The Orlando Magic are rolling.
Not only have the Magic won seven straight games they also have beaten some championship-contending teams. The kinds of wins that get a team some national notice.
The team's confidence is at an all-time high after these last few wins. And the team seems eager to keep things rolling.
It all started when this young Orlando Magic team laced them up against the Milwaukee Bucks in early November. This win did not start the streak but it definitely gave the team the confidence it needed to compete with anyone they line up against.
No one thought the Orlando Magic would win this game after making a quick return from Mexico City and losing to the Atlanta Hawks in that game.
Instead, the Magic won by 15. It was a game that was not particularly close in the second half, with the Bucks only getting within 11 points before the Magic extended the lead again.
Even with Damian Lillard out for the Bucks, this was an early test the Magic passed with flying colors.
The Magic had three players with 20 or more points, which is a recipe for success. Jalen Suggs had 20 points, two rebounds and two assists, Franz Wagner had 24 points, six rebounds and two assists, and Paolo Banchero had 26 points, 12 rebounds and five assists.
This was the beginning of what would become the team's seven-game winning streak.
Orlando hit the road after that. The Orlando Magic struggled in its In-Season Tournament debut against the Brooklyn Nets before rallying for back-to-back buzzer-beating wins against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center. The Orlando Magic completed its road trip with a complete shutdown of the league's best offensive team, the Indiana Pacers, building as much as a 40-point lead.
The Orlando Magic continued to take care of business, defeating the Toronto Raptors at home. That is what good teams have to do. Orlando is 6-1 against teams with record below .500.
But a young team like the Magic is not going to get noticed until they beat the elite teams in the league. That is what the Magic continued to do last week.
Then the young Magic faced the defending champs last Wednesday. This was a game that the team needed to win to show them that they could beat a championship-level team.
This was a serious test that the Magic passed defeating the Nuggets by five in their 124-119 victory. In the win, three Magic players also had 20 or more points. Cole Anthony put up 20 points, Franz Wagner scored 27 and Paolo Banchero had 23 points.
More importantly, the team put behind some late-game struggles, using a fourth-quarter comeback this time to get back into the game and critical late shots from Banchero and Wagner to secure the win. Orlando stared down the defending champs and did not blink.
Narratives change quickly and this team grew up quickly.
This was game five of the winning streak.
And then it was on to the Boston Celtics on Friday in one of the most anticipated games of the season.
The team that most pundits have winning the title in 2024 and the betting favorites to win the NBA's In-Season Tournament.
This turned into another test the Magic passed easily. The Magic beat the Celtics by 17 points, using a 17-0 run in the third quarter and outscoring the Celtics 65-40 in the second half. A 36-point fourth quarter separated the teams and the Magic have now beaten Jayson Tatum, Jalen Brown and Kristaps Porzingis.
Orlando took care of its business and put itself in the driver's seat to win East Group C and advance in the In-Season Tournament.
Regardless of what happens in that tournament, the Magic accomplished a lot in the last two weeks to establish itself as a potential contender.
Orlando has now gone 6-4 against teams with record better than .500, the second-best mark in the Eastern Conference (Boston is 9-3). Only the Minnesota Timberwolves and Houston Rockets have better marks against winning teams in the Western Conference.
For good measure, the Orlando Magic added on to the win streak with a 130-117 win Sunday over the Charlotte Hornets. Beating the teams you should is a skill and the Magic avoided a letdown despite the slow start to the game.
At this point, the Magic have to start feeling like they can beat anyone they face right? They beat the team that won the favorites for this year and the championship team from last year without their starting point guard Markelle Fultz and starting center Wendell Carter.
That is a ton of confidence that the Magic have built. They seem eager to keep this going. But the team also seems certain they can get better. That is the right approach to handling success. And it seems the Magic know this is just beginning for them.
The Magic have admittedly hit a point where they feel confident they can win any game they play.
There is still a long way to go. But Orlando has turned the Amway Center into a fortress early this season and the team has shown the league it can compete with anybody. That is a big reason why everyone should start believing in this team.