Brooklyn Nets and Orlando Magic Clinch NBA Playoff Berths
In two of the more feel-good stories of the year, the Brooklyn Nets and Orlando Magic – two teams viewed as lock for the lottery prior to the season starting – have secured postseason births.
The Nets are back into the playoffs for the first time since 2015 after an impressive 108-96 win at Indiana against the Pacers. In a remarkable turnaround, the Nets have shown that you don’t need high draft picks or flashy All-Star free agents to rebuild a team. Organizational savvy and internal improvement are the main ingredients that have allowed Brooklyn a return to playoff basketball.
With a win over the Miami Heat in their regular-season finale on Wednesday, the Nets can clinch the sixth seed and set up a meeting with the Philadelphia 76ers in round one of the playoffs.
Then there is the Orlando Magic, who will be making their first playoff appearance since 2012. The road to has been much more difficult for the Magic, as missed lottery picks and disappointing free agent signings repeatedly set the franchise back.
This year, they came in with a new coach in Steve Clifford and set a goal for themselves to finally make the playoffs again. Yesterday’s 116-108 win at Boston against the Celtics means they are officially in.
The Magic have been red-hot as of late, going 8-2 in their last 10 games and defeating some elite teams. They have mainly relied on a 6-7 man rotation, with their starters and Terrence Ross coming off the bench.
It appears very likely that the Magic will finish in 7thand set up a meeting with the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the playoffs.