3 Orlando Magic games to watch in the second quarter of the season
Jan. 13 – at Oklahoma City Thunder
The Oklahoma City Thunder’s timeline parallels the Orlando Magic’s in many ways.
Both have drafted very well the past few years, both are making their way back into contention and both seem to have caught the eye of the NBA-nerd public.
The Thunder have long been everyone’s favorite rebuilding franchise with a whole treasure chest of picks and assets. But so far this season they are quite the monster on the court as well.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is back playing at an All-NBA level, averaging more than 30 points per game. The supporting cast has all elevated their games too. And Chet Holmgren has shown more than real flashes in his first taste of NBA action.
There’s the obvious connection between Chet Holmgren and Paolo Banchero and this will be their first clash on an NBA court as they missed each other during Summer League and last season with Holmgren's foot injury.
Any time players are drafted Nos. 1 and 2 in the same draft, they will always be connected. In this case, both franchises are more than happy with the player they selected. But it is still fun to compare.
In a bigger picture sense, the Thunder and Magic are both on pace to be real power players in the league for the foreseeable future. With some of the best young players in the league on the court, this is must-watch TV.
If only the league recognized that and broadcasted it to a national audience. They will at least get that chance when the Thunder make their visit to Orlando and the Amway Center on Feb. 13 (in the third quarter of the season).