The Orlando Magic and the Houston Rockets faced off on opening night, a matchup that seemed like a crucial test for both teams in their ongoing rebuilding efforts.
While one game doesn't determine a season's fate, it served as an excellent barometer for their progress.
Orlando's 116-86 victory was nothing short of impressive, with their stellar defense holding the Rockets to just 32 points in the paint and out-rebounding them 56-31
These statistics are significant given Houston's previous season rankings in rebounding and points in the paint.
The Magic's second unit, led by Cole Anthony, outscored the Rockets' reserves 59-27. Anthony and Jonathan
Isaac, returning from a lengthy injury hiatus, showcased their skills both offensively and defensively.
1As the Magic eye a top 10 defensive ranking for the season, this performance in front of an enthusiastic crowd signals the potential to achieve that goal.
Now, the challenge is to maintain this level of energy and intensity as they embark on a four-game road trip to the West Coast, commencing in Portland.