FOX Sports Florida announces next batch of Orlando Magic Classics

The 2009 Orlando Magic will get the spotlight in Magic Classics this May. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
The 2009 Orlando Magic will get the spotlight in Magic Classics this May. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
Nick Anderson, Horace Grant, Orlando Magic
Nick Anderson and Horace Grant became grinders that could get forgotten to Orlando Magic history. (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The replay of some of the best games in Orlando Magic history continues as FOX Sports Florida revisits the 1995 Eastern Conference Finals and 2009 Playoffs.

The NBA season is still on hiatus, but the Orlando Magic are making sure everyone still gets their fix of Orlando Magic basketball.

The team is continuing its replay of classic Magic games, focusing on the Magic’s best playoff games for the next two weeks.

The Orlando Magic already announced they will air the remaining three wins from their 1995 Playoff series win over the Chicago Bulls — Game 3 is tonight (Thursday, April 30) with Games 5 and 6 airing Saturday.

FOX Sports Florida will continue the Magic’s journey through the 1995 Playoffs in the next batch of Magic Classics, announced Thursday.

The network will air some of the Magic’s biggest playoff series wins. Starting Tuesday, fans will get to relive the Magic’s four wins from their 1995 Eastern Conference Finals series with the Indiana Pacers. They then will get to live through the thrilling beginnings of the 2009 Finals run with the four wins from the Orlando Magic’s first-round series win over the Philadelphia 76ers.

Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday through May 16, Magic fans will get to experience some of the best games and moments in Magic history. If the league remains on hiatus, they will surely get the treat of re-watching the rest of the Magic’s 2009 Finals run, hopefully including Game 3 of the NBA Finals.

There is a big gap though between. It is a bit surprising the Magic will not re-air Anfernee Hardaway’s stellar Games 3 and 4 from the 1997 Playoffs. It will also feel weird to skip completely over the Heart & Hustle team along with Tracy McGrady’s entire tenure in Orlando.

Whether that is a rights issue — it is not clear where FOX Sports Florida is getting the games from as evidenced by re-airing Game 1 of the Magic-Bulls series, it is not merely just their tape archive — or just an editorial decision to focus on the playoffs at this time of year is unclear.

There is obviously a lot of Magic history to relive in watching these games. It will be fun to watch them all again. Here is the upcoming schedule:

Orlando Magic vs. Chicago Bulls — 1995 Playoffs Second Round Game 3

Air Date: April 30, 8 p.m.

After the Orlando Magic literally stole Game 1, Michael Jordan got a bit angry. He returned to wearing No. 23, a moment Nick Anderson even admitted felt like a game over before the game began, and scored 38 points in a 104-94 win. Chicago had evened up the series and all seemed right in the world.

There had to be a hint of desperation as the Magic traveled to Chicago for Game 3. They needed to win to retake home-court advantage, just like they did in Boston the series before. Except these Chicago Bulls were not those Boston Celtics. This was something entirely different.

Jordan gave his best with 40 points to lead the Bulls, but could not score in the final two minutes. Tied at 101, the Magic pulled away thanks to a 9-for-11 effort from the foul line in the closing moments to retake control of the series.

Orlando Magic vs. Chicago Bulls — 1995 Playoffs Second Round Game 5

Air Date: May 2, 5 p.m.

The Chicago Bulls ended up tying the series at 2-2 following a 106-95 victory at the United Center. It was a best-of-3 series now starting in Orlando. The young Magic team had their mettle tested already in this series. It was clear this was going to be a battle. And Game 5 is always important.

Shaquille O’Neal turned in his best game of the series, scoring 23 points and grabbing 22 rebounds to overcome a slow offensive start. The Magic erased a 15-point first-half deficit to take control of the series and move one win closer to advancing.

The hero of the game was Horace Grant. He scored 24 points as the Bulls increasingly dared their former teammate to be the ones to beat them. He did that and a whole lot more in this revenge series.

Orlando Magic vs. Chicago Bulls — 1995 Playoffs Second Round Game 6

Air Date: May 2, 7 p.m.

The Orlando Magic went to Chicago with elimination on their mind as they looked to put the Chicago Bulls away. And things looked pretty bleak in the game’s dying moments. It looked like Orlando would have to hold off Michael Jordan one more time at home to advance.

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The Magic trailed by eight with both Anfernee Hardaway and Horace Grant on the bench. They would then score the next 14 points to stun the Chicago crowd and advance to their first conference finals.

This would be Jordan’s last ever playoff defeat. The Magic hoisted Grant on their shoulders as they celebrated the big win and awaited their opponent in the Eastern Conference Finals, unknowingly perhaps seeding the flames for a 72-10 tour de force from the Bulls the following season.

Orlando Magic vs. Indiana Pacers — 1995 Eastern Conference Finals Game 1

Air Date: May 5, 6 p.m.

The Orlando Magic had to have some measure of revenge on their mind when the Indiana Pacers arrived in town for the Eastern Conference Finals. The Pacers had defeated the Magic in the first round of the 1994 Playoffs in a humbling sweep. This was a chance to make that right.

Shaquille O’Neal has said Rik Smits was someone he hated playing, but you would hardly notice with some of his stat lines in this series. He scores 32 points as the Magic shake off some rust for a 105-101 win. They officially put the 1994 season to bed and make their statement against the more seasoned Pacers.

