Championship Odds: +100000
Nikola Vucevic: 19.5 PPG, 11.0 RPG, 3.7 APG
Aaron Gordon: 14.4 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 3.7 APG
Evan Fournier: 18.8 PPG, 3.2 APG, 2.6 RPG
Markelle Fulda: 12.0 PPG, 5.2 APG, 3.3 RPG
Terrence Ross: 14.8 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 1.1 STL
Players Sitting Out
The Magic don’t have anybody sitting out due to coronavirus concerns, however Jonathan Isaac’s status is still unknown due to a left knee injury that caused him to miss games before the season was suspended. Isaac can do it all on the floor, averaging 12 points and 7 rebounds while being one of the elite young defenders in the league tallying 2.4 blocks and 1.6 steals per game. Steve Clifford has said he is making progress in his recovery, and Isaac himself told reporters he remains optimistic about his return. Getting Isaac back in the lineup would be massive for the Magic on both sides of the floor as they attempt to make a run at the 7th seed in the East.
|7/31||Brooklyn Nets||2:30 pm||FS Florida|
|8/2||Sacramento Kings||6:00 pm||NBA TV|
|8/4||Indiana Pacers||6:00 pm||FS Florida|
|8/5||Toronto Raptors||8:00 pm||FS Florida|
|8/7||Philadelphia 76ers||6:30 pm||TNT|
|8/9||Boston Celtics||4:00 pm||FS Florida|
|8/11||Brooklyn Nets||1:00 pm||FS Florida|
|8/13||New Orleans Pelicans||TBD||TBD|
The hosts of the bubble come into the restart jockeying for the 7th seed with the Nets, but have the advantage when it comes to their roster. While Brooklyn has lost some of its key players like Kyrie Irving, DeAndre Jordan, and Spencer Dinwiddie the Magic will be playing the same, if not better depending of the status of Jonathan Isaac, that they were using when play was suspended. While the 7th seed would likely mean a rematch of last year’s first round matchup against the Raptors, it is still a more favorable matchup than the MVP favorite Giannis and the Bucks.
The Magic face off with Brooklyn, who holds a half-game lead for the #7 spot, two times while in the bubble, and should be aiming to go 2-0 against the depleted lineup to gain momentum heading into the playoffs. The series against Toronto was ugly for the Magic as they lost 4-1, and the entire team struggled, specifically their All-Star center Vucevic, who averaged only 11 PPG in the first round.
A playoff appearance is likely the ceiling for Orlando this year, and they’re still a few pieces away from being contenders to make a real run in the East. However, the have a core that continues to improve, and a solid and full rotation that is motivated looking to climb the standings and make a run at taking down the defending champs.