The Orlando Magic schedule release came from the NBA with much excitement and fanfare. Every fan was eager to see what the season holds. We now know the dates of those key matchups and when the beefs are to be settled on the court.
At that time of year where a fan’s optimism abounds lets go through the facts of the schedule and focus on some of the concerns.
Some Quick Bullets
- Every NBA team plays an 82 game regular season, consisting of 41 home and 41 away fixtures.
- The Magic will play 52 games against the other 15 teams in the Eastern Conference.
- Orlando has as always 30 games against those teams in the Western Conference, playing each twice (at home and on the road).
- Orlando open their season on the road in Detroit on October 19th.
- The home opener is on October 22nd against the Boston Celtics, the reigning Eastern Conference champions.
- Orlando’s final home game at Amway Center will be on April 6th, facing the Cleveland Cavaliers.
- The Magic close their 2022-23 regular season at Miami on April 9th.
The First 15 Games
The Orlando Magic schedule release was instantly one where as fans we groaned at the opening run. October sees 5 of 7 games being played on the road at Detroit, Atlanta, New York, Cleveland and Dallas.
The game in Atlanta is the first night of a back-to-back, as the Magic return home for their home opener against Boston. In no way is that an easy two nights of basketball. However there is motivation and opportunity. The game in Atlanta is the first chance for Paolo Banchero and Dejounte Murray to play meaningful basketball against each other since their very public “disagreement”. Facing Boston on the second night of a back-to-back is not ideal. However travel from Atlanta to Orlando is minimal, it is early season and who needs more motivation than to test yourself against one of the best teams in the league?
November opens with Orlando travelling to Oklahoma to do battle with the Thunder. This is a national TV game for the number 1 and 2 picks to face off.
From that point on Orlando Magic employees are going to be very busy! With a visit from the Golden State Warriors (the reigning NBA champions) on November 3rd the Magic begin a 7 game home stand over 14 days. The period sees the return to Orlando of Steve Clifford with Charlotte. There’s also visits from Luka Doncic with the Mavericks and all the talent that currently resides in the Phoenix squad to face. But that is within two weeks where the team are at home, having no travel and with no back-to-back included.
A Footnote About The Opening 15 Games
Statistically, a team’s opening 20 games of the season are an indicator as to making the post season. The statistic is over many years of NBA seasons. The statistic at the start of 2019 was that in the Eastern Conference (across the previous 20 seasons) 87 teams had won 12 or more of their opening 20 games. Of those 87 teams 79 have reached the playoffs, a success rate of 91%. For winning 9 games, a stat attained by 30 teams only 18 made the playoffs (60%). Win 8 out of 20 & that percentage drops to 28%.
By the point Orlando have played 15 games they will have had 6 on the road and 9 at home. That period contains a lot of winnable games. It is certainly feasible that the Magic could hold an 8-7 or 7-8 record by mid November.
At the end of 20 games the Magic will have added a further 3 road games and 2 at home, but more about them below.
As November closes out and through December the Magic face some tough games. The stretch features many teams that were in the playoffs.
The period starts with a trip to Chicago, two games at the Pacers and then a pair at home against with Sixers. Follow this with Brooklyn, Cleveland and Toronto on the road, with a single home game against Atlanta sandwiched between.
A five game home stand sees the Bucks, Clippers, Raptors (twice) and Atlanta all roll into town. Afterwards a four game road trip ensues with two games in Boston, followed by stops in Atlanta (on the second night of a back-to-back) and Houston on December 21st.
Orlando are not part of the Christmas Day schedule. They are home for the holiday, playing the Spurs on the 23rd and the Lakers (27th). The 28th is another back-to-back with travel, as the Magic face Detroit and come back to the Amway Center to close out the year at home against Washington.
Into 2023 And Through To All-Star
2023 is opened at home against OKC and Memphis, this being Orlando’s only home back-to-back of the season.
The team take on their longest road trip of the season, 5 games in 9 days between January 7th and 15th. Golden State, Sacramento, Portland, Utah and Denver all await. January closes with home games against Boston, Indiana and Chicago, with trips to Washington, Miami and Philadelphia.
February 1st sees Orlando still in Philly, before moving on to Minnesota and Charlotte.
The Orlando Magic schedule release has thrown up many periods that are blocks of home games, or see the team on extended trips. This is a deliberate ploy to reduce the effects of travelling on players for teams that are more remote. The idea is that by reducing the number of trips taken and miles travelled it helps improves player health, fitness and availability.
As we head to All-Star Weekend break (17th February to 22nd) that initiative is present again. Orlando are home for three games over five nights, facing the Knicks, Nuggets and Heat. They close to All-Star on the road in Chicago and Toronto.
If (and yes we accept it is still a big if) the Magic are in the hunt for the postseason the run-in is relatively favourable.
The resumption from All-Star has Orlando at home to face Detroit and Indiana, both are winnable games.
