The Path to 50 Wins: The Orlando Magic's remaining schedule

The Orlando Magic are on the home stretch with 12 games left in the year. With 42 wins in tow, they have the chance to continue climbing the standings and flirt with 50 wins.

Toronto Raptors v Orlando Magic
Toronto Raptors v Orlando Magic / Rich Storry/GettyImages

The season is coming to an end.

The Orlando Magic (42-28) have only 12 games left in the regular season and would like to finish in the top four of the Eastern Conference.

They took over that spot from the New York Knicks thanks to their win over the New Orleans Pelicans and the Knicks' loss to the Denver Nuggets. It will be a neck-and-neck race for homecourt advantage in the playoffs (the Knicks have a game in hand).

Do not look now, but the Orlando Magic are tracking down the Cleveland Cavaliers for third too, trailing by 1.5 games. They will be in a tight playoff race the rest of the way.

Every game is going to matter.

Orlando is done with the easy part of the schedule. The Magic have the 14th hardest schedule remaining by opponent win percentage (.501) including games with the LA Clippers and two against the Milwaukee Bucks late in the season. Orlando will have its work cut out for it.

Their last stretch of games are going to be tough. But ultimately the Magic should eye finishing the regular season with 50-plus wins, the first time the Magic will have done that since 2011.

What do the Magic have left and what are those chances? Let's break down the path to 50 wins for the Magic:

March 23: vs. Sacramento Kings

This is going to be a fun and exciting, up-and-down type of game between two of the younger up-and-coming teams in the NBA. They did go to double overtime after all in January when the Magic were extremely undermanned (and Franz Wagner went out with a sprained ankle early in the game).

The Orlando Magic will want to send a message to one of the better teams in the Western Conference and if they win this game they will gain more national respect, especially coming after the win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday.

The Sacramento Kings do have an attack-first point guard in De'Aaron Fox and a monster off of the bench in Malik Monk. But the combination of Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner will be too much for the Kings.

The Kings are still looking to prove themselves in the NBA with two All-Star-type players in Fox and Sabonis. The Sacramento Kings have not matched last year's breakthrough season -- and a loss Thursday to the Washington Wizards will make them stew -- but this is always an entertaining showdown.

March 27: vs. Golden State Warriors

This game is going to be the battle of two different styles.

The Golden State Warriors want to shoot from deep and the Orlando Magic want to take high-percentage shots near the rim.

This game will be close, but the interior defense from Orlando should be able to control the paint, score and defend at a high level. The Magic should be able to beat the Warriors in the Kia Center -- especially with the Warriors coming from Miami on a back-to-back.

Stephen Curry will be on a mission to get his guys out of the Play-In situation that they are in. Ultimately, the Magic will win this game as well and put another loss on the Warriors' record.

March 29: vs. LA Clippers

This is the type of game that will have Paolo Banchero motivated because the last time these two matched up, the LA Clippers spanked the Orlando Magic at the beginning of the year.

Banchero did not have his best night either, scoring only 15 points in 32 minutes.

The Magic should win. But honestly, this one will probably be the hardest game to win because the Clippers are in a championship or bust type of scenario with guys like Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Russell Westbrook and James Harden on one roster.

March 30: vs. Memphis Grizzlies

No Ja Morant, no problem. Just do not remember the Orlando Magic's struggles in the loss to the Memphis Grizzlies in Memphis last month.

Although these are the type of games that Magic cannot afford to lose, they lost to the Grizzlies earlier in the year. But at this point in the year playoff teams have to win the games they are supposed to win and beat the teams they are supposed to beat.

The Magic should be on a nice winning streak by the time they play and the Magic will be looking for revenge from the narrow one-point loss against the Grizzles back in January. I think this game starts tight but in the end the Magic will end up blowing out one of the worst teams in the Western Conference.

April 1: vs. Portland Trail Blazers

Like the Memphis Grizzlies, the Portland Trail Blazers are rebuilding for the future. The Orlando Magic have had no problems dispatching teams like the Portland Trail Blazers all season. The Orlando Magic are 26-6 against teams with records below .500, the most wins against such teams in the Eastern Conference, tied with the Boston Celtics.

Orlando played Portland in the team's second game of the season and beat them 102-97. That was a long time ago of course.

This last matchup will probably be a game where Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner can rest in the fourth quarter because of the game being out of reach. The Blazers have the fourth-worst net rating in the league.

Banchero did not have his best game that night as he only put up 14 points in a winning effort. This time Banchero should have his way against a team looking for another lottery pick.

