It’s been an already busy week for the Orlando Magic and the start of November is upon everyone in the NBA. The Magic are currently tied with the Boston Celtics for the best record in the Eastern Conference at 5-2.

After sliding in a 120-113 loss to the Charlotte Hornets over the weekend, Orlando went down to New Orleans and defeated the Pelicans 115-99 at the Smoothie King Center on Monday night. Orlando’s balanced scoring attack was led by Evan Fournier, Nikola Vucevic and Jonathan Simmons, whom each scored 20 points against New Orleans.

The win serves as a bounce back victory for the Magic after their disappointing loss to the Hornets. Orlando has shown the ability to run the floor and shoot the 3-point ball well, as the Magic are shooting 44.1 percent from downtown.

Orlando is quickly becoming one of the NBA’s teams to watch under second-year coach Frank Vogel, who brings a playoff pedigree from his days with the Indiana Pacers. With one of the youngest rosters he’s had as a coach, Vogel’s group is becoming an exciting bunch to watch.

The Magic are back on the court tonight when they face the Western Conference’s No. 1 seeded team in the Memphis Grizzlies to start off November. The Grizzlies are also 5-2 and lead the Western Conference standings. Tip-off is slated for 8 p.m. at the FedExForum.

In off-court news for Orlando, the Magic have declined on the fourth-year option for forward Mario Hezonja, who was selected No. 5 overall in the 2015 NBA Draft. The former top five pick would’ve been owed $5.2 million next season, but will instead become an unrestricted free agent once the 2017-2018 concludes.

The Magic have hoped that the 6-foot-8 Croatian forward would figure into their plans, but Hezonja’s time with Orlando has not panned out. This season, Hezonja has shot 11-of-22 from the field and hit on 5-of-8 from 3-point land.

About The Author

Andy Villamarzo has covered high school and youth sports for the Tampa Bay Times and The Tampa Tribune as a correspondent since 2008. He is a native of Holiday, FL, who graduated from Gulf High School and studied at St. Petersburg College. He has covered various prep, collegiate and professional athletes throughout his writing career, including Josh Johnson (Jacksonville Jaguars), Patrick Schuster (Arizona Diamondbacks) and currently writes for other publications like The Suncoast News, Friday Night Football Magazine and TopDrawerSoccer.com.

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