Spirit High in the camp; Bamba and Carter Jelling; Versatility display

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“It’s just good for the mind. We want to bring the city of Orlando back to life… The guys love to come and work for a coach and a team of coaches who have energy. You want to play hard for this coach, and you in turn want to play hard for each other. – RJ Hampton

This team has the right attitude, spirit and enthusiasm. It starts with the energy and positivity of Jamahl Mosley. It is striking how well he connects with the players. This is one of the main reasons he was chosen to be the 15th head coach in franchise history.

“I’m playing at a completely different pace from the start of last season. Last season I think I was a little boy entering a men’s league. Now I’m a grown man entering a men’s league… I think I play faster but at a much more controlled pace… I feel like I’m definitely in control at all times and I could really be fair a point guard, controlling the game. – Cole Anthony

The start of this rebuilding of Magic is very different from the one that began in 2012 after the exchange of Dwight Howard. At the start of the 2012-13 season, there were seven players under 25 on the roster. Interestingly, E’Twaun Moore, back for a second run with the Magic, was one of them. To start this season, there are 11 players under 25. One of them is Anthony, 21, who is looking to build on a strong rookie campaign.

“I have the impression that our chemistry is there. Since I was traded here last year we’ve been pretty close, off and on the pitch. We just learn each other’s tendencies – what we like to do, what we don’t like to do. Just somehow feed each other. Now, at camp, we clashed a bit, we played a bit on the same team. We kind of felt for each other, so when we’re on the pitch together we kind of know what to expect. – Wendell Carter Jr. on playing alongside Mo Bamba

Rarely have Bamba and Nikola Vucevic played at the same time during their 2 ½ seasons together. It happened in a single game last season, and that’s only because the Magic had eight players available that night. It is possible, however, that we see Bamba and Carter, acquired by Orlando in the Vucevic trade, in the field simultaneously. Mosley emphasizes positionless basketball, and there is a belief that Carter has the versatility to thrive playing alongside another great man.

“It’s just the way the NBA is going. It’s kind of starting from type one, two, three (to guys who can) play a plethora of different positions and can do different things on the pitch. I think that’s kind of where we’re at. We have guys who are big guys who can play up to three, up to five. We have guys who can play from one to three. We have a lot of different pieces. – Terrence Ross

The Magic 2021-22 are not just young and energetic. They are also versatile. As Ross explained, a lot of the guys on this team can play in multiple positions. Franz Wagner can probably play two to four. Hampton can play one to three. Chuma Okeke can certainly play all three or all four, maybe even all five in some scenarios. Carter, as detailed above, can play alongside another big guy. Jalen Suggs and Anthony can play one or both.

“Michael (Carter-Williams) is fantastic. His ability to see things as a player on the (pitch). (He) lived through these situations. And help these young people understand different scenarios that sometimes coaches may not grasp all the time. He can talk to guys differently because he’s felt this situation, he’s been in this situation. I think it’s great for these young guys. He’s another coach there right now when he’s not on the pitch. – Mosley on MCW

In late August, Carter-Williams underwent surgery to remove a bone fragment and repair a ligament in her left ankle. He will miss the start of the season, but that doesn’t stop him from using his voice and experience at training camp. We have all seen the intensity with which he plays. It is essential to have veterans like that in the locker room. His defense will fail while he is away. But he’ll find a way to impact the sidelines.


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