Congratulations, you have arrived at the dawning of a new NBA season. The sunlight is peaking through your blinds. It’s impossible to ignore because it’s shining right in your eyes, warming your sleepy face – you shouldn’t have picked the bedroom with a window facing East.
However, this morning is different than others in the last four months. You can hear world of basketball outside and it’s invigorating. You’re not just simply awake. Your basketball soul has awoken and it’s theme song is the first thirty seconds of the intro to Drake’s most recent album.
Feeling rejuvenated, you’re ready to take on anyone and everyone. It’s a new season, dammit, anything is possible.
Welcome to the 2013-2014 NBA Season.
Tuesday, October 29th @ Indiana Pacers
So, technically, the Magic are in the NBA season opener (suck it Miami!). The Magic and Pacers tipoff at 7, an hour before the Bulls v. Heat game. The NBA doesn’t make sense sometimes.
The NBA schedule-makers did their best to throw this young Magic roster to the wolves: the home opener for Indiana in a season where the Pacers have their best chance at a title since ’98. Expect the crowd to be at full volume. Enjoy the moment guys, because this will probably be the most excited any crowd will be during a Magic game this season.
It’s a huge mismatch on paper. However, it going to be interesting to watch Victor Oladipo and Nik Vucevic match up against Paul George and George Hibbert, two of the best at their positions in the league.
If Orlando can ride out the emotions early in the game, they could keep it close going into the 4th quarter. But if it gets ugly early, the Magic could get blown out as they did their last two preseason games.
Wednesday, October 30th @ Minnesota Timberwolves
Ah, shoot. Already used my wolf-related idiom.
Back-to-back road games going against teams in their home-openers. Minnesota isn’t as talented nor as deep as Indiana, but they’re finally healthy (as of this writing).
Interesting match ups on the wings in this game. Kevin Martin, Derrick Williams and Chase Budinger going up against Oladipo, Moe Harkless and Tobias Harris. If the Magic have an edge anywhere, it’s with these three. If (big if) Orlando can avoid the turnovers, they have a puncher’s chance at stealing a road win against the Western Conference.
Who snags more boards in this game? Kevin Love or Vucevic?
Friday, November 1st vs. New Orleans Pelicans
How many times are the Magic going to play the Pelicans this year?!
The Pelicans took it to the Magic in their two preseason games this year. Jrue Holiday will probably continue to give Oladipo fits when VO is handling the ball. Anthony Davis looks like he’s ready to make The Leap, and I can’t remember the last time I saw Eric Gordon healthy for a regular season game.
Orlando doesn’t match up well with the Pellies. Tobias Harris at the four may be the Magic’s best strategy. Can Ryan Anderson guard him on the perimeter? Anderson’s shooting range helps spread the floor for Davis and Holiday and Tyreke Evans who thrive off penetration. If New Orleans feels as if they can’t afford Anderson’s defensive liability, it could really help Orlando defensively.
Sunday, November 3rd vs. Brooklyn Nets
This some start to the season.
Old vs. Young.
In terms of NBA-level basketball skill, the Nets have the edge at every single position. So, when you’re a statistical underdog like this, your best chance is to change the game. By that, I mean make the game unusual.
In a typical regular season game, the Nets would beat the Magic 8/10 times. But if the Magic can play at an ultra fast up-and-down pace against the aging Nets, maybe that means the Nets win only 6/10 times.
It’s about moral victories here, folks. Looking at these four games, it’s hard to talk yourself into the Magic winning any of them. But hey: it’s a new season dammit, anything is possible.