A road trip follows heading to New Orleans, Milwaukee and Charlotte. Between March 5th and the 11th Orlando are at home, having four games against Portland, Milwaukee, Utah and Miami. Again wins are attainable.
The team then head west, visiting San Antonio, Phoenix and both Los Angeles teams on a back-to-back.
A winnable homestand sees Orlando face Washington, New York and Brooklyn between March 21st and 26th.
Two more road games follow before the Magic play their final three home games of the season. Those home games are a final meeting with Detroit, followed by two games against the Cavaliers. After the final home game Orlando head to Brooklyn on the second night of a back-to-back.
The regular season comes to a conclusion on the road in Miami on Sunday, April 9th with a 6pm U.K. tip time.
The Grumbles About The Orlando Magic Schedule Release
There is a clear lack of national tv games for the Magic. Many fans outside of Florida already pay to watch through NBA League Pass. National coverage by ESPN, ABC and TNT would not change that.
It does impact on exposing the team to new fans. That irritating negativity was shown by Charles Barkley, asking why he would be interested to watch the Magic at the Thunder on November 1st?
If he was talking about the back end of last season then it is a fair point. Both teams were sitting “injured” players and neither pushing to win. However, the Magic visit the Thunder on November 1st, which is Orlando’s eighth game of the new season. Does anyone honestly believe that any team are going to be actively tanking at that point?
In Summer League when the teams met everyone, and not just fans of the Magic and Thunder felt robbed when Paolo and Chet did not go against each other.
Utah, Detroit and Oklahoma also have no games on the major US broadcasters ABC and ESPN. For me I find it incredible that the national American networks are not promoting new talent.
In ignoring these teams they preclude a wider, casual audience from watching these young talents. As already noted Orlando feature this years number 1 Draft pick in Paolo Banchero, OKC the number 2 in Chet Holmgren. Detroit have Cade Cunningham who was the number 1 pick in the 2021 Draft. Throw in Cole Anthony, Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, Josh Giddey, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Saddiq Bey, Jaden Ivey, plus a whole host of others and you realise that these teams are going to be exciting to watch.
The other issue here is one of attractiveness to retaining players and recruitment. Player power is very real. There are numerous examples across many sports of players forcing their way out of one location to another. That in part can come from a desire to be seen beyond your immediate fanbase. In basketball without national exposure it is difficult to get included in conversations for All-Star and awards.
A Disparity In Back-To-Backs
This one certainly impacts the team’s chances of winning and seems to be a perennial issue for the franchise.
The Orlando Magic schedule release for Season 2022-23 features 13 back-to-back contests. That is 26 games played on consecutive nights. Six are away-to-away pairings, four home-to-away back-to-backs, two away-to-home and only a single home/home back-to-back. That is a massive disparity in balance on this schedule. It is an improvement on last season, which had 15 sets of back-to-back games with only one not involving travel (home-to-home).
The impact of that can also be seen in the number of games where Orlando are the more rested team than their opponents. Of 82 regular season games there are 17 occasions when Orlando have the advantage of being more rested. For perspective Sacramento, the Lakers and Cleveland have the most at 23 games, whilst the Knicks are worst off at a mere 13 games.
Exciting Times Ahead With The Orlando Magic Schedule Release
In Detroit on October 19th the Paolo Banchero era begins for the Orlando Magic. That isn’t the only reason for excitement ahead of the Magic’s season opener.
Banchero’s debut will also be the start of the second NBA season for Franz Wagner and Jalen Suggs. It will be a further new start for Markelle Fultz, who is coming off his first fully-healthy offseason. Wendell Carter Jr is building from what was his best season in the league as he seeks to establish a reputation of being one of the best big men in the game. And yes lets say it, there is the potential return of Jonathan Isaac to come!
This feels like an important season for head coach Jamahl Mosley, the young core and the direction of the franchise as a whole. This schedule should allow for an opportunity to grow and see an upturn in wins.
Few fans want another season of struggles and now the Orlando Magic schedule release has happened the season feels that bit closer and the excitement that bit more real.
The full schedule will be available with U.K. tip times on our schedule page.
Be sure to check out our Penny For Your Thoughts podcast on the schedule drop. If you haven’t already done so be sure to subscribe to the channel.
