Predicting the Orlando Magic’s Regular Season
Mar 10, 2020; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic (9) drives against Memphis Grizzlies center Jonas Valanciunas (17) during the first half at FedExForum. Orlando won 120-115. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
The Orlando Magic are in a unique position because they’ll technically have home court advantage throughout the 2020 regular season and playoffs. The only difference is that no fans are allowed at the games. This technicality could give the Magic an opportunity to win big games and improve their playoff seeding.
July 31st vs. Brooklyn Nets: Loss
The Magic will start off by losing to the Nets, who are trying to retain their seventh seed in the East. If the Magic were to win this game, they would jump from the eighth seed to the seventh. Orlando will try their hardest to make that leap so they don’t have to face Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round.
August 2nd vs. Sacramento Kings: Loss
The Magic will start the rest of the NBA season horribly, losing back-to-back games and failing to progress toward the seventh seed. This loss will be due to the fact that the team has no number-one option. Nikola Vucevic is their star, but he’s shown signs of a decline in scoring, especially when the team’s younger players assert themselves.
August 4th vs. Indiana Pacers: Win
This will be a much-needed win for Orlando over the Pacers. It will help the Magic gain confidence and prove to other teams that they shouldn’t be taken lightly. By this third game, one of the younger players like Mo Bamba, Markelle Fultz, or Jonathan Isaac will break out.
August 5th vs. Toronto Raptors: Loss
This will be an understandable loss, as the Magic are outmatched in this game. Though they have talented players, Orlando’s bench is one of the worst in the NBA. Once Vucevic or Evan Fournier are out of the game, nobody on the bench is able to match their production.
August 7th vs. Philadelphia 76ers: Win
This will mark another big win for the Magic while helping their playoff seeding as well. With Philly struggling, this is a prime opportunity for Vucevic and company to show that they can hold their own against an Eastern Conference powerhouse.
August 9th vs. Boston Celtics: Loss
Again, after another big win, the Magic will fall back to reality. Nobody on Orlando except for Jonathan Isaac will be able to defend any of the Celtics’ starting five. Even if Isaac was able to stop either Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum, the other starters will break down the remaining defenders.
August 11th vs. Brooklyn Nets: Win
This is where the Magic will earn the seventh seed in the East by taking advantage of the Nets’ injury bug. Vucevic will have to face a great defender in Jarrett Allen, but Orlando’s other players should have it easier against the rest of the Nets.
August 13th vs. New Orleans Pelicans: Loss
The result of this game could depend on where the Pelicans are in the standings at this point. By this time, the Magic should have locked up the seventh seed, which would make this game meaningless to them.
With a record of 3-5, the Magic will find themselves in the playoffs. Orlando could even reach the seventh seed if Brooklyn struggles without four of their best players.