The Orlando Magic open their preseason in Atlanta against the upstart Atlanta Hawks as they begin an uncertain journey into the 2021 season.
Orlando Magic (0-0) at Atlanta Hawks (0-0)
7 p.m./NBA League Pass (96.9 FM The Game in Orlando)
2020 Season Series:
in Atlanta on Oct. 26;
in Orlando on Dec. 30;
in Orlando on Feb. 10;
in Atlanta on Feb. 26
2021 Season Series:
March 3 in Orlando
The final score of this game does not matter. Let’s make that abundantly clear. Coach Steve Clifford, ever the taskmaster focused on the team’s win-loss record at the end of the day is on record saying it would be nice to win but that is not the most important thing. So how the team gets to whatever the final score is will matter a lot more than anything else. The Magic are merely entering this game trying to get used to what travel will be like and to make sure they stay organized. It will not mean anything, but the Magic’s continuity should be the biggest help now — just like it was at the beginning of last preseason. If they play focused and intense, they should look well enough in this one.
1) Markelle Fultz has stayed faithful to the grind and it is now his time to take the reigns of an Orlando Magic team desperate for a star, Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel writes.
2) Markelle Fultz has grown from potentially out of the league to a competent starter. So Colin McGowan of RealGM asks: What comes next?
4) After a nine-month layoff and adding nine new players, the Atlanta Hawks are going to need to make the most of these preseason games, Sarah K. Spencer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes.
5) The Atlanta Hawks are hoping to display some offensive diversity as they begin to build things up in the preseason, Glen Willis of Peachtree Hoops writes.
8) Mike Cali of Orlando Pinstriped Post reviews the best- and worst-case scenarios for Orlando Magic players.
9) Of the teams battling for the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spots, the Atlanta Hawks probably have the best player in Trae Young, Josh Wilson of Soaring Down south writes.
10) The Orlando Magic are diving right into the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols as they take their first road trip, Roy Parry of the Orlando Sentinel writes. The NBA is already crafting a policy for vaccinations within the league as it becomes more widely available, Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com reports.
11) The NBA is relying even more on jersey ad patches to create revenue in a season with decreased or no attendance, Bill Shea of The Athletic writes.
13) One of the big tasks facing Steve Clifford this season is finding a way to optimize the Orlando Magic’s offense, Max Mortenson writes. He did some wondrous work holding the team together in 2020.
14) Aaron Gordon has some studying to do. Spencer Henderson profiles three players Gordon should be studying.
16) Orlando Magic two-way players Karim Mane and Jordan Bone have taken unconventional paths to an unconventional season.
17) Bre’ana Singleton of Soaring Down South reviews the Atlanta Hawks’ first-half schedule.