Denton: Magic Face Challenging Schedule
By John Denton
July 26, 2012
ORLANDO – The Orlando Magic will end the 2012 calendar year with a home game against the defending champion Miami Heat and close the regular season in April in South Florida again against the Heat. Before the New Year’s Eve game and in between showdowns against the Heat, the Magic will face a challenging schedule filled with 13 back-to-backs and three five-game roadtrips.
The NBA released the schedule for the 2012-13 season on Thursday night and it has the Magic opening the season at home on Friday, Nov. 2 at the Amway Center against the Denver Nuggets. Following another home game against Phoenix on Feb. 4, the Magic hit the road for games in Chicago and Minnesota.
Magic season tickets, partial plans, group and single-game Amway Center suite rental opportunities are on sale. Ticket highlights for the 2012-13 season in the Amway Center, named SportsBusiness Journal’s 2012 Sports Facility of the Year, include: 2,500 seats priced $20 or less, 8,000 seats priced $40 or less and 10,000 seats priced $50 or under. Single-game tickets for the first half of the regular season will go on sale on Oct. 1 at 10 a.m. A limited number of season tickets are available through the Orlando Magic Box Office by calling 407-89-MAGIC or visiting orlandomagic.com.
Orlando opens training camp on October 1 at the Amway Center. The Magic’s preseason schedule will be released in the coming weeks. For the first time in team history, all Magic games will be televised locally on one channel. All local telecasts will be available in high definition on FOX Sports Florida.
The defending champion Heat play in Orlando on New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31) at 5 p.m. The Magic are in Miami on March 6 and to close the regular season on April 17. The Magic host the Heat a second time on Monday, March 25.
The Magic will face the revamped Brooklyn Nets three times in the first month of the regular season, with two of the games (Nov. 9 and Nov. 30) in Orlando at the Amway Center. The Nets traded for Joe Johnson in the offseason, resigned Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Gerald Wallace and made a run at trading for Orlando all-star center Dwight Howard.
Another of Howard’s possible suitors, the Los Angeles Lakers, will host the Magic on Sunday, Dec. 2 in a game televised nationally by NBA TV. That’s the start of a five-game roadtrip that will feature stops in Los Angeles, Golden State, Utah, Sacramento and Phoenix. The Lakers’ one appearance in Orlando will be on Tuesday, March 12 at 7 p.m. – three weeks after the NBA’s trade deadline in late February.
The Magic will be home for the Christmas holiday this season. They host the Utah Jazz on Sunday, Dec. 23 and also face the New Orleans Hornets at the Amway Center on Dec. 26. Ryan Anderson, who won the NBA’s Most Improved Player award last season while playing for the Magic, left for New Orleans in a sign-and-trade deal in the offseason. The Dec. 26 game will feature his return to Orlando.
The Magic do not play on Christmas Day this year after opening last season’s lockout-shortened schedule in Oklahoma City on Christmas Night.
The New York Knicks play in Orlando on Nov. 13 and Jan. 5, while the Oklahoma City Thunder make their only appearance in Orlando on Friday, March 22.
The schedule seems to favor the Magic early in the season as they play nine of the first 15 games at the Amway Center. In addition to hosting the first two games of the regular season, the Magic also have their longest home stand of the season in late November. From Nov. 21 through Nov. 30, the Magic will host Detroit, Cleveland, Boston, San Antonio and Brooklyn.
The Magic’s toughest stretch of the season will be from late January through February when nine of 14 games are on the road. Also, the Magic will play two other five-game roadtrips – Jan. 28 through Feb. 4 (five games in eight days to Brooklyn, New York, Boston, Milwaukee and Philadelphia) and March 30-April 7 (five games in nine days to Atlanta, Houston, San Antonio, Chicago and Cleveland).
Also, five of the eight games in the regular season’s final month will be on the road. The Magic close the regular season with a difficult final three games against Boston and Chicago (both in Orlando) and in Miami on April 17.
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