday, July 7, and Thursday, July 9 against the Grizzlies and Pacers, respectively. Orlando White defeated the Pistons, 87-76, on July 4 and also took down the Pacers two days later by nine points. Rookies Hezonja and Harvey had 12 points and 10 points, respectively, in their first game.
With Payton, Victor Oladipo, Hezonja, Nikola Vucevic, and Tobias Harris led by first-year head coach Scott Skiles, it’s an exciting time to be a fan of the Magic. Orlando Magic tickets will be a hot item if they get off to a quick start en route to their first playoff appearance since the 2011-12 season, which is a realistic scenario in the Eastern Conference.