The NBA is coming back July 30 and not a moment too soon for basketball fans who have been deprived a proper conclusion to the 2019-20 season since Rudy Gobert’s positive coronavirus test March 11 that set off the worldwide cascade of sports league cancellations. Now, the NBA will look to finish what it started with a 22-team “bubble” at the Disney Resorts in Orlando, an eight-game finish to the regular season and four best-of-7 playoff rounds to determine a champion. We take a look at each of the teams involved as we move closer to the official return and today we’ll look at the Orlando Magic team in our Sports Intel preview:
Orlando Magic Team Preview 2019-2020 Re-Boot
(30-35, 8th in East, 9 games behind No. 6)
Where we left off: The Magic were well on their way to being in contention for the NBA playoffs when the season was halted. Even without center Jonathan Isaac, the team was putting up the numbers and had a three-game winning streak just as the action came to an end. The team was on a run and had logged the best offensive rating in the league at 116.6.
Remaining schedule: July 31, Brooklyn Nets; Aug. 2, Sacramento Kings; Aug. 4, Indiana Pacers; Aug. 5, Toronto Raptors; Aug. 7, Philadelphia 76ers; Aug. 9, Boston Celtics; Aug. 11, Nets; Aug. 13, New Orleans Pelicans.
Projected starting lineup: SG: Evan Fournier, SF: James Ennis III, PF: Aaron Gordon, C: Nikola Vucevic, PG: D.J. Augustin
Key injuries, absentees: PF Al-Farouq Aminu (knee), C Jonathan Isaac (knee), questionable
Odds to Win Title: 1,000-1
Can they win it all? This could be the second season in a row that the Magic make the playoffs and the COVID-19 break may have given the team some help. Isaac is still questionable for a return but, if he’s back, Orlando is going to have some serious strength that will help the team excel in the bubble. However, guard Markelle Fultz isn’t with the team in the bubble and an unidentified player has tested positive for the coronavirus. There is still enough depth to use, but going all the way isn’t a realistic possibility.
So, that concludes our preview of the Orlando Magic team ahead of the NBA regular season re-boot, we’ll have a look at another of the teams involved in Orlando tomorrow!