2023-24 Orlando Magic Schedule
In-Season Tournament Group Play
When the Orlando Magic were drawn into Group C in the Eastern Conference, it felt like a real opportunity.
First, the team needs the pressure-game practice that comes with playing meaningful games. Second, the team is playing in a group without a clear-cut No. 2. The Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors all made the postseason last year, but none of those three feel like sure things to make it back even to the Play-In in 2024.
That is the opportunity the Magic should be hunting. And the Magic should feel like they can compete with everyone — not to mention every game in this tournament is going to be against teams that the Magic will be competing for a postseason spot at the end of the season.
Nov. 14: at Brooklyn Nets (In-Season Tournament) (7P)
Nov. 15: at Chicago Bulls (8P)
Nov. 17 at Chicago Bulls (In-Season Tournament) (8P)
In a certain way, these first two games are the two most important of the group play. The Orlando Magic are going to be playing against two teams fighting for postseason position and the kind of teams they need to overcome to get into the postseason.
This is a chance to get a jumpstart on that race.
More than that, though, this is like a playoff series in every way. The Magic will be playing their first two games on the road. So how does this team react when it has to get a win on the road to get a split? What will they do if they are down 0-1?
Does any of it actually matter? It should. And these two games will set the tone for the rest of the group play and set a good tone for the rest of the season.
Nov. 19: at Indiana Pacers (7P)
Nov. 21: vs. Toronto Raptors (In-Season Tournament) (7P)
Nov. 22: vs. Denver Nuggets (7P)
Nov. 24: vs. Boston Celtics (In-Season Tournament) (2:30P/NBATV)
So with the first two games on the road, the Orlando Magic will have a chance to close things out and protect the Amway Center floor. That should certainly be among the major goals for the Magic.
And if the Orlando Magic take care of its business and comes into this final game on Black Friday against the Boston Celtics at 2-1, the team will be playing a win-and-advance game in its final outing. That is the kind of pressure and stakes the Magic want to see their team play in.
Doing it against a Celtics team the Magic have had success against, going 3-1 against the Celtics last year, would make it all the sweeter. Doing it again on a marquee day on Black Friday on NBATV in one of the featured games of the tournament day is the kind of opportunity this team should relish.
Nov. 26: vs. Charlotte Hornets (6P)
Nov. 29: vs. Washington Wizards (7P)
Dec. 1: vs. Washington Wizards (7P)
Dec. 2: at Brooklyn Nets (7P)
Dec. 4-9: In-Season Tournament Knockout Rounds
Dec. 6: at Cleveland Cavaliers (7P)
Dec. 8: vs. Detroit Pistons (7P)
The In-Season Tournament will conclude Dec. 9 in Las Vegas with quarterfinal and semifinal games taking place that week. The Orlando Magic will have two games added one way or another since quarterfinal and semifinal games count toward the regular season record.
We will not know who the Magic are playing in those games until after Group Play is completed — the Magic are the first in East Group C to finish play with the final day of games taking place Nov. 28.
UPDATE: The Magic ended up just short of making the quarterfinal round of the In-Season Tournament thanks to the Boston Celtics' blowout victory over the Chicago Bulls on Nov. 28. So the Magic got their two replacement games.
The Orlando Magic will travel to Cleveland to face the Cleveland Cavaliers after the Dec. 2 game against the Brooklyn Nets and then head home to face the struggling Detroit Pistons.
This comes before the toughest part of the team's schedule in December. . .