Magic condition themselves to see a bigger picture: The playoffs


			Magic condition themselves to see a bigger picture: The playoffs
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NBA media day is somewhat like the first day of school around the league. For the Orlando Magic, it was the first day in their new training facility, and the first day to focus on the little things for a successful season.

When the Magic talk about those little things, it’s about more than making the players wear the same workout attire or finishing through the line during sprint drills. It’s about accountability and being a well-conditioned team.

Through the draft, the Magic have acquired the talent such as Paolo Banchero, Jalen Suggs, Cole Anthony and Mo Bamba, among others. Now, they’ll look to level up this year and limit their mistakes to be a true contender.

“Conditioning, decision-making, role-orientation. Those are the things that equal winning in this league,” said Jeff Weltman, the president of basketball operations for the the Magic. “Those things take time. It takes character and intelligence to internalize all that. That’s the process the team has to go through when you’re at this stage.”

Before the Magic look at the bigger picture, they have to look at the little things, and how are they’re going to condition. That goes beyond training like a marathon runner.

“It’s going to be playing more. There has to be a level of conditioning that comes with chemistry as well,” coach Jamahl Mosley said. “I don’t know if it’s going to be running sprints all day, but it will be a lot of playing. They will play a ton more because they have to get a feel for the flow of the game and the rhythm of each other.”

All of it plays a part in the team’s accountability. That’s about dominating the simple and doing what’s asked.

“Accountability is our ability to make a simple pass and easy play. We asked our guys to be great decision-makers,” Mosley said. “Sometimes that has to do with not just the basketball in our hands, but off the ball. When are you cutting, are you creating space for your teammates? All those things are coming into play because we walked through that the entire year, so now we’ll be able to hit home even more so.”

As the Magic look to be a true playoff contender, they understand how disciplined they must become of mind and body. They must perfect the nuances of how to play the game of basketball.

“[Playing] is a great way to go about it because you can’t really simulate playing any other way other than getting out there and playing,” said Banchero, the No. 1 overall pick in June. “That’s going to help us a lot and get us in even better shape, and making sure we’re one of the most fit teams in the league.”

Once they get the conditioning aspect down, the rest should fall into place for a team that finished 22-60 last season, last in the East at 15th.

“You can get out there and run wind sprints, you can run the hills, swim, and rock climb,” Bamba said, “but once you get out there and play the combination of lateral movements, jumping, and bumping up against bigger bodies, it’s all apart of basketball cardio and there’s nothing like it.”

Then comes the hard part.


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