A five-game West Coast trip is set to come to an end for the Magic.
But we won’t find out the true impact a bulk of that western swing had on the Magic’s standing in the power rankings until next week (many of these were posted prior to games against the Warriors and Blazers). While it isn’t necessarily reflected in their road trip record (1-3), the Magic’s play and their ability to compete with some of the West’s elite (double-digit leads in Oakland and Portland) has been encouraging.
A quarter of the season has passed and the Magic are hovering around .500. So let’s see where they stand in the eyes of the power ranking pundits.
Click on each publication for the full ranking...
ESPN - Magic remain at 21
The Magic capped a difficult week with their second win over the otherwise red-hot Lakers in the past five games to remain on top of the Southeast Division. The Magic lost a heartbreaker to the Raptors, then got blown out by the Nuggets in Denver, but with their win in Los Angeles, they’ve won four of their past six games as they prepare for game three of a six-game road swing on Monday in Golden State. -- Andre Snellings
CBS Sports - Magic remain at 20
The key to the Magic sitting at .500 after Thanksgiving is that Nikola Vucevic is having a career year. Vucevic ranks sixth in the NBA in player efficiency rating, averaging nearly 20 points (and 11.1 rebounds) per game. -- Reid Forgrave
NBA.com - Magic jump from 17 to 16
The Magic’s season can be summed up pretty well by a weekend in which they lost by 25 in Denver and won by four in L.A. They’ve been outscored by 58 points over their 20 games, but they’re 10-10, with eight of their 10 wins having been within five points in the last five minutes. They cooled off offensively last week, but still rank 12th on that end of the floor over an 8-4 stretch and the 114.7 points their starting lineup has scored is the sixth best mark among 32 lineups that have played at least 100 minutes. The win over the Lakers on Sunday was Nikola Vucevic’s fourth game with 28 or more points in the last two weeks. He has cut down on mid-range shots (taking more threes) and also has more free throw attempts over the last six games (31) than he had in his first 14 (29). -- John Schuhmann
SI.com - Magic jump from 20 to 19
I really thought the Magic were going to find a way to pull out the win against the Raptors after Evan Fournier’s game-tying jam. Danny Green had other thoughts. Orlando is going to compete for the playoffs if it can continue to hover around .500, and it will need to steal some wins against top teams later on. For now though, having Nikola Vucevic eat the Lakers alive in the second game of a six-game road trip is a good enough way to keep hopes high. -- Khadrice Rollins
USA Today - Magic at 22
It’s Orlando and Charlotte, not Washington and Miami, battling it out for the top spot in the Southeast Division. We don’t expect that to last too much longer, but the Magic — and Nikola Vucevic, who’s playing like an All-Star — deserve some recognition. -- AJ Neuharth-Keusch
FanSided - Magic fall from 19 to 24
The Magic’s record may look strong and they’re currently sitting in the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference but they’ve been outscored by an average of 3.1 points per 100 possessions on the season, well below the marks of teams like the Heat and Nets. Nikola Vucevic has been sensational but they still have a lot of questions to answer if they’re going to stay in the playoff race. -- Ian Levy
UPROXX - Magic remain at 19
The Magic are a great story this season and they continue to play above their heads. Orlando saw a big lead evaporate in Oakland on Monday and, while there is no crime in that whatsoever, a deeper look at the numbers tells us that the Magic should probably be seen as a 35-win team, rather than a .500 club. It’s a small, yet significant, difference. -- Brad Rowland
Rotoworld - Magic at 20
With Sunday’s win in Los Angeles, Orlando swept the Lakers in a season for just the second time in franchise history. Nikola Vucevic led the way once again, dominating the paint on both ends of the floor and finishing with 31 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists. In the Magic’s two victories over LeBron and company this year, Vucevic averaged 33.5 points, 14.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists. -- Tommy Beer
Sporting News - Magic at 18
The Magic are a great story this season and they continue to play above their heads. Orlando saw a big lead evaporate in Oakland on Monday and, while there is no crime in that whatsoever, a deeper look at the numbers tells us that the Magic should probably be seen as a 35-win team, rather than a .500 club. It’s a small, yet significant, difference. -- Sean Deveney