For 2022/23, Orlando has blended a team of veterans and youngsters, and this year we’re expecting them to do a little better than past seasons. While overall expectations remain low, the team could well see progress being made, if not yet quite enough to take them through to the playoffs. Internally, expectations for 2022/23 are high, with the Orlando Magic having strengthened in the last season and added new talents to their roster. It’s likely we’ll see the Magic as slight underdogs in NBA betting markets for much of the season, however they could be well worth backing against less fierce competition.
Players to look out for include Frank Wagners, Paolo Banchero, and Chuma Okeke. Franz Wagner is a 21-year-old baller from Michigan. During his rookie campaign, he displayed impressive perimeter skills for a 6-10 forward. He has also proved to be versatile and a team player. Similarly, Paolo Banchero is a 19-year-old team player with incredulous and infectious vigor and passion for the game. His strengths are his height and weight.
Chuma Okeke is a 24-year-old Power Forward drafted in the 16th overall draft by Orlando. He began playing for the Magic in 2020, and in his preseason game, he recorded 9 points, with three-pointers against the Atlanta Hawks.
The last season for the Orlando Magic was disappointing for fans, as the team finished in a familiar spot, winning only 22 games. However, many fans believed that the Magic had reverted to a building phase and didn’t have a realistic expectation for the 2022 season after trading three of their best players; Nikola Vucevic, Evan Fournier, and Aaron Gordon, in 2021.
This sentiment was strengthened by the injury of multiple players and a first-year head coach. The 22-60 record confirmed their thoughts.
A major talking point over the last year has been the development of the Magic’s youngsters, fueling team confidence and expectations going into the 2022/23 campaign. Franz Wagner, the team’s 21-year-old forward, led Germany in a 20-1 run against Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Greece in the 2022 EuroBasket.
Something else to be aware of, and another highlight for the team, is their lottery win which saw Orlando Magic claim the top spot in the 2022 NBA draft.
While they might not be the strongest team around, the Magic are always capable of putting in a strong performance on their day. Looking back at recent seasons shows a 123-89 win over the Washington Wizards in 2019/20 and a 128-89 win against the Charlotte Hornets in 2018/19, and we might see more score lines like this in 2022/23.
The Orlando Magic are based in Orlando, Florida, which makes them an Eastern Conference Southeast Division member of the NBA. The team began as an expansion franchise, and in terms of playoff successes and winning percentage, it is the second most successful of the four expansion teams brought into the league in 1988/1989.
The Magic has existed for 33 years and continues to thrive as a team with expectations to do more per season, which they rarely default. Orlando initially played games in the Amyway Arena, nicknamed Orlando arena or “O-Rena'' in its early years.
In 1999, TD Waterhouse obtained naming rights to the arena, and it was named TD Waterhouse Centre. The TD Waterhouse Centre housed the Orlando Magic until the 2009/2010 season.
The new Amway Center then opened officially on October 1, 2010. The first game played by the team in this venue was their preseason game against New Orleans Hornets on October 10, 2010 – the game doubled as their first win in the arena, too. The Amyway is usually beautiful and homely to fans and visitors. The crowd is usually alive and raucous, as they know that the team feeds off their energy, especially for big games.
It goes without saying that the Magic enjoy a close rivalry with their Florida neighbors, the Miami Heat, and the rivalry between the teams is known as the Heat-Magic rivalry. Both teams met each other for the first time in the NBA playoffs in 1997, where Miami Heat beat Orlando Magic 3-2.
Their rivalry intensified with the rise of some Miami Heat’s Dwayne Wade and Lebron James, and Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard. Although Orlando Magic is currently rebuilding, the competition remains fierce.
The Orlando Magic and the Atlanta Hawks also had an intense rivalry that grew from playoff competitions and the rise to stardom of Dwight Howard and Josh Smith, who were raised in Georgia and were from the 2004 NBA draft.