The Orlando Magic clinched a playoff spot for the first time in seven seasons. Meanwhile, the Miami Heat crumbled in OT in Toronto and their playoff hopes are on thin ice.
Magic Are Back
To start with, after dealing with four different head coaches, five seasons with 50-plus losses, the Orlando Magic are back in the playoffs.
To begin with, Terrence Ross scored 14 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter as the Magic found their offense in the second half beating the Boston Celtics 116-108 on Sunday. Secondly, Nikola Vucevic finished with 25 points and 12 rebounds as Evan Fournier had 24 points.
Further, their latest victory clinched the franchise’s first playoff appearance since the 2011-12 season. This earned the Magic (41-40) their first Southeast Division title since 2010.
Lastly, Orlando’s playoff schedule will be out after the conclusion of the regular season on April 10.
Heat Facing Long Odds
First of all, the Heat are not eliminated from playoff contention yet, but face long odds to make it.
For instance, Sunday afternoon’s loss to the Raptors paired with the Hornets’ victory over the Pistons pushed the Heat down to 10th in the standings.
Count us out at your own risk.
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) April 8, 2019
But, the only way for the Heat to still make the playoffs is if they win both of its games, Detroit loses its two remaining games (Tuesday vs. Memphis and Wednesday at New York), and Charlotte loses one of its two remaining games (Tuesday at Cleveland and Wednesday vs. Orlando) as well.
“One Last Dance”
In spite of this, the Heat will honor Wade with a pregame ceremony Tuesday, with it possibly marking his final game at American Airlines Arena before he retires.
Prior to the Heat’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers, the franchise will celebrate what could be his final appearance in a Heat uniform.
McGruder Gets Waived
After the Miami Heat’s 117-109 OT loss against the Raptors, the Heat waived guard Rodney McGruder to dodge luxury tax.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 7, 2019
McGruder played three years in the NBA, all with the Miami Heat. He played 65 games for the Heat this season, starting 45 of them. He averaged 7.7 points and 3.6 rebounds per game, shooting 40.7 percent from the floor and 35.1 percent from 3-point range.
Lastly, the Heat signed forward Yante Maten, who was the 2018 SEC Player of the Year at Georgia.
OFFICIAL: The Miami HEAT have signed F Yante Maten.
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) April 7, 2019
Maten, who was originally signed to a two-way contract by the HEAT on July 29, earned All-NBA G League Second Team and NBA G League All-Rookie Team honors after appearing in 30 games (all starts) with Miami’s G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, this season.