5 most important stretches of the Orlando Magic’s season
The Second Road Trip (Dec. 31-Jan. 5)
Dec. 31: at Phoenix
Jan. 2: at Golden State
Jan. 3: at Sacramento
Jan. 5: at Denver
The Orlando Magic typically take two extended West Coast trips during their season. They usually get them both done by early January (sometimes they have one in March if the Amway Center is hosting the NCAA Tournament as it did last year).
Trips out West are always difficult, regardless of the balance between the conferences. The Eastern Conference has gotten better and deeper, but the West is still really good. And really tough. Even the best teams in Magic history struggled on these road trips.
This second West Coast road trip is going to be extremely difficult for the Magic. There is no other way to cut it.
All four of these teams were among the top teams in the West last year and are projected to be among the top teams in the West again this year. And the Denver Nuggets, of course, are the defending champions.
Orlando got a win at Golden State last year with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson out for that game. The Magic had not won at any of these four locations before last January’s win over Golden State since a Feb. 2021 win over Sacramento.
The Magic have not won in Phoenix since November 2018 and have not won in Denver since December 2015. That was Nikola Jokic’s rookie year and he played 17 minutes off the bench in that particular game.
That should give you at least some idea of how rare Magic wins in each of these four locations are and how difficult it has been for the Magic to get wins on the West Coast like this.
It will really feel like the Magic are stealing a win if they can hold their own on this specific road trip. It could be essential too as the Magic round the midway point of the season while they are on this road trip.
The Magic also will need to keep their head above water. They return home from this trip with two home games before they embark again on a four-game East Coast road trip — at Miami, at Oklahoma City, at New York and at Atlanta.