The Orlando Magic won't have quite the tragic season some are predicting according to ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy.

During a ESPN NBA season conference call Wednesday afternoon, I asked analysts Magic Johnson and Van Gundy for their take on the Magic's prospects this season in light of the growing competition in the Eastern Conference. Van Gundy gave Orlando fans a little bit of hope with his answer.

There are a lot of questions surrounding the long-term future of the Magic in light of Dwight Howard's departure, but one of the biggest immediate questions is does the Magic have any shot at making the playoffs in the 2012-13 NBA season scheduled to tip-off Tuesday, Oct. 30th.

Magic Johnson: Do they have a shot to make the playoffs in the East? I don’t think so. I think that the East has gotten even better.

Jeff Van Gundy: I think they arguably have as good a team as they did last year going into the playoffs when Howard was out. I thought they competed hard in that series and I think you’ll see Orlando play exceptionally hard. They have veterans with a very good pride level, [Jameer] Nelson, [J.J] Redick, [Hedo] Turkoglu, Glen Davis was in the playoffs last year. I would suspect that they’d play a major role this year and I really like the addition of [Arron] Afflalo, I think he’s a very sound player and the rookie [Andrew] Nicholson from St. Bon looks like he’s in the preseason has performed very well. I think they’re gonna be more competitive than most think. People think they’ll be a 20-win team, I think they’ll be in the 30s somewhere depending on their health, breaks and how everyone else plays. I think they could be in contention in the last month to make a playoff run but they’ll have to probably get into the high 30s to do that.