The Orlando Magic started December on a very promising note with resounding road wins at Chicago and Detroit, but then the stomach virus tore through the team and a very bad road trip ensued which was part of an eight losses in nine games stretch. Two blockbuster trades on the 18th were made which saw Vince Carter, Rashard Lewis, Mickael Pietrus, and Marcin Gortat depart and Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson, Gilbert Arenas, and Earl Clark arrive.
The Magic finished the roller-coaster month of December at 8-8, for an overall record of 21-12. For the month, the Magic were 3-3 (12-5 overall) at home and 5-5 (9-7 overall) on the road. The Magic were 4-6 against teams that are currently at or above .500, and 4-2 against teams currently under .500. After 33 games last season, the Magic were 24-9.
This month's schedule is not nearly as difficult as last month's was, but the Magic will still have their share of tough games, including a challenging five game road trip from the 8th through the 17th, with four of the games against very tough teams. The Magic play 16 games in 29 days with 7 home games and 9 road games. Seven of those 16 games will be against teams currently at or above .500, but only one of those games will be played at home while the other six are on the road.
Home: 3) GS; 5) MIL; 7) HOU ; 19) PHI; 21) TOR; 24) DET; 30) CLE
Road: 8) @ DAL; 12) @ NO; 13) @ OKC; 15) @ MIN; 17) @ BOS; 22) @ HOU; 26) @ IND; 28) @ CHI; 31) @ MEM
The Magic have four sets of back-to-backs this month, with the second game of all four back-to-backs on the road.
Last January, the Magic finished 9-8 for an overall record of 32-16. This January, with the team currently on a five game winning streak and team chemistry improving significantly since the trades, I predict the Magic will go 7-0 at home and 4-5 on the road for an 11-5 record and 32-17 overall.