Are the Orlando Magic Being Overlooked? | Magic Basketball

«

»

Sep 07

Are the Orlando Magic Being Overlooked?

Photobucket

Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Via Sekou Smith of the NBA’s Hang Time Blog:

Magic fans have been pounding the HT inbox this summer arguing that their team is being left out of the conversation of title contenders this season. And they’re probably right. Most of the insiders we’ve spoken with this summer don’t hold the Magic in the same regard they did this time a year ago, when they were the reigning Eastern Conference champions and still smarting from that ’09 Finals defeat to the Lakers.

They still have the nucleus of a team that won 59 games, finished second to Cleveland in the East and had the second best overall record in the entire league. Dwight Howard is a year older and better, as is Jameer Nelson, and there aren’t any chemistry concerns for Stan Van Gundy, who won’t have to refer to the periodic table the way Doc Rivers and Erik Spoelstra will in Boston and Miami, respectively.

An underdog tag could be exactly what the Magic need to motivate them this season. And of all the teams in the East that could play spoiler to a potential Heat-Celtics battle for the top spot, no one seems better equipped to do so than Orlando.

This is a topic that will surely be revisited in the future.

7 comments
Eddy Rivera
Eddy Rivera

@Greg, @Victor

True, true.

@Jay P

Wait, how is Richardson a punk?

As for Howard, you make a valid point that he -- ultimately -- will need to punish teams like the Celtics and the Lakers for not doubling him. If Howard can do that, and I think he's more than capable of doing so this year, then the Magic have a chance at winning a champioship.

Jay P
Jay P

@Victor

Richardson is a punk who thinks he's an elite player, but has barely scraped the minimum barrel his entire career.

Pietrus I'll agree with, I think he's a great player. The bottom line though, is the Magic's formula for success just isn't going to work against teams with elite defensive front lines. Like LA and Boston. LA proved it in 2009 finals, Boston proved it in last years ECF. When teams can play Howard without doubling, and the Magic are unable to get open shots out of it, they rely on either Howard being able to beat his man 1 v 1 and shoulder the offensive load (which he failed miserably at) or having a perimeter player creating his shot, they brought in Vince Carter for that, and he failed miserably (shocker, I know.)

They've done nothing to address those issues. So basically the Magic's hope this year, are on Dwight Howard developing a polished offensive game and punishing teams that refuse to double him and play him 1 v 1. Color me non-optimistic that that will happen.

Victor
Victor

@evan d.

The Magic have hardly any frontcourt issues, re-signed Jason Williams to be the THIRD STRING point guard, and replaced a guy who couldn't spread the floor for a guy that can spread the floor. While Barnes is better than Richardson defensively, we still have Pietrus, who's comparable, if not better, than Barnes on the defensive end (and also younger).

Greg
Greg

It's preseason, so I understand that the "experts" need something to do and therefore have to write about who's going to do what, and what the expectations are. The reality is they don't know.

The Magic are a championship caliber team. Depending on health, match-ups, and if they are peaking at the right time (in that order) they have a chance to win it all. That's the best any fan can ask for.

For all the vitrole that a fan like evan d. might spout, we are not Minnesota or Toronto. In fact, we are closer to the Lakers, Celtics side of the spectrum than we are to say the Chicago, Oklahoma City side.

Eddy Rivera
Eddy Rivera

@evan d.

That's just flat-out wrong. The Magic were first in efficiency differential during the regular season last year, so to say that they're no better than the Cavaliers, Jazz, or Nuggets is not an accurate argument to make.

@Hoop Dreams

Valid points.

Hoop Dreams
Hoop Dreams

The Magic are still a top 4 team, though no longer a sexy pick for the title. We're contenders, but I can agree that we haven't done anything special this offseason to put ourselves over the top.

evan d.
evan d.

I don't think the Magic have been overlooked at all, especially in light of the Celtics 09/10 season.

We found out that the Magic were a much more balanced version of the Cavs, Jazz, Nuggets who by and large were much farther out of the championship picture than their records showed. Had the Celtics been healthy two seasons ago, I don't think the Magic would have gotten to the Finals and been summarily embarrassed by the Lakers.

They've addressed none of the front court issues, re-signed Jason Williams who looked more than checked out of the playoffs and lost Matt Barnes who at the very least gave this team a needed attitude/heart check.

The Magic need to re-evaluate and clean house of the dead weight which is keeping them from becoming a championship contender.