NBA Playoff X-Factors – East

Who’s willing to put their body on the line to win a playoff game? To do the dirty work? These are the Eastern Conference X-factors.


8

Orlando Magic

33-40, 8th in East
Season: 30-35
Bubble: 3-5

Playoff Match-Up: (1) Milwaukee Bucks

Sean: Markelle Fultz

  • Former number 1 picks don’t usually find themselves as X-factors but that’s exactly what Fultz has become for the Magic. Like his team, Fultz has nothing to lose in his first round matchup with the Bucks.  
  • He had a nice bubble showing, averaging 12ppg and 4apg acting as a spark plug off the bench.  If Fultz can provide flashes of the skill that caused him to be the number 1 pick a couple years ago, he may cause some problems for the Bucks and maybe get himself back on track to being a star. 

James: Evan Fournier

  • It goes without saying that Fournier is an underrated talent masked in Orlando. He’s played a huge part in Orlando’s small success in the playoffs as he’s carried the load offensively for this young Magic team.
  • When we talk about Fournier we must discuss his shot IQ. Shooting 56% as a guard is something that shouldn’t be looked at lightly while shooting the three at a 39% clip, taking nearly 14 shots a game.
  • I’m more confident heading into this series with Milwaukee than I was with Detroit because Fournier will get the magic going in more ways than just scoring. He’s lowkey a great passer.

Written by Sean Curley and James Macey

Be on the lookout for part 2 on our Western Conference X-Factors coming soon…


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