In his first NBA power rankings post of the 2014/15 season, SB Nation author Drew Garrison places the Orlando Magic near the bottom of the league, at 29th overall. Only the hard-tanking Philadelphia 76ers stand below the Magic in Garrison's estimation.
"The Magic have been stockpiling first-round talent, but they're still a long ways away from competing," says Garrison. "Victor Oladipo missing about a month won't make things any easier in Orlando."
Indeed, the Magic's young combo guard is expected to miss one month, or roughly one-fifth of the schedule, due to a facial fracture for which he underwent surgery Saturday. And with free-agent addition Channing Frye also expected to miss time due to an MCL injury, the Magic will open their season minus at least two key players.
Just ahead of Orlando in Garrison's rankings: the Boston Celtics (26th), Los Angeles Lakers (27th), and Milwaukee Bucks (28th). To no one's surprise, the defending champion San Antonio Spurs open the 2014/15 season atop the list.