Denton: Longest Road Trip in Franchise History

By John Denton
Dec. 2, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Orlando Magic have been on dozens of lengthy road trips in their 25-year history, but never have they had one as lengthy as the current jaunt that will run up the East Coast, down to Texas and Memphis and end in Charlotte.

In all, Orlando’s six-game road trip will stretch over all or parts of 12 days. The length of this trip exceeds the previous long of 11 days from Feb. 24 through March 6 in 2002. That trip, one of the West Coast variety, actually included seven games.

Orlando flew to Washington, D.C., on Sunday to play the Wizards on Monday night. The Magic play the 76ers in Philadelphia on Tuesday and then play in New York against the Knicks on Friday. Following a practice day on Saturday, the Magic will play Houston and Dwight Howard on Sunday and in Memphis on Monday. Following another day off, Orlando plays in Charlotte on Wednesday and is expected to arrive back into Orlando in the early morning hours of Thursday.

Magic coach Jacque Vaughn played in the NBA for 12 years and he is no stranger to long roadtrips. That especially rang true when he ended his playing career in San Antonio and then later became an assistant coach with the Spurs. The Spurs often have to vacate their home arena for a stretch of two weeks each season for the rodeo.

``It could be a helpful situation if guys are locked-in and have a mentality of going on the road and being extremely disciplined with their approach in each game,’’ Vaughn said. ``It’s a tough stretch, though, in the games and the travel. But it is an opportunity to lock in and focus just on basketball.’’

Magic veteran guard Arron Afflalo said lengthy road trips can actually be a good thing for a team because they force time together among the players and staff. Multi-day trips usually result in players dining together, riding busses together and spending downtime together – things that often promote chemistry.

``It depends on the state of your team, but there are a lot of pros and cons to a long trip,’’ Afflalo said. ``One (pro) is being able to get out there on the road and bond with your team a little bit and hopefully get some road wins. Those are always fulfilling to go on an opponents’ floor and get a victory. So hopefully we take the positives out of this road trip.’’

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