5 Orlando Magic matchups that will one day be must-see TV
Oklahoma City Thunder
Jan. 13 at Oklahoma City (8P)
Feb. 13 at Orlando (7P/TNT)
The NBA has at least tried to feature the Orlando Magic and Oklahoma City Thunder against each other before, putting an early November matchup between the top two picks from the 2022 Draft. Despite how early in the season that game took place, Chet Holmgren’s injury in Summer League eventually led TNT to pull the game from their broadcast.
Never mind, they missed an actually exciting game. The Magic held a double-digit lead and lost it behind Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s brilliance in the opening salvo of what was an All-NBA season for the young guard.
Never mind then too that not only did the league miss out on Gilgeous-Alexander but a Thunder team that surprised everyone and reached the Play-In Tournament.
The reward for all of that for the Thunder? A measly 13 national TV appearances this season. You would think the Thunder are the exact kind of team the league should be investing in growing. Especially with the potential unique qualities that Holmgren possesses.
Only time will tell if the NBA keeps the Magic’s home game just before the All-Star Break with the Thunder on national TV. It will be a big moment for the Magic to get their first home national TV game since LeBron James was on the Miami Heat.
The Magic and the Thunder are not in the same conference and so their matchups will be limited, but this should be a fun comparison and rivalry for years to come.
Both young teams are run by patient general managers who believe in growing their groups internally before striking big. They are not skipping any steps along the way and have seen their teams make progress year by year.
The Thunder are maybe a year “ahead” of the Magic in terms of their development and the Magic would love to see themselves copy what the Thunder did last year in terms of the breakthrough to the playoffs.
Both teams love their use of length too as they both seem set to usher in the era that values length and versatility — Josh Giddey and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander are both certainly oversized guards if the Magic love their playmaking forwards in Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner.
The Magic and Thunder will always be a quietly fun game on the NBA calendar for years to come.