Orlando Magic Daily Roundtable: The preseason matters, except when it doesn’t

Jonathan Isaac has built confidence as a strong defender. Now confidence has to come from his newfound strength and on offense. (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jonathan Isaac has built confidence as a strong defender. Now confidence has to come from his newfound strength and on offense. (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Mohamed Bamba, Orlando Magic
LAS VEAGS, NV – JULY 9: Mohamed Bamba #5 of the Orlando Magic looks on during the game against the Phoenix Suns during the 2018 Las Vegas Summer League on July 9, 2018 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. 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 2018 NBAE (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images) /

What was your biggest takeaway on the Orlando Magic from the preseason?

Jean Racine (@realjeanracine): My biggest takeaway on the Orlando Magic this preseason is that Mohamed Bamba has looked really good. The rookie is hitting 3-pointers and the stage is not too big for him. It will be interesting to see how much he plays early in the season. He has played some at power forward and has looked good. I expect him to get minutes at center as well as power forward.

Steven Burnley (@stevenburnley): It looks like D.J. Augustin should be at least passable for the regular season. Mohamed Bamba looked like he was at least ready for backup minutes, and Jonathan Isaac played well, albeit on a minutes restriction. The single biggest takeaway is that Nikola Vucevic was the team’s leading scorer twice and led the team in rebounds three times. It will be interesting to see how coach Steve Clifford uses him and what kind of minutes he gets during the course of the season. Clifford has an affinity for veterans so it would not be surprising if he was one of the minutes leaders by the end of the season.

Philip Rossman-Reich (@philiprr_omd): My biggest takeaway is this team is going to play with a lot more energy and intention. But the margin for error on both ends remains pretty small. The Orlando Magic are undoubtedly a talented enough team. I believe Steve Clifford when he says this team has the talent to make the Playoffs. But a lot of things need to go right. An injury at the wrong time (like last year) could easily derail things. And the team buying in to what Clifford is preaching is going to be paramount. If the team breaks off from that, it could be a long season for the team. The Magic can do a lot of good things but it will not be easy to maintain it.

Spencer R. Henderson (@SpencerRHenders): My biggest takeaway from preseason is how the organization has not dealt Nikola Vucevic before the season started. I thought the Magic would have found a suitor for his services by now. I am not sure if they are complacent or if they just hae not found a good deal. I just hope they do not think Nikola Vucevic and Mohamed Bamba will be able to coexist. This reminds me of trying to have your cake and eat it too. If they continue to win, which is unlikely, they may keep them together. When they start losing this year they will have to deal him ASAP, preferably for a defensive-style young point guard.

Zach Palmer (@FmrTankCommandr): The biggest takeaway for me was the apparent roles Steve Clifford handed out. I discussed this in more detail in a different piece. Suffice to say, I think the Magic players will really benefit from having defined roles and it should result in more wins for the team.