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Magic training camp countdown: Will expectations, roles become clearer?

With the 2022-23 NBA season approaching, the Orlando Sentinel is unveiling a five-part series of Orlando Magic storylines to keep an eye on heading into training camp, which tips off Tuesday at their new state-of-the-art AdventHealth Training Center. Part one addressed whether the Magic did enough to turn around their shooting woes, part two focused on injury-related questions, part three touched on the rookies and part four addressed lineup experimentation.

Part Five: Accountability

As a team stocked with young talent in the first full season of a rebuild, the Magic were in player-evaluation mode in 2021-22.

That’ll still be the case, with Orlando entering 2022-23 as the league’s second-youngest team, only behind the Oklahoma City Thunder.

But how the evaluations are made will be different.

Fourteen of the Magic’s 16 players signed to standard contracts were on last year’s team. The other two, Paolo Banchero and Caleb Houstan, are rookies.

The continuity and familiarity allowed coach Jamahl Mosley and his staff to have a better idea of each player’s strengths and areas for improvement.

Now, they can elevate the expectations.

“A lot of it was evaluation last year,” Mosley said on the Magic’s official podcast, Pod Squad. “Seeing what guys were capable of, not capable of, the different combinations we put on the floor. It’s going to be a little easier when you see the same group of men who’ve been with you since last year. Now, I won’t have to say the same thing three times because you heard it all last year.

“All the things we did last year, there were some very good parts in that process where guys grew and got better. Now it’s a matter of what are you really grasping it and I can hold you to a different standard because I told you all last year what we’re expecting.”

What that looks like: Cutting down on turnovers (14.4% turnover percentage for the league’s eighth-worst mark), taking better shots and not settling for bad ones and staying disciplined with the defensive gameplan.

Playing time — and roles — will be tied to who’s able to stick with the Magic’s principles more than last season.

“There’s a different level of accountability,” Mosley said. “They’re going to continue to learn. It’s not necessarily putting the foot on the gas. It’s, ‘Hey, this is what we’re expecting.’ And now you have this person right next to you who understands it a little bit differently than you. So until you get that, let’s put this person in place and it might speed it up for you for how fast you learn it. I don’t want to skip any steps. It’s all about the foundation being continued to be laid every day.”

The first layer of the foundation was laid last year.

Now, it’s time to build another level — possibly more. With that comes more defined roles.

The Magic’s young players will have chances to grow and explore their skillsets.

But they’ll be asked to focus more on areas in which they excel.

“What we’re continuing to try to do is show them the examples of it in other teams that have done it,” Mosley said. “I get it: Everybody wants to be the first ones shown or seen. We talk about doing it by committee. If we’re all successful, each individual successful in their own right.

“You take pictures from what Golden State did and how they grew it, Milwaukee and how they grew it, Boston and how they grew it. They pushed each other and they all won. For us to be successful, it has to be done by committee.”

This article first appeared on Email Khobi Price at or follow him on Twitter at @khobi_price.


Source: Berkshire mont

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