Orlando Magic on Hiatus: The top 10 games of the 2020 season (so far)

Markelle Fultz and the Orlando Magic made a strong first impression in their season opener. (Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images)
Markelle Fultz and the Orlando Magic made a strong first impression in their season opener. (Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images) /
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Orlando Magic, Jonathan Isaac, Dallas Mavericks
Jonathan Isaac’s emergence as a Defensive Player of the Year candidate has boosted the Orlando magic early this season. (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images) /

4. Nearly in the Club — at Mavericks (Nov. 6)

38. 107. 79. Final. 106

Our Coverage: Grades; Jonathan Isaac is keeping the Orlando Magic afloat

There is only one game on this list the Orlando Magic lost. And for good reason.

The team is well beyond moral victories and counting anything but the final result as a victory. Coach Steve Clifford has chided this frame of thinking in the media. Wins are wins and losses are losses. Nothing else matters.

Yet, this game had meaning well beyond the final result.

The lasting and final image might have been Steve Clifford yelling at both the officials for failing to see his timeout (the first of several times this occurred during the season) or at Aaron Gordon for taking a poor shot in the final moment of the game. The Orlando Magic lost a late lead and the Dallas Mavericks pulled out the win with some solid playmaking down the stretch.

All that still mattered more than what made this game significant.

Still, there was a silver lining to all this. Jonathan Isaac showed what his potential truly is. How he can completely dominate a game with his defense. In the early part of the season, Isaac was really the only thing to hold onto and he was a dominant force who got his fingers into every aspect of the game.

Isaac nearly joined the vaunted 5×5 club, tallying 13 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, four steals and six blocks. He completely shut out Kristaps Porzingis (10 points on 4-for-14 shooting).

Isaac was an absolute terror, as he had been throughout the early part of the year. And this game was his best individual performance on both ends. The game that showed what a complete player he could be. It was hard to contain any kind of excitement watching this.

There were a ton of games throughout the season confirming Markelle Fultz’s potential. This game was the first that really confirmed Isaac’s full potential.

He would realize it throughout the course of the season with big games against the Toronto Raptors, Indiana Pacers and others throughout the season. He was on his way to being named to the all-defensive team if he had stayed healthy.

Orlando is still struggling to cover for the loss of his defensive presence. This was the first game that showed Isaac was one of the few players on the Magic with an elite skill that could make the team really special down the road.

Everyone is eager to see Isaac back on the court for this reason.