1989/90: Four years after local developer and banker Jim Hewitt began promoting the idea of an NBA franchise in Orlando. To get things moving the lured then Philadelphia 76ers General Manager Pat Williams to Florida, and together they went to work selling merchandise, while persuading locals to make $100 deposits on season-ticket reservations, to convince the NBA to give them an expansion team. The dream finally became a reality on November 4th as a soldout crowd watched the Magic lose their first-ever game at the Orlando Arena 111-106 to the New Jersey Nets. Two nights later, Magic fans would get to enjoy their team’s first win as the Magic stunned the New York Knicks 118-110. However, there would not be much success that first year as the Magic finished last in the Central Division with a typical expansion like 18-64 record.
1990/91: The Magic continued the struggle through the first half of their second season, posting an 11-33 mark through January after losing the first six games. Despite the struggles, there were some signs of hope as the Magic made their first mark in the NBA record book on December 30th, when scrappy point guard Scott Skiles racked up a single games record 30 assists in a game against the Golden State Warriors, which the Magic still lost 119-113. However, the team’s fortunes began to change in February as rookie Dennis Scott had a solid second half becoming a dangerous shooter behind the 3-point line as the Magic posted a winning record over the final three months to finish in fourth place in the Midwest Division with a record of 31-51. Following the season Scott Skiles who averaged 17.2 ppg and 8.4 assists per game, was recognized as the NBA’s Most Improved Player.
1991/92: Finally settling into the Atlantic Division, the Magic had a disappointing third season, as injuries limited Dennis Scott to just 18 games while leading scorer Nick Anderson missed 22 games, as the Magic finished in last place with a record of 21-61. However, out of the gloom of last place would emerge hope as the Magic won the NBA Draft lottery, enabling them to select LSU star center, Shaquille O’Neal.
1992/93: Even before he made his debut Shaquille O’Neal was a superstar, as most predicted he would become the next dominant center in the NBA. Shaq would not disappoint becoming an instant superstar with merchandising that rivaled Michael Jordan while winning the Rookie of the Year with a solid 23.4 ppg and 13.9 rebounds per game. However, the Magic’s run for a playoff spot was hurt by injuries, as Dennis Scott got hurt down the stretch as the Magic fell short of the final playoff spot via tiebreaker with a 41-41 record. Missing the playoff only gave the Magic more good fortune again as they won the Draft Lottery again. The Magic would eventually swap picks with the Golden State Warriors to rights to Guard Anfernee Hardaway, who was selected third overall, as the Magic acquired three future first-round picks so the Warriors could have the rights to Chris Webber while getting the player they wanted all along.
1993/94: With the addition of Anfernee Hardaway, the Orlando Magic had one of the most dynamic 1-2 punches in the NBA. Shaquille O’Neal continued to dominate scoring 29.3 ppg as the Magic made it to the playoffs for the first time in franchise history with an impressive 50-32 record good enough for second place in the Atlantic. However, in the playoffs, the young Magic would struggle, losing the first two games at home by a total of three points as Shaq’s weakness at the free-throw line end up costing the team as the Indiana Pacers swept them in three straight games.
1994/95: After building through the draft, the Magic made themselves even stronger by signing free agent Horace Grant. Grant gave the Magic one of the best starting lineups in the NBA as Shaquille O’Neal continued to prove he was the next big thing in the NBA with another solid 29.3 ppg as the Magic won the Atlantic Division with a solid 57-25 record. In the playoffs, the Magic got off to a fast start crushing the Boston Celtics 124-77 at home in Game 1. However, the Magic would slip up in Game 2 and went to the historic Boston Garden tied at a game apiece. Instead of being intimidated by the old building, the Magic shut it down, winning the final two games ever played at the old historic arena to beat the Celtics in four games. In the second round, the Magic were matched up against the Chicago Bulls, who were led by Michael Jordan, who had just returned from his attempt to play baseball. After winning the first game 94-91, the Magic appeared to be asking for it when Anfernee Hardaway indicated Jordan was no longer the same player. The move motivated Jordan to return to number 23, as the Bulls evened the series. After splitting the next two games in Chicago, the Magic stepped it up and won Game 5 at home 103-95. Not even Michael Jordan could stop Shaq and the Magic in Game 6 as the Magic won 108-102 to advance to the Conference Finals. In the Eastern Conference Finals, the Magic would beat the Indiana Pacers in a hard-fought seven-game series that saw the home team win every game. Facing the defending NBA Champion Houston Rockets, some considered the Magic a favorite. However, with a chance to salt away Game 1 at home on the free thrown line Nick Anderson usually a reliable free throw shooter, missed twice as the Rockets tied the game at the buzzer and won in overtime. The Magic would not recover from their disappointing Game 1 loss as the Rockets went on to sweep the series in four straight games, as Hakeem Olajuwon dominated Shaq in a battle of All-Star Centers.
