The Orlando Magic are entering the NBA season as a rebuilding team. They might not be in the conversation as a playoff team but they sure can be competitive and a subpar basketball team each game. That alone makes them an interesting team to look out for this season. They drafted Jalen Suggs, one of the best players in this year’s draft class. They also have retained players like Markelle Fultz, Cole Anthony, RJ Hampton and Mo Bamba who are all worth looking out for.
For the Magic to have one of their interesting and best seasons in years, a lot of things have to fall into place. Here are five vital questions Orlando has to answer for them to consider this season a good one:
Orlando Magic Questions For NBA Season
Can Suggs live up to his hype?
The draft class might have been a really stacked one but that doesn’t mean Suggs cannot make a case for himself to win the Rookie of the Year award. He showed a lot of potential in Gonzaga as a playmaker, scorer and defensive player. Suggs’ game transitioned well in the NBA Summer League and hopefully in the regular season as well. With the incumbent of Fultz, Suggs should see a lot of playing time to start the season.
Jalen Suggs BALLS OUT in his #NBASummer League debut! 🏀 pic.twitter.com/CddEV3Yx9D
— NBA Fantasy (@NBAFantasy) August 10, 2021
The good news is that the rookie seems to be ready and confident to take his game to another level. He’s going to have plenty of opportunities and it’ll be up to him to maximize what he can do for a Magic that’s still figuring out it’s identity. At least, Suggs is already working on his jump shot as early as the offseason.
“I’m really trying to hone-in my craft; one big thing I can tell is (I’m) really starting to see all the little things that go into my jump-shot. Being able to get into a consistent rhythm so when something is off, I’m able to correct that (right away),” Suggs said.
Can the Orlando Magic improve on defense?
Jamahl Mosley is known as a defensive-minded coach and it’ll be interesting to see how he changes the culture in Orlando. Can he help develop two-way players by preaching the importance of defense to his young team? This is a rebuilding Magic squad and it’ll be a learning experience for them to just have one season where the team’s main focus is on defense. This is a rare instance in an offensive dominant modern NBA but there are a couple of teams (hello Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks) who have proven that defense still works.
Who handles the ball when Fultz comes back?
When the Magic drafted Suggs, a lot questioned who their main ball handler would now be since Fultz is also still in the roster currently recovering from an ACL injury. If ever Mosley does assign the ball handling and playmaking duties to one of his point guards, another question that would arise is if his other players can play off-ball? This is an interesting experiment for Mosley to figure out throughout the season especially when Fultz comes back.
Will the Orlando Magic tank this year?
With Fultz still recovering and the roster’s players filled with young guns, the Magic can use this season to once again tank. Which means, they’ll have to (purposely) lose some games instead of seriously competing each night. This kind of mindset does not seem to go with the mentality of Suggs and Cole so it’s an interesting storyline to follow.
Obviously, the players don’t have a choice especially if Orlando’s management wants them to strike gold in the lottery once again. The question is, will they tank for another potential draft pick? Or try their best to be competitive and perhaps make it to the play-in tournament?
Can Anthony lead the team in scoring?
Cole Anthony preseason highlights! @The_ColeAnthony pic.twitter.com/CESXUpLy96
— Courtside Films (@CourtsideFilms) October 14, 2021
Last season, the 20-year-old showed glimpses of his scoring ability but it was clear that he still has a ton to go in order to make real noise in the league. This season, Anthony will probably get the greenlight from Mosley to score and attack on offense. He will probably handle the ball more and find ways to drive in and improve his jump shot. He’s a great option to lead the scoring load for the Magic and it’ll be fascinating to see if he can do this while at the same time develop his game.