5 little improvements that will determine the Orlando Magic’s season
Protect the Amway Center
There was one minor goal for the Orlando Magic at the end of last season: To finish with a .500 record at the Amway Center.
Winning at home is always an important goal for young teams. They tend to rack up wins at home and that helps them establish their base for the rest of the season. It is essential.
If not for deciding to sit starters in the last home game of the season, the Magic could have scored a winning home record last year. That was a manufactured goal that we certainly pushed, but the Magic as an organization were not interested in seeking out.
This is a season where the Magic are trying to take that all-important step up to the playoffs. Winning at Amway Center is essential to that goal.
After the 5-20 start, the Magic went 16-12 at the Amway Center. Over a 41-game season that would put them at 23-18. That is not anything crazy to write home about, but it would almost certainly position them to make the postseason. Last year, the worst home record among postseason teams was the Chicago Bulls at 22-19.
Orlando had a +2.1 net rating (115.7/113.6 offensive/defensive rating split) at the Amway Center after Dec. 7. That is at least a good sign of the progress the team made.
Obviously, the Magic can still improve. And they will need to improve.
Like the 2019 season when the Magic used a 5-0 homestand to propel themselves into the Playoffs — and a Southeast Division title — the Magic will need a strong home showing to complete their playoff journey. Orlando has an eight-game homestand at the end of the season. That will be vital to giving the team the final push to the finish line.
Just as it will be important for the Magic to rack up as many home wins as they can through the early part of the season when they are on the road a lot.
Winning at the Amway Center is essential to the Magic’s success this season. One way or another.