The top 10 individual Orlando Magic season performances

Shaquille O'Neal stands tall over every figure in Orlando Magic history. (Photo credit should read TONY RANZE/AFP via Getty Images)
Shaquille O'Neal stands tall over every figure in Orlando Magic history. (Photo credit should read TONY RANZE/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Nick Anderson, Orlando Magic, Boston Celtics
The Orlando Magic’s first playoff series win was a hard-fought battle against the Boston Celtics. (Photo credit should read TONY RANZE/AFP via Getty Images) /

10.  1994 Nick Anderson

Per Game Table
Season Age G MP FG% 3P% eFG% FT% TRB AST STL PTS
1993-94 26 81 34.7 .478 .322 .526 .672 5.9 3.6 1.7 15.8

Provided by View Original Table
Generated 6/23/2020.

In 1994, the Orlando Magic hired Brian Hill to replace Matt Guokas, marking the first shift in the team’s history. They had Shaquille O’Neal roaming the paint, putting the team on the map for the first time. And Anfernee Hardaway was the prized rookie.

The team broke through for the first time. This season was important for that reason. The fledgling franchise made the NBA Playoffs for the first time. Nick Anderson rightly opted to take a back seat and enjoy the ride to the top.

The core players of the 1995 Finals run start to take shape this season.

Nick Anderson was just as key to all those teams as anyone else. And he stood out in 1995.

Anderson averaged 15.8 points per game, continuing a strong run of four seasons from the Magic’s first-ever draft pick. He was also solid defensively. Anderson was the perfect role player.

And sometimes, he was a whole lot more. There are a few games to point out.

February 25, 1994: The New Jersey Nets were good back then, but it would not be Kenny Anderson’s night. Nick Anderson led the Magic to victory with 28 points going 10 for 18 from the field with a few threes in there of course.  This win came during a seven-game winning streak for the Magic as the combo of Dennis Scott, Nick Anderson, Anfernee Hardaway and Shaquille O’Neal did numbers on some of the league’s premier franchises.

April 9, 1994 and April 11, 1994: There are a pair of games that come in early April though that really vaulted Nick Anderson into this spot and why he deserves to be in the top 10.

Related Story. Orlando Magic Top 30: The Most Under-Appreciated Players in Magic History. light

It is one thing to have a monster game against the Boston Celtics back then (they were terrible, the tickets were almost free if you stopped into Blimpie), but Anderson was the man against the Miami Heat on the road and then two nights later trampling the New York Knicks in New York.

Miami being an obvious rival was huge because there was some debate at the time who the better team in Florida was.  Beating the Knicks in Madison Square Garden was not supposed to happen.

Anderson combined for 61 points during the two games.  If there was any doubt before, we now know him as the star he is.

Anderson put together his share of other notable seasons too. He still might be somewhat underappreciated for his play with the Magic. In 1993, he averaged 19.9 points per game in each of the 1992 and 1993 seasons.

He would follow his great 1994 season with a similar 15.8 points per game in 1995. But that year ended in tragedy at the free-throw line.

The 1994 season stood out as the last time everyone on the team had the innocence of a team fresh to the Playoffs.