Magic can secure postseason spot with win Tuesday vs. Hornets

Winners of three in a row, the Magic have a chance to clinch a non-losing season for the first time since 2018-19 on Tuesday night against the Hornets at Kia Center.

A home victory would mark Orlando‘s 41st of the season, securing at least a .500 record with 13 contests remaining.

Although the Magic have their eyes set on much more under third-year coach Jamahl Mosley with less than a month before the playoffs begin, securing a non-losing record would check off another box in the rebuilding process for the organization.

The Magic finished below .500 each of the past four years but have improved their win total each season under Mosley.

Speaking of the postseason, a win on Tuesday would also clinch, at worst, Orlando’s spot in the NBA Play-In Tournament. That’s because the 11th-seeded Nets are unable to earn 41 wins this season after dropping Sunday’s game to the Spurs.

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The Nos. 7-10 seeds in each conference compete in the Play-In for the Nos. 7 and 8 spots in the playoffs.

Orlando missed the Play-In last year despite a surge in wins during the second half of the season. The group was the last team in the East to be mathematically eliminated from Play-In contention.

This year, the Magic have been ahead of schedule throughout most of the season. No better example is their current record.

Mosley’s squad enters the Charlotte game at 40-28. At this point last season, the Magic were 28-40.

Of course, Orlando can avoid the Play-In completely by finishing in top 6 in the East to clinch a first-round playoff berth.

Entering Monday’s games, the Magic sat fifth in the conference, just half a game behind the fourth-seeded Knicks (40-27) and two full games ahead of the sixth-seeded Pacers (38-30).

According to ESPN’s Basketball Power Index, Orlando has a 88.7% chance of finishing inside the top 6 and a 73.3% chance to win the Southeast Division.

The Magic have won just one division title (2019) since 2010.

While Orlando’s goals are in sight, its upcoming schedule after the Hornets only gets tougher.

Although all four games will be played at home (where the Magic are 23-9 this season), the next four opponents (Pelicans, Kings, Warriors and Clippers) hold above-.500 records. Orlando is 15-22 against teams with a winning record this year.

Three of those four teams also sit inside the top 6 in the West; Golden State is ninth.

Fortunately for Orlando, the team is healthy at the right time.

Forward Jonathan Isaac (who sat Sunday’s game vs. Toronto due to left knee injury maintenance) is set to be available for the Magic against the Hornets (17-51).

While Orlando has no players listed on its injury report, the same can’t be said for Charlotte.

Former Magic coach Steve Clifford won’t have guard LaMelo Ball (right ankle tendinopathy), guard Seth Curry (right ankle sprain), forward Cody Martin (left ankle sprain), guard Bryce McGowens (right knee strain) and center Mark Williams (low back injury recovery) against Orlando.

Jason Beede can be reached at