The Orlando Magic are a professional basketball team in the National Basketball Association (the NBA). The Orlando Magic play in the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference with four other teams: the Miami Heat, the Washington Wizards, the Charlotte Bobcats and the Atlanta Hawks. Magic tickets will surely be hard to come by during the 2010-2011 NBA season.
Magic 2009-2010 Outlook
It has been a wild ride for the Orlando Magic during the last few NBA seasons. The Magic continue to be one of the best teams in the NBA year in and year out, but that coveted NBA World Championship title keeps eluding the club. Their stranglehold on the Southeast Division - the Magic have won the last 3 division titles - could also come to an end as a result of the Miami Heat signing Lebron James and Chris Bosh this summer to join Dwayne Wade to form the superstar team of the century. The Magic won 59 games in 2008-2009 and advanced to the NBA Finals for the 2nd time in franchise history with playoffs series wins over the Philadelphia 76ers, the then-defending NBA Champion Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers. But the Kobe Bryant-led Los Angeles Lakers quickly disposed of the Magic in an easy 5 games series. The Magic believed they were the team to beat in 2009-2010 and for their 1st 8 post-season games -- 2 series sweeps of the Charlotte Bobcats and Atlanta Hawks -- it looked like they might be headed for their 2nd straight NBA Finals against the Lakers. But the veteran (and healthy) Celtics club knocked off the #1-seed Cavaliers in the Conference Semifinals and then upset the Magic in 6 games to square off against the Lakers instead. The loss left a bitter taste in the mouths of Magic players and fans and they will be on a mission to take care of business during the upcoming NBA season.
Center Dwight Howard is one of the most dominating players in the NBA. With his quickness and agility, there are few players who can defend the superstar both inside the paint and around the perimeter. Howard led the club with his 18.3 points per game and his 13.2 rebounds per game. Jameer Nelson led the team with a 5.4 assist per game average and was also able to chip in a little over 12 points a night. Vince Carter was the team's 2nd leading scorer with a 16.6 points per game average. Carter also averaged 3.9 rebounds and 3.2 assist per game and was extremely valuable on both sides of the court. Rashard Lewis also played a pivotal role each night - he was 3rd on the team scoring 14.1 points per game and grabbing 4.4 rebounds per game. And J.J. Reddick was the club's best perimeter scorer, averaging 9.6 points per game with a 40.5 shooting percentage from 3-point range.
The Magic will certainly be in the mix to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals for a 2nd time in 3 seasons, but it's unclear if they have what it takes to top the Miami Heat's three-headed monster of Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. Get your Magic tickets at the Amway Center before it's too late.
The Orlando Magic joined the ranks of the NBA in 1988 as an expansion team as part of a 4-team, 2-tier expansion. The Miami Heat and the Charlotte Hornets joined the NBA for the 1988-1989 season, while the Orlando Magic and the Minnesota Timberwolves joined the NBA for the 1989-1990 season. The early Orland Magic players have gone on to have successful positions with the head coaching and front office ranks of the NBA – Reggie Theus is the current head coach of the Sacramento Kings; Scott Skiles has been the head coach of the Phoenix Suns and the Chicago Bulls; Sam Vincent is the current head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats; and Otis Smith is the current General Manager of the Orlando Magic. In the 1st three years of the franchise’s existence, the Orlando Magic did not win more than 31 games and did not advance to the NBA playoffs.
In the 1992 NBA draft, the Orlando Magic selected big-man Shaquille O’Neal from Louisiana State University with the 1st overall pick. That season, Shaquille O’Neal was voted as an NBA All-Star Game starter and was named the 1992-1993 Rookie of the Year. The Orlando Magic finished at the .500 mark for the 1st team in franchise history, but missed out as the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference due to a tiebreaker loss to the Indiana Pacers. The successful season showed signs of good things to come, however, as the Orlando Magic would post winning records and advance to the NBA playoffs for the next four years. Prior to the 1993-1994 season, Brian Hill replaced Matt Guokas as head coach and the Orlando Magic acquired Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway in a draft day trade. Behind the lethal duo of O’Neal and Hardaway, the Orlando Magic would win 50 games in 1994, 57 games in 1995 and 60 games in 1996. The Orlando Magic lost in the first round of the NBA playoffs in 1994. But in 1995, the Orlando Magic defeated the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers to advance to the franchise’s first and only NBA Finals. The dream came to a crashing halt, however, as the Houston Rockets swept the Orlando Magic 4-0. The next season, despite winning 60 games, the Orlando Magic qualified as the #2 seed in the Eastern Conference behind the Chicago Bulls, who won an NBA record 72 games. The Chicago Bulls swept the Orlando Magic 4-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals dashing the franchise’s hopes of a 2nd consecutive NBA Finals appearance. Shaquille O’Neal signed with the Los Angeles Lakers in the off-season, leaving the Orlando Magic in a poor position.
During this time of flux, head coach Brian Hill was fired, legendary head coach Chuck Daly agreed to coach the Orlando Magic for 1 season and Hall of Famer Julius “Dr. J” Erving joined the front office. The Orlando Magic advanced to the NBA playoffs twice during this 4-year stretch, but could never advance past the 1st round. In 2000, the Orlando Magic signed superstar Grant Hill to a long-term deal, but injuries kept him from being the star he had been in previous NBA seasons. The Orlando Magic advanced to the NBA playoffs following the 2000-2001, 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 seasons, but the team never advanced past the 1st round. From 2003-2004 through 2005-2006, the Orlando Magic did not win more than 36 games in a season, but in 2006-2007, the Orlando Magic played inspired basketball and finished the season with 40 wins, qualifying for the team’s first playoff appearance in 3 years. Although the Detroit Pistons swept the Orlando Magic in 4 games in the first round of the playoffs, the pieces were in place to remain a competitive team for the long run in the NBA’s Eastern Conference behind the strong play of center Dwight Howard.
Although the Orlando Magic have not yet retired any players’ numbers during its short existence, the Orlando Magic have had several great NBA players take the floor for the Magic, including Patrick Ewing, Dominique Wilkins, Gerald Wilkins, Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway, Mark Price, Shawn Kemp, Reggie Theus, Dee Brown, Steve Francis, Stacey Augmon, B.J. Armstrong and Grant Hill.
All Orlando Magic basketball games can be seen on either the FSN Florida or Sun Sports television networks in the greater Orlando area. Orlando’s largest cable television provider, Bright House Networks, finally offers the FSN Florida television network as a regular standard cable channel so long as a customer owns the standard digital cable box to receive the digital cable signal. Prior to January 1, 2009, the FSN Florida network was not offered through Bright House. NBC, ESPN and TNT may also televise Orlando Magic games based on the popularity of the game. Tune into the Orlando Magic Radio Network Flagship WDBO 580 on your AM dial to catch each Orlando Magic basketball game on the radio. Other nearby cities also carry Magic games on their local radio stations - Daytona Beach (WELE 1380 AM); Gainesville (WBXY 99.5 FM); Panama City (WPCF 1290 AM); Tampa Bay (WHBO 1040 ESPN Radio on AM dial); and Tallahassee ("The Team" 1270 AM).