Believe It: Orlando Can Beat Cleveland

Kevin Roberts@BreakingKevinSenior Writer IMay 19, 2009

BOSTON - MAY 17:  Hedo Turkoglu #15 of the Orlando Magic celebrates his three point shot in the first quarter against the Boston Celtics in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at TD Banknorth Garden on May 17, 2009 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

It doesn't get more bad ass than what Hedo did in game 7 against Boston. With the Celtics putting together a sorry, half-assed comeback attempt late in the game, Turkoglu hit a three to put any worries to rest.

There wouldn't be any magical late-game run this time. No, not with Turkuglu on watch.

A three-pointer in the face of the defense, rather than a universally "easy" two-pointer, was what shut the Celtics last-dash effort down for good.

But is that the icing on the cake for this playoff run, or just the beginning?

Well, considering game 7 against Boston saw Turkoglu drop over 20 points for just the second time in these playoffs, it could very well be that old cliche' we like to call, luck.

Then again, as versatile as Turkoglu is, he's not what makes or breaks this team. Not against the Cavaliers, anyways.

Because no matter what Turkoglu, Rashard Lewis, Rafer Alston, Courtney Lee, or J.J Redick can conjure up, LeBron James will do better.

So ultimately the success of this Orlando Magic team rests on the broad shoulders to the young, maturing Dwight Howard.

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It takes one look at Howard's stat-line during this year's post-season to see how his team fares.

In the losses to Boston in games 4 and 5, Howard put forth great effort on the boards and added solid scoring, as he grabbed 34 rebounds and poured in 35 points. However, he had a meager three combined blocks in both games.

Games 6 and 7? Eight blocks.

The fact is, Orlando is a surprisingly dominant defense when Howard is on top of his game, while also being an extremely well-balanced offense when he's scoring from inside.

As for Howard's main competition on the inside against the Cleveland Cavaliers? Well, he won't be losing any sleep, if that's what you're wondering.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas, the Cavs' starting center, won't exactly be scaring Howard away defensively, as he's totaled nine blocks in eight playoff games. Not a bad number, but nothing Howard can't match in two games.

Howard's presence may cause Cleveland to turn to Ben Wallace more now than ever, but even he will have very little to say about this series' outcome.

For those of you that believe this Cavaliers team is destined to meet Kobe Bryant and the Lakers, I have news for you: They haven't proven anything yet.

They've swept two teams that wouldn't last a day in the West, while actually managing to look extremely average in their last two wins over the Atlanta Hawks.

The Magic, on the other hand, are coming off a huge win over the Celtics, carrying their confidence, three-point shooting, and defensive presence in a nice, big bag, along with them.

We know the Cavaliers can score and can play defense. We also know LeBron James will be more determined than ever.

But if Orlando can get past the reigning champs shouldn't there be an overall belief that they can get past Cleveland, as well?

If they keep doing what they've been doing, I say believe it.


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