The Orlando Magic play their first game at the Amway Center since March as they get used to their new old digs and play another division foe in the Charlotte Hornets.
Charlotte Hornets (0-2) vs. Orlando Magic (1-1)
7 p.m./FOX Sports Florida
2020 Season Series:
in Charlotte on Jan. 20;
in Charlotte on Feb. 3
2021 Season Series:
Jan. 24 in Orlando; Jan. 25 in Orlando
Steve Clifford was not happy with how the Orlando Magic played in Sunday’s loss to the Atlanta Hawks. He called it the first bad day of the team’s training camp. And he was not wrong with how the team fouled and was just generally late defensively. It is time for this team to get serious and the message seems to have sunk in. At least through public comments. The proof will be on the court Thursday at the Amway Center. The Charlotte Hornets are a young team that is thriving on pushing the ball up court and catching the defense before it gets set. These games will be a test of the team’s discipline and a good challenge to set the team’s foundation once again.
1) After 9.5 months without basketball, the Amway Center will host the Orlando Magic once again and players are excited to return, Roy Parry of the Orlando Sentinel writes.
2) The Orlando Magic picked up the fourth-year team option on Mohamed Bamba’s rookie contract as he participated in contact practice for the first time Wednesday, Roy Parry of the Orlando Sentinel reports.
3) Gordon Hayward fractured his shooting hand and will miss time for the Charlotte Hornets, including this weekend’s preseason games.
4) The Orlando Magic had a “vanilla” offseason and face an important crossroads in the near future, John Hollinger of The Athletic writes. There might be more to the Magic than meets the eye, Luke Duffy of Hoops Habit writes.
5) The Orlando Magic’s margin for error once again will be small as they try to make the playoffs again.
6) The Orlando Magic face two difficult decisions with rookie extension talks for both Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz, Seth Partnow of The Athletic writes. The Magic should try to get Isaac done before the season begins.
7) LaMelo Ball’s carefree attitude might be the thing to make the Charlotte Hornets fun again, Jack Simone of At the Hive writes.
8) The story of the Orlando Magic’s wings will once again be about Aaron Gordon and his still-endless and unknown potential, Garrett Townsend of Orlando Pinstriped Post writes.
9) The Orlando Magic are inching closer to the regular season and trying to focus on their rhythm as they get healthy again.
10) As the Charlotte Hornets try to increase their pace and play faster, turnovers are acceptable in the preseason. But the team has a lot of work to get the problem under control before the season starts, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer writes.
11) The Charlotte Hornets’ preseason losses to the Toronto Raptors showed how thin the team’s big-man rotation has become, Joshua Matthews of Swarm and Sting writes.
12) The Orlando Magic hope their quest for better balance starts with continuity, Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press writes.
13) The Orlando Magic need Gary Clark to make good on his shooting promise and become the team’s needed stretch-4.
14) Similarly, James Ennis also has to become a more proficient shooter and return to his career averages for the Orlando Magic. Ennis should slot in as the starting small forward, Josh Robbins of The Athletic answers in his mailbag.
15) Dan Bennett predicts who will lead the Orlando Magic in each stat category.
16) January looks like it will be the toughest month the Orlando Magic face in the first half of the schedule, Isaac Ryu writes.
17) A leak of the Orlando Magic’s new Earned Edition jerseys appears to make a long-overdue homage to the T-Mac era stars jerseys.
18) Markelle Fultz and Cole Anthony were two of the few players who shined in the Orlando Magic’s preseason loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday, Josh Cohen of OrlandoMagic.com writes. Those two guards were the big positives from the weekend trip to Atlanta, Josh Robbins of The Athletic writes.
19) Dwayne Bacon seemed to fit right in during his first two preseason games.