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Looking at potential Magic vs. Bucks playoff matchup

When the League comes back, we could go right into the postseason. We take an early look at Orlando vs. Milwaukee first-round series in the Eastern Conference

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo moves past Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic and guard Evan Fournier during the second half at Amway Center. Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

It’s another day without the NBA. I know, things are beginning to get tough, but all we have is time and hope that the League will start again soon. For now, we can only speculate as to what the playoff picture will look like, though there’s a chance that this is exactly the picture we’ll be looking at in a few months. The NBA could opt to roll right into the postseason if the season resumes in June. If that’s the case, we already know what the playoff matchups will look like in both the Western and Eastern Conferences.

Today, we’ll be taking a look at the potential No. 1 seed Milwaukee Bucks hosting the No. 8 seed Orlando Magic in the first round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs.

Magic vs. Bucks series breakdown

Bucks record: 53-12
Magic record: 30-25
Season series: MIL 3-0

It’s hard to envision this series going longer than four games. The Bucks are 23 games better than the Magic. Milwaukee has defeated Orlando three times this season with relative ease. Even if Jonathan Isaac weren’t out for the season, I wouldn’t trust the Magic to pick up a win over the Bucks in the first round. Orlando’s defense was formidable earlier in the season, but has since regressed toward the middle of the pack. Meanwhile, Milwaukee has the best defense in the NBA and the eventual MVP in Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Looking at the stats, the Bucks are 6th in offensive rating, 1st in pace and 1st in defensive rating. The Magic are still a top 10 defense, but like I said, things have gotten a bit shaky lately. Really, the Bucks should be able to run all over Orlando and the Magic won’t have much answer on offense. The Magic don’t have the defensive stopper for Giannis in Isaac. Eric Bledsoe should bottle up Markelle Fultz easily. The Magic can’t defend the 3-point line, so guys like George Hill, Khris Middleton and Kyle Korver should all thrive.

If I had to handicap this series, it’d be hard to put a reasonable line on the Bucks to win. Would it be Milwaukee -500? Milwaukee -1000? Milwaukee -10000? The middle option there seems most likely in my eyes. We do need to consider the layover though. Would this be a negative for the Bucks and positive for the Magic? Probably, but only because things really couldn’t get much better for Milwaukee. The Magic at least get time to get healthy and go into this potential series with an even slate. That said, I still don’t see the Bucks putting up anything less than a sweep here.