Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters (11) celebrates sinking a 3-point basket in front of Dallas Mavericks' Dorian Finney-Smith (10) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Dallas, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Magic and Heat fight for spots in the 2019 playoffs

Going into the second half of the 2018-2019 NBA season, both the Orlando Magic and the Miami Heat look for eligibility in this year’s playoffs. With the top five team slots seemingly locked up, both teams will be fighting for a place in the last three.

The regular season starts up again this Thursday with Miami currently the ninth seed and Orlando at tenth. Let’s take a closer look at what each team will be facing in the second half of this season.

Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon (00) drives past New Orleans Pelicans guard Kenrich Williams (34) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)

Orlando Magic

Record: 27-32

With 23 games left in their season, the Magic have a favorable remaining schedule. This doesn’t mean securing their spot will be easy. The Magic will still face the Raptors and the Pacers twice, the Celtics, and the 76ers.

Consistency is the keyword for Orlando in the second half of season play. After a five-game win streak, the Magic have the momentum to remain consistent and earn a spot in the top eight.

Miami Heat

Record: 26-30

In the past few weeks, the Heat have dropped from seventh to ninth in the Eastern Conference standings. After losing six of the past eight games, Miami will need to find a way to turn it around if they hope for a shot in the top eight.

The schedule for the second half of the Miami season is another factor for the team. Of the five teams competing for playoff spots, the Heat have the most difficult schedule in the upcoming weeks. Even with many factors unfavorable to Miami, the team still has a shot at postseason play.

Currently hold the last three playoff spots in conference play are the Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornet, and Detroit Pistons.

Those are the three teams the Magic and Heat are looking to unseat in the second half of the season.




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