More than one week into the NBA season and experts once more dare sleep on the Orlando Magic. Ask any of the "new look Magic squad" and they'll be quick to tell you they relish the opportunity to once again play Cinderella. Riddle me this, how could the defending Eastern Conference Champions be this overlooked? Coming into the season, the Lakers obviously were the favorites to repeat. And for good reason, with essentially the same supporting cast plus the addition of Ron Artest, why wouldn't they repeat. Throwing the Boston Geriatrics and the Cleveland Lebron's over the deepest team in the league is plain ridiculous.
The Magic not only ousted the Celtics in 7 but absolutely man handled the Cavs in 6. If not for a Lebron prayer at the end of Game 2, the Magic-Cavs series would have been over in five games. Sure, the Celtics didn't have Kevin Garnett but Glen Davis was a pretty good replacement during that series. Lets not forget it was Big Baby who hit the buzzer beater in game 4 to tie the series 2-2. Sure the pundits like to believe if Garnett was playing, the Magic would have never took that series; or if Lebron had more help, the NBA could've had the matchup they wanted. I never realized wins and losses were based on IF's! IF Courtney Lee would've made that layup at the end of game 2 the Magic could've eventually went up 2-1 and it would've been a totally different series. IF Kanye West wasn't such a jackass he would actually be a pretty great guy. Let's be real, the Magic beat the then defending Champion Celtics team that was put in front of them; in Game 7, in Boston, against a team that was 32-0 when leading a series 3-2. The Magic did beat a Cleveland team whose supporting cast was absolutely stellar all season long. A supporting cast who led Cleveland to the best regular season record in the NBA. When the Magic dismantled that team, the so called experts were quick to say Lebron needs help. Ridiculous.
Now, five games into the Magic season they've reassembled into the deepest team in the league, hands down. With a supporting cast of Jason Williams, Matt Barnes, Marcin Gortat, Brandon Bass, JJ Redick, Mikael Pietrus, and Ryan Anderson. This team is not allowing a hangover from last year, they are playing determined. Outside of the players just named, this squad has a traveling all star team with Jameer Nelson, Vince Carter, Rashard Lewis and the Defensive Player Of The Year Dwight Howard. Don't be surprised if come February, Dwight is the only Magic player traveling to the all star game. With the ball being spread so evenly, this team will not be filled with any one player displaying eye popping stats. Unless you want to count the win-loss column that is. This squad is not playing for numbers, they are playing for wins, they've bought into what their cartoon of a coach is selling. A winning ingredient. Don't be surprised at the end of the season when Ryan Anderson is presented with the Most Improved Player Award.
The only thing standing in this team's way are those demons they can't seem to exercise, those pesky Pistons. If the Magic miraculously win 75 games this season and Detroit edges their way into the playoffs, the Magic would lose that series. Pretty handily at that. Some things are just unexplainable, the Magic can't seem to play their brand of basketball against the Pistons. Even without Rasheed Wallace there, or Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince out with injuries 2 nights ago, the Magic still can't work their magic against the Pistons. But if you're a team outside of Detroit, lookout for this gritty underdog Magic Squad.
The Lakers are the Defending Champions and the favorites until someone removes their crowns. The Magic are the defending Eastern Conference Champions and they are the favorites to represent the East until the Cavs, Celtics, or another team takes them out. The Magic are the favorites, they are the Eastern Conference Champions. Not the Celtics and not the Cavaliers. Give the Eastern Conference Champs the respect they have earned.