Orlando Magic Daily Podcast Episode 78: Surprise starts with Will Ogburn of Orlando Pinstriped Post

ORLANDO, FL - NOVEMBER 5: Stuff the Magic Dragon of the Orlando Magic on November 5, 2017 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - NOVEMBER 5: Stuff the Magic Dragon of the Orlando Magic on November 5, 2017 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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The Orlando Magic’s surprising start to the season is quickly becoming more real. And we are still processing it. We enlist Will Ogburn to help us out.

The Orlando Magic have been the surprise of the NBA so far this year. Or at least one of the many surprises in this early season.

It is just 11 games, but the Magic have refused to fade away. Their shooting is starting to become more normal, yet it is still far better than anything anyone imagined before the season. And the team keeps winning and finding a way despite some clear flaws.

With each game passing, there is only one conclusion — the Orlando Magic are actually a good team.

The Magic are 11th in the league in offensive rating, scoring 106.2 points per 100 possessions. They have made one of the biggest turnarounds in the league in offensive rating year to year. They are sixth in the league in defensive rating, giving up 101.1 points per 100 possessions.

But there are still undoubted holes. There is still reason to doubt this group.

Orlando could still look to tighten up its defense. The team is among the worst at giving up points in the paint and rebounding. There are moments where the group looks disconnected and sometimes their communication breaks down.

At some point, the team’s shooting is going to stop. And the Magic have seen what happens when their offense slows to a crawl.

But the Magic are determined to make this season better than their last five. That determination is etched into every play they make. There is something different about this team. And they have shown some incredible grit with some of their wins.

Orlando has earned its 7-4 record. The statistics might suggest they are due to return to their mean soon, but the Magic keep chugging along. They keep on winning. Their mean might be better than we ever imagined.

Soon, we will know just how good this Magic team is.

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Orlando is set to play eight of its next 10 games on the road. That will surely challenge the Magic in ways they have not been challenged before. And by the end of this three-week stretch, Orlando will either have fallen back into the pack of the Eastern Conference or pushed ahead and established themselves as one of the central teams in the conference.

At least for that snapshot.

There is a lot to sort through in figuring out this new team. From starters like Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon taking their games to new levels of internal improvement. To coach Frank Vogel figuring out a new offense and implementing it perfectly with a group bought into the system. At least, for now.

The Magic are a different team. How they are different is not something anyone can seemingly put their fingers on perfectly.

But we will try. And for this latest episode of the Orlando Magic Daily Podcast, I discussed Orlando’s fast start with Will Ogburn of Orlando Pinstriped Post:

On This Episode:

  • The identity the Orlando Magic have started to form early this season.
  • Evan Fournier‘s role and why it is working so well this season.
  • Why Bismack Biyombo did not seem to work this year and how the Orlando Magic can get the most out of him this year.
  • How Nikola Vucevic has silenced his critics this season.
  • What is sustainable about the Orlando Magic so far? Could something lead them to a fall?
  • What holes have become apparent for the Orlando Magic?
  • Why Elfrid Payton is so key for the Orlando Magic.
  • Looking ahead to the difficult stretch in the schedule.
  • The positive signs from the Orlando Magic in how they win.
  • Early impressions of Jonathan Isaac.

The Orlando Magic will start their big West Coast trip Friday in Phoenix. It starts a critical and difficult 10-game stretch for the team.

Everything will be put to the test.

Next: Elfrid Payton reinvigorates Orlando Magic offense

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