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 16, 2007

Can the Magic secure a playoff spot in the final two months?

Hard to believe that the NBA season is already 3 1/2 months old, and that there is just 2 months remaining in the regular season. To say that the Magic have had their ups and downs so far is putting it mildly. What I will try to do on this post is analyze the remainder of the Magic schedule, and what it might take at the bare minimum for the Magic to make the playoffs. So here goes.

Let's assume for the sake of argument that the Magic will need a minimum of 40 wins to secure a playoff spot. They are currently a 7th seed at 27-26, 2 1/2 games ahead of 9th seed NJ. Of course, only the top 8 teams are awarded a playoff berth. The Magic have 29 games remaining (16 away, 13 home). To finish with 40 wins, the Magic would have to finish their remaining games 13-16.

Let's try and project how the Magic might finish to get to that 40 win mark. Out of their 16 remaining road games, ten of those games are against teams currently at or above .500. Let's project the Magic finish 2-8 in those games (to clarify, the only team the Magic will face that is currently exactly at .500 is MIA). Six of those road games are against sub-.500 teams. Let's project the Magic finish 3-3 in those games. That gives the Magic a 5-11 record in their remaining away games.

Of their 13 remaining home games, seven of those games are against teams currently at or above .500. Let's project the Magic go 3-4 in those games. Six of those home games are against sub-.500 teams. Let's project the Magic go 5-1 in those games. That gives the Magic an 8-5 record in their remaining home games, and a 13-16 record overall in their remaining 29 games, which would come out to a 40-42 record and a likely playoff spot!

Remember, I'm just projecting the minimum amount of wins that I think it would take for the Magic to earn a playoff spot. There's always the possibility of a couple upsets either way that could make the Magic's final record either better or worse than 40-42.

A final note... after the All-Star Break, 12 of the Magic's first 16 games are against teams at or above .500 (10 road, 6 home), but after that, 8 of their final 13 games are against teams below .500 (7 home, 6 road). It's possible the Magic could wind up with a mediocre 6-10 or 5-11 record in the upcoming 16 game stretch, and then win 7 or 8 games out of the last 13 against weaker competition to close the season and give them their 40 wins.

If the Magic do finish at 40-42, MIA would have to finish 15-15 to overtake them at Number 7, NJ would have to finish 16-12 to overtake the Magic at Number 8. If NJ falters, NY would have to go 18-11 to overtake the Magic. The Magic would likely have to finish over .500 to overtake any of the teams currently ahead of them.


  • At 8:06 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    Excellent analysis, Mike. Thank you.

  • At 8:13 AM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    40-42 takes us back to the Doc Rivers days.

    Very disappointing.

  • At 9:37 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    There are rooms for Magic to do better despite Hill's stubbornness and inefficiencies.

  • At 9:42 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    I honestly think if the magic play 500 they'll be in,new jersey and new york are the only real competition as mike pointed out,and if you've watched new jersey this year they seriously lack an inside presence,so i dont expect them to play better than 500 the rest of the season,new york's better served to make a run,but i have no faith in them getting it done in the end.

  • At 10:03 AM, Blogger Showtime said…

    That's pretty on point Mike. I think with the all star break, it will give Dwight more confidence (not that he needs it), and everyone else some rest. It shouldn't be hard to accomplish a playoff birth.

  • At 10:52 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    I agree, as I have pointed out before, that Magic will make it to the play-offs with earning, at least, the 8th spot. In my view, MIA will pass the Magic, but no other team, currently behind the Magic will catch up with them. Since we are talking about the East, there are chances of some upsets and/or a good string of victories, combined with the misfortunes of other teams that may catapult the Magic to a higher spot.

  • At 10:55 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    Guys, I am surprised that nobody has shown any interest in commenting on my offensive basket interference post. I believe that is a sticky rule that has caused plenty of controversies.

  • At 8:02 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    In my opinion, the Magic have a chance to finish better than 40-42.

    With TAriza due back around March 1st, he will help the defense tremendously. With GHIll due back next week, he will provide versatility and good veteran leadership, along with TBattie's return.

    A couple more things bode well for the Magic the final two months. DMilicic and DHoward have really been a force in the starting lineup together; J.J. Redick has been getting quality minutes off the bench and contributing with his dead-eye shooting, and CArroyo has played much better since his brief demotion.

    A lot of the Magic's success will depend on Brian Hill's ability to use the proper player rotation and matchups within a game. Of course, it would also help if players such as HTurkoglu and JNelson, especially Turkoglu, could be more consistent from game-to-game.

    I can see the Magic finishing with 43-44 wins if everything goes well these last two months (off my pre-season prediction of 47-50 wins). I agree that MIA will likely finish ahead of the Magic, but the Magic can still catch 2 teams that are ahead of them, IND and WAS. The Magic trail IND by just 1 1/2 games, and WAS by 3 1/2 games.

    The Magic could finish anywhere from a 6 to an 8 seed, in my view.

    Obviously, BHill is not the coach who's going to get the Magic to the next level; however, a playoff berth would give the Magic's young core valuable playoff experience and make them that much better for the future, and bring playoff basketball to ORL for the first time in 4 years... GO MAGIC!!

  • At 8:55 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    I just commented Matt. I didn't know how to respond at first, as it caught me off guard. So I had to let it settle for a couple days.

    As for the Magic making the playoffs, I think they will no matter what. NJ is on the verge of being broken apart, they've been plagued with injuries, and playing uninspired basketball. I really hope the Magic are watching them, mainly, Vince Carter who I think we need to avoid this summer. Of course I still think we need a scorer, just not him.

    Back to the playoffs, I'll try to comment more on it later, but when it's all said it done, I see us being there regardless. The only question will be what position. If we get Ariza back, continue starting Darko, we could finish strong, and cause some problems in the first round. If we continue playing sub par basketball, B Hill continues doing what he does, and default in at the 8th spot, we'll be getting beat by the Pistons in the 1st round.

  • At 9:55 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Well said, you all. The way that I see it, if we finish at 8, it means that we have not been playing good basketball, and as such would have no chance against DET. From the other hand, reaching a higher spot would be not only indicative of playing better basketball, but also a sign that we may make some noise, and probably making to the next round. After all, DET is possibly the only eastern team we have no prayers against.

  • At 11:21 AM, Blogger tdawg said…

    Goood breakdown

    I don't see New Jersey being able to overtake the 8th spot. The Nets are trying to clear out Carter and Kidd, if this happens NJ will tank.


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