Magical Opening Night in Orlando: BK & Sweet T's Takeaways

'Twas the opening night of the 35th season of Orlando Magic basketball, and Magical it 'twas in Orlando.

The Magic opened up the season with a dominant performance in front of the home Amway Center crowd, defeating the Houston Rockets 116-86 on Wednesday night. Brandon and I were both in attendance, and here are some our biggest takeaways...

1) Franz Wagner seems like the steady rock of this team. Franz opened up this game with a splash, notching 11 of the 22 first quarter Magic-points. The shootaround drills I saw on Wednesday morning clearly paid off here, as Franz was 3/4 from deep in the opening frame. It seems likely that Franz will improve on his already efficient 15-points-per-game on 47% shooting from the field and 35% from deep last season.

2) Paolo has matured even more. Now, the reigning Rookie of the Year came into the league already with an advanced mindset both for the game and life. You would have never known that he was 19, turning 20, last season due to his success on and off the court. With that being said, Paolo was still a rookie navigating his way through an 82-game NBA season for the first time. From speaking with Paolo through training camp and leading up to opening night, it seems he is over the rookie aurora and is prepared to just focus on hooping.

Some might look at Paolo's 12 point, five assist, and five rebound night a disappointing night. I see it as growth. Paolo attempted a career-low six shots in the game, converting on three. Houston most likely had a heavy emphasis of trying to slow down Orlando's leading scorer from a season ago. While Franz was scoring in the first quarter, Paolo was dishing, grabbing boards, and running the floor. 'Point Paolo' if you will. There is no Rookie of the Year ego in this man.

3) Jonathan Isaac Looks Great. In simple terms, he's back. Blocking shots, running the floor, and throwing down and-one dunks. For the first time in a long time, J-I is being asked about his performance on the court, not how his body is feeling on the sidelines.

Plenty of more takeaways to get to. Cole Anthony led all scorers with 20 points off the bench (potenital 6th Man of the Year prospect), the Magic out-rebound the Rockets 56-31 (16 offensive), and the Magic run away with their biggest victory in Orlando Magic opening night history.

Brandon and I discuss the tip off game of the 35th season of Magic basketball in the podcast linked below

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