The Orlando freakin Magic.
They started the season 0-2, and since then have been playing out of their minds and have piled up a record of 32-6 since that 0-2 start. They’re 17-4 against the west as well as 7-3 against the wests top 9 teams.
Guarantee you that a casual NBA fan would not even consider this team a contender in the NBA. Reasons: because it’s all about Kobe and the Lakers, It’s all about LeBron and the Cavs, and it’s all about those defending champion Celtics.
But the Magic? No, no, don’t be crazy.
All that's known about this team is that they have the double-double king of the NBA
But it’s hard to understand how a team in this league can get very little respect when a) They currently have the best record in the NBA through 40 games [32-8] b) have the best road record in the NBA [16-5] c) just set a record for most 3’s in a game when they hit what seemed like 56 from downtown, and oh yeah, d) they just swept the season series with the Los Angeles Lakers AND the San Antonio Spurs.
I mean, who does that? I don’t think you can find very many teams who are going to be capable of doing that.
Orlando’s defense is a quiet reason on their success. They’re top 5 in the NBA in defensive efficiency, hold their opponents to the mid 90's, and are top 5 in the categories such as opponents field goal, and blocked shots.
One dangerous aspect is that this team lives by the jump shot and dies by the jump shot. Courtney Lee, Rashard Lewis, Hedo Turkoglu, Keith Bogans, Jameer Nelson, and that long-forgotten JJ Redick are all capable of going 5-5 from beyond the arc. The Sacremento game is definitely an example of what they are capable of.
Throw in the fact that you have Superman himself down low in the post, it’s going to leave a lot of defenders to have to sag down to try to defend him, and you know what that is going to leave?
You guessed it, plenty of wide open jumpers, especially with the kind of unselfish ball movement they show.
But I guess I’ll end this with what Stan Van Gundy said to ESPN earlier in the week: "If you don't think we're good, that's fine."
But Guess What? They ARE!