3 Playoff Preview matchups for the Orlando Magic to circle on the calendar

The Orlando Magic are just more than a month away from making their first playoff appearance in four years. As they push through the last 20-plus games of the season, here are three matchups against fellow Eastern Conference playoff teams that provide a litmus test for the Magic's ceiling this summer.

New York Knicks v Orlando Magic
New York Knicks v Orlando Magic / Rich Storry/GettyImages
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Welcome to March. And welcome, Orlando Magic fans, to a position this team has not been a part of in more than a decade.

Potential playoff matchups! Winning records! "Can we beat this team and that team in the postseason" conversations!

This is an unfamilliar ground in Orlando.

Sitting at 34-26 entering Sunday's game against the Detroit Pistons, the Orlando Magic have not had a winning record at this point in the season since the 2011 lockout season - where Orlando had a 23-14 record on March 1. The last full season? The year prior, where the Dwight Howard era was descending from its peak.

This is not 2019 when the Magic rallied to reach the Playoffs and finish 42-40 -- the only time they have had a winning record since Dwight Howard's final season in 2012.

In 2024, things are much different. This era is on its way up -- a 21-year-old All-Star leading the way, surrounded by a bunch of hungry 20-somethings (and Joe Ingles).

Six weeks remain until the end of the regular season. The Orlando Magic have the easiest remaining schedule in the league -- apart from the closing trio of games, at the Milwaukee Bucks, at the Philadelphia 76ers and finishing at home vs. the Bucks, that will be the determining factor to a high playoff seeding.

The Magic are in the thick of a playoff race. And there are going to be some games that will give them a feel for what the postseason may be like.

Before the team gets to the Playoffs, here are three Playoff Preview matchups to circle on the calendar as the season winds down.