With so many shakeups in the Eastern Conference and exciting chemistry continually established between Orlando Magic's starters, the 2014-15 NBA season would have started with many Magic fans highly anticipating the rebuilding efforts of the franchise to translate immediately into more wins, easily forgetting last season's tepid 23-game win record. Current projections estimate the Magic will win 26-28 games this year, an increase from last season, but with so much young talent, the Magic could surprise even the most diligent basketball stats nerds. Sure, it doesn't help early on that, as Magic fans know, shooting guard Victor Oladipo is out for what's projected to be the first month of the season with a facial fracture. So the momentum is mildly disrupted, as the team works to ready point guard Elfrid Payton for much more action than the rookie expected so soon in the season. Luckily, exciting players like Tobias Harris, Andrew Nicholson, Nikola Vucevic, Kyle O'Quinn and Moe Harkless adapt quickly, and should the potential each player clearly has be tapped and fully realized with more consistency (which only comes with time and established trust between teammates), the Magic could still be a force in the uncertain East.
After the Magic's opening night loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, tonight's game against the Washington Wizards (Thursday, Oct. 30) should make an interesting match-up, with the Wizards touting veterans like Paul Pierce and Marcin Gortat alongside the explosive talent of John Wall and projected by Bleacher Report to be one of the most successful teams in the East. The Wizards come into the game off a loss last night to the Miami Heat, so the Magic's scrappy players will be rested and ready while the Wizards will be hotly seeking their first season win. The game starts at 7 p.m.
While the game is obviously the draw for devoted Magic fans, there's an added perk to attending tonight's game: Black Bean Deli, the beloved local Cuban restaurant, will serve its delicious sandwiches, empanadas, soups and such at a new location in Amway Center starting today, Thursday, Oct. 30. This comes on the heels of Black Bean's additional announcement that they'll now be open for breakfast, serving Cuban coffee and their decadent pastries from 7-11 a.m. at their Colonial Drive location in Mills 50. It's always good to see a little local seasoning added to the Magic fan fare, so stop by and snag a medianoche to pair with your Ozone beers at halftime.