Season 2 was a bit of a rollercoaster ride for Magic Gaming. They had massive rookie performances from Reizey and DT and a midseason trade for ToxSiK turned them into one of the best defensive teams in the league. However, if you’re looking for a quick microcosm of their season, the player they traded to Grizz Gaming for Tox, KelMav, was fantastic against his former team and helped beat them in their final matchup of the season which kept Magic Gaming out of the playoffs. As a team, they just couldn’t find the week-to-week consistency to get them over the hump and into the playoffs. Now, the good news. This team is STACKED heading into Season 3. An excellent trade by Head Coach Jonah Edwards saw them trade their 1st round pick for former Pistons GT Center “May”, one of the most underrated big men from Season 2. Pair that with 3 returning starters, a great pickup of Profusion in the 2nd Round of the Draft and a fascinating 6th man pick and all of a sudden you have a Magic Gaming team that should be a force to be reckoned with this season. All of this sounds great, but if they can’t find that consistency that eluded them in Season 2, it could be a 3rd straight year with no playoffs in Orlando.
Coach: Jonah Edwards (DaddyJonah)
It’s hard to argue with Jonah being one of the most knowledgeable 2K minds that the league has. His understanding of the game and how the league meta twists and turns have seen him make an instant impact and make a few deep tournaments runs. A difficult 1st season with Mavs Gaming saw him land with Magic Gaming last season, but he helped turned that team into one of the best defensive teams we’ve ever seen in the NBA 2K League. Offensively, they definitely had their struggles over the course of last season, but a couple of good personnel decisions this offseason by Coach Edwards has this team on the doorstep of the playoffs. The key for Jonah this year has to be winning. We know he has the 2K smarts, we know he has a deep understanding of the league itself, but the wins haven’t been there quite yet. With the roster he’s assembled, that could change very quickly.
Season 2 Team MVP: Reizey
Reizey, Reizey, Reizey. What a phenomenal rookie season for the #8 overall pick in the Season 2 Draft. 17.3 PPG, 9.8 APG, 54% shooting, a Rookie of the Year award and a couple excellent tournament runs saw Reizey go from a sharpshooter attempting to play Point Guard to one of the best Point Guards in the entire league. He may not be in Tier 1 quite yet, but if he follows up last year with another great season, you’re not going to be able to keep him out. He’ll be the key again to their offense.
Best Stat From Season 2: 55.6 Opp. PPG
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who had the fairest defense of them all? No need for a poisonous apple this time, it was Magic Gaming last season. A league-leading 55.6 PPG for their opponents, their trade for ToxSiK turned them into arguably the best defensive team in the league. They could be even better this season with the addition of May, but even matching their performance from last season puts them in a very small group yet elite group of teams.
- Acquired: May
- Traded Away: 2020 1st Round pick
Profusion was the odd man out in Boston this offseason and after making it through the Expansion Draft, he was snatched up by Magic Gaming in the 2nd Round. Profusion was one of the best shooters in the entire league last season, shooting 59% from the floor and 53.5% from 3-point range. His efficiency numbers were insane, with the 3rd highest True Shooting % in the entire league and the 2nd highest eFG% of any sharpshooter. Some may say, “well, he only got those stats because he was playing with oFAB.” Here’s a simple response, who cares? Don’t get distracted by things like that and pay attention to the actual production he put up. Besides, why does it matter? Sure, he doesn’t have oFAB anymore, but now he gets to play with another great Point Guard in Reizey, so this is a silly conversation anyway. He’s not the level of a ball-handler like an Arooks or ReeseDaGod, but his fit on this team can’t be understated. On the 6th man side, djbama should provide some good Guard play off the bench, he put on a fantastic shooting display during the Combine.
6th Man: djbama
Do you see a weak point in that starting 5? Anywhere? Buehler? That’s about as solid a starting lineup as you’ll find anywhere in the league. Shooting, defense, playmaking, this team has it all. May is a perfect fit for this team, his rebounding prowess will be perfect for a team that projects to shoot a ton this year, even with a league build that seems to learn more towards paint scoring. On that front, this team should be at the front line defensively again because of May. He proved to be one of the most prolific paint defenders in the league, even on a Pistons GT team that went 2-14. Pairing him with DT down low gives them one of the best big man combos in the league, but don’t be surprised to see DT play at SG this year also. The “BP build” at the 2-guard spot is almost too good to not put a ball handler at that position and Profusion can knock down corner 3s from the PF position. Reizey should keep doing Reizey things this season and Tox should continue his momentum from last season at Lock. All in all, a very good starting lineup that should be able to ebb and flow as the meta changes.
Season 3 Breakout Candidate: May
It’s hard to show out on a team that goes 2-14, but that’s exactly what May did last season. Averaging 11 and 11 on 70% shooting, May was able to put up decent numbers even with the rest of the team struggling. His turnover numbers are low as well, so when you try to extrapolate this out on a good team with 4 above-average level starters, he projects to have a monster season with the Magic. His rebounding numbers should get a bump and running the pick and roll with Reizey will naturally give him more scoring opportunities. May might not be a big name yet, but you’ll know who he is by the end of the season.
Season Outlook: Playoffs or Bust
Missing the playoffs is not an option for this team. With this coach and this roster, they should come nowhere near the bottom of the league and making the playoffs should be a shoe-in for this team. The better way to put it would be that there is no excuse for this team to not make the playoffs. Their starting 5 is easily in the top tier of the league and if their guys take the proper steps to be better than last season, they should breeze into the postseason. A few deep tournament runs should be in the mix as well, maybe even taking home a part of The Banner Chain at some point. All in all, this Magic Gaming team is set up for a monster year. Few teams have the level of all-around talent that they bring to the table and there aren’t many people in the world who know about 2K as much as Jonah Edwards does. But if there is one thing we know about sports and esports, we know that things never quite go according to plan.