It has been one year since the Orlando Magic traveled to Boston to take on the Boston Celtics in a weekend series with the defending Eastern Conference champions. So much has happened since then but one thing rings true from nearly 365 days ago: Paolo Banchero and company can compete with anybody.
A lot of the confidence that has fueled the hot start to this year started that weekend in Boston. It started with that weekend sweep with Boston that capped off a six-game win streak that helped turn the Magic's 2022 season.
This is no rebuilding squad anymore. In 2022, the Magic rolled into the TD Garden double at a paltry 9-20, recovering from a 5-20 start but starting to gain momentum. That group would finish the year 29-28 after that rough start and with 34 wins overall. Orlando stayed on the outskirts of the postseason chase, but the young team never went away.
The team left Boston truly believing they can compete against anybody.
Oh, and they are already 1-0 over Boston this season with that In-Season Tournament Victory on Black Friday.
As the Magic head back to Boston for another doubleheader set with the East-leading Celtics, they are not a team going there to build confidence. They are going there to prove they belong at the top of the East.
It is important to look back at how the Magic found themselves on the parquet floor in Boston last year: