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NBA Playoffs Scenario: Magic vs. Heat for No.7 Seed?

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Paolo Banchero goes up against Bam Adebayo

The Orlando Magic is faced with a win-now situation heading into the final game of the regular season vs. the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday. This article will also explain how the Magic could slide down to the play-in and face the Miami Heat for the No.7 seed.

The Magic were in contention for the No.2 seed in the East a week ago but consecutive setbacks against the Rockets, Bucks, and Sixers have put them in danger of going through the play-in tournament, where a loss or two could spell the end for any team’s campaign.

As the 2023-24 NBA regular season draws to a close on April 14, Orlando understands the importance of winning their season-finale game against the Bucks, who are also gunning for no less than a victory to secure the No.2 seed in the Eastern Conference.

East Playoff Seeding Scenarios

To completely understand the wild Eastern Conference postseason race and the probable seeds of teams other than the top-seeded Boston Celtics, ESPN has outlined seven scenarios in which these teams could either win a playoff spot outright or drop to the play-in round.

For the No.2 seed – Milwaukee will be the second seed if it beats Orlando; New York will be if it beats Chicago and Orlando defeats Milwaukee, and Cleveland will be if it beats Charlotte and both New York and Milwaukee lose.

For the No.2 seed – If both the Bucks and the Knicks win, New York will be the third seed. Milwaukee will be the third seed if the Knicks win and the Bucks and Cavaliers lose. Cleveland will get the third seed if the Cavs win, the Knicks win, and the Bucks lose.

For the No.4 seed – Cleveland will be the fourth seed if it loses and the Cavaliers, Bucks, and Knicks all win. Milwaukee will finish fourth if New York and Cleveland win while the Bucks lose. If the Knicks and Bucks lose while the Cavaliers win, New York will finish fourth.

For the No. 5 seed – Orlando will finish fifth if it defeats Milwaukee and wins the Southeast Division. Indiana will finish fifth if it defeats Atlanta and Orlando loses. Philadelphia will finish fifth if it wins and Indiana and Orlando lose.

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For the No.6 seed – Indiana will finish sixth if Orlando wins. Philadelphia will finish sixth if it wins and Indiana or Orlando lose.

For The No. 7 seed – Philadelphia will finish seventh if both Orlando and Indiana win. Miami will finish seventh if the Heat defeat the Toronto Raptors, the Sixers and Pacers win, and the Magic lose.

For the No. 8 seed – Miami will finish eighth if it loses and the Heat, Magic, 76ers, and Pacers win.

Potential Magic vs. Heat Showdown

The Magic still have a chance at the No.5 seed if they win their last game against the Bucks. Orlando, on the other hand, will drop to the playoffs if they lose against the Bucks, and the Pacers and Sixers fail to complete their last duties.

In this scenario, they would face the Miami Heat for the No. 7 seed in the East. Another loss would send them to another play-in game for the No.8 seed against the winner of the Chicago Bulls-Atlanta Hawks game.

The Heat won the regular-season series with the Magic, 3-1.

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Orlando Magic

Orlando Magic Linked to Career 38.5 3PT Shooter Player

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Malik Beasley

The Orlando Magic are one of the teams expected to pursue Malik Beasley once he hits the free agency market this July.

The Magic, who have already been linked to several incoming free agents with respectable shooting acumen, are reportedly among the teams showing some level of interest in Beasley.

Other teams linked to the sweet-shooting veterans are the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors.

“Houston has identified floor spacing and shooting as an area of need this offseason privately and publicly and have an interest in veteran sharpshooter Malik Beasley,” a source close to the situation told the New York Times.

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Beasley started 77 games for the Milwaukee Bucks this past season, converting 41.3 percent of his shots from 3-point distance. He’s a career 38.5 percent three-point shooter.

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Magic Have Interest in Sweet-Shooting Point Guard

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D'Angelo Russell

The Orlando Magic has reportedly shown interest in potential free agent guard D’Angelo Russell, the Athletic reported on Wednesday, May 21.

Russell, who can opt out of his $18.7 million player option with the Los Angeles Lakers, is expected to draw interest from teams looking to shore up their shooting in their backcourt.

The 28-year-old point guard averaged 18.0 points, 3.1 rebounds and 6.3 assists in 32.7 minutes per game while shooting 45.6 FG% and 41.5 3PT% during the 2023-24 season.

His numbers dipped in the playoffs as he averaged 14.2 points on 38.4 FG% and 31.8 3PT% in the five-game series with the Denver Nuggets.

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The Magic direly need some reliable shooting in their lineup for next season after shooting 35.2% from deep in the regular-season.

Aside from Russell, the Magic are also rumored as a potential destination for Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson.

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Orlando Magic

Orlando Magic Linked to Big-Time Scorer in Free Agency

According to reputable NBA insider Ramona Shelburne, the Magic are one of the teams eyeing the service of NBA All-Star Paul George.

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Paul George

The offseason officially started for the Orlando Magic seconds after the final buzzer of their 94-106 Game 7 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday. According to reputable NBA insider Ramona Shelburne, the Magic are one of the teams eyeing incoming free agent Paul George of the Los Angeles Clippers.

“There’s two teams that are paying very close attention to Paul George: the Orlando Magic and the Philadelphia 76ers, because both of them have the money to throw at him and need a wing just like him, a veteran guy,” Shelburne said on “the Brian Windhorst & the Hoops Collective” podcast on May 1.

Sportrac projected the Magic to have a practical cap space of $19 million, but their maximum possible cap space could balloon to as high as $58 million if they forego their team options on Jonathan Isaac, Joe Ingles, and Moritz Wagner.

Despite turning 34 once the free agency window opens, George is expected to be a hot commodity on the market because of his reputation as a flat-out scorer and above-average wing defender. He’ll be looking for his final max-level deal of at least $45 million per year before he enters the twilight years of his career.

George averaged 22.6 points on 47.1 FG%, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game during the regular season with the Clippers. His scoring production dipped a bit during the six-game series against the Mavericks, putting up 19.5 points on 41.1 FG% and 36.7 3PT%.

NBA experts expect the Magic to bring over either a legitimate shooter or a scorer who will help address the lack of shooting on their roster. George, a career 38.5 3PT% shooter, would be a solid addition to a resurging team like the Magic.

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