How the Orlando Magic stack up with potential Eastern Conference playoff opponents

The Orlando Magic are positioned for their first playoff appearance in five years. With a young squad hungry for postseason success, here is a look at how they stack up against each potential Eastern Conference playoff opponent when records turn to seeds.
Indiana Pacers v Orlando Magic
Indiana Pacers v Orlando Magic / Don Juan Moore/GettyImages
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How the Orlando Magic stack up with each playoff opponent

Cleveland Cavaliers (5th East)

While the Orlando Magic currently sit third in the Eastern Conference, the Indiana Pacers lurk just 1.5 games behind in sixth place. That, coupled with the Orlando Magic's tough trio of games against the Milwaukee Bucks and Phildelphia 76ers to end the season, could see the Magic slip down to the sixth spot by the end of the year.

There is a lot of shuffling left to happen this season. The Magic sit in third for now, but could easily fall into the 4/5 matchup or all the way down to six by the time things end.

Enter the Cleveland Cavaliers. They have occupied the third spot in the Eastern Conference for much of the season despite star guard Donovan Mitchell being out due to a litany of injuries dating back to the beginning of the calendar year.

This seems like the most likely matchup for the Magic if they fall to the 4/5 matchup. The Cavaliers have struggled lately especially, losing eight of their last 11 games to throw their spot in the standings into disarray.

Orlando has done fairly well matching up against Cleveland without Mitchell in the lineup but struggle to continue with the added All-Star:

Orlando Magic vs CLE

With Donovan Mitchell

Without D. Mitchell

Team PPG



FG% (3P%)

47.0 (24.5)

51.2 (56.0)










Looking specifically at the teams' last matchup with a fully healthy Cavaliers lineup on Jan. 22, the Magic felt the effects of not only a multi-time All-Star in Mitchell (who went for 25 points and 13 assists in 30 minutes), but also the array of three-point shooting all across Cleveland's lineup.

Eight threes from guard Sam Merrill, led the way to 20 deep ones for the Cavs -- compared to 11 for the Magic.

That is right around the Magic's average this year - but that 11.1 threes per game mark ties them for dead last in the NBA in makes. Every single team Orlando will face this postseason will be shooting at a higher clip than them - even if it is just team average.

This is a pitfall that has plagued this young sparkplug offense.

They are a top-five unit in defending the three-point line (fourth, giving up 11.4 makes per game) but have won just four of 14 games where teams have made more than 15 threes in a game, including the loss to the Sacramento Kings in January where Orlando set franchise-record with 25 threes.

This series will come down to which offense will step up to the task of playing above their averages in a seven-game series.

Both teams rely heavily on their top-10 defenses (third for Orlando, seventh for Cleveland in defensive rating). The series may turn on a hot-shooting game like in the Jan. 22 game for the Cavs and the Feb. 22 for the Magic (14 threes on 56 percent from deep) could make either offense tough to stop if it does continue for multiple games.