Why the In-Season Tournament Matters for the Magic

The festivities at the Amway Center hold a bit more weight than usual this Black Friday, as the Orlando Magic (9-5) hosts the Boston Celtics (11-3) at 2:30. This game will cap-off the group stage of the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament for the Magic. Orlando is currently 2-1 through three games, with a loss to the Nets and wins against the Bulls and Raptors.

I want to make this very simple - If the Magic win on Friday against Boston, they position themselves well heading into the following Tuesday where the East Group C will be decided. If the Magic lose on Friday, they all but eliminate themselves from making it to the Knockout Round.

Therefor, I think this game elevates far above a Friday afternoon game against a top-tier team in November. I think this game is going to have mini Game 7 vibes to it. For one thing, there is gold EVERYWHERE on these In-Season courts, a color that is often associated with postseason success - something the Magic have not had in quite awhile. This win-or-go-home scenario simulates an elimination game in the postseason in a sense. Yes, POSTSEASON. That's uncommon ground for an Orlando squad that only has two playoff appearances over the last decade, and have not advanced past the first round since the 2009-2010 season.

In fact, the only players with any form of postseason experience on this Magic team is Jonathan Isaac, Gary Harris, and Joe Ingles. This game could teach this team a valuable lesson on how to win when youR backs are against the wall. For BK and I's full thoughts, check out the segment from earlier today on In The Zone. Give it a listen at the podcast below.

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