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NBA Bubble Wrap: The Orlando Magic

Who will be the last team to pop the bubble?

Aaron Gordon Dunk by Jose Garcia is licensed under CC BY 2.0

NBA Bubble Wrap: The Orlando Magic

Estimated Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Well, the 2020 NBA Playoffs are upon us. With its Disney Bubble premise in full effect, the 16 teams are squaring off to determine this year’s champion. While it’s hard to think that there won’t be an asterisk next to the 2020 title, a champion will be crowned.

The NBA is a fickle beast. Star-driven and tank-friendly, teams in the dumpster one year can be the king of the mountain the next. With that, stakes are high for almost every team as they make their playoff run, with sought-after stars often heading for greener pastures if they feel their squad can’t get over the hump. 

We’re looking at each of the NBA playoff contenders and diving into what’s at stake for each team, the odds of making a deep run, and key storylines to watch. 

Let’s hit the Orlando Magic.

Orlando Magic

Expectations: None?

This team ranks near the top in terms of “worst teams to make the playoffs”, given their sub .500 record. They’re the only real “home team”, but without fans, even that isn’t a plus for their squad. They find themselves facing the Milwaukee Bucks to start off the postseason. Did I mention that Giannis Antetokounmpo is rested, after serving a one game suspension? So yeah, I’d venture to guess hopes aren’t high and this is more of a “we’re just glad to be here” kind of vibe.

What’s Working for Them

Youth may be their biggest asset. It may not do them much good this postseason, especially given their opponent, but they have a good core of young talent that could make a splash for years to come. Also – the last time an 8 seed took down a 1 seed was during a shortened season (2011-2012 Philadelphia 76ers knocked out the Chicago Bulls), so there’s that.

What Might Hold Them Back:

Injuries. Plain and simple. They’ve been rocked by the injury bug since the bubble started up. Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier, Michael Carter-Williams, and Terrence Ross have all missed time. They also lost Jonathan Isaac to a torn ACL in their second game back. Further, Mo Bamba has left the team again after initially returning from coronavirus. Having to juggle lineups as a result of all of this makes it hard for any group of guys to find a rhythm together on the floor. A daunting task is made even harder…

Storyline to Watch

Perhaps the most intriguing thing to keep an eye on for this series will be whether or not the Bucks continue to struggle. Since the restart, Milwaukee has been inconsistent and underwhelming, finishing at 3-5. Will their lackluster showing in Orlando make this more of a series than most expect? We’ll just have to tune in to find out for sure.

Joe is an actor who grew up eating, living and breathing sports. He spent many an afternoon on the soccer or baseball field in his youth (and even gave several other sports a shot) before a series of events put him on the path to pursuing a performing career. Subsequently, he's worked almost every other type of job you could imagine while trying to support that endeavor. Whenever he's not working any of those jobs, he can often be found watching, playing or discussing sports in some way. Most of that banter revolves around the Mets, Giants, Rangers or Manchester United. His short term goal is to fully convert his fiance into a rabid sports fan, not someone who leaves the room whenever he turns a game on.

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