Checking in to see where the Magic stand in NBA power rankings at the All-Star break. A three-game winning streak helped the Magic make a jump in nearly all rankings (though some rankings were released prior to Orlando’s losses to the Bulls and Hornets).
Click on each publication for the full ranking...
ESPN - Magic climb from 30 to 26
How surprising was the Magic’s three-game winning streak that the Bucks snapped on Saturday? Between Dec. 8 and Jan. 30, Orlando also won three games ... while losing 20. -- Michael Schwartz
CBS Sports - Magic climb from 27 to 21
The Magic took one of their first steps to move on from the previous core when they traded Elfrid Payton to the Suns. The return they got on the deal was terrible, but that’s the kind of market restricted free agents have right now. -- Chris Barnewall
SI.com - Magic at 23
The Magic are up here on the strength of Frank Vogel’s beard and their incredibly dope City Edition jerseys. -- Rohan Nadkarni
USA Today - Magic climb from 26 to 23
By trading away Elfrid Payton at the deadline, the Magic revealed two things: 1. The 23-year-old former lottery pick wasn’t a part of their future plans, and 2. The front office is going to be patient with this rebuild. -- AJ Neuharth-Keusch
NBA.com - Magic climb from 30 to 28
D.J. Augustin played well (18 points, nine assists, zero turnovers) in the Magic’s first game after trading Elfrid Payton, which was probably the right move given Payton’s limitations on both offense and defense. But waiting on Payton turned out to be quite a sunk cost and the Magic are back to searching for a future at the most important position on the floor. They do rank as a top-10 offensive team over a 6-6 stretch, getting more consistency from Jonathon Simmons. He took advantage of a close-out to give them the lead for good in Miami on Monday and then was one of the last beneficiaries of the Cavs’ pre-deadline animus, scoring a career-high 34 points (with nine of his 12 buckets coming in the paint) against Cleveland on Tuesday. -- John Schuhmann
Bleacher Report - Magic at 23
The Magic dropped three single-digit games this week, but Mario Hezonja scored at least 21 points in all of them, resuscitating the idea that he might stick in the league after a disappointing first two years.
Rookie Jonathan Isaac, who hasn’t played since Dec. 26, is practicing with the team and nearing a return from an ankle injury. If the Magic can use these final 25 games to get a clearer idea of what they’ve got in the promising first-year player, the season’s final two months won’t be meaningless. -- Grant Hughes
Rotoworld - Magic at 25
The Magic started the week winning three straight games, including an impressive road win in Miami and a victory over the Cavs in Orlando. However, their streak was snapped by the Bucks on Saturday. The Magic have not won four straight since December 2015. -- Tommy Beer
Yahoo Sports - Magic at 23
And somewhere Scott Skiles smiles — the Magic decided to move on from Elfrid Payton at the trade deadline. They didn’t get much back but it was still the right move, it was time. Orlando continues to play well on offense — they are 10th in the NBA in that category over their last 10 games. The problem is they give up almost as many buckets as they score, leading to a 4-6 record in those games. -- Kurt Helin
UPROXX - Magic climb from 28 to 25
Despite back-to-back losses, the Magic rise this week because, well, they won three games in a row before that. Losing to the struggling Bulls isn’t great but Orlando has been better lately and we have to at least note that reality. -- Brad Rowland