As if the ESPN panel was not enough to let us know the Magic will likely sink to the bottom of the Eastern Conference again, a statistical projection from Bradford Doolittle of ESPN Insider has the Magic playing the Lottery again.
“Both SCHOENE and RPM are in agreement about the Magic and Sixers, though it would be a mild surprise if Orlando is actually this bad. As for the Lakers, RPM methodology sees them as about a 24-win team in a vacuum. SCHOENE is at around 30 wins. There is no optimism to be found in either forecast. When you combine those numbers and run them through the gauntlet of a Western Conference schedule, you get the worst season in Lakers history. If the Kobe Bryant of 10 years shows up, sure, things will look better. But it seems like a big ‘if.’”
The computer models Doolittle used have the Magic averaging 22.1 wins. That would be taking a step back from last year and finishing with the second worst record in the league. The human predictors do not see the Magic playing that poorly or taking a step back in that way. There would certainly be more pressure in Orlando if this became the case.
Get used to the names Jahlil Okafor and Emmanuel Mudiay.
It would not be too surprising to see the Magic be near the bottom of the Eastern Conference this year. The expectation is that they will continue to improve and show growth. The hope is that means a few more years. The general consensus is the Magic are still a year away from serious Playoff contention.
Luckily, the game is not played on paper.