Previewing the Central and Northwest Divisions

The Cavs and Thunder could lead their divisions . . . and their conferences. Photo by AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

Central Division

Chicago Bulls: Blog a Bull
Cleveland Cavaliers: Fear the Sword | Waiting For Next Year
Detroit Pistons: Detroit Bad Boys
Indiana Pacers: Indy Cornrows
Milwaukee Bucks: Brew Hoop

Northwest Division

Denver Nuggets: Denver Stiffs
Minnesota Timberwolves: Canis Hoopus
Oklahoma City Thunder: Welcome to Loud City
Portland Trail Blazers: Blazer’s Edge
Utah Jazz: SLC Dunk

Index of all SBNation Previews

Additional Preview Features from Sonics Rising.

Photo by Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Nikola Vucevic, Tobias Harris hopeful for extension

Training camp opened Tuesday with the first practice of the season. That will be followed by four days of two-a-day practices (at least that is what is scheduled) as the Magic prepare for the 2015 season. There is obviously tons of anticipation and interest in what this team will do. It would not be this […]

Previewing the Magic with Blazer’s Edge

Photo by Jeff Griffith-USA TODAY Sports

Photo by Jeff Griffith-USA TODAY Sports

I joined Chris Lucia of Blazer’s Edge to help them preview the Magic. They did not pull any punches, asking one of the bigger questions about the Magic right off the bat:

Blazer’s Edge: Will the Magic taking Elfrid Payton at No. 10 cut down on Victor Oladipo‘s minutes at point guard? How do you expect them to coexist in orlando’s backcourt together?

Philip Rossman-Reich: Ultimately Elfrid Payton is going to be this team’s point guard of the future. There is no getting around that. The Magic gave up some major assets to move up two spots for Payton — pretty much two first round picks. It is inevitable for Payton to start at point guard. I do not think it happens immediately however.

I think Victor Oladipo gets another quarter or half season as point guard before shifting over to shooting guard more permanently. Those skills cannot be bad for him to have in his development. The starting backcourt for the Magic at the end of the season is going to be Payton and Oladipo if things go according to plan.

It is a pretty dynamic backcourt with two guys who can aggressively attack the basket. One of them — preferably both — will have to develop a jumper to unlock their full potential. But this is an interesting duo of guards especially in the Eastern Conference.

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Early reviews for Magic’s silver unis

So the big news coming out of Media Day turned out to be the Magic unveiling their new “Pride Uniforms.” Nikola Vucevic, Tobias Harris, Kyle O’Quinn and Victor Oladipo were among the players walking around in them. The team is set to wear them 12 times at home this year with the first game coming […]

Photo by Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

Magic hungry for wins, ready to succeed

No one was ready to put a number on where the Magic were going to finish in the win column or in the standings. That still seems 82 games and seven months away from getting determined, and this is a young team that has yet to gather for its first official practice. The message though […]

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‘Pure Magic’ about engaging, connecting to city

You have to have a healthy amount of skepticism whenever an official press release comes out. You cannot completely buy in to marketing campaigns and sometimes you have to find humor in the ways the team tries to interact with the fans. This is not to say we do not appreciate the hard work of […]

Report: Magic roster set, training camp invitees here to train only

Seth Curry has the family name and the intrigue of fans. But can he crack the Magic's roster? Photo by Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Photo by Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

“On Monday, the Magic are expected to announce they have signed guards Seth Curry, Peyton Siva and Drew Crawford and big man Kadeem Batts. But although Curry, Siva, Crawford and Batts are going to be training-camp invitees, they will not compete for spots on Orlando’s season-opening roster. The team’s plan is to waive them and, if they clear waivers, assign them to the Magic’s D-League affiliate, the Erie BayHawks.

Although Curry, Siva, Crawford and Batts will be in Orlando over the next month to train for the upcoming season, they are not expected to practice with the Magic and will not travel for preseason games.”

Josh Robbins, Orlando Sentinel

Robbins also reports the Magic are likely to keep Dewayne Dedmon and Kyle O’Quinn, the team’s only non-guaranteed contracts on the 14-man roster, on opening day making at least O’Quinn’s contract guaranteed. This year’s training camp is clearly going to be about prepping the team for the upcoming season and defining roles rather than figuring out who makes the roster.

Magic Media Day Mailbag

Photo by Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

Photo by Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

Monday is Magic Media Day!

Get excited and be sure to follow us along on Twitter @OMagicDaily and by following the hashtag #MagicMediaDay as we will be at Amway Center for the first gathering of the Magic for the 2015 season as we kick off the year.

There are a lot of questions about this Magic team especially. This young squad is expected to take something of a step forward this year as the keys are turned over to the young core and the team has completely cleared the decks after the Dwight Howard trade.

Since all the Magic players will be answering questions all day Monday, I might as well take my turn in front of the mics, or keyboard.

So send me your Magic questions and e-mails for an Orlando Magic Daily Mailbag. I would love to answer your questions in more details than 140 characters.

Send me your questions via Twitter by tweeting at me @OMagicDaily or by e-mailing me at omagicdaily@gmail.com. Hopefully we can make this a regular feature throughout the season. I look forward to seeing what you all want to know!

Magic start 28th in ESPN Power Rankings

More power rankings will be coming out soon as the season gets set to start. With Media Day on Monday, we are all wondering where the Magic sit.

You get the feeling the analysis will be similar to the one offered by Marc Stein of ESPN.com.

Stein writes in ranking the Magic 28th in his preseason Power Rankings:

The new season starts with the same question asked here in April: Don’t the Magic, for all their youth, have to make some sort of step in 2014-15? The vet additions of note were modest — Channing Frye, Ben Gordon, Luke Ridnour — but it can’t be easy selling another win total in the 20s.”

Indeed, this is the big question for the Magic this year. One of the many questions I have been asked entering this season. It will be an overarching theme through the next few months. It is time to get going.

Rob Hennigan’s thoughts on upcoming season

RobHennigan052413

“I think it’s an important season for us in a lot of ways. We’ve spent the last couple of years building a foundation and a culture that we feel is a good basis to build from, and I think we’re now shifting into a phase of this building plan where we want to start to establish an identity on the floor. This is an important year to see growth and progress for us. We expect to see growth. At the same time, we need to remain disciplined and need to remain committed to our plan and committed to staying the course.”

–Rob Hennigan to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel

Photo by Fernando Medina/Orlando Magic

Magic launch ‘Pure Magic’ campaign

The Magic are prepping for the new season and have a new ad campaign to do it. The “We Will” motto that defined the last two years in the marketing circles has been replaced with the tagline “Pure Magic.” Let the team’s official release explain a bit more: “The Orlando Magic’s mission is to be […]

Alex Martins’ expectations for season

FOX 35 News Orlando

“My expectation is that this would be a turn-the-corner type year. We’ve got a team that’s got the chance to be very good defensively, and we’ve got a team that’s so athletic, that we should be getting out and running quite a bit. So it’ll be an exciting brand of Orlando Magic basketball.

We do believe that this core group of young men will be with us for a long. period of time, and as they continue to play together for a long period of time, will be successful.”

Magic COO Alex Martins to Tom Johnson of My FOX Orlando

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