Report: Odds are improving that Elfrid Payton will be ready to open season
The Orlando Magic could surprise people in 2015-16. There's a lot of young talent on this roster, and new head coach Scott Skiles could be the one to make it all click. But there's one caveat before optimism can rule in Orlando: The Magic have to stay healthy.
That's why point guard Elfrid Payton's absence during the preseason with a right hamstring injury has been such a bummer. Orlando really needs its young core to get as much time on the court together as possible. Fortunately, after a day of practice on Monday, it's looking more like Payton will be ready to go in the season opener on Wednesday, according to the Orlando Sentinel:
The Sentinel also reports that Aaron Gordon, who missed the Magic's preseason finale, was a full participant in Monday's practice. Orlando faces a bevy of top-flight point guards in the early going, so Payton will be put to the test. Any hitch in his giddy-up could be a big problem against the likes of Russell Westbrook, John Wall and Kyle Lowry.
The Magic open the season against the Washington Wizards.
The second-year point guard participated in the entirety of the Magic's practice Monday, including a lengthy, full-contact scrimmage.
Afterward, Payton reported no problems with his right hamstring.
“It went well,” Payton said. “I had a good practice. I felt good. No problems, so that was good.”