4 Orlando Magic games the NBA should flex onto national TV

The Orlando Magic are going to be front and center in the postseason chase to close the season. That should get the team some attention and potentially a few national TV games added to the schedule. I didn't think so.

Paolo Banchero and the Orlando Magic should be due for some more attention as he jumps into the All-Star Game this year. The postseason chase should get the Orlando Magic at least one more national TV game.
Paolo Banchero and the Orlando Magic should be due for some more attention as he jumps into the All-Star Game this year. The postseason chase should get the Orlando Magic at least one more national TV game. / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
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The Orlando Magic have not had much reason to be in the spotlight for the last decade.

They have had one All-Star player and just two postseason appearances since Dwight Howard's departure in August 2012. It has been a long fallow period. There has been really no reason to pay attention to the Magic from a national perspective.

Nobody is criticizing the NBA and its TV partners for being a bit hesitant to put the Magic on TV then. There just is no proven track record of success or a star to attach attention to.

That is changing though.

The Orlando Magic will get its lone scheduled national TV appearance one week from Tuesday when they host the Oklahoma City Thunder -- the same night they will retire Shaquille O'Neal's No. 32 (he will be broadcasting the game).

But that is it for this team. And it is especially frustrating considering the Magic have one of the more promising young players in the league and a probable All-Star this year when the reserves are announced Thursday.

Paolo Banchero still ended up finishing fifth in All-Star voting, ending fourth in the player vote and sixth in the fan vote. That suggests that both fans and Banchero's peers are paying attention to his play and what the Magic are doing.

Whether Orlando's mid-season swoon that has dropped them closer to .500 and to seventh in the Eastern Conference affects Banchero's All-Star push will be determined this week. That drop may affect the Magic's attractiveness to get flexed into national TV games.

But the Magic should probably be getting the league executives' eye as the season ends. There are plenty of intriguging games left on the schedule that should generate some interest.

Orlando deserves another national TV game, even if it needs a good opponent to prop it up. The league should be looking for ways to feature one of the young, up-and-coming teams before they get a spotlight in the Playoffs (where national TV appearances are actually earned for the next season).

It still feels pretty appalling that the Magic had the No. 1 pick and the Rookie of the Year and have had to wait until nearly the All-Star Break to get on national TV (recognizing they had their lone appearance pulled early last year).

Orlando's last nationally televised game outside of the bubble was a January 2020 matchup in Boston. The team has not had a home nationally televised game since the Miami Heat's 27-game win streak in 2013. The Magic have existed outside of the national narrative.

Orlando is starting to move into that conversation though. It is not just having Banchero as a potential All-Star. It is the Magic being in the playoff conversation.

As the season gets past the All-Star Break, the national TV partners are going to have to consider putting the Magic on national TV at least a few more times. If anything, the Magic should be in competitive and important games as the season winds down with how tight the race is for the Eastern Conference Play-In Tournament spots.

With the second half of the season ahead for the Magic, here are a few games the league should look to move onto national TV, updating our list from the beginning of the season.