The Orlando Magic have sprinted out of the gate to open up the NBA season. Not only are they 6-4, including wins versus San Antonio, at Cleveland, and at Memphis, but they boast the 18th-best Offensive Rating (105.3) and the fifth best defensive rating (100.9) in the league. Now, I don’t think the Magic can sustain their footing atop the Eastern Conference, but I do think there’s some truth to their hot start. Last season the Magic found themselves in the depths of the putrid Eastern Conference at 29-53 which allowed their organization to coin the term “dumpster fire” when being described by analysts and basketball heads alike. They seemed to have the oddest assortment of players on a team in the league, with no real vision in regards to where they were heading. Evan Fournier and Nikola Vucevic, their two best players after the Serge Ibaka trade, are the last two guys you could envision leading a team anywhere. Not to mention Elfrid Payton, who as a point guard shot 27.4% from three last season. Then there’s Aaron Gordon who seemed to be yet another raw prospect the Magic took with hopes he could one day be an All-Star. They still have all those guys, so what changed? The Magic made a much needed move in signing Jonathon Simmons this offseason. They needed a glue guy who could bring a spark off the bench and torment other teams’ reserves and so far Simmons has executed. The improvement from Jodie Meeks to Simmons has been extreme. Jodie Meeks is a good knockdown shooter, but Simmons has the ability to shoot and drive which causes defenses to be more on their toes when he has the ball. They then went and got a veteran in Marreese Speights who has also helped spread the floor and beefed up their bench.
Are the Orlando Magic actually legitimately good?
Clutch Points | Nov 7