1995/96: Despite losing Shaquille O’Neal for the first 22 games, the Magic weathered the storm early as Anfernee Hardaway picked up the slack during Shaq’s absence leading the Magic to a solid 17-5 start. Shaq would return and would be dominant again leading the way with 26.6 ppg as the Magic won their second straight division title with a record of 60-22. In the playoffs, the Magic dominated sweeping the Detroit Pistons in three consecutive games, before dispatching the Atlanta Hawks in five games to set up a much-anticipated showdown with the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals. However, the anticipated match up turned into a mismatch as Michael Jordan motivated by losing to the Magic a year earlier dominated, leading the Bulls to an easy four-game sweep. Following the season, the Magic would be stunned by Shaquille O’Neal, who decided to sign a free-agent deal with the Los Angeles Lakers to future an acting career which he worked on throughout the offseason staring in such bargain bin classics as “Kazaam and Blue Chips.”
1996/97: After losing Shaquille O’Neal to injuries, the Magic brought in Rony Seikaly, who provided a solid 17.3 ppg. However, he was no replacement to Shaq as the Magic struggled with injuries costing Coach Brian Hill his job as the Magic sat at 24-25. Under his replacement, Richie Audabato, the Magic, finished the season on a strong note as they got Anfernee Hardaway back to finish with a record of 45-37. In a Sunshine State showdown in the playoffs against the Miami Heat, the Magic battled back from a 0-2 deficit by winning two games at home after losing the first two games in Miami. However, the Magic would fall in Game 5 in Miami by a score of 91-83. Despite the strong finish, Richie Audabato would not be brought back as a coach as the Magic hired Hall of Famer Chuck Daly.
1997/98: Under new Coach Chuck Daly the Magic would suffer the sting of injuries as Anfernee Hardaway plays in just 19 games due to a calf injury. Hardaway would not be the only injury that hurt the Magic; a total of 275 player games were lost to injury as the Magic missed the playoffs for the first time in five years, with a record of 41-41 that had to be considered almost remarkable under the circumstances.
1998/99: In a season cut short by a four-month lockout, the Orlando Magic play solid basketball all season. The Magic finished tied with the Miami Heat for the best record in the conference at 33-17, Darrell Armstrong had a breakout season winning both the NBA Sixth Man and Most Improved Player Awards with 13.8 pp and 6.7 apg. However, in the playoffs, the Magic who lost the division via tiebreaker would experience a letdown in the playoffs, the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Magic in four games. Following the season, coach Chuck Daly would retire as the Magic decided to go with a youth movement trading away players like Anfernee Hardaway to the Phoenix Suns.
1999/00: With several transactions before and during the season, no one knew what to expect from the Magic, as 11 players on their roster had three years or less NBA experience in the NBA. However, the young team would surpass expectations as they missed out in the playoffs by just one game finishing in fourth place with a 41-41 record, as Doc Rivers was named Coach of the Year. After a solid year with raw talent, the Magic made a splash in the Free Agent market, signing Grant Hill away from the Detroit Pistons and Tracy McGrady away from the Toronto Raptors.
2000/01: The Magic entered the season with an air of optimism with their two big free agent signeés. However, they would lose Grant Hill after just four games as he re-injured an ankle he had the previous season with the Detroit Pistons. Their other signée Tracy McGrady would live up to expectations, as he led the team in scoring with 26.8 ppg as he was named Most Improved Player by the NBA. Helping to make up for the absence of Grant Hill would be Mike Miller, who would earn Rookie of the Year honors with 11.9 ppg as the Magic finished in fourth place with a 43-39 record. In the playoffs, the Magic would struggle as the Milwaukee Bucks beat them in four games.
