5 greatest Orlando Magic postseason killers

The Orlando Magic make their return to the postseason this year in what promises to be the first in a long run of new Playoff moments. As the Magic return, we look back at the players who still torment Magic fans.
Chauncey Billups is headed to the Basketball Hall of Fame after making a career torturing the Orlando Magic.
Chauncey Billups is headed to the Basketball Hall of Fame after making a career torturing the Orlando Magic. / KIRTHMON F. DOZIER, Detroit Free Press
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5 greatest Orlando Magic postseason killers

Allen Iverson, Philadelphia 76ers (1999)

The 1999 lockout season was weird.

The 50-game season saw a lot of players arrive to training camp out of shape and players around the league never really found their rhythm. It was just a weird season.

Everyone should be loathe to characterize anything during that season as disappointing. It was just a huge outlier from the way the NBA was played the year before and the year after.

The Orlando Magic should have been celebrating an unusually strong season despite all that. They finished 33-17 in the shortened season, tied with the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers for the top record in the Eastern Conference. The tiebreaker and the division championships sent them tumbling to third.

That is when they hit a buzzsaw in the form of Allen Iverson's playoff debut. Iverson did not disappoint and began a career of haunting the Magic.

Iverson torched the Magic in the 1999 first-round series with 28.3 points per game and 6.0 assists per game in his Playoff debut. He had 30 points in his Playoff debut as the Sixers stole homecourt advantage in a Game 1 win at the Orlando Arena.

He scored at least 30 points in three of the four games -- the only one he did not was the Magic's lone win in the series in Game 2. Iverson had 33 points and 10 steals in the critical Game 3 win that put the Magic on the verge of elimination in the best-of-five series.

Iverson closed the series out with 37 points and nine assists. And that officially ended the Shaq and Penny era for the Magic. Anfernee Hardaway averaged only 19.0 points per game and the team shot an icy 37.6 percent.

It was Anfernee Hardaway and Nick Anderson's final game in a Magic uniform. The last bits of the 1995 Finals team were traded that summer to begin the teardown that would turn into the Heart and Hustle team.

The Magic never faced Iverson in the Playoffs again. But he tortured the Magic throughout his career, averaging 27.7 points per game and 7.2 assists per game in 40 games against the Magic. That included a 60-point effort in Dwight Howard's rookie year in 2005.