The 8 games we are looking forward to most on Orlando Magic’s schedule

The Orlando Magic will have to hit the ground running and find momentum quickly when the season resumes.(Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)
The Orlando Magic will have to hit the ground running and find momentum quickly when the season resumes.(Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images) /
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Markelle Fultz, orlando Magic, Boston Celtics
Markelle Fultz has turned a lot of heads in what is essentially his rookie year with the Orlando Magic. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images) /

August 9 — vs. Boston Celtics (5 p.m.)

If the Orlando Magic are able to get to seventh in the Eastern Conference, they will have some advantage in getting able to see and face the two teams they would likely face in the Playoffs.

The Toronto Raptors are a bad matchup for the Orlando Magic because of their length and size in the inside. They are able to take the Magic out of their offense.

The Boston Celtics? It is a little trickier to figure out why they present the Magic so many problems. But in two previous matchups this year — including a nationally televised game in early February — the Celtics just flat-out dominated.

Boston won the first game in Orlando 109-98 behind Kemba Walker’s 37 points and six 3-pointers. Evan Fournier scored 30 points, but the Magic shot just 40.0 percent for the game. It was just not Orlando’s day.

The game in Boston a few weeks later was more competitive. Aaron Gordon went toe to toe with Jayson Tatum for three quarters, scoring 23 points and 10 rebounds for the game. Evan Fournier had another 28 in the game.

But Tatum was too good. He had 33 in the game. And again Gordon Hayward put in a solid game after scoring 28 in the first meeting, he had 23 in the second.

The Celtics are dynamic offensively. If you squeeze one part of their offense, they have players who can burst out the other end.

Walker historically has torched the Magic. His ability to stop and hit mid-range jumpers on the pick and roll negates the Magic’s dropping scheme. If the guard is not able to get around the screen, Walker will pop for three.

Tatum’s big game in the second meeting was a rare outburst for him. Like with Ben Simmons, the Magic have done a good job on Jayson Tatum historically. Tatum has averaged only 12.1 points per game against the Magic in his career. Gordon typically does a good job.

What was really surprising though about the two games the Magic played was how ineffective Nikola Vucevic was against them.

If the Magic have one advantage — and perhaps a preference to play the Celtics — it is because they have that size advantage in the post. But Vucevic scored only 29 points and grabbed 22 rebounds against the Celtics in two games this season.

Boston has smart defensive players and the team’s defensive schemes seem to bother the Magic a lot — outside of Fournier. This is the puzzle the team has to solve if they match up with the Celtics.

18. Prediction. 97. 38. 102