This year marks the 25th Anniversary of Orlando Magic basketball. The team itself will be celebrating with look backs at the team's stories history and recognition of the team's greatest players (Tracy McGrady is due in town Friday for a night honoring him). Orlando Magic Daily loves celebrating Magic history (probably too much). And so each day this season, we will dig into Magic history a little bit and share the team's history.
The 2009-10 season opened as both a celebration of the team's accomplishments and anticipation of the season ahead.
Orlando had acquired Vince Carter in the offseason and went on a spending binge to go for the championship. Orlando felt it was right on the precipice — and the 59-20 season the team had that season affirmed that investment . . . it was only the Playoffs (and the following season) that did not.
The Magic did not know all that was ahead of them as they hosted the 76ers in the season opener. All they knew was the future was incredibly bright and the window was open.
The beginning of the game was an elaborate tribute to the 2009 NBA Finals run that brought tears to everyone's eyes.
What followed after was a simple 120-106 beat down for the Magic over the 2009 First Round opponents. Here is what Zach McCann wrote for Orlando Magic Daily on the game:
1. The Magic were all business tonight. There wasn’t as much smiling and goofing off as we’ve seen in the past from this team. The team looked loose, sure, but it was different than it’s been in the past. This team looked like a bunch of guys on a mission. They meticulously went about their actions, making smart decision on offense and buckling down on defense (for the first three quarters). Their cohesion and communication on defense — again, for the first three quarters, before allowing 37 points in the fourth — was probably better than we saw most of last year.
It is hard not to think that the world was in front of this team. Especially after the team routed a potential Playoff team so thoroughly in the first game.
Dwight Howard had 21 points and 15 rebounds in 28 minutes. Vince Carter debuted with 15 points on 5-for-12 shooting. Ryan Anderson made his first big splash with 16 points and four 3-pointers. Jason Williams scored 15 off the bench.
It was a night to celebrate a major accomplishment for the franchise. And a preview for one of the best seasons in the Magic's history.