Orlando Magic: 3 players who need to step up in NBA playoffs

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Orlando Magic

Orlando Magic, NBA playoffs (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Orlando Magic don’t have much of a hope of beating the Milwaukee Bucks in the playoffs, but if these three players step it up a notch it could be interesting.

As we approach the NBA playoffs, the feeling around the Orlando Magic right now could not be any different from last year’s squad, who got back to the postseason for the first time in seven years. There was a real belief that the franchise was finally turning things around, and a postseason berth seemed to back this up.

That five-game series loss to the Toronto Raptors started off perfectly too, as a D.J. Augustin buzzer-beater had the Magic 1-0 up against the eventual champions. They would go on to drop four straight, but some real positivity had returned to the organization. A positivity that was evident at times throughout this season as well.

That was until the Orlando Magic got to the NBA bubble, and after a promising start the wheels came off, badly. The ACL injury sustained by Jonathan Isaac was the sickening blow, creating a dark cloud around the team as their most promising young player went down with a long-term injury three games into returning from an already long layoff.

From there the Magic did what has so often plagued them in recent seasons. They drifted. Their offensive play had some spikes of positivity, but the malaise and general uninterested body language from many of their guys did little to inspire any confidence. Michael Carter-Williams, one of the few guys playing with real heart and energy, missing time didn’t help either.

Which is how the team arrives for their first-round series against a Milwaukee Bucks outfit that has designs on winning a championship.

Their failure to overtake the short-handed Brooklyn Nets, who themselves beat the Bucks in the bubble, for the seventh seed the reason they are where they are right now. If they want to sneak a game here, then they are going to need the following three players to really step it up over the next week or more.

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