The Orlando Magic and Boston Celtics meet Monday in NBA preseason action at the TD Garden. The Orlando Magic are coming off a 21-win season and will make the head coaching debut of Jamahl Mosley. The Boston Celtics won 36 games last year and will begin the Ime Udoka coaching era.
The Orlando Magic are a young team that feels like its on the rise and the additions of Jalen Suggs and Franz Wagner should improve their outlook. Suggs should make an immediate impact and is a strong candidate for Rookie of the Year. The Magic hope Markelle Fultz can make another leap and a center tandem of Wendell Carter Jr. and Mo Bamba is up there with the best in the league. Terrence Ross is the grizzly veteran on this Magic roster and capable of big games here and there, and Cole Anthony has shown flashes throughout his young career. A healthy Michael Carter-Williams also wouldn’t hurt, but he is recovering from ankle surgery. The Orlando Magic have intriguing pieces and they could be a bottom seed playoff contender if things break right.
The Boston Celtics can only hope moving Brad Stevens to the front office and making Udoka a head coach pays off for this franchise. The Celtics still have their nucleus of Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Jayson Tatum. The Celtics brought back Al Horford, signed Dennis Schroder and made a move for Josh Richardson. If Payton Pritchard, Robert Williams III and Grant Williams are able to take that next step in their young careers, the Celtics will be cooking with serious potential. The Celtics depth has improved this offseason and it should take some pressure off Brown and Tatum to do everything. Of course, the health of Brown is a big question as well, as he’s battled injuries each of the last two seasons.
The Magic are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games and 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Celtics are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The over is 14-5 in Magic last 19 overall. The over is 8-0 in Celtics last 8 home games. The Magic are 1-5 ATS in the last 6 meetings.
The Boston Celtics are head and shoulders the better team here, but they're also a team that knows where it stands in the standings and will likely chill on giving their key players big minutes. The Orlando Magic are a young squad that has many players fighting for minutes and is eager to prove itself overall. The Magic and other young teams are the sort of clubs you want to back in the preseason.
Assuming the Magic are getting points here, I'll take it.