Apr 5, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic forward Maurice Harkless (21) reacts after hitting a three-point basket against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando Magic Today: Fantastic Friday

Good morning, everyone! We made it through another work week. You deserve a beverage of your choice tonight, but first, read what we have on today’s edition of Orlando Magic Today.

Over at HoopsHabit, Luke Duffy takes a somewhat critical look at Maurice Harkless from season one to season two and how he’ll need to step up this season if he wants to continue to play. Can Harkless turn his game to the next level and become the player that he has the potential to be? Or will he simply fade into the background and not produce?

Over at MagicBasketballOnline, Adam Papageorgiou takes a deeper look into the Magic’s schedule, including how many miles they’ll travel, amount of back-to-backs compared tot he rest of the league and their rest compared to their opponents. The Magic could be in for a real uphill battle this season thanks to their schedule.

16 out of 23 games from January 14th to March 8th – with the February 12th through Feb. 19th All-Star Break in between – are played inside Amway Center. Thirteen of those 23 contests are against squads that were in the postseason last season. This is where Jacque’s roster is going to have find their winning ways if they want a chance at the playoffs. Orlando was only 19-22 at home last year and it’s a given that you have to be over .500 on our own floor to have a prayer at a playoff bid.

From March 20th through the conclusion of the regular season, 8 of the Magic’s final 12 games are at home (with the last 2 being in Miami and at Brooklyn). Their season-high 5-game home stretch is at the start of this period. Seven of those twelve games are against opponents who made the playoffs last season. If Orlando can survive hell for the first two months, there are some very kind home-heavy stretches that Coach Vaughn’s squad can take advantage of. When you’re a team that has been at the bottom of the totem pole, no contest is easy.

Finally, over at Bleacher Report, Kurt Jonke takes a stab at predicting the roles of all the Magic’s newly acquired players. Spoiler: He thinks Channing Frye will have the biggest impact this season.

That does it for today’s edition of Orlando Magic Today! I hope you all had a great week, and have a safe weekend. We’ll be back on Sunday morning to give you guys the rundown of Magic news around the web. Of course, you can always just come back to Presto in the Paint and read all of the great content and #hottakes that we have. You know you want to.

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