Orlando Magic Rewatchables: Unanswerable Questions from the 1995 Orlando Magic-Chicago Bulls series

As we revisit the Orlando Magic's series win over the Chicago Bulls, defeating Michael Jordan stands the test of history. (Mandatory Credit: Jonathan)
As we revisit the Orlando Magic's series win over the Chicago Bulls, defeating Michael Jordan stands the test of history. (Mandatory Credit: Jonathan) /
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Anfernee Hardaway, Michael Jordan, Orlando Magic, Chicago Bulls
Anfernee Hardaway was the Orlando Magic’s big gamble to take their next step to a title team. /

Do the Magic win a Game 7?

Rewatching the series, you can see how on the knife’s edge the Orlando Magic were throughout the series. They trailed at the start of almost every game and every game came down to the very end.

Of the Magic’s four wins, only Game 5 was won fairly comfortably. The Magic needed plays at the end of Games 1, 3 and 6 to finish. And fairly healthy comebacks throughout. The Chicago Bulls really only won Game 2 fairly easily.

This series was nip and tuck.

It came down to mistakes — Michael Jordan turned the ball four times per game in the series and he had critical mistakes at the end of Games 1 and 3 that cost the Bulls the game. There was an unclutch factor to this game and the Bulls’ bench was a mess throughout.

But, this is Jordan we are talking about. Nobody wants to face him in a Game 7, even on the road. And throughout the series, you can see the Magic pushing against their immaturity. Orlando made its mistakes throughout the series too.

If the Magic had not made that 14-0 run in Game 6, Game 7 would have been a real toss-up. And, sure, the Magic could have won. They proved that plenty. But are you really betting against Jordan?

There is one piece of evidence to suggest the Magic would have won a Game 7 on their home floor.

In the Eastern Conference Finals, the Orlando Magic lost Game 6 to the Indiana Pacers 123-96 at Market Square Arena. The Magic returned home to defeat the Pacers in Game 7 by a 105-81 score.

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Orlando certainly had the wherewithal to brush off a Game 6, potential series-clinching defeat.

There is a long history of teams getting blown out in these Game 6 situations and being able to easily shed those losses to focus in for Game 7. It is almost easier to brush aside a blowout loss.

Game 6 of the Bulls series was definitely on that edge. It looked like Chicago was going to get by with a relatively comfortable win. The Magic would not have had some critical, defining mistake to dwell on. Their run was a spurt of confidence and gumption from the young team.

The question is whether the Magic would have been able to withstand Jordan in a Game 7 (he actually very rarely played in Game 7s during his championship runs). And then the next question is whether Orlando would consistently come out on the right side of so many tight battles.

A Game 7 would have been a true 50/50 affair. And the Bulls would probably still be the favorite.