ORLANDO, Fla. — The season the Orlando Magic have long waited for has arrived.
Their sparkling new arena is open. The scar left by Shaquille O'Neal's departure has healed. A new Superman has taken over.
Magic president Otis Smith says the franchise finally has "the talent, the culture, the attitude, the facilities" in place together. All that's missing now is an NBA championship.
New home aside, Orlando starts this season much the same way it did the last two: with a deep and talented roster around All-Star center Dwight Howard and expectations of a title. The Magic are counting on improvement through continuity to contend with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami and a bigger Boston team in the Eastern Conference.