Orlando Magic Blog

Group Blog talking about the NBA 2009 Eastern Conference Champions. Due to the amazing success of the 2009 playoff run comments are now frequently deleted to kill offensive comments, incoherence, or asininity. Comments can no longer be anonymous and require either a Blogger or OpenID account.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Can the Magic make a second-half playoff run?

Going into the All-Star break, the Magic have a record of 19-32. They are currently in 12th place in the East, but just 5 and a half games behind the 76ers, who, at 25-27, hold the last playoff spot. CHI, BOS, and TOR are all ahead of the Magic also, with ATL only 2 and a half games behind the Magic.

Let's analyze the remainder of the Magic schedule. They have 31 games remaining, 15 at home (only 4 of which are against teams over .500), and 16 games on the road (9 of which are against teams at or above .500). So only 13 of their remaining games are against teams at or above .500.

Let's assume for the sake of argument that it will take a 41-41 record to make the playoffs (last year's 8th place team, NJ, had a 42-40 record). That means the Magic would have to finish 22-9 to finish at .500 and the last playoff spot. Certainly a tall order to ask of the Magic, but not impossible, considering they are just 5 1/2 games out with 31 games left.

The Magic have a rough 5 game west coast trip from 2/28-3/6, where they will be the underdog in all 5 games. But between 3/15-3/29, the Magic play 9 games in a row against sub .500 teams (4 home, 5 road). Between 3/31 and 4/13, they have to play DAL, DET, MIA, and SA.

Realistically, I don't think the Magic will make the playoffs, but I'm not giving up hope until they are mathematically eliminated. It certainly promises to be an interesting second half for the Magic, with the Darko trade and the impending trade of Francis. The return to health of GHill and hopefully JNelson will improve the Magic.

My prediction... the Magic will finish with around 35 wins, while CHI, with their nice young talent coming around, will overtake PHI for the last playoff spot. On April 20th, we'll see if I'm right.

14 Comments:

  • At 10:27 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Excellent post, and good analysis of the numbers. It depends on what the threshold is. At 41-41 it seems like a tall order, but at 40-42 or even 39-43 the complexion of the analysis will change, drastically.

     
  • At 3:33 AM, Blogger Ken said…

    Good question. I think it's possible, but not likely they'll make the playoffs.

    If Francis stays, and can keep his 10 cent head together long enough to make a run at it, and if Dwight and Darko can bond, becoming our twin towers, If Jameers foot finishes healing quickly, If Grant Hill dosn't have anymore hernias, surgurys, foot and shin problems or general pain, If Arroyo blends in, and if everyone else stays healthy, and the Magic send Garrity to the Developmental League, then yes... we have a chance.

    But i'm not ready to bet my paycheck on it quite yet. With the new chemisty, Jameer's uncertainty, GHill's tendency to crumble at any time, and don't forget who is coaching all of this.. just a thought...

     
  • At 4:06 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    I don't see it happening. I'd like to see them make the playoffs, but then again, do I really? If we did squeeze in at the 8th spot we'd just earn a beating from Detroit. I guess any post season is better than none, even if their is very little hope.

     
  • At 9:49 AM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    I'm all for forgetting the playoffs and working on next year.

    The last thing I want to read in right now is that the (idiot) coach is not playing Darko because of "matchups" and worrying about making the eight spot.

    So...I'm going to judge the rest of the season on:

    1. Darko plays a lot. At least a game or 2 of 40 minutes and average over 30. (They say Don Nelson was risking his job playing Dirk too many minutes his rookie year.)
    2. See if Darko can score 20 pts a game once or twice.
    3. Play Arroyo.
    4. Play Diener.
    5. Play Kasun.
    6. Watch what happens to Francis, or whatever Francis brings back in a trade.
    7. Prepare for life after Garrity by burying him on the bench and playing the youngsters.

    Right now Magic are in line for a 5th overall pick. That could net them a slashing SG like Ronnie Brewer or Arkansas or maybe even a shot at SF Rudy Gay or Adam Morrison.

    Suddenly the future is looking a lot brighter as long as the coach doesn't screw it up by leaning on the veterans.

