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

7. Indiana Pacers (38-31)
Home/Road: 5/8
Opponent Win%: .485 (12th easiest)
Biggest Game Left: April 7 vs. Miami
Games Left vs. Magic (Season Series): None (ORL Leads 2-1)

The Indiana Pacers have a weird split that they will be working to solve the rest of their season.

The Pacers are pretty solid against good teams in the league -- 20-19 against teams with record better than .500. Only the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks are better than the Indiana Pacers against teams with records better than .500.

The Pacers though are only 18-12 against teams with record worse than .500. Only the 10-seed Atlanta Hawks have a worse record against teams below .500 in the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

So if Monday's loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers felt a little bit weightier and more important. That might be why. Not that the game was easy. But the Pacers losing an early double-digit lead doe snot inspire confidence that their offense-first style is going to work in the Playoffs.

The Pacers have to take care of their business. And they will have plenty of opportunity to do so with the Detroit Pistons (Wednesday), Brooklyn Nets (April 1 and 3) and Toronto Raptors (April 9) still on the schedule.

Whether the Pacers will make that push for to avoid the Play-In is going to be determined based on how they handle their NCAA Tournament road trip that begins Wednesday in Detroit and takes them out West to face the Golden State Warriors (March 22), Los Angeles Lakers (March 24) and LA Clippers (March 25) before bringing them back East to face the Chicago Bulls (March 27).

Yuck. That is a bad road trip.

The Orlando Magic, who lead the Indiana Pacers by 2.5 games now, will have their own challenging schedule during that stretch. But the Magic will be at home that entire time. They could put a lot of cushion between them and the Pacers.

The good news for Indiana might be that an April 5 game at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder is the only remaining game against a title contender.

The April 7 game at Gainbridge Fieldhouse against the Miami Heat looms as the most important game remaining on the schedule. The Pacers currently lead the Heat by a half-game for seventh in the Eastern Conference. That game could determine whether the Pacers skip the Play-In Tournament or whether they host the 7/8 Play-In Game.