The Bobcats' magic number to clinch a playoff spot sits at six. Speaking of magic numbers, the Magic, who have won one of their last 10 games, will play host to the Bobcats tonight as they look to inch closer to clinching a playoff berth. This isn't exactly a game with any playoff implications other than Charlotte individually, but Orlando has been tricky of late.
For instance, the Magic beat the lowly Sixers on March 2nd and didn't win again until Tuesday against the Trail Blazers. That's nine in a row, and I'm sure they would love to play the role of spoiler again when the Bobcats roll into town. Or they could begin another losing streak since it's been difficult to read this team sometimes.
On the other hand, the Bobcats have cleared the arduous part of their March schedule and begin what should be a far lighter stretch of games to wind down the season. The Bobcats come in having won a hard-fought game against the Nets at home -- a game with serious playoff implications. While they may have dominated the Blazers at home, suffered a good loss the next game versus Houston, and won a thriller against Brooklyn, they will still need to look out for the dreaded trap game.
After all, the Magic have some players. Tobias Harris is having a nice season with 15.1 points and 7.2 rebounds per game at the age of 21. Then of course, there's always Arron Afflalo on the perimeter and Nikola Vucevic patrolling the paint. Personally, Al Jefferson versus Vucevic is a matchup that stands out to me immediately.
Tonight will mark the third meeting of the season between the two teams, with each team winning on the road. Teams like the Magic with nothing to lose can be dangerous to an overconfident or lazy team late in the season. However, it would be atypical of this team under Steve Clifford to see that happen since you would not use either of those words to describe them. And the sooner the Bobcats can wrap up a playoff spot, the sooner they can begin to rest guys for the first round. Of course, all of that starts with taking care of business against the teams that you should beat, and tonight is one of those nights.