Orlando Magic vs. Indiana Pacers — 1995 Eastern Conference Finals Game 2

Air Date: May 5, 8:30 p.m.

There are two games NBATV will typically air from this series. The first is an incredible back-and-forth affair in Game 4 that saw at least three lead changes in the final 30 seconds ending with Rik Smits’ buzzer-beater. The other is this Game 2.

This is the game that showed Shaquille O’Neal and Anfernee Hardaway at their most potent and dangerous. Both poured in humongous games — O’Neal with 39 points and Hardaway with 19 points and 15 assists — to charge the Magic to a 119-114 win. Nick Anderson hit a huge 3-pointer to hold off the Pacers’ late charge as Reggie Miller scored 37 points.

Orlando Magic vs. Indiana Pacers — 1995 Eastern Conference Finals Game 5

Air Date: May 7, 8 p.m.

Any momentum the Orlando Magic thought they had after winning the first two games of the series dissipated in Indianapolis. And when Rik Smith hit the game-winning basket in Game 4, it felt like a whole new series. The Magic and Pacers were going to be competing and battling just as hard as they had in their previous round.

Shaquille O’Neal took the Game 4 loss personally. He had fouled out and was not on the floor — everyone famously says in This Magic Moment they begged Tree Rollins not to bite on Rik Smits’ pump fake. And he came out steaming with 35 points and 13 rebounds. This was the series that made O’Neal transcendent in the playoffs.

Orlando Magic vs. Indiana Pacers — 1995 Eastern Conference Finals Game 7

Air Date: May 9, 7 p.m.

The Orlando Magic lost Game 6 123-96 in Indianapolis. There would be a decisive Game 7 for the first time in Magic history. As the story goes, David Steele was not feeling great on the plane ride back to Orlando. That is when Shaquille O’Neal turned to him and said, don’t worry about it, we got this.

Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic /

Orlando Magic

The Magic turned the game into a pure celebration. The Orlando Magic defeated the Indiana Pacers 105-81. The second half was a blowout and the team lived it up as they broke through to reach the NBA Finals for the first time. Pacers coach Lary Brown said after the game he did not think he had seen any team play a bigger game better than that Magic team. It was a route and the party was on.

Orlando Magic vs. Philadelphia 76ers — 2009 Playoffs First Round Game 2

Air Date: May 12, 6 p.m.

The Orlando Magic were stunned in Game 1 as they lost a 20-point lead at home to see Andre Iguodala hit a contested jumper to steal homecourt advantage. All of a sudden everything about the Magic — their superstar Dwight Howard, their 3-point playing style — all came under question. They were a nice regular-season team, it appeared but not a great Playoff team.

The fairy tale was just beginning. This team thrived with struggle and this was just the first challenge presented to them. Orlando would win Game 2, 96-87, as the team re-established its dominance in the game. It did not matter that Orlando could not hit from the outside or that Philadelphia got 20-plus points from Andre Miller, Andre Iguodala and Thaddeus Young.

This series was going to be a fight. That much was clear. But one the Magic still had control over . . . for now.

Orlando Magic vs. Philadelphia 76ers — 2009 Playoffs First Round Game 4

Air Date: May 12, 8:30 p.m.

The Orlando Magic got shocked again in Game 3 of their series with the Philadelphia 76ers. Thaddeus Young fumbled his way into an offensive rebound and scored a putback to put the 76ers up 2-1 in the series. Toward the end of Game 4, it looked like the Magic were going to be put in a 3-1 hole.

Then the legend of Hedo Turkoglu began. In a tie game, he waited and waited, exhausting nearly every second of the game before pulling up for a contested 3-pointer. He drained it and the Magic had evened the series heading back home to Orlando. Hedo Turkoglu became a cult hero in Magic fandom with the bravado of this shot. The Magic’s season was saved.

Orlando Magic vs. Philadelphia 76ers — 2009 Playoffs First Round Game 5

Air Date: May 14, 8 p.m.

With the series tied in this back-and-forth series, the urgency was high as the series returned to the Amway Arena. Tensions were high too.

Dwight Howard knocked out Courtney Lee with an inadvertent elbow in this game — forcing J.J. Redick into the rotation. And then Howard picked up a flagrant foul and an ejection late in this blowout victory, suspending him for Game 6. For a game Orlando wins easily 91-78 behind 24 rebounds from Howard, the Magic nearly teeter over the edge heading toward Game 6.

Orlando Magic vs. Philadelphia 76ers — 2009 Playoffs First Round Game 6

Air Date: May 16, 7:30 p.m.

Dwight Howard was suspended. Courtney Lee was injured. This was a back and forth series that seemed destined for a Game 7. And it did not matter.

The Orlando Magic roll the Philadelphia 76ers with Marcin Gortat starting and Tony Battie getting his most extensive minutes of the entire playoff run to advance to the second round. Rashard Lewis carries over a strong Game 5 with 29 points in Game 6 to step up in Dwight Howard’s absence and lead the team in the win.

Next. What we learned from Magic Madness 2020. dark

I hope everyone is enjoying these Magic Classics. We will keep adding historical commentary as we watch these games and following along on Twitter.