The Magic have been consistently rising, notching 20, 23, 25 and 35 wins in the last 4 seasons. The Magic are showing promise. I like this young roster being paired with a veteran coach in Frank Vogel. I feel this combination will be able to propel the Magic at least 3 more wins in the right direction from last year. Vogel kept a relatively average Pacers line-up relevant when their star Paul George went down with injury.
The division they’re in doesn’t have as much talented as I think is being perceived by the oddsmakers. The Hawks have gotten worse from last year. They lost their starting point guard in Teague and key big man in Horford. We are yet to see if Howard will make a significant impact. His last two stops have left a lot to be desired (the Rockets and the Lakers). The Heat are an absolute shell of themselves.
The team lines up with Payton at PG, Fournier as a capable SG, Gordon at SF, Ibaka at PF and Vucevic at C. Young quality, athletic size and loads of potential to be better than last year. The team’s bench also has great depth. CJ Watson, DJ Augustin, Jeff Green, Mario Hezonja and Bismack Biyombo will be quality additions when the starters have to take a break.
The Eastern conference has decreased in difficulty and the Magic’s division will be underwhelming. You also have to look at the quality of the Magic’s roster and the addition of a proven coach. For these reasons, I strongly believe this is a very low win total for a team who has the chance to be a dark horse for the playoffs.