Each week, we will gather all of the NBA Power Rankings from various outlets to see how the Magic fared.
Steve Clifford’s mood this week? All smiles.
The Magic enter Tuesday’s game against the East-leading Raptors having won three-straight games (something they did only twice all of last season) and seven of their last nine. During that stretch, they have defeated some of the league’s marquee teams like the Spurs, Sixers and Lakers; they have reached 130 points in each of the last two games, the first time in franchise history the Magic offense has done so in consecutive games; and they have moved over the .500 mark at 9-8 to take possession of first place in the division.
That being said, let’s take a look at how high the Magic have climbed in the power rankings.
Click on each publication for the full ranking...
ESPN - Magic jump from 23 to 21
The Magic have won seven of their past nine games to move to the top of the pedestrian Southeast Division. Nikola Vucevic has stepped forward as the clear team leader, making himself a nightly 20-10 guy with legitimate 30-15 upside that opponents now have to game plan against more heavily. This has opened up the Magic offense, as they have averaged 118.8 PPG in their past six games. -- Andre Snellings
CBS Sports - Magic jump from 23 to 20
Who would have picked the Magic to be over .500 the week of Thanksgiving? Not me! This has been one of the most surprising NBA teams so far this year. But the fact that the team’s two most recent lottery picks -- Jonathan Isaac and Mo Bamba -- have played such a small part in the team’s success makes that success worth a little bit less. Isaac is averaging only 20.9 minutes and 6.8 points; Bamba is averaging 17.8 minutes and 6.8 points. Both show elite defensive potential, though. -- Reid Forgrave
NBA.com - Magic jump from 21 to 17
A 7-2 stretch, which includes wins over the Spurs, Sixers and Lakers, has pushed the Magic over .500 and into seventh place in the East. They rank third offensively over the nine games, with Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon averaging a combined 42 points on an effective field goal percentage of 61 percent and D.J. Augustin registering an assist-turnover ratio of 4.6. With the starting lineup (with Wesley Iwundu at small forward and Gordon at the four) having scored 122 points per 100 possessions since his injury, Jonathan Isaac has come off the bench in his three games back. Isaac appears to be a better fit in the reserve group led by Terrence Ross, who leads the league with 39 3-pointers off the bench, having shot 25-for-52 (48 percent) from beyond the arc over the 7-2 stretch. The highlight, of course, was his game-winner over Joel Embiid on Wednesday. -- John Schuhmann
SI.com - Magic jump from 24 to 20
A three-game winning streak at home has Orlando above .500 and their ball movement has a lot to do with it. The Magic saw their assists climb each contest during this three-game winning streak, with Sunday’s 35 dimes against the Knicks representing a season-high. Orlando already has three games this season with at least 30 helpers and is tied for sixth in the league in assists per game. -- Khadrice Rollins
Yahoo Sports - Magic at 18
Winners of seven of their last nine games, the Magic have looked like a new team in November. The Magic’s seven victories are the most in the Eastern Conference dating back to November 4th. The offense has been explosive. Orlando is scoring 114.2 points per 100 possessions over that stretch, which ranks third in the NBA. -- Tommy Beer
FanSided - Magic jump from 23 to 19
The Magic may have quietly turned the corner. They are over .500 after winning seven of their last nine games, including wins over the Spurs, Lakers and 76ers. Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon have been key over this stretch, combining for 41.9 points, 17.9 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game and hitting 28 of their 67 3-point attempts. -- Ian Levy
UPROXX - Magic jump from 23 to 19
Orlando has been outscored for the season and there are signs this can’t/won’t continue. It is still fun to see young teams performing well, however, and the Magic appear to be removed from the league’s bottom tier. -- Brad Rowland (Intro is also about the Magic)
Bleacher Report - Magic jump from 25 to 24 (Posted Nov. 16)
Jonathan Isaac returned from his sprained ankle Wednesday, scoring just four points after six games on the shelf. Though his 16-minute stint was short on stats, Isaac still managed to turn in one of the better blocks we’ll see this season, meeting Joel Embiid at the rim and somehow not being bludgeoned into subatomic particles.
The stuff was part of a 21-0 run that gave Orlando a third win in its last four tries. Nikola Vucevic, who always seems to get up for the Sixers, helped out with 30 points and eight boards in the 111-106 win. -- Grant Hughes