Magic clinch playoff berth after Wizards losson August 8, 2020 at 5:58 am

The Orlando Magic have clinched the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference after the Washington Wizards became the first team of the 22 teams in the NBA’s bubble to be eliminated.

The Wizards118-107 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans helped solidify the Eastern Conference playoff picture, while eliminating the possibility of any East play-in games next weekend. The Wizards, playing without star Bradley Beal (right rotator cuff) and sharpshooter Davis Bertans, are now 0-5 in the bubble. After winning their first two games during the NBA’s restart, the Magic have now dropped three straight after losing 108-101 to the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night.

The Magic now sit two games behind the Brooklyn Nets in the loss column with just three left to play. The Magic came into the restart with high hopes after getting talented young big man Jonathan Isaac back after he missed six months because of a left knee injury. Those hopes were dashed after Isaac tore the ACL in his left knee last Sunday in a win over the Sacramento Kings. The Magic announced Friday that Isaac had successful surgery to repair his knee.

Isaac’s absence is compounded by the fact that veterans Michael Carter-Williams (strained tendon in left foot) and Aaron Gordon (strained left hamstring) both missed Friday’s game because of lingering injuries. Magic coach Steve Clifford is hopeful that both players will be back soon.

“They’re day-to-day,” Clifford said prior to Friday’s game. “And they’re both diligent guys and professional and they want to be on the floor … they both had good days today with their treatment and everything. They did some extra work so we’ll see how they feel [Saturday].”

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