2001/02: Tracy McGrady continued to emerge as a superstar as he finished fourth in the NBA in scoring with 25.6 ppg. However, McGrady would not have much help as Grant Hill’s comeback was ended after just 14 games, as he had to get more surgery on his bad ankle. Despite the injury to Hill, the Magic would make it back to the playoffs by finishing in third place with a 44-38 record. However, in the playoffs, the Magic would be stung by the Charlotte Hornets in four games.
2002/03: The rise of Tracy McGrady into an NBA superstar is completed as he wins his first scoring title with 32.1 ppg. However, with Grant Hill playing just 29 games it seemed as if he was all alone again as the Magic barely made the playoffs with a record of 42-40, as they tried to improve themselves down the stretch by acquiring Drew Gooden, and Gordon Giricek from the Memphis Grizzlies for Mike Miller, Ryan Humphrey, and draft picks at the trade deadline. In the playoffs, McGrady would continue to establish himself as a star he scored 40 points twice against the top-seeded Detroit Pistons who had the toughest defense in the NBA, as the Magic jumped out to a 3-1 series lead. However, with the NBA switching the first round to a best of seven series, the Magic needed to win one more game. That win would never come as the Pistons came back to win three straight games and take the series in seven games.
2003/04: Injuries hamstrung the Magic from the start of the season as Grant Hill missed the entire season recovering from ankle surgery while Patrick Garrity was lost after just two games. The Magic started the season with an 85-83 win on the road against the New York Knicks. However there season would go straight down right after as they lost their next 19 games costing coach Doc Rivers his job. With Johnny Davis taking over on the bench for the remainder of the season, the Magic continued to suffer through a frustrating season. They never recovered from the losing streak, finishing dead last with an NBA worst record of 21-61 despite Tracy McGrady leading the NBA in scoring for the second straight season with 28.0 PPG. Following the season McGrady who demanded a trade would be shipped to the Houston Rockets in a blockbuster deal that saw the Magic land, Steve Francis. Finishing with the worst record in the NBA enabled the Magic to the top pick in the draft, which they used on High School Player of the Year Dwight Howard.
2004/05: With a mix of old Grant Hill who after years of injury and frustration was able to play 67 games and young Dwight Howard the first overall pick straight out of high school the Magic had a strong first half sitting at 28-24 at the All-Star Break, while Steve Francis acquired for Tracy McGrady led the way with 21.3 ppg. In the second half, the Magic began to stumble, losing 10 of 13 leading to the dismissal of Coach Johnny. With Chris Jent running the team the rest of the way, the Magic would not fair much better, missing the playoffs while finishing in third place with 36-46 record hurt by an awful 2-9 April.
2005/06: The Magic got started on the wrong foot as they were unable to sign first-round draft pick Fran Vazquez, who chose to stay in Europe. Meanwhile, Grant Hill was bitten by the injury buy again as a hernia limited him to just 21 games and a 15.1 ppg, as the Magic started 0-3, and sank early in the Southeast Division standings. Steve Francis would be the team’s leading scorer, but management had grown tired of his selfish play on the court, as they felt it was hurting the development of Jameer Nelson and Dwight Howard. As the trade deadline approached the Magic decided to head in a different direction, first they acquired Darko Milicic and Carlos Arroyo from the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Kelvin Cato and a 2007 draft pick. Then they dealt Francis to the New York Knicks for Trevor Ariza and Anferne Hardway. However, there would be no Orlando homecoming for Penny, as he was immediately released following the trade. Not surprisingly, the Magic struggled after the deals dropping to 20-40 on March 6th, but as the new team started to gel, the Magic suddenly got hot and made a late push for the playoffs by winning 16 of their next 20 games. In the end, the hole was too deep as they fell four games short of the eighth seed while posting a record of 36-46.
2006/07: The Magic used their durable finish to get off to a strong start in the new season as they sat in first place early with a 13-4 record. However, in December, injuries would cripple the Magic as they won just four of their next 14 games. The Magic would recover with a five-game winning streak as the New Year started, but it was only a minor reprieve as they slumped again at the end of January. While Dwight Howard continued his development into an NBA star, making his first All-Star Game, the Magic slump continued as they dropped below .500. Once again, the Magic were looking at missing the playoffs when finally they started to play to their November level, as they won their last four games to slip into the playoffs for the first time in four years with a record of 40-42. Unfortunately, they would prove overmatched in the playoffs as they faced a veteran Detroit Pistons teams used to playing deep into the playoffs, falling in four straight games. Following the season, the Magic would make a coaching change, firing Brian Hill. To replace Hill, the Magic wanted a big name, that fans in Florida could attach to, so they hired Billy Donovan, who led the Florida Gators to two straight National Championships. However, Donovan had a change of heart a few days later and asked out of his contract so he could stay with the Gators in Gainesville. After the Magic and Donovan settled, the Magic fired former Miami Heat coach Stan Van Gundy. However, their most significant off-season move was the signing of highly touted free agent Rashard Lewis from the Seattle Supersonics.
