The Orlando Magic believe they can make the playoffs. So do the projection models. The Magic are the nine seed, 1.5 games behind the Heat and the final playoff spot (Orlando is three back in the loss column). Orlando’s advantage is a much easier schedule the rest of the way — so much so that fivethirtyeight.com gives the Magic a 59 percent chance of making the playoffs and the Heat just 35 percent despite their lead. However, Orlando keeps shooting itself in the foot with losses, such as ones to Memphis and Orlando.
Point guard play has not been a strength of this season’s Magic and it needs to be if the playoffs are to be a reality. D.J. Augustin starts and Jerian Grant plays behind him at the one, but when Isaiah Briscoe needed arthroscopic knee surgery it left the Magic wanting more depth at the position.
Enter Michael Carter-Williams.
Carter-Williams played in just 16 games for the Rockets this season (much of that in garbage time), he was a spectator on the bench or in a suit most nights until the Rockets traded him to the Bulls in a salary dump (Chicago waived him). Carter-Williams is not a good shooter and turns the ball over more than coaches would like.
Carter-Williams is the 2014 Rookie of the Year, when he beat out Orlando’s Victor Oladipo. Their careers have gone in very different directions since.
What Carter-Williams brings is experience in coach Steve Clifford’s system — MCW played 52 games for Clifford in Charlotte last season. The Magic pick up a veteran who can walk right in and know the plays.
This isn’t a move-the-needle signing, but the Magic can use all the help they can get right now.