For Orlando fans the 2022-23 season is over, so now is the time to look at the 2023 NBA Playoffs; with a touch of MAGIC thrown in! So whether you cheer for ex-Magic players or another favourite team here is what we at Orlando Magic U.K. are thinking.
What You Need To Know For The 2023 NBA Playoffs
The Play-In Tournament
The 7th seeded team in each conference hosts the team in 8th in a single winner-takes-all Play-In Game (the “Seven-Eight Game”). The winner of the Seven-Eight Game in each conference progresses to playoff as the 7th seed in the playoffs for its conference.
The team seeded 9th in each conference will host the team in 10th, with the loser of this game being eliminated from the postseason. The winner of each Nine-Ten Game in its conference then travels to face the loser of the Seven-Eight Game. This is another win-or-go-home-game, as the winner will be the 8th seed in the playoffs for its conference.
2023 NBA Playoffs Key Dates
The 2023 NBA Playoffs remain as a best-of-7-games format and these are the dates that you need to know.
- April 11-14: NBA play-in tournament
- April 15: NBA playoffs begin
- May 1-2: NBA Conference Semifinals begin (possible move-up to April 29-30)
- May 16-17: NBA Conference Finals begin (possible move-up to May 14-15)
- June 1: NBA Finals 2023 Game 1
- June 4: NBA Final Game 2
- June 7: NBA Final Game 3
- June 9: NBA Final Game 4
- June 12, 15, 18: NBA Finals 2023 Game 5, 6 and 7 (if necessary)
Former Orlando Magic Players In The 2023 NBA Playoffs
Here we are just going to mention those still playing. Technically, we could have included Pat Beverley (Bulls) and Joe Harris (Nets) who were acquired and immediately waived by the Magic. There was also Seth Curry (76ers), who was with the Magic for the 2014 Summer League.
The Eastern Conference
The Play-In Tournament
- Seed 7 – Miami Heat – Victor Oladipo
- Seed 8 – Atlanta Hawks – No former Orlando Magic player
- Seed 9 – Toronto Raptors – Jeff Dowtin Jr, Otto Porter Jr
- Seed 10 – Chicago Bulls – Nikola Vucevic
The Top 6
- Seed 1 – Milwaukee Bucks – No former Orlando Magic player
- Seed 2 – Boston Celtics – No former Orlando Magic player
- Seed 3 – Philadelphia 76ers – Tobias Harris, Dewayne Dedmon
- Seed 4 – Cleveland Cavaliers – Robin Lopez
- Seed 5 – New York Knicks – Evan Fournier
- Seed 6 – Brooklyn Nets – No former Orlando Magic player
The Western Conference
The Play-In Tournament
- Seed 7 – Los Angeles Lakers – Mo Bamba
- Seed 8 – Minnesota Timberwolves – No former Orlando Magic player
- Seed 9 – New Orleans Pelicans – No former Orlando Magic player
- Seed 10 – Oklahoma City Thunder – No former Orlando Magic player
The Top 6
- Seed 1 – Denver Nuggets – Aaron Gordon, Jeff Green
- Seed 2 – Memphis Grizzlies – No former Orlando Magic player
- Seed 3 – Sacramento Kings – No former Orlando Magic player
- Seed 4 – Phoenix Suns – Terrence Ross, Bismarck Biyombo
- Seed 5 – LA Clippers – No former Orlando Magic player
- Seed 6 – Golden State Warriors – No former Orlando Magic player
The Orlando Magic U.K. Team’s Thoughts
Interested to know who each of the Magic U.K. guys are supporting in the 2023 NBA Playoffs or who they think will win? Here is their take:
There are teams I’ll be wanting to lose, particularly a couple in the West.
In the East, it will be Milwaukee I’m backing. I’m a huge Giannis fan. He’s exciting to watch and I like how they’re made up. Not saying they will win but I like how Giannis conducts himself. I’ll also have half an eye on the Knicks due to love for the city and how they’ll be more fancied than the Nets to go deeper, despite how high profile Brooklyn had been until recently.
