Orlando Magic

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Orlando Magic

Orlando Magic

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Magic Corner

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 Hornets and the Atlanta Hawks.  Magic tickets will surely be hard to come by during the 2014-2015 NBA season.

Orlando Magic 2014-2015 Outlook

Elfrid Payton is a sneaky Rookie of the Year candidate, Nikola Vucevic just inked a reasonably priced extension and the Orlando Magic’s defense has allowed an exceptionally stingy 97.2 points per 100 possessions during preseason play.

You can correctly cite the fact that the Magic have been such sound statistical stoppers because their preseason schedule included the hapless Sixers and Indiana Pacers. But, Victor Oladipo’s being sidelined for a while with a nasty injury...no good.

Oladipo, last year’s lottery pick and someone the Magic hoped would take a leap this year, was already battling a bad knee during the preseason. Neither he nor Orlando needed this.

But what’s good? Payton is going to get a chance to prove himself immediately.

But Bad? Looks like Ben Gordon is in the mix to start at shooting guard.

Amway Center

The Orlando Magic now play their home games at the newly-opened Amway Center in the heart of downtown Orlando.  The Amway Center is part of a plan to improve the sports and entertainment venues in the downtown Orlando-area.  In addition to the opening of the Amway Center, the city will make improvements to the Citrus Bowl and build a new performing arts center.  The Amway Center will host all Orlando Magic NBA home games, and all home professional football games for the Orlando Predators of the Arena Football League.  The Amway Center is also slated to host the 2012 NBA All-Star Game.  The Amway Center has a seating capacity of 18,500 for NBA games, a seating capacity ranging from 16,000-19,000 for concerts and a seating capacity of 20,000 for NCAA Basketball games.

The Magic previously played their home games at the Amway Arena which opened in 1989 for the inaugural Magic NBA season.  Amway Arena was part of the Orlando Centroplex, an entertainment and sports complex right in the heart of downtown Orlando.  During its reign, the Amway Center hosted Orlando Magic NBA home games, Orlando Predators Arena Football League home games and all of the home professional soccer games for the Orlando Sharks of the Major Indoor Soccer League.  Amway Arena holds a seating capacity of 17,248 devoted die-hard Orlando Magic fans.  Amway Arena has also played host to numerous memorable and historic concerts and special events during its 19-year history, including the 1992 NBA All-Star Game, the 1995 NBA Finals and the 1992 U.S. Figure Skating Nationals.

Amway Center
400 West Church Street
Orlando, Florida 32801

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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.