The Orlando Magic made their splash into the 2018-2019 preseason with a bit of the same traits they had in the 2017-2018 season.
Isolation basketball, ball watching, turnovers (10 in the first half), three-point shooting (4 of 16 for starters) and Jonathan Isaac’s ankle trouble. Evan Fournier went 1-for-11 from the field, plus, he, Nikola Vucevic (20 points in 23 minutes) and D.J. Augustin all carried a -11 plus/minus or worse.
However, the team gave Magic fans plenty of reason for hope, too.
Terrence Ross put in a delectable 13 points in 15 minutes and looked extremely comfortable from beyond the perimeter (3-for-4). Mo Bamba took his beatings from Joel Embiid and never relented, going toe to toe, and finishing with 12 points on 4 of 5 shooting, three rebounds and two assists in just 17 minutes of basketball, including 2-for-2 from deep.
After the match between two friends who had trained together all offseason, the two shared a couple of social media barbs to commemorate the occasion:
We also saw a nice defensive 4/5 punch between Aaron Gordon and Bamba, successfully stifling Embiid with Gordon’s strength and Bamba’s help defense.
There was some crisp touch passing to begin the affair with all five Magic getting a taste, culminated by a Augustin cut that put him within a breath of the game’s opening points. He would miss on the opportunity, but the blueprint for an offense pioneered by Head Coach Steve Clifford was there.
At the end of the day, it’s simply preseason, but the Do You Believe in Magic Podcast couldn’t help but jump in with their over-eager assessments!
Join Preston Ellis, Zach Oliver, Will Ogburn and Stephen Cameron (Close Up Magic), as they break down moments from the game, their favorite All-Time Magic uniforms and share their best memorabilia stories!
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