5 Orlando Magic games we are already looking forward to

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Al Horford, Boston Celtics, Wendell Carter, Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic
The Boston Celtics bullied the Orlando Magic in a blowout win. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

5 Orlando Magic games we are already looking forward to

Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics are a different class from the Orlando Magic. They are the defending Eastern Conference champions and the top of the mountain every team east of the Mississippi River (virtually, NBA geography can get weird).

Boston is everything Orlando wants to be and that is why this is a matchup worth paying attention to. And one, at least, that I look forward to every year.

The Celtics dominated their games against the Magic last year. They bounced back from getting called out for selfishness by Marcus Smart to throttle the Magic 92-79. They came back from an impossible deficit to get 50 points from Jaylen Brown for an overtime win. Then they blew out the Magic in Amway Center in February.

Each time, Boston stymied Orlando offensively with its switching defense. The Magic simply had no way to break them down one on one or create space consistently.

The Celtics had the best defense in the league last year because of their ability to switch seamlessly. They were at their best when they were stifling teams and forcing them to play one on one all the time.

Only later in the playoffs when the Golden State Warriors figured out how to manipulate those switches did their defense finally crack. Stephen Curry does that to people.

Orlando is very much trying to copy this style. With all of the team’s versatile defenders and length for days, the Magic should be able to be a stifling defensive team and copy a lot of the principles the Celtics rode to the NBA Finals last year.

They may not have the same offensive firepower and certainly not the veteran know how, but this is a good measuring stick game for the team. It is always good to measure yourself against the best team in the conference (or one of them, at least).

The two teams play similarly so there should be something to learn from these encounters.