But there's one area that might remain unchanged: their defense.
And that would be a significant problem.
Orlando struggled defensively when a back injury sidelined
"I don't care what the situation is," Magic point guard
The Rockets excelled with their pick-and-roll game and made almost 53 percent of their first-half shots — the only half the Magic's starters played. In a measure of how badly Houston carved up Orlando, the Rockets notched assists on 16 of their first 20 baskets.
"It concerns me, definitely," power forward
The Magic looked out of sync almost all night, on both ends of the court, as if they were counting the seconds until their exhibition schedule ended. The Orlando offense had clicked in most of the first seven preseason games, but in Friday's first half, the team shot just 34 percent and managed just seven assists.
Orlando, which finished October with a 2-6 record, won't play again until it opens its regular season Nov. 2 against the
The Rockets (5-2) encountered almost no difficulty breaking down the Magic defense.
"I think the most glaring weakness that we showed was transition defense," Magic coach
It was reminiscent of Orlando's performances without Howard last season. Opponents shot at least 50 percent in eight of the Magic's first 11 games without the three-time
Instead, he wants to see how the team will defend.
The Magic played Friday without big man Gustavo Ayón, who will miss at least another week and a half because of a sprained left thumb. The Magic also played without
Reserve point guard
"It was good, but the first four or five minutes, I was gassed," Smith said.
Vaughn began the third quarter with E'Twaun Moore, DeQuan Jones,
The starters did not return.
Mercifully, their night and their preseason was over.
"It was just a lack of concentration on our end," Nelson said. "It was good for us. It was a good old butt-whooping, and it showed us the things we need to work on."