WATCH: Orlando Magic Tip-Off 35th Regular Season in Franchise History Against the Houston Rockets Tonight

By  //  October 25, 2023

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ABOVE VIDEO: Pregame report ahead of the Orlando Magic Regular Season Opener Against the Houston Rockets with Space Coast Daily Sports Editor Juan Rodriguez and Terry Spain.

(NBA.COM) – The Orlando Magic put in a tremendous amount of work during the offseason, training camp and preseason.  All in preparation for this moment. The Magic tip off the 35th regular season in franchise history when they host the Houston Rockets on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET.

“I’m excited to get out there and really play some meaningful basketball,” said Magic guard Cole Anthony, who recently signed a contract extension with the team.

“We have a tough, tough challenge in the new-and-improved Houston Rockets. They’ve got some dogs on that team, so it’s going to be a great challenge for us.”

The Rockets made a lot of changes this offseason. They have a new head coach in Ime Udoka. They brought in some big-name free agents such as Fred VanVleet, Dillon Brooks, and Jeff Green. And they added a pair of high-profile projects in Amen Thompson and Cam Whitmore via the 2023 NBA Draft.

The Magic, meanwhile, focused on continuity and internal growth this summer. Early in the season, that could prove to be an advantage as other groups attempt to gel with one another. With that in mind, the Magic’s top priority on opening night will be making sure that they don’t beat themselves.

“The way in which we start this year is going to be very important,” said Magic Head Coach Jamahl Mosley. “We have to make sure we come out and detail our work. We have to make sure that we’re not a team that’s beating themselves.”

For the Magic’s head coach that means putting an emphasis on taking care of the basketball, communicating as a unit, controlling the glass, and limiting the opposition’s opportunities in transition.

“If we talk about learning from last year, those are the (areas) we’re going to have to improve upon,” said Mosley.

It’s no secret that two of the players that will play a major role in the Magic’s success this season are reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Paolo Banchero and FIBA World Cup champion Franz Wagner. Orlando will need its young dynamic duo to continue to make strides in order to level up as a team and be in the postseason conversation.

But as a team, the area that’s likely to be the No. 1 factor in determining the franchise’s success this season will be its defensive prowess. The Magic have prioritized that end of the floor throughout training camp and the preseason. Now, they’re hoping all that hard work carries over into their 2023-24 campaign.

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