The Orlando Magic are ready to get back to work and resume their season at Disney in a month. They have a lot to achieve still and questions to answer.
It is here. It is finally here.
It will obviously be different. Players will not experience the intensity and energy that a crowd brings. The Magic’s second trip to the Playoffs will be incomplete. And that is something that could slow some of the growth the team wants to see.
Still, the Magic will get the same preparation and playing pressure that the postseason provides. That can be valuable too.
The NBA’s eight-game “seeding round” will be intense. Every game will be a Playoff game. And even the teams that are under .500 have a lot to play for. What looks like an “easy” schedule on paper could very well be difficult because of the desperation teams will face to stay in the playoff race.
Perversely, the teams at the very top of the standings could have less impetus to play with seeds wrapped up and no home-court advantage on the line.
The Orlando Magic either caught a break or are unfortunate in this light then, with four games against teams with records less than .500 — two against the Brooklyn Nets and games against the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans.
Orlando still has its work cut out for it. It still has a lot of work to do. The Magic have to take care of themselves. From there, they should be able to reap their rewards.
There are rewards to reap too.
The Orlando Magic will have two cracks at the Brooklyn Nets that should help decide who finishes seventh and avoids a likely slaughter to the Milwaukee Bucks. And the Magic have to play well enough to avoid a potential play-in series with the Washington Wizards.
Their playoff spot is still very much on the line and nothing is clinched quite yet.
Then again, nobody really knows what teams are going to look like when games resume. Everyone has been off for three months already and it is still another month before teams hit the floor again. That is a long time off and the shape and rhythm teams come in will be as much a mystery as anything else.
That is to say then, everything is up in the air. It is impossible to predict what the Magic or any team will look like. And every game in the bubble feels like a toss-up.
In the background of all this is an even more uncertain offseason and uncertain 2021 season. Everything is going to look and feel different in the NBA for the next year at least.
This is all happening at a time when the Magic’s future seems in flux too. A second straight year at the bottom of the Playoff ladder has everyone asking how the team gets better. And, for sure, the Magic cannot stay stagnant in a league that is constantly changing and evolving.
While the Magic certainly should have some conclusions drawn, the next 10 games at least are going to give them valuable information to assess what comes next.
Everything is swirling as the NBA prepares to return and finish this season a month from now.
Before the festivities begin and as we begin to think about basketball again, it feels like it is time to open the mailbag again and answer your Orlando Magic questions.
Submit your questions to me on Twitter @omagicdaily, in the comments below or by e-mail at email@example.com.
I look forward to hearing from you!