April 3: at New Orleans Pelicans

This is where the winning streak may stop as the Orlando Magic hit the road after the end of their eight-game homestand.

Home-court advantage really matters in the NBA, and this is one of the reasons why New Orleans will be in position to take this victory. The Pelicans are 20-13 inside the Smoothie King Center this year. Orlando has a losing away record this season which is why they will more than likely drop the first game they play outside of Orlando in more than two weeks.

Plus New Orleans should have some vengeance on the mind after the way Thursday's game played out.

April 5: at Charlotte Hornets

The Orlando Magic should not be down too long after any loss the rest of the way. There are still games the magic should get.

The game against the Charlotte Hornets should be an easy win for the Orlando Magic just like it has been all year long against the LaMelo Ball-less Hornets. The Magic will sweep the Hornets on the season series and gain more confidence as they get closer to the end.

Although Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner combined for only 24 points, the Magic ended up blowing out the Hornets 112-92 earlier this week, leading by as much as 41 points. That is how these games have gone this year.

April 7: at Chicago Bulls

This game will be closer than people think mainly because the Chicago Bulls will still be fighting for a spot in the Play-In and they cannot afford to keep losing at this point in the year. Not to mention all three of the Magic's games against the Bulls have come down to the final possession in regulation.

Orlando should still slip past Chicago and beat a team they are supposed to beat.

The last time the Magic played the Bulls, it went into overtime but Franz Wagner showed his true potential by carrying the team with 36 points, three rebounds and five assists. These are the types of games the Magic's coaching staff needs to get some quality time for guys off the bench to build confidence within the second unit.

The Bulls are no pushover. But Orlando has had Chicago's number all year.

April 9: at Houston Rockets

This game will more than likely go down to the wire as well because the Houston Rockets are starting to move in the right direction and have been very strong at home with a 24-11 record.

The Orlando Magic better come to play because they could lose this game if they are not in the right mindset heading into a difficult three-game road trip to wind down the season.

The last time these two saw each other it was the Magic's first game of the year and a 30-point blowout victory. This game was a head-scratcher because not many people thought the Magic were 30 points better than the Rockets. The Rockets will be looking for revenge after that drubbing and the Magic will slip by the Rockets in a narrow win.

April 10: at Milwaukee Bucks

This could be the battle for the second seed and a game the Orlando Magic will want to win. Unfortunately, this game will be really difficult for the Magic to win no only because of the opponent because of the difficult travel from Houston the night before.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard are starting to work better together as the Milwaukee Bucks eye a title run this postseason.

The last time these two Eastern Conference powerhouses matched up, it was the Bucks who came out on top 118-114. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 37 points in the matchup and Paolo Banchero had 29. The Magic will be on a nice winning streak but this one will end no different and the Bucks will take the 2-1 series lead over the Magic.

April 12: at Philadelphia 76ers

It is not yet clear if reigning MVP Joel Embiid will make an appearance in this one. But even if he does the Orlando Magic should be able to pull off the victory. And they should have enough breathing room that this game will not have standings significance.

It will be tough but the Magic have proven to be one of the better teams in the league.

The last time these two matched up Joel Embiid did play and had 36 points, along with 32 from his new sidekick Tyrese Maxey. Paolo Banchero only scored 14 points and Franz Wagner did not play in the loss.

This time the Magic will have vengeance on the brain and a chance to win more than 50 games with a victory over Philadelphia.

April 14: vs. Milwaukee Bucks

The last game of the season is going to be more like a coronation of the Orlando Magic's unbelievable season. I believe that the Magic will be losing this game by double digits and then make a miraculous comeback to end the season in storybook fashion.

The game will be played in Orlando and this could be the game that determines who has the second seed in the Eastern Conference. The Magic will seize the moment, understand the mission, and realize how important it will be for them to get home court until the Eastern Conference Finals with a narrow victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.

The last game is anybody's guess. Who even knows who will play as the last game of the season always feels a bit off. But the Magic will want to celebrate the final day of the regular season at home one way or another.

So my prediction is that the Orlando Magic will finish the year 52-30 and end up being the second seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. We will see if the Magic can end the season strong and extend their winning streak.

dark. Next. Magic sleeping 03.21.24. Everyone is still sleeping on the Orlando Magic

Even if that is a bit optimistic, the fact that it is at least in the realm of possibility is a clear sign of how much this team has grown. Fifty wins is certainly attainable.