In the West, how can anyone not be wanting good things for the Kings? The amount of losses they’ve sustained and the memories of how raucous a fanbase they can be. I hope the starvation time is done there. Also, I’ll be wanting Phoenix to do well for T-Ross.
I expect Golden State to get by Sacramento, Phoenix to beat the Clips and Memphis to also come out of the first round but I think Denver get to the finals. In the East it is between Milwaukee, Boston and Philly, whoever hits form. They might be the best teams in the NBA. Cleveland v New York should be a fun series, too. To win the Finals my gut says Boston as I think that run last year might have benefitted Boston and they may just go one step further this year.
I would like to see the Sacramento Kings do well in the post season this year. Firstly because after 16 years of missing the playoffs it’s good to have a feel good story about a small market team. The Kings play good basketball with Damontas Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox leading the way. And for me as a Magic fan whose favourite player of all time is Nick Anderson I’ve always had a soft spot for Sacramento as Nick joined the Kings after his tenure with the Magic ended. We often get the same teams compete out West and it’s refreshing to see a team make the jump from one year to the next. As long as the Lakers lose early though, that’s my biggest hope for the Western conference! Come to think of it don’t mind if the Suns or Nuggets win the West if not Sacramento.
Out East we have many a rival in this conference and I would like to see the Cleveland Cavaliers advance to the latter parts of the post season. Their model where they have built a decent roster and made the big swing in trading for Donovan Mitchell is something we hope the Magic can do. Just as long as the Celtics and Heat get bounced early I’m good!
My prediction is that the Bucks and Suns make the Finals, with the Bucks taking it all.
After picking Cleveland to finish as the 3rd seed at the beginning of the season, to finish 4th just 3.0 games back of Philadelphia was a great season for them. Therefore I’m supporting the Cavs. They’re a team Orlando can look at and hope to emulate with their strong young core, a superstar in Donovan Mitchell and solid veterans. I’m excited to see how far they can go because they have all the pieces to make the Conference Finals.
And my predictions; the West is wide open and there are six teams who can all make the Finals, Denver, Memphis, Phoenix, LA Clippers, LA Lakers and the Warriors. Sacramento have had a great season but they play no defence, they’ll get exposed in the Playoffs. Kawhi is healthy, PG too. The Clippers are deep and although I’m not completely confident, they’ve got as good a chance as anybody in the West.
I picked Milwaukee and the LA Clippers in my preseason predictions to make the Finals, and I’m going to stick with that. The only real challengers in the East are Boston and Philadelphia. However, I can’t see anybody beating Milwaukee in 7 games, they’re the best team in the NBA with the best player and I expect them to become this years NBA Champions.
For my predictions like everyone I see the West as wide open. I’m seeing the Lakers and Timberwolves come out of the play-in. In the playoffs I think Golden State have the experience and they have hit form at the right time. Memphis, Phoenix and the Clippers all have depth but I think ultimately the Nuggets win the West. For me if fit they are ready to take the West.
In the East it comes down to Milwaukee and Boston for me. Both have the experience and great depth. Giannis gives the Bucks the edge and if they do come out of the East I’m going for them to win it all.
It is no secret that I’m a huge fan of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson; so I will be supporting the Warriors out West. If T-Ross can get a ring in Phoenix I would be very happy for him. Like Geraint I hope the Lakers exit quickly. In the East I will be watching the Bucks and Cavs. I love how Cleveland have built through the draft, then landed Donovan Mitchell (Spida is another guy I love watching) and you can’t help but like RoLo.
So….Who You Got?
That brings us to the question; who are you going to cheer for in the 2023 NBA Playoffs?
Full scheduling, series previews and other features about the NBA 2023 Playoffs is available here.
And finally as we said last year…let’s hope that come this time next season Magic fans are making plans to be sat in the Amway Center and not wondering who to cheer for in the playoffs!