2007/08: The addition of Rashard Lewis and the continued maturity of Dwight Howard were key factors early as the Magic got off to a strong start under new coach Stan Van Gundy, winning 16 of their first 20 games. However, over the next month and a half, the Magic sputtered, posting an 8-13 record. However, in the Southeast Division, the Magic were able to hold on to first place, as nobody else made a serious run. At the All-Star Break, Dwight Howard would steal the show winning the Slam Dunk Contest in New Orleans. After continuing to coast through the schedule, the Magic started to play strong basketball again in March, closing the season on a strong note, with a 15-7 record in the final six weeks of the season, as they won their first division championship since 1996, with a record of 52-30. A large part of the Magic’s division championship was Hedo Turkoglu, who averaged a career-high 19.5 ppg was named the league’s Most Improved Player. In the first round, the Magic faced the Toronto Raptors; with Dwight scoring 25 points with 22 rebounds, they were able to capture the opener 114-100. In Game 2, Howard needed to be just as good scoring 29 points, with 20 rebounds as they grabbed a 2-0 lead with a hard-fought 104-103 win. After losing Game 3, the Magic took a commanding 3-1 series lead behind the three-point shooting of Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu to beat the Raptors 106-94. The Magic would go on to win their first playoff series in a dozen years by eliminating the Raptors with a 102-92 win in Game 5, as Howard had his third 20-20 game of the series. However, in the second round, they would run into a wall as they faced the Detroit Pistons. Despite strong performances from Dwight Howard, the Magic lost the first two games in Detroit. With Rashard Lewis scoring 33 points in Game 3, the Magic kept their chances alive with a solid 111-86 win. However, the Magic would suffer a back-breaking 90-89 loss in Game 4, as the Pistons advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals with a 91-86 win in Game 5.
2008/09: Hoping to take a step forward, the Orlando Magic quickly took control of the Southeast Division as they posted a 13-4 record through the first month of the season, as Dwight Howard continued to emerge as one of the premier centers in the NBA. At just 23, Howard had become an All-Star and force in the middle, often posting double-doubles while ranking among the league leaders in rebounds and blocked shots as he became the youngest player in NBA history to be named Defensive Player of the Year. Howard’s strong defense helped the Magic control the Southeast Division all season as they captured a division title with a 59-23 record. In the playoffs, the Magic got off to a rough start as they were stunned in Game 1 by the Philadelphia 76ers 100-98 on Andre Iguodala’s jumper at the buzzer, as the 76ers outscored the Magic 35-19 in the 4th Quarter. After winning Game 2 in Orlando, the Magic were stunned again in Game 3 as Thaddeus Young’s layup with two seconds left gave the 76ers 96-94 victory to regain control of the series. However, Dwight Howard would take over posting an 18 point 18 rebound performance in Game 4 as the Magic evened the series with an 84-81 victory, which he followed up with a 24-24 performance in Game 5 as the Magic took a 3-2 series lead with a 91-78 win. The Magic would close the series out with a 114-89 win in Game 6 while playing without Dwight Howard who was suspended for hitting Samuel Dalembert with an elbow in Game 5. In the second round, the Magic faced the defending NBA Champion Boston Celtics and got off to a fast start, winning Game 1 on the road 95-90 as Dwight Howard was a beast on the boards with 22 rebounds. However, the champs battled back and took three of the next four games to take a 3-2 series lead, and place the Magic on the brink of another second-round exit. However, with Dwight Howard putting up another strong performance with 23 points and 22 rebounds, the Magic forced a seventh game with an 83-75 win in Orlando. In Game 7, it would be Hedo Turkoglu who took over scoring 25 points with 12 assists as Howard pulled down 16 rebounds as the Magic dethroned the Celtics on their homecourt with a 101-82 victory. Facing