Orlando Magic In-Season Tournament Preview
Nov. 24, 2:30 p.m. at Orlando
The Boston Celtics come in as one of the premier and contending teams in the Eastern Conference. Their group play game against the Magic is Nov. 24 at the Amway Center for a 2:30 p.m. E.T. tip-off.
Surprisingly, Orlando took three out of four against Boston last season, including a weekend sweep in Boston to cap off Orlando’s season-saving six-game win streak. That was the first time in three seasons the Magic won a season series against the Celtics.
The last time they played the Celtics was a 113-98 win in the Amway Center back in January. The Magic were very efficient shooting in that game as well as another win in TD Garden they got over the Celtics on Dec. 16, 2022. They shot better than 45 percent in those two wins.
Much like Orlando, Boston is a top five defensive team in the NBA so far this season based off of defensive rating. Granted, this game is still some weeks away but this shapes the matchup up to be a defensive battle that may come down to who can be the team to score better.
As for the offense that Boston provides, they are currently the third best offensive team in the NBA 124.8 points per 100 possessions. Orlando’s top-ranked defense will need to be on point when this team comes to Orlando the Friday after Thanksgiving.
There are favorable factors in each of Orlando’s matchups with the other teams in East Group C. The defense the Magic have shown can keep them within fighting distance of each of these teams and it will make for intriguing basketball that could potentially send them to Las Vegas for the NBA Cup.
My prediction is that due to the good matchups against these squads last season and the defense Orlando can play to stop these teams, the Magic will take the first three games and lose the final one to the Celtics who sit at the top of the NBA as far as the best teams go.
That may be enough to put the Magic into a wild card spot for Las Vegas.