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The Season Begins Here!

This is the moment all Orlando Magic fans have been waiting for, and the season begins here! Opening night and we take on the Houston Rockets.

Regular Season Game 1 – Houston Rockets vs Orlando Magic

  • It’s opening night for the Orlando Magic as we welcome the Houston Rockets into the 407. It is also the first “Classic Night” of the Magic’s 35 anniversary celebrations. That means the “classic stars” jersey and court.
  • U.K. tip time is midnight, that’s 7pm for our friends in Orlando.
  • To watch outside of the Orlando area you will need an active NBA League Pass subscription. 

The Orlando Magic 

A Quick Look Back At Preseason

  • Magic preseason was a winning one, with a 3-1 record.
  • Orlando closed preseason with a home court 76-109 win over Flamengo of Brazil.
  • That game was a very different starting 5 as all the core players were given the night off. Anthony Black, Jett Howard, Goga Bitadze, Caleb Houstan and Chuma Okeke started. 
  • Trevelin Queen led the team, scoring 24 points. His efforts in this game and through preseason has seen him secure the final two-way contract with the Magic. Queen has played in 17 career NBA regular season games with Houston and Indiana. 
  • That decision saw the Magic waive Mac McClung, Daeqwon Plowden and Brandon Williams.

Tonight

The Houston Rockets

The Rockets Summer

  • Last season was a struggle for Houston going 22-60, finishing 14th in the West. They had a lot of work to do and needs to resolve. It seems they have done a lot to address this, getting depth in every position.
  • There’s a new coach, a big hire getting Ime Udoka.
  • They have a young core of strong potential, notably Jalen Green, Alperen Sengun and Jabari Smith Jr. However a couple of young players Kevin Porter Jr and Kenyon Martin Jr have moved on.
  • Houston went big investing in experience this summer. Fred VanVleet was given a three-year $130 million deal. He’s a clever and reliable point guard addressed the need for veteran experience and 3-point shooting. Forward Dillon Brooks came in on a reported four-year, $80 million deal. IfBrooks can avoid becoming a PR disaster again he will be a positive addition of experience, scoring, toughness and willingness to guard anyone. Jeff Green (coming off a championship season with Denver), Victor Oladipo and Aaron Holiday brought more veteran know how. The final acquisition was Australian centre Jock Landale.
  • Amen Thompson at the 4th pick has a high ceiling on his two-way capabilities. Cam Whitmore was projected as a top-five pick, then dropped dramatically to 20 due to what has been described as both medical and personality issues.

A Strong Preseason For The Rockets

  • A five game series of exhibition games saw Houston take 4 wins. The victories came at home over the Indiana Pacers, then taking road wins against the New Orleans Pelicans and San Antonio Spurs. The only loss them came on the road again to the Spurs.
  • The Rockets closed with a home win by 104-110 over the Miami Heat.
  • Each of tonight’s projected starters played nearly 30 minutes. Jalen Green and Fred VanVleet both scored 20 points, whilst VanVleet also had six assists in the win. Alperen Sengun finished with 16 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks. Amen Thompson led the bench with 19 points.

Houston Tonight

  • Rookie debuts should come from guards Amen Thompson and Cam Whitmore.
  • Projected starting 5 – PG Fred VanVleet, SG Jalen Green, SF Dillon Brooks, PF Jabari Smith Jr, C Alperen Sengun
  • Victor Oladipo, Tari Eason and Trevor Hudgins are all out. 

Head to Head With The Houston Rockets

  • In 69 regular season games played the score stands at 31-38 to Houston.
  • Four of the last five seasons have been split 1-1. Last season both teams won on the road.
  • These two teams have famously met only once in the playoffs, the 1995 Finals, resulting in a 4-0 win for Houston.

The Season Begins Here – A Final Thought

  • The season begins here tonight for a Magic team determined to prove themselves as a genuine threat in the Eastern Conference.
  • Last time we saw a disastrous start to the campaign, with Orlando dropping the opening 5 games (4 of which were on the road). The Magic face a similar situation schedule wise as last season with this being the lone home game of the opening 5. What comes next is a road trip to face Portland, both Los Angeles teams (on a back-to-back), before closing the jaunt in Salt Lake City against the Utah Jazz.
  • There are no free passes for Orlando in this opening round of matches. Once the trip is over the Magic have a 4 game homestand against the Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks.
  • If Orlando are to progress this season to be a play-in team (or more than that) it is essential to carry over the form and momentum that was evident through the second half of last season and during preseason.

The Let’s Talk Magic Game Preview

GO MAGIC!