Ranking the Orlando Magic's potential first-round playoff matchups

The Orlando Magic are set to return to the Playoffs for the first time since 2020. They are not fighting to the end of the season to make the field. They are fighting for homecourt advantage. So it is time to consider their best matchups.

Orlando Magic v Indiana Pacers
Orlando Magic v Indiana Pacers / Justin Casterline/GettyImages
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With 19 games left, the Orlando Magic are sitting squarely in the 4-seed in the Eastern Conference and control their chances at getting homecourt advantage in the first round. With one of the easier strength of schedules left and a home-heavy finish to the season (we are two weeks away from starting an eight-game homestand), it is officially time to start looking at first-round playoff matchups.

Now, strength of schedule is not always a true indication of future wins, especially in a league where just about every team has the talent to win on any given night.

But in this case, Magic fans can feel pretty confident. The team has won 12 of its last 15 games and is playing with tons of confidence right now. They are riding the longest win streak in the NBA (5 games) and have been taking care of business against inferior competition.

Even though the win over the Washington Wizards took a 21-point comeback, the Magic are continuing to prove their playmaking and defensive intensity will take them places this season (and beyond).

Looking at the bigger picture standings, the Magic enter Thursday's game a half-game up on the New York Knicks in fifth. But only two games separate the Orlando Magic from the 8-seed Indiana Pacers

The standings are extremely tight and there is a lot of work to do to secure the team's playoff position. But it is hard to imagine the Magic falling out of the top eight, even if the team has to go through the 7/8 Play-In Game.

If you want to dream in the other direction, the Orlando Magic are 3.5 games behind the Cleveland Cavaliers for the 3-seed and four full games behind the Milwaukee Bucks for second. The Cavs have been slipping just a little bit at 5-5 in their last 10 games.

It would be a tall task, but I do not think you can fully say the Magic are out of the hunt for the 3 seed.

With the next two games against the Knicks and Pacers, the standings may be a little clearer after this weekend. But as it stands right now the East is going to go down to the wire for seeding.

All playoff opponents are still in play for the Magic. Some are more favorable than others.

Either way, it feels good the Magic can play with just about anyone in the conference and will be a true threat to win a series or two.