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

8. Miami Heat (37-31)
Home/Road: 9/5
Opponent Win%: .481 (6th easiest)
Biggest Game Left: April 7 at Indiana
Games Left vs. Magic (Season Series): None (MIA Leads 3-1)

The refrain from Orlando Magic fans has to be, "Anybody but Miami."

At this point, everybody in the Eastern Conference has appropriate fear for the Miami Heat. They just always know to show up at this time of the year and their seed does not matter. They play a grimy style that works in the Playoffs.

A young team like the Magic wants nothing to do with an inexperienced team. Barring a really bad stretch to the end the season, it feels like the Magic will avoid a 7/8 Play-In Game against them.

But of all the teams chasing the Magic for a spot in the Playoffs proper or for the 4/5 matchup, the Heat might be the most dangerous. Their schedule sets up extremely favorably for them.

They play nine of their final 14 games at Kaseya Center, where the Heat are just 17-15. Perhaps that is a sign that things are not so easy.

Still, outside of the Magic's current eight-game homestand, nobody is enjoying the comforts of home quite like Miami to close the season. And the Heat's games are more spread out whereas the Magic get all their home games at once.

The Miami Heat will have a four-game homestand that features the New Orleans Pelicans (March 22, the day after facing the Orlando Magic), Cleveland Cavaliers (March 24), Golden State Warriors (March 26, the day before heading to Orlando) and Portland Trail Blazers (March 29).

They close the season with the Dallas Mavericks (April 10) and two against the Toronto Raptors (April 12 and 14) at home. That is a favorable finish and a chance for them to make up ground for sure.

Their road games are not daunting either. They face the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday on the road and the Indiana Pacers on April 7. But other than that, they are facing manageable teams on the road.

The Heat could easily make a late charge. They are not far enough out of this to make a run considering their reputation. Then again, the Heat know how to manage themselves too.

Next. Magic Starting Lineup 03.19.24. Orlando Magic's starting lineup powering team to playoffs. dark

Everyone should know better than to count them out.