The Orlando Magic finished 11th in the Eastern Conference last season with a deep talented young roster. This season the Magic are looking to overhaul its squad starting with the hiring of Frank Vogel and loaded its roster with veterans and experience.
Following the unexpected retirement of Scott Skiles, the Magic organization looked for a voice to lead its locker room that led to the hiring of Vogel. Many saw Vogel as the perfect man to replace Skiles as its head coach.
Then, the Magic started its rebuilding process starting by Domantas Sabonis and Victor Oladipo to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Serge Ibaka. The Magic also managed to sign Bismack Biyombo, Jeff Green, and DJ Augustin. Aside from that, the Magic gave French guard Evan Fournier a five-year extension worth $85 million.
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According to Sporting News, Vogel hopes that both Ibaka and Biyombo could work together in leading the team this season. With two of the most defensive minded players at his disposal, Vogel sees the Magic as a defensive oriented team.
“I’m not sure what experience I’ve had with two blockers of this quality on the same team. But certainly, with Serge Ibaka’s abilities offensively from the perimeter, you have two guys who will fit each other. One can roll to the basket, one with the ability to roll, but also stretch the floor to the 3-point line. The two can really work together. And if they can play together offensively, then defensively, you have a potentially potent combination of shot-blockers,” Vogel said.
With defense already, a check for the Magic offense comes as their next point of concern. The Magic sees Fournier, who had a breakout game last season, to come out as its scoring leader. They hope that Fournier would be able to overachieve his number last season of 15.4 points, 2.7 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game.
Fournier could spread the floor for the Magic as Ibaka and Biyombo could slice down the middle and dismantle the defense in the paint. However, its bench must complement its starters as many see them getting through the playoffs this season.
The Magic may have lost their first preseason match to the Grizzlies, but the real test comes when the league official opens. But if Vogel’s goals for the team this year fails, it will be another rebuilding process for them. It will be a continuous process until the right pieces placed together to bring a new era for the Magic.