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Now entering the 2nd season of the post-Dwight Howard era, the Orlando Magic are on the road back to contention with a nucleus built around Tobias Harris, Nikola Vucevic, Moe Harkless and former Indiana star Victor Oladipo who was the 2nd pick of the 2013 draft. While pundits don’t expect this team to contend in 2013-14, the Magic, free of expectations, should put on quite a show with one of the most exciting young rosters in the league. And in the NBA, you just never know what can happen…
A Brief History
While it may be hard to believe, the Orlando Magic are entering their 25th year in the NBA. Entering the league as an expansion team in 1989 (just for some context, a few other brands founded in 1989: Infiniti, Lexus and No Fear) it didn’t take long for the Magic to contend, thanks in large part to the drafting of Shaquille O’Neal in 1992. One of the most dominant players in league history, O’Neal, alongside running mate Penny Hardaway created a formidable Eastern Conference power and led the Magic to the NBA Finals in 1995 where they lost to the Houston Rockets.
While O’Neal’s free agency departure to the Lakers following the 1995-96 season devastated the Orlando faithful (and set the Lakers up for another dynastic run), less than a decade later the Magic were back on top after drafting Dwight Howard. With Howard, Jameer Nelson and Rashard Lewis leading the way, the Magic returned to the NBA Finals in 2009 where they would face and ultimately lose to the LA Lakers. Under Stan Van Gundy the Magic would make the playoffs the next three years despite the fact that Howard’s looming free agency decision was a major distraction.
2013-14 and Beyond
Still seeking the franchise’s first NBA title, the Orlando Magic are in the process of rebuilding the roster through the draft and savvy free-agent signees. In Victor Oladipo, the Magic figure to have a new face of the franchise for years to come. A top defender with the ability to light up the scoreboard and, if all goes well, emerge as a Russell Westrbrook-type of point guard, Oladipo’s strongest attribute may well be his attitude. With a relentlessly positive approach and a desire to make everyone around him better, the Magic appear to be in excellent hands moving forward.
Save on Orlando Magic tickets
Whether you’re coming to town to see Mickey and the gang or you’re a local, a trip to the sparkling new Amway Center is an absolute must. Opened in 2010, the arena hosted the 2013 All-Star Game and is easily one of the best buildings in the league. Get guaranteed savings from ScoreBig and watch Orlando’s rising stars compete against the best athletes on Earth.