     
  • At 11:58 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Now that we can say we have a healthy team,the playoffs depend on the coach,we'll see in the first three games after the break,if coach hill is responsible for losses and whether his offensive shortcomings are gonna be to much to overcome for a young team,first up cleve which should be a tough one on their home floor,but winnable,if the magic lose,as long as i see good rotation's,at least 10 guys being used,and everybodies head in the game(steve if he's here)then i'll know we lost b/c the other team was better,and not b/c our coach or players suck!

     
  • At 1:56 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    I said it time after time that the fans need to see that the Magic competes night after night. If that translates to victories against a few quality teams, especially at home, it would be satisfactory to hook the fans with high hopes for next season. Darko would get enough minutes, regardless, since the investment on him is pretty high (despite dumb comments by some sports writers that Magic didn't give much to get Darko). It would be interesting to see how Brian Hill responds to the changing environment.

     
  • At 2:55 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    I am as dumb as a door nail when it comes to scouting college players. I guess I never had the time to watch college ball or keep the track of national events. I hear that next draft is heavy on guards. Regardless of Steve's status we need a shooting guard with range. Advise me if we could get a good one out of the draft.

     
  • At 2:57 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

     
  • At 3:04 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    I couldn't have said my thoughts any better than werdevos. Well stated. As far as fans go, I've stated before, everyone has thought of Orlando as a joke for a while now. The fact of the matter is, if we play and develope all our young players, there are going to be some exciting games because they are playing for their careers. So play the young guys, see what they can do. Best case, they overachieve, worst case, we find out who can play and who can't, and land a top 5ish pick.

     
  • At 3:43 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Satisfying fan base is important for 2 reasons:

    1 - Tickets and merchandise sale are major portions of what Magic makes.
    2 - Attendance has a huge effect on team's psyche. Players said repeatedly that when the arena is full and the crowd is loud they get motivated to play harder and better. Whether it is for this season or next, Magic needs to build confidence playing at home.

    One has to remember that all fans are not fanatic to stay with the team, year after year, and when lost they are hard to be brought back.

     
  • At 4:35 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    No, if the Magic continue to lose year after year, fans will not come back. Big when they start winning, not as much this season unless it's right after the trades and our new guys start making waves; but especially a new season when we're in the mix at the top, everyone will jump back on the bandwagon and say they were fans from day 1. It's easy to say you're a fan of a winner, and that day seems to be shaping up to come soon enough even with the core we have now.

     
  • At 4:51 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Introvert316, you make assumptions and then build on them as facts. My assertions were based on surveys and other factual findings. Yours are based on your personal thoughts as a loyal Magic fan without any regards that others may not feel that way. It is a proven fact that if the fans are turned away, it's hard to win them back. There are fans out there that may even switch from sport to sport.

     
  • At 5:16 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    That's more in the corporate business world than it is with sports business. I know they relate in ways, but a sports fan/consumer is a little different than the average consumer. You are right though, fans change teams and sports all the time. I understand what you're saying, like hey, I have Sprint, they screwed me over, so I cancel, it's going to take a hell of a lot more to go back to that company that I once liked after they dicked me over. But all the sudden, they make changes for the better, offer you a bunch of free crap, and hey, I'm a customer again. Same goes for a fan to a losing team, the average fan will stay away until that day, the day something about that old company impresses them. The days the Magic start winning again... That fact of the matter is if you're one of the best, you're going to get all kinds of attention, love and hate, that's what you want, and that's what matters. And the way things are around here, with the Magic being the only pro team in town, if they're winning, the majority will jump on. Fans in Orlando have done it for years, on and off, but it's never been the same since Shaq left because everyone was spoiled too much in the early years. Still, I agree, the Magic need to make some really positive strides at the end of this season and end on a high note to give hope for next season. It all starts Tuesday with the new guys. If we could actually win in Cleveland, that would be a major upset based on this year, and if we're going to make any waves it needs to start now, or at least RIGHT AFTER the trade deadline passes so we know who will be here for the time being.

     
  • At 6:11 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    I think you are right in your assertions except that it takes time for the fans to come back, and that time lapse, sometimes, could not be ignored.

     

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