3 players whose stock is rising, 3 who are falling for the Orlando Magic's playoff chase

The Orlando Magic are gearing up for their first playoff chase in a decade. Which players have solidified their spots in the rotation and which players are at risk of a decline in minutes?

Feb 14, 2024; Orlando, Florida, USA; Orlando Magic guard Cole Anthony (50) celebrates a three-point
Feb 14, 2024; Orlando, Florida, USA; Orlando Magic guard Cole Anthony (50) celebrates a three-point / Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
1 of 7
Next

As the playoffs get closer, games have higher stakes and rotations get smaller. Every team needs its best players and most reliable players playing at a high level down the stretch.

The Orlando Magic have one of the top young rosters in the NBA. But, usually, teams fighting for playoff positioning are no longer handing out major minutes to players who are still developing their skill sets. Results matter more than growth at this stage. And the Magic still need wins to solidify their position in the Eastern Conference standings.

That will be a tough task with so many players still going through their first playoff chase in their careers.

The Magic have very little playoff experience with just Joe Ingles, Gary Harris, Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz playing in the postseason. That inexperience was evident in their two recent losses to the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers.

The Magic have valued development throughout this rebuild. And there will still be some growth and development to come just from the experience of playing through a postseason chase. But the team must briefly pause that and put a lot of stock into consistency, availability, versatility and impact down the stretch.

The Magic need wins, trailing the Knicks by a half-game for fourth in the Eastern Conference and leading the Pacers by 1.5 games for sixth and safety from the Play-In Tournament. There is a lot that is going to be decided in the next month.

The Magic need to play their best and have their lineup ready for the challenges ahead.

Some players like Paolo Banchero, Franz Wagner and Jalen Suggs, of course, have their minutes locked in but some have played their way into more minutes down the stretch while others may find themselves fighting for major minutes for this playoff chase.

As coach Jamahl Mosley weighs how to set his playoff rotation, he needs to use the season's final month to figure out who can step up to the plate and who does not have it.

As Orlando enters this critical eight-game homestand beginning Sunday, the team has to weigh whose stock is heading up ahead of the playoffs and who is heading down.