What the Orlando Magic's playoff competitors have left on their schedule

The Orlando Magic ample opportunity to take care of their business and secure a high seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. They, like everyone else, will spend their off nights scoreboard watching. It might be just as important what everyone else has left too.

Franz Wagner and the Orlando Magic are preparing for their stretch run to the Playoffs. They will navigate a difficult schedule on the way.
Franz Wagner and the Orlando Magic are preparing for their stretch run to the Playoffs. They will navigate a difficult schedule on the way. / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
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What the Orlando Magic's playoff competitors have left on their schedule

5. Orlando Magic (40-28)
Home/Road: 9/5
Opponent Win%: .492 (15th hardest)
Biggest Game Left: April 12 at Philadelphia

When the schedule came out in August, everyone who looked at the Orlando Magic's path to the postseason knew all they had to do was get to the All-Star Break and their post-All-Star schedule would set up for their success.

Orlando has taken advantage of that soft part in the schedule. The team has gone 10-3 since the All-Star Break. That includes a 10-1 record against teams outside of the playoff picture. The Magic have feasted all year in games like this.

For a young team then, the late-season losses to the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers feel big. They were opportunities to prove the magic could also beat playoff-level teams.

The soft part of the schedule ends though after Tuesday's game against the Charlotte Hornets. The Magic are going to start seeing a real challenge.

And whether they hold onto the 5-seed, compete for the 3- or 4-seed likely gets determined in the next four games -- vs. the New Orleans Pelicans (Thursday), Sacramento Kings (Saturday), Golden State Warriors (March 27) and LA Clippers (March 29).

All of those games might be at the Kia Center and the comforts of home, but they are all against playoff-level teams. The Magic still have to prove themselves.

The challenges only grow from there. The cost of their eight-game homestand is finishing with five of their final seven on the road.

Their final three-game road trip includes an insane Houston-to-Milwaukee back-to-back (April 9 and 10). That game against the Milwaukee Bucks may have seeding implications with the Orlando Magic chasing the Bucks.

That road trip concludes in the penultimate game against the Philadelphia 76ers in Philadelphia on April 12. The Magic lead the 76ers by two games for fifth at the moment. And Philadelphia is hoping to have Joel Embiid back by the first week of April.

That game suddenly seems like it will have everything on the line for the Magic. It is not an easy road home.