After a disappointing 2017-2018 season, the Magic fired head coach Frank Vogel and hired for Charlotte Hornets coach Steve Clifford. A trusted assistant under Stan Van Gundy during the Magic’s last sustained period of success, Clifford rejuvenated the floundering Charlotte Bobcats in 2014 with top-caliber team defense. He's done the same for the Magic this year.
The Magic also attained a 7 foot rookie from the University of Texas, Mo Bamba. In an NBA where the fad is to have short layers that can shoot long range, the Magic have decided to go big for defense. Bamba was the addition to other big men such as Jonathan Isaac.
As for other players, center Nikola Vucevic is the heart and soul of this team. An All-Star for the first time, “Vooch” has recorded 60 double-doubles while averaging a career-high 20.8 points and 12.0 rebounds per game. He is seventh in the NBA in player efficiency (25.53), per ESPN.
Big contributions this season also came from last year’s first-round pick, Jonathan Isaac, and late-season addition Michael Carter-Williams — two players with the height and athleticism to guard and frustrate multiple positions on opposing teams.
Lastly, mainstay Aaron Gordon has developed into an elite player with his newfound versatility with developing an outside shot along with his explosive drives to the basket resulting in monstrous slam dunks.
Although their playoff run was stripped short by the intensive play of the Toronto Raptors, our home team turned heads and they will most certainly be back in the post season next year.
The future is bright for Magic fans, and there is always room for more fans on the bus!