The Orlando Magic entered the NBA in 1989 as an expansion team and quickly became one of the most competitive playoff squads in the Eastern Conference. In fact, soon after its inception the Magic would put together a playoff-caliber roster that would feature perennial All-Star center Shaquille O'Neal, point guard Penny Hardaway and forward Horace Grant. These key players would help The Magic make 13 playoff appearances, capture five division titles and reach the NBA Finals twice in its short history.
The team's first time at the big dance took place in 1995. After being swept in the first round by the Indiana Pacers in the 1994 playoffs, the Magic came back with a vengeance the following year and made it all the way to the championship round. Unfortunately for Orlando, the squad was going up against the defending champion Houston Rockets, who promptly swept the NBA Finals newcomers in four games.
Magic fans would have to wait until 2009 until the team made it back to the NBA Finals with superb play in the opening rounds of the playoffs by center Dwight Howard, point guard Jameer Nelson and forwards Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu. The Magic were matched up against the Los Angeles Lakers, and while the team posted its first-ever NBA Finals win in Game 3, the Lakers were too much to overcome and won the series in five games.
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