the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Magic scored a stunning win in Game 1, handing the Cavs just their third loss of the season in Cleveland with a 107-106 victory, as they overcame a 15-point halftime deficit led by Dwight Howard. He scored 30 points with 13 rebounds. The Magic would come within seconds of winning two in Cleveland, but a LeBron James buzzer-beater evened the series for the Cavs in Game 2. However, as the series shifted to Orlando, the Magic continued to frustrate the Cavaliers. They posted the best record in the regular season, as they won the next two games led by outside shooting, which the Cavs had no solution for. After the Cavaliers won Game 5, the Magic would complete the upset with a 103-90 victory in Game 6, led by a career-high 40 points from Dwight Howard, as the Magic reached the NBA Finals for the second time in franchise history. In the NBA Finals, the Magic were underdogs again, facing the Los Angeles Lakers. However, this time they were unable to get a fast start, as they suffered a 100-75 loss in Game 1. The Magic would force overtime in Game 2, but left Los Angeles down 0-2 after the Lakers won 101-96. The Magic would get their first-ever NBA Finals win, 108-104 in Game 3 as the series shifted to Orlando. Hoping to even the series, the Magic held the lead late in Game 4. However, Derek Fisher forced overtime with a three-point shot with 4.6 seconds left. The Lakers would win the game in OT 99-91 to take a 3-1 series lead. The Lakers would go on to win the title with a 99-86 win in Game 5 at Orlando.
2009/10: After the NBA Finals, the Magic would lose Hedo Turkoglu to free agency. However, they would quickly replace him by landing Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson in a trade from the New Jersey Nets for Rafer Alston, Tony Battle, and Courtney Lee. They also strengthened their bench by signing free agents Matt Barnes and Brandon Bass. The Magic got off to a strong start, posting a 17-4 record in their first 21 games. Their strong play would continue to the beginning of the New Year as they held a 24-8 record on January 1st. This came despite losing Rashard Lewis to a ten-game suspension for using a banned substance, and Jameer Nelson, who missed a month after knee surgery. However, they would hit a bump in the road in January as they lost seven of nine, including a Martin Luther King Day rematch with the Lakers in Los Angeles. Although they had their January struggles, the Magic remained near the top of the Eastern Conference all season. Orlando would win the Southeast Division with a record of 59-23, as they closed the year with a six-game winning streak while winning 20 of their last 23 games, which included 96-94 win over the Lakers on March 7th. The Magic continued their strong play into the playoffs as they faced the Charlotte Bobcats in the first round, and jumped out to a 2-0 series lead with double-digit wins at home. With Jameer Nelson scoring 32 points, the Magic would take a 3-0 lead winning 90-86 in Game 3. They would complete the sweep win a 99-90 in Game 4. They would also stay in the Southeast Division for the second round as they faced the Atlanta Hawks. From the start, it would be all Magic as they cruised to a 114-71 win in Game 1. After a 112-98 win in Game 2, the Magic continued to roll with a 105-75 win in Game 3 as they went on to sweep their way to the Eastern Conference Finals by extending their winning streak to 14 games with a 98-84 win in Game 4. Facing the Boston Celtics, the Magic appeared to be rolling to a second straight trip to the NBA Finals. However, their winning streak came to a quick end with a 92-88 loss in Game 1, as the Celtics held a big lead early and held off a late charge from the Magic. The Magic would also fall short in Game 2, losing 95-92. In Game 3, the series shifted to Boston, where the Magic continued to struggle, losing 94-71 to fall behind 3-0. Facing a sweep, the Magic won Game 4 in overtime 96-92, as Dwight Howard had a strong game with 32 points and 16 rebounds. In Game 5 back in Orlando, the Magic played their best game of the series, winning 113-92. However, they were unable to even the series as they lost 96-84 in Boston in Game 6, as the Celtics went on to face the Lakers in the NBA Finals.
