Why the Orlando Magic should play on Christmas in 2024, and 5 opponents to match them with

The Orlando Magic have not played on Christmas Day since Dwight Howard's final season in 2011-12. The team still has a ways to go, but their time in the spotlight is coming. Here is what games Magic fans should hope to unwrap next Winter.
Paolo Banchero and the Orlando Magic will be making waves in the NBA soon and could put in a bid for a Christmas Day game soon.
Paolo Banchero and the Orlando Magic will be making waves in the NBA soon and could put in a bid for a Christmas Day game soon. / Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
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5 Orlando Magic games for Christmas Day 2024

vs. Indiana Pacers

You have to fully acknowledge that the NBA's Christmas Day schedule is solely based on what will get eyeballs on the TV. That is why the New York Knicks have gotten Christmas Day games the last three years and six of the last eight years (Monday's win over the Milwaukee Bucks was their first in that span) despite making the playoffs just twice in that span.

The big market bias is a real thing. The league is going to go to the players and the teams it knows it can bank on for viewership.

But why not go the opposite way with that noon slot? Why not give a slot in the Christmas Day schedule to feature some up-and-coming teams?

The NBA does a very poor job making its stars. It lets the Playoffs handle that rather than being proactive with teams and players who are performing well. Barring a major injury, they seem to change their preseason national TV schedule rarely.

The Magic seem to be a perfect team to try to feature against other up-and-coming young teams in the league. They can create an entertaining style of play.

There are plenty of options to do this. The Orlando Magic and Oklahoma City Thunder will face off on Feb. 13. The Houston Rockets might also be a great game between two up-and-coming teams -- and another sliding doors moment from the 2022 Draft -- to feature.

But let's give some love to the success and potential stardom from our friends in Indianapolis.

The Indiana Pacers have struggled since making the In-Season Tournament Final. But there was undeniable magic to the way they played on those featured games. And Tyrese Haliburton looked like a true superstar throughout the tournament -- especially in elimination game wins over the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks.

It is frankly bad business that the NBA did not try to take advantage of that moment and put the Pacers on national TV more -- they are still slated for just one national TV game against the Celtics in late January.

The Pacers play an entertaining style of basketball where they get up and down and hoist a lot of threes. The Magic have been seemingly the only team really to solve that problem, holding the Pacers to 116 and 110 points in their two wins at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

This is a budding young rivalry between two of the up-and-coming teams in the East. And this could easily be a potential playoff matchup in the years to come.