The Orlando Magic and the Milwaukee Bucks square off tonight in a battle of the NBA’s two worst teams. While it seems like there might be nothing at stake, an empty game on a random night in the NBA, this contest could have huge ramifications for the future of the League.
The loser will be one step closer in their attempt to capture the League’s worst record, while the winner runs the risk of getting caught up in the morass of tanking teams behind them. Do the Orlando Magic actually have a shot to overtake the Milwaukee Bucks is the worst thing the league? Let’s take a look.
The Orlando Magic have some work to do to catch the Bucks (9-36). These head to head match-ups are so important because they represent full game swings in the standings. Losing not only help’s the Magic’s cause, but hurts the Bucks as well.
Tonight is only the first of three Super Bad Bowls between the teams this season. The next two are Tuesday, February 18th and Monday, March 10rh. In the event that both teams end up with identical records, owning the head-to-head tie-breaker is a big deal. If the Magic somehow manage to lose to the Bucks all three times, that alone will swing them into a tie for the least wins.
With so many teams trying to tank this season, games in the stretch run could get real ugly, real quick. Avoiding picking up wins against other tanking teams will be the key to landing the best lottery odds. The Bucks have 11 games left on their schedule against teams with no shot at the playoffs (sorry, Cleveland Cavaliers, but that ship has sailed). The Magic, for comparison sake, have 10 such games. It’s not a huge difference, but every little bit helps.
Here is where tanking teams are born. Fake injuries, and overcautious trainers are the hallmark of a team trying not to win. Right now Orlando is more or less completely healthy, and that’s not a great thing for their chances. With a full roster, they are not quite so terrible, but when Nikola Vucevic sits out, they are just 1-15. If they remain healthy for the rest of the season, the Magic could pick up some wins quick. But if they’re winning too much, look out for Vucevic’s headaches, Tobias Harris’ ankle, and Arron Afflalo’s everything.
Now theBucks of been decimated by injuries through no fault of their own. Larry Sanders has missed a chunk of time, while Carlos Delfino, Ersan Ilyasova, O.J. Mayo, Zaza Pachulia, and Ekpe Udoh are all currently out. This team doesn’t have to fake injuries. At full strength they may be decent, but they’re never getting there this season.
The verdict? Without some important injuries, the Orlando Magic are not going to catch the Milwaukee Bucks. In reality they should be more worried about torpedoes from the Boston Celtics or the Philadelphia 76ers. At full strength, the Magic are bad, but not awful.
When you think? Will the Orlando Magic and up with the worst record in the NBA? Should they start to tank if they win too many? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.