2010/11: After losing in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Magic looked for ways to take the next step, as the rival Miami Heat shook the NBA world by adding LeBron James and Chris Bosh to Dwyane Wade. The deal that saw LeBron James sign in Miami also made Orlando worry about their superstar Dwight Howard who had just two years on his contract. The Magic, who previously lost Shaquille O’Neal, began to focus on how to keep Howard and make him happy in Orlando as the Magic opened a new arena, known as the Amway Center. On October 28th, the Magic would begin their new arena with a win, as they beat the Washington Wizards 112-83, as Dwight Howard scored 23 points with ten rebounds. A day later, the Magic would head down to South Beach for a showdown with the Heat. The Magic would be overwhelmed by their rivals from the south, losing 96-70. Despite the loss in Miami, the Magic would win five of their first six games, on the way to a terrific 15-4 start, including a 104-96 win over the Heat on November 24th in Orlando. The excellent start would not last as the Magic lost eight of their next nine games. During the slump, the Magic would shake up their roster, making a three-team deal with the Washington Wizards and Phoenix Suns on December 18th. The deal would see Rashard Lewis go to Washington, while Vince Carter, Marcin Gorat, and Mickael Pietrus went to Phoenix, with a draft pick. The Magic would receive Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson, Earl Clark, and Hedo Turkoglu. The Magic would go on a nine-game winning that took them into January. Over the next two months, the Magic played competitive basketball, but never really challenged the Heat for the division title, losing their three-year grip on the Southeast Division. However, the Magic would still have a solid season, posting a record of 52-30 to grab the fourth seed in the playoffs. Dwight Howard continued to be the top center in the NBA, winning his third straight Defensive Player of the Year award even as concerns of his future began to overshadow the team itself. In the playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks, Dwight Howard would get off to a great start, scoring 46 points with 19 rebounds. However, the Magic would lose the game 103-93. The Magic would recover to win 88-82 in Game 2, as Howard again had a big night scoring 33 points with 19 boards. However, as the series shifted to Atlanta, the Magic continued to struggle to score, losing two heartbreakers as the Hawks grabbed a 3-1 series lead. The Magic would avoid elimination at home, winning 101-76 in Game 5 in Orlando. However, the Hawks would take the series in six games, winning 84-81 as the Magic could not get any scoring from anyone besides Dwight Howard.
2011/12: The Orlando Magic had two concerns as the NBA endured a lockout at the start of the season, the future of Dwight Howard, and the loss of the All-Star Game, which was sent to be played at the Amway Center. When the lockout ended the Magic, tried to negotiate a contract extension for their All-Star Center while they explored a possible trade if he was unable to be re-signed. However, Howard indicated he would only sign an extension with the New Jersey Nets, who were set to move to Brooklyn. To get bigger up front, the Magic acquired Glen Davis from the Boston Celtics for Brandon Bass, as they rid themselves of the bad contract of Gilbert Arenas. Despite starting the season with a 97-89 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Christmas Day, the Magic got off to a strong start, winning 10 of their first 13 games. However, as January ended, the Magic were struggling, despite a strong start to the season by Dwight Howard. Howard, who demanded a trade, began to express frustration with the coaching of Stan Van Gundy and the lack of talent on the Magic roster. With Howard continuing his request to join the Nets, the Magic’s hands were tied as they could not bring in players because they did not know if they would be rebuilt as they had no room to seek a better deal as they had high demands to the Nets to grand Howard’s wish. The Magic played much better basketball in February as Dwight Howard was the team’s lone representative at the All-Star Game with the Magic holding a 22-13 record. During All-Star Weekend, the future of Howard again put a damper on the game in Orlando as fans pleaded with him to stay, as the Magic continued to try and get him to commit to staying or accept a trade to another team. However, as the March 15th trade deadline approached, the Magic continued to be bewildered by the Dwight Howard situation. Just as it seemed the Magic would be forced to trade Howard, the All-Star rescinded his trade request and signed a one-year contract extension. All this did was give the Magic more time to work out a deal one way or another as it neither secured Dwight Howard’s future in Orlando nor end the drama surrounding his demands to have a say in who coached the team or who the Magic signed to join the team. After holding a 32-18 record on March 26th, the bottom would fall out for the Magic as it was leaked Howard listed firing Coach Stan Van Gundy as one of his demands to stay in Orlando. At the same time, Dwight Howard was also dealing with a herniated disk, which would end his season. The leak of the Van Gundy demand seemed to irreconcilably damage the relationship between Howard and the Magic and led to another trade demand as the team struggled down the stretch and finished with a record of 37-29. One player who helped down the stretch was Ryan Anderson, who was named Most Improved Player in the NBA while scoring 16.1 ppg.
