Orlando Magic Daily Mailbag Volume 39: The unknown will soon be known

There are a lot of unknown facing Aaron Gordon and the Orlando Magic beyond just the start of the season. (Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images)
There are a lot of unknown facing Aaron Gordon and the Orlando Magic beyond just the start of the season. (Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images) /
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Evan Fournier, Orlando Magic, Sacramento Kings
The Orlando Magic may not be able to move their playoff seeding much and might be a first-round exit, but they still have a lot to play for. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

I think this is the question everyone has. Will the Orlando Magic actually achieve their goal and finish seventh? What record will the Magic have?

When the schedule initially came out, I had the Orlando Magic going 3-5 — and, more importantly, splitting the two games with the Brooklyn Nets. I was not entirely sure that would be enough to get to seventh or not.

On top of all this, even after the first scrimmages for the Magic and the Nets, we still do not know what play will look like. We do not know how quickly the teams are going to improve and get better. Or whether a player who has lost their rhythm will find it again on time.

Not to mention, the schedules are significantly tougher than they would be otherwise. The Magic will not get the benefit of playing the teams they would have otherwise.

Still, Orlando’s schedule is manageable. The team will play four teams with records worse than .500 — the first two and the last two. That should give the team some cushion and some ability to pick up wins.

After all, 25 of the Magic’s 30 wins are against these kinds of teams. They really struggle against actual winning teams. Those middle four games will become vital to try to steal a few games.

Three wins seem like a safe bet for a prediction for the Magic’s final record.

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Having watched the team in Wednesday’s scrimmage and watched the Nets for a little bit in their scrimmage, maybe those predictions need a little adjusting.

Orlando is certainly healthier than a lot of the other teams they are competing with and facing. The Nets are depleted and looked totally disorganized in Wednesday’s scrimmage. They might have been the worst team to take the floor — although Jamal Crawford did not play but it does not seem likely he would make a huge impact.

My confidence that Orlando will win both Brooklyn games has significantly increased now.

The Sacramento Kings were game without De’Aaron Fox on Wednesday. But their loss of Marvin Bagley and other injuries have severely depleted their frontcourt depth. That feels like a potentially more comfortable win.

And Orlando looked fairly organized and efficient offensively. As they gain more defensive chemistry, they should be able to improve greatly before the regular season. Having the Nets and Kings — probably the two “easiest” opponents — to start this thing will be a great way to build confidence.

The Magic have to get at least one win out of these games to hit three or four wins. They need a win against one of those playoff teams to get to four or five wins.

With how rosters are shaking out and how some of these teams have looked in the early going, I think it is fair to expect the Magic to win four games.

That should be enough to finish seventh in the Eastern Conference. Even with three wins — and at least a split with the Nets — I suspect Orlando will have enough to finish seventh too. The Nets are just so depleted, it will be tough seeing them putting up much of a fight consistently.

Wednesday’s scrimmage increased my confidence in this Magic team.