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. Miami Heat

Regional rivalries do not get the same attention in today's NBA as they used to even a decade ago. The division matchups have lost a lot of importance as the standings are all about conference play. Rivalries are always made in the playoffs, but the schedule is so balanced that regional games have lost some meaning.

Still, ask any Orlando Magic fan and maybe ask players on the Magic, they will tell you games against the Miami Heat still mean something.

The Magic have been down the past decade during a golden age in Heat basketball that featured the two titles and four Finals appearances with LeBron James and then a continuation of that success with two Finals appearances in the last three seasons.

Games at the Amway/Kia Center have always been charged with Heat fans either traveling up from South Florida or jumping on the bandwagon. The Magic have rarely given Orlando fans a reason to fight back, even though there have been some classic games between the two teams during this decade-long rebuild.

The Magic scored a big overtime win late last year. And even in defeat earlier this week, Magic fans were loud and shouted out Heat fans even as the team had its worst home performance of the year.

Marquee games between these two teams in Orlando are supercharged and have that big-game feel.

It may not be a big game for the Heat. But for the Magic, it still feels very big. Miami is a team Orlando is measuring itself against and a team Orlando knows it will have to climb over to get where it wants to be at the top of the Eastern Conference.

These games still have a lot of meaning and would create a good atmosphere for a holiday game.

What is astonishing is how rarely the two franchises have been good at the same time. They have faced off in just one playoff series. And that was back in 1997. That might well change this year with both the Magic and the Heat fighting for the 4-seed at this stage of the season.

This would be a great matchup to feature on Christmas Day.