2012 Playoffs: With the sixth seed, the Magic would face the Indiana Pacers in the playoffs. With Jameer Nelson and Jason Richardson, each scoring 17 points, the Magic were able to steal Game 1 by a score of 81-77. However, the Pacers bounced back to blow out the Magic in the next two games. With the Magic rallying from down 12 points after three quarters, Game 4 in Orlando went into overtime. It was not enough, as the Pacers won the game 101-99, on George Hill’s two free throws with two seconds left. The Pacers would go on to win the series in Game 5, with a 105-87 victory. Following the season, the Magic would clean house firing both Coach Stan Van Gundy and General Manager Otis Smith. New General Manager Rob Hennigan would be given the task of trading Dwight Howard, as the Magic looked to beginning rebuilding no longer willing to deal with the headaches Howard had given them. Howard continued to demand a deal to the newly redubbed Brooklyn Nets, but after settling into Brooklyn, the Nets were no longer willing to wait for a trade for Dwight Howard, as the Magic were forced to look elsewhere. Eventually, the Magic would send Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers as part of a four-team deal, which also involved the Denver Nuggets and Philadelphia 76ers. The complicated deal would see Jason Richardson land with the 76ers, as the Magic received Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic, Maurice Harkless, Josh McRoberts, Christian Eyenga and five total protected future (three first-round, two second-round) picks from each of the other three teams in return.
2012/13: After the departure of Dwight Howard, the Magic were clearly in a rebuilding mode under new coach Jacque Vaughn. The Magic would start the season with two home wins against the Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns. The Magic start would not last as they would drop seven of their next eight games on the way to posting a 5-10 record over the first month of the season. The Magic would start December, with a 113-103 road win over Dwight Howard and the Los Angeles Lakers as they started the month, winning seven of ten games to get within one game of the .500 mark at 12-13. However, it would be as close to .500 the Magic would get as they went into the New Year, losing ten straight. January would be a nightmare for the Magic as they posted a record of 2-12 and fell out of playoff contention. The Magic would repeat the struggles in February, posting a record of 2-10. At the trade deadline, the Magic continued to break down their team, sending J.J. Redick, Ish Smith and Gustavo Ayon to the Milwaukee Bucks for Beno Udrih, Tobias Harris, and rookie Doron Lamb. They also sent Josh McRoberts to the Charlotte Bobcats for Hakim Warrick, who was waived two days later. After the trades, the Magic would win just four more games as they posted the worst record in the NBA at 20-62.
2013/14: After posting the worst record in the NBA, the Magic hoped there was just one way to go. The Magic did not win the draft lottery and settled for Victor Oladipoc out of Indiana with the second overall pick. Oladipoc had an excellent rookie season averaging 13.8 points per game as he was named to the NBA All-Rookie team. The Magic began the season with two straight losses on the road before beating the New Orleans Pelicans 110-90 in their home opener. The Magic would win their first three games at the Amway Center but did do that much else winning in the first two months of the season, entering the New Year with a record of 10-21. Wins would not come any easier in 2014, as they started January with a ten-game losing streak. The Magic were especially bad away from Orlando, winning just one road game after December 16th. The Magic would not improve much from their previous last-place season, posting a record of 23-59.
2014/15: Coming off a season in which they flirted with 60 losses, the Orlando Magic began looking to move up in the standings. The Magic hoped Aaron Gordon drafted fourth overall of Arizona could be part of their resurgence. Still, just 11 games into the season, the rookie forward fractured his foot and was hobbled most of the season, missing 32 games. When Aaron Gordon returned, he averaged 5.2 points per game. The Magic did not fare much better as they entered the New Year with a record of 13-22. Things did not get better for Orlando in 2015, as they dropped 16 of 18 games, leading to the dismissal of Coach Jacque Vaughn on February 5th. Assistant James Borrego would run the team the remainder of the year as an interim head coach. The Magic would end a ten-game losing streak in Borrego’s first game, beating the Los Angeles Lakers in overtime 103-97. Wins, however, continued to be scarce as they finished the season at the bottom of the Southeast Division again, with a record of 25-57. Among the only bright spots was the improved play of Victor Olidapo, who average 17.9 points per game, with 4.2 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game in his second season. Nikola Vucevic also showed significant improvement leading the team in scoring at 19.3 ppg.
