The Orlando Magic are coming off their third straight 1-3 week, while still holding down the second-worst record in the league. The Magic are 13-36, which is four games ahead of the 8-39 Milwaukee Bucks. The Magic are 2.5 games behind the 15-33 Philadelphia 76ers, who have the league's third-worst record. Orlando is a distant eight games behind the 21-28 Charlotte Bobcats, who currently hold the last playoff spot in the East.
The Magic will be significant underdogs in three of their four games this week. Here's a look at the schedule:
Monday, February 3rd: Magic at Indiana Pacers, 7:00 PM Eastern, Fox Sports Florida
The Magic will be at least 15-point underdogs in this one, as they have lost their last eleven games on the road straight-up and against the point spread. Despite three losses in its last ten games, Indiana still has the league's best winning percentage; a league-best 22-2 home record; and a suffocating, league-leading defense. This game will be the first between the Magic and Pacers since opening night over three months ago, when the Magic were competitive in a 97-87 loss in Indiana. Small forward Paul George continues his breakout season, averaging 22.9 points per game on 57.3 percent True Shooting. Center Roy Hibbert averages 12.3 points per game along with 7.7 rebounds and 2.5 blocks.
Wednesday, February 5th: Detroit Pistons at Magic, 7:00 PM Eastern, Fox Sports Florida
This game will be the only winnable one this week for the Magic, even though the Pistons handed the Magic their lunch in a 103-87 loss in Detroit last week. The Magic soundly beat the Pistons, 109-92, in Orlando in December. This game will be the final one of 2013-14 between the two teams. Detroit is just a half-game behind Charlotte for the final playoff spot in the East. The strong Pistons' frontline of Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe dominated the Magic in their game last week, and the Magic will have to come up with an answer to have a chance at winning the season series between the two teams.
Friday, February 7th: Oklahoma City Thunder at Magic, 7:00 PM Eastern, Fox Sports Florida
The Western Conference-leading Thunder, at 38-11, make their only appearance in Orlando this season, after the Washington Wizards ended their 10-game winning streak Saturday. Despite the absence of star point guard Russell Westbrook since late December, the Thunder have not missed a beat, thanks to the out-of-this-world play of small forward Kevin Durant, who is the leading candidate by far for league MVP. Durant is the league's leading scorer, averaging 31.1 points per game on 64.6 percent True Shooting. He also averages 7.6 rebounds and 5.3 assists. Durant's great all-around game has boosted his Player Efficiency Rating to a ridiculous 31.0. Big man Serge Ibaka averages 14.9 points per game along with 8.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks.
Sunday, February 9th: Pacers at Magic, 6:00 PM Eastern, Fox Sports Florida
A very difficult week concludes for the Magic as the Pacers make their first of two visits to Orlando in 2013/14, with their other visit coming in the season's final game. The Pacers have a road record of 14-8, which is the best in the East and the fourth-best in the league.