Milwaukee Bucks to play Orlando Magic in first round of playoffs

ORLANDO, FL - FEBRUARY 08: (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - FEBRUARY 08: (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) /

The Milwaukee Bucks’ first round playoff opponent is officially set, with the Orlando Magic now locked into the East’s eighth and final postseason seed.

It’s been an up and down experience for the Milwaukee Bucks so far in Orlando, but the constant throughout is that, with little on the line in the regular season’s seeding slate, it’s been all about getting ready for the playoffs for the Eastern Conference leaders.

Now, the Bucks’ focus can more officially start to pivot to the postseason, though. With the Nets beating the Clippers and the Magic losing to the Celtics on Sunday night, the Orlando Magic are officially locked into the eighth seed and set for a first round series with the Bucks starting a week from now.

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That means that in a postseason when homecourt advantage is technically off the board for everyone, the Bucks will face the team that’s at least playing closest to home.

It should be noted that there has been little evidence of an Orlando advantage for the Magic in the bubble so far, though. After wins against Brooklyn and Sacramento in their first two games at Walt Disney World Resort, the Magic have since rolled off four consecutive defeats, albeit with those coming against higher ranked playoff teams such as Boston, Toronto, Philadelphia, and Indiana.

The biggest news of all in the bubble so far for the Magic has been bad news too, with Jonathan Isaac suffering a torn ACL that will keep one of the franchise’s brightest young hopes sidelined for a long time.

Isaac’s absence may be even more keenly felt in a postseason matchup with Milwaukee, as Isaac possesses the physical tools and high IQ to make life a little bit more challenging for Giannis Antetokounmpo, at least compared to what most players in the league are capable of.

Having said that, the Magic’s recent history against the Bucks hasn’t left a lot for the Bucks to be fearful of either.

Milwaukee has won six of the seven meetings between the teams since Mike Budenholzer took over as Bucks’ head coach, and boast a perfect 4-0 record against the Magic so far this season.

Still, if the Bucks don’t continue to iron out some of their own recent issues, anything is possible, so they can’t afford to take the Magic lightly if they want to go on the deep playoff run that is essentially Milwaukee’s minimum expectation at this point.

The exact details of the playoff schedule in Orlando has yet to be ironed out but, with August 17 set as the postseason start date, we could be just a week away from a Bucks/Magic Game 1.

Giannis Antetokounmpo will be historically rested for an MVP. dark. Next

Given all of the challenges of recent months, and how unlikely it once seemed, playoff basketball will very soon be a reality for the Bucks.