ORLANDO, Fla. — With the start of the NBA season just weeks away, Magic basketball is nearly back in Orlando.
Before the franchise’s 35th season tips off, however, the team will go through training camp, which opens Tuesday at the AdventHealth Training Center.
It’s an important season for the Magic, who have expectations of earning a spot in the playoffs for the first time since 2020. Orlando saw a 12-win improvement from the previous season in 2022-23 and is hoping to take things up another level on the court.
There are key storylines to follow entering the start of training camp for Orlando.
1. How does Paolo Banchero build off his special rookie season?
The 6-10 forward from Duke lived up to the expectations during his first year in Orlando by winning the league’s rookie-of-the-year award. Entering Year Two, however, there is room for improvement.
Although he led the team in scoring (20 points on average), Banchero will look to become more efficient, especially from midrange where he shot 38% last season. In addition, he shot 29% from 3-point range and 73% from the charity stripe.
If Banchero can slightly improve those numbers, his scoring averages will see a boost in his sophomore season.
Defensively, Banchero can help the Magic grab more rebounds by using his physicality when crashing the boards. This was an area the team struggled with last year — Orlando ranked near the bottom of the league when grabbing contested rebounds.
The Magic star played relatively well coming off the bench for Team USA at the FIBA World Cup and he’s hoping to take the next step entering his second year in Orlando.
©2023 Orlando Sentinel. Visit orlandosentinel.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.