It’s been over 170 days since the Orlando Magic last took the floor in an NBA game.
Magic fans, we’ve made it.
The Steve Clifford era in Orlando is set to begin tonight in Philadelphia as the Magic take on the Sixers in their first of five scheduled preseason contests.
Even though tonight’s game obviously doesn’t count towards the regular season standings, the Magic will be looking to build upon some of the foundational habits Clifford and his staff have been trying to install during training camp.
“To me, that’s the biggest thing: that we’re super-organized, we have good purpose of play and we have good intensity,” Clifford said.
“It’s just being organized and playing hard and playing the right way,” D.J. Augustin added this week. “That’s all we’re looking to do, no matter the outcome. These games don’t count, but it counts for us, just learning each other and just playing hard.”
Orlando’s team identity is still very much a work in progress. The team has had one week of practices under their belt. That’s not a lot of time to work-in a handful of new players, let alone an all new coaching staff with different schemes, terminology, expectations, etc. than what some of the returning Magic players are used to.
But nonetheless, the Magic will tip it off Monday night in Philadelphia and look to compete/”get better”. Coach Clifford indicated that core players will most likely be held to 20-25 minutes tonight against the Sixers to better allow for lineup flexibility, experimentation, more guys getting reps, etc. this early in the preseason.
Philadelphia got their season underway this past Friday night at home against the Melbourne United, a team from the NBL (National Basketball League, based out of Australia/New Zealand). The Sixers cruised to a 104-84 victory behind the efforts of star lead guard Ben Simmons, who posted 8 points, 8 rebounds, and 14 assists in the contest.
Also of note, Sixers coach Brett Brown elected to start guard Markelle Fultz over veteran JJ Redick Friday night. This decision is not expected to carry over to the regular season, but for now, the Magic should expect to get a long look at last year’s first overall pick.
Monday’s game will be televised on NBATV at 7 P.M. EST.
Feel free to leave your pregame and in-game comments below. Enjoy the discussion Magic fans! Follow us on Twitter at @OPPMagicBlog
|Who: Orlando Magic @ Philadelphia 76ers
|When: Monday, 7 P.M. (TV: NBA TV)
|Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
|PG - D.J. Augustin
|PG - Ben Simmons
|SG - Evan Fournier
|SG - Markelle Fultz or J.J. Redick
|SF - Terrence Ross or Jonathan Isaac
|SF - Robert Covington
|PF - Aaron Gordon
|PF - Dario Saric
|C - Nikola Vucevic
|C - Joel Embiid