And Finally; The Full Schedule
|OCTOBER – PRESEASON|
|Mon. 3||@ Memphis||8 p.m.|
|Thu. 6||@ San Antonio||8:30 p.m.|
|Fri. 7||@ Dallas||8:30 p.m.|
|Tue. 11||MEMPHIS||7 p.m.|
|Fri. 14||CLEVELAND||7 p.m.|
|OCTOBER – REGULAR SEASON|
|Wed. 19||@ Detroit||7 p.m.|
|Fri. 21||@ Atlanta||7:30 p.m.|
|Sat. 22||BOSTON||7 p.m.|
|Mon. 24||@ New York||7:30 p.m.|
|Wed. 26||@ Cleveland||7 p.m.|
|Fri. 28||CHARLOTTE||7 p.m.|
|Sun. 30||@ Dallas||7:30 p.m.|
|Tue. 1||@ Oklahoma City||7:30 p.m.|
|Thu. 3||GOLDEN STATE||7 p.m.|
|Sat. 5||SACRAMENTO||5 p.m.|
|Mon. 7||HOUSTON||7:15 p.m.|
|Wed. 9||DALLAS||7 p.m.|
|Fri. 11||PHOENIX||7 p.m.|
|Mon. 14||CHARLOTTE||7 p.m.|
|Wed. 16||MINNESOTA||7 p.m.|
|Fri. 18||@ Chicago||8 p.m.|
|Sat. 19||@ Indiana||7 p.m.|
|Mon. 21||@ Indiana||7 p.m.|
|Fri. 25||PHILADELPHIA||7 p.m.|
|Sun. 27||PHILADELPHIA||6 p.m.|
|Mon. 28||@ Brooklyn||7:30 p.m.|
|Wed. 30||ATLANTA||7 p.m.|
|Fri. 2||@ Cleveland||7:30 p.m.|
|Sat. 3||@ Toronto||8 p.m.|
|Mon. 5||MILWAUKEE||7 p.m.|
|Wed. 7||L.A. CLIPPERS||7 p.m.|
|Fri. 9||TORONTO||7 p.m.|
|Sun. 11||TORONTO||6 p.m.|
|Wed. 14||ATLANTA||7 p.m.|
|Fri. 16||@ Boston||7:30 p.m.|
|Sun. 18||@ Boston||3 p.m.|
|Mon. 19||@ Atlanta||7:30 p.m.|
|Wed. 21||@ Houston||8 p.m.|
|Fri. 23||SAN ANTONIO||7 p.m.|
|Tue. 27||L.A. LAKERS||7 p.m.|
|Wed. 28||@ Detroit||7 p.m.|
|Fri. 30||WASHINGTON||7 p.m.|
|Wed. 4||OKLAHOMA CITY||7 p.m.|
|Thu. 5||MEMPHIS||7 p.m.|
|Sat. 7||@ Golden State||8.30 p.m.|
|Mon. 9||@ Sacramento .||10 p.m|
|Tue. 10||@ Portland||10 p.m|
|Fri. 13||@ Utah||9 p.m.|
|Sun. 15||@ Denver||8 p.m.|
|Fri. 20||NEW ORLEANS||7 p.m.|
|Sat. 21||@ Washington||7 p.m.|
|Mon. 23||BOSTON||7 p.m.|
|Wed. 25||INDIANA||7 p.m.|
|Fri. 27||@ Miami||8 p.m.|
|Sat. 28||CHICAGO||7 p.m.|
|Mon. 30||@ Philadelphia||7 p.m.|
|Wed. 1||@ Philadelphia||7 p.m.|
|Fri. 3||@ Minnesota||8 p.m.|
|Sun. 5||@ Charlotte||1 p.m.|
|Tue. 7||NEW YORK||7 p.m.|
|Thu. 9||DENVER||7 p.m.|
|Sat. 11||MIAMI||7 p.m.|
|Mon. 13||@ Chicago||8 p.m.|
|Tue. 14||@ Toronto||7:30 p.m.|
|17-22||NBA All-Star Break (Salt Lake City, Utah)|
|Thu. 23||DETROIT||7 p.m.|
|Sat. 25||INDIANA||7 p.m.|
|Mon. 27||@ New Orleans||8 p.m.|
|Wed. 1||@ Milwaukee||8 p.m.|
|Fri. 3||@ Charlotte||7 p.m.|
|Sun. 5||PORTLAND||6 p.m.|
|Tue. 7||MILWAUKEE||7 p.m.|
|Thu. 9||UTAH||7 p.m.|
|Sat. 11||MIAMI||7 p.m.|
|Tue. 14||@ San Antonio||8 p.m.|
|Thu. 16||@ Phoenix||10 p.m.|
|Sat. 18||@ L.A. Clippers||3 p.m.|
|Sun. 19||@ L.A. Lakers||9:30 p.m.|
|Tue. 21||WASHINGTON||7 p.m.|
|Thu. 23||NEW YORK||7 p.m.|
|Sun. 26||BROOKLYN||6 p.m.|
|Tue. 28||@ Memphis||8 p.m.|
|Fri. 31||@ Washington||7 p.m.|
|Sun. 2||DETROIT 6 p.m.|
|Tue. 4||CLEVELAND||7 p.m.|
|Thu. 6||CLEVELAND||7 p.m.|
|Fri. 7||@ Brooklyn||7:30 p.m.|
|Sun. 9||@ Miami||1 p.m.|