2015/16: Hoping to get the franchise back on track, the Orlando Magic turned their past hiring Scott Skiles as the team’s new coach. Despite dropping their first three games, the Magic got off to a terrific start, winning seven of eight home games in November and posting a 10-5 record in December. Orlando’s strong play was Nikola Vucevic, who led the Magic in scoring and rebounding with 18.2 points and 8.9 boards per game. After Orlando entered the New Year with a record of 19-13, the Magic suddenly went into a tailspin losing 12 of their first 13 games in January. Orlando continued to struggle in February as they went into the All-Star Break, holding a record of 23-29. Looking to get back on track, the Magic traded Tobias Harris to the Detroit Pistons for Ersan Ilyasova and Brandon Jennings. Neither player matched the numbers of Harris as the Magic never got their playoff hopes back on track as they finished the season with a record of 35-47. Following the season, Scott Skiles would step down, saying he was not the right man for the Magic.
2016/17: With the hiring of a new coach in Frank Vogel, the Orlando Magic looked to remake the roster trading Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova, and their top draft picks to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Serge Ibaka. The Magic would stumble out of the gate, losing their first three games. While they did play better in November and December, they were still performing below expectations as they went into the New Year with a record of 15-19. In January, the bottom fell out for Orlando as they went 4-12, falling far out of the playoff chase. Things did not go much better in February, as the Magic lost seven of ten. With Serge Ibaka, not living up to expectations, and unlikely to be re-signed. The Magic traded him to the Toronto Raptors on February 14th, receiving Terrance Ross and a draft pick in return. Orlando’s struggles continued the rest of the season as they finished last in the Southeast Division with a record of 29-53.
2017/18: It was another long one for the Orlando Magic as they missed the playoffs for the sixth straight season. Before the season, the Magic drafted Florida State’s Jonathan Issac with the sixth overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Orlando also signed free agents Jonathan Simmons, Shelvin Mack, and Marreese Speights. The Magic played well early in the season as they went 6-2 in their first eight games, including victories over LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers and the San Antonio Spurs. The team would sit at 8-4 heading into Veteran’s Day, but that would be their peak as they dropped their next nine games. The Magic would again lose night straight games again in December and went into the New Year with a record of 9-13. At the February trade deadline, the Magic traded point guard Elfrid Payton to the Phoenix Suns for a 2018 second-round draft pick. The Magic finished the season 25-57 as after their 8-4 start, they went just 17-53 the rest of the way. Evan Fournier led the Magic in scoring with 17.8 points per game, with Aaron Gordon close behind at 17.6.
Written by Aaron Gershon
2018/19: After a dreadful season, the Orlando Magic fired coach Frank Vogel and hired Steve Clifford. In the 2018 NBA Draft, the Magic selected Texas center Mohamed Bamba with the fifth overall pick. Orlando struggled at the start of the season as they went 3-6 in their first nine games. Things began to turn around in November, however, as they won three straight games, including victories over the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers to move over .500 at 9-8. The Magic struggled afterward, however, and were ten games below .500 in early February at 22-32. At the trade deadline, the Magic added former first overall pick, Markelle Fultz, in a trade with the 76ers for Jonathon Simmons and two draft picks. Things would turnaround after the deadline as they won five straight games in February. In March, the Magic began a surprising playoff push winning six consecutive games to move to 37-38 on the season. The Magic finished the regular season on a four-game winning streak to secure the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference at 42-40. It was Orlando’s first postseason berth since 2012. Nikola Vucevic led the team in Magic with 20.8 points per game and was named an All-Star for the first time in his career.
Written by Aaron Gershon
2019 Playoffs: The Orlando Magic matched up with the second-seeded Toronto Raptors in the opening round. Orlando stunned Toronto on the road in Game 1 as DJ Augustin hit a dagger three to lead the Magic to a 104-101 victory. It was all Toronto the rest of the way, however, as the Raptors won four straight games to win the series in five games. Toronto recorded a 111-82 win in Game 2 and took the next two games in Orlando by scores of 98-93 and 107-85. The Raptors would eliminate the Magic 115-96 in Game 5. The Raptors would go on to win the NBA Championship.
Written by Aaron Gershon
©MMXX Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, and team names are property of the National Basketball Association. This site is not affiliated with the Orlando Magic of the NBA. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page.
Page created on June 15, 2003. Last updated on April 25, 2020, at 1:35 am ET.