- The Season's Over -

An Official Apology to the Orlando Magic

May 25, 2009

Orlando Magic

Orlando Magic Photo Credit: Icon SMI

It’s time to give credit where credit is due. When you’re wrong, you’re wrong, and irregardless of whether or not they go on to upset the Cleveland Cavaliers and advance to the NBA Finals, I’m ready to issue a sincere mea culpa to the Orlando Magic. It’s long overdue.

Just over 5 months ago I wrote that the Orlando Magic, at that point boasting a 33-9 record, would not claim Eastern Conference supremacy this season. There’s still a good chance that they won’t, of course: the Cavaliers are experiencing severe matchup problems for the first time of these playoffs, but they still have a guy named LeBron James to lean on when all else fails. Nobody is counting them out. Still, without that miracle three-pointer from James as time expired in Game 2, the Cavs could have been looking at the possibility of being swept, something nobody would have predicted just one week ago.

Hypothetical talk though.

As it stands, the Magic lead the Cavaliers 2-1 and clearly have the firepower and manpower to win this series. After years of being punked by the Detroit Pistons, they’ve finally grown a collective pair. They won’t be pushed around by anybody. They have moxy. They have the confidence to not allow an improbable game-winning shot by the league’s best player to simmer, to frustrate, to exasperate. This team, like the other three teams still playing, has their flaws… but they also have a serious shot at not only winning the East, but challenging the Western Conference champ for the grand prize.

Does that make up for all the times I’ve dogged you the past few seasons, Orlando Magic?

No? Okay.

Stan van Gundy, I’m ready to admit you’re more than just a vacuum-cleaner salesman playing dressup in a NBA coach’s suit. Your brain still skips during crucial situations from time to time (see final second of Game 2), but you’ve done a marvelous job of catering your gameplans to your roster’s strengths, of indoctrinating somewhat of a bonehead PG named Rafer Alston into your starting lineup midway through the season, and of making the most out of bench headlined by guys named Anthony Johnson, Marcin Gortat, and J.J. Reddick. Well done, Stan–you weren’t my pick for Coach of the Year, but you’ve done a great job.

Hedo Turkoglu, Rashard Lewis… keep chucking. It’s working. I’ve been fairly critical of your threeball-happy ways this season (and it still may come back to bite you), but it’s also saved you and your team on many a-night. Through three games in the Conference Finals, Rashard, you’re shooting 9-15 from behind the arc. That’s restraint, and that’s marksmanship. Nice one. And Hedo, the 1-11 shooting night in Game 3 was ugly, but to your credit you’re making up for an overall poor series from the field by chipping in elsewhere: 18-20 from the free-throw line, 8.3 assists and 6 boards per.

Dwight Howard, you’ve learned the lessons imparted by your buddy Rasheed Wallace well. You’ve stepped up the intensity and stepped up your game–you know there’s no kryptonite left in the playoffs capable of stopping you when push comes to shove. Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Anderson Varejao clearly can’t do it. Nene and Chris Andersen can’t do it. Andrew Bynum certainly can’t do it. Nobody can stop you. You know this. Hey, you’re making your free throws from time to time too (14-19 in Game 3). And I actually like the technical fouls (though be careful, five is plenty). I like the attitude.

Jameer Nelson… we’ll revisit next year. I’m not quite ready to cross that bridge.

So, there you go Orlando–I was wrong, you were right. You’re a legitimate contender after all. I hope I haven’t jinxed you.

Related Reading:
- The Orlando Magic Will Not Claim Eastern Conference Supremacy This Season
- It’s Time to Take the Magic Seriously Again
- Jameer Nelson Showing Leadership Skills for Orlando Magic This Summer
- The Orlando Magic’s Inferiority Complex

10 Comments »Posted by Brian Spencer on May. 25, 2009 at 10:53 pm in ETB Articles

10 Responses

OK….I understand where you are going with this BUT, I still give them no credit. I live in Orlando and I have to put up with the bandwagon fans saying the Magic are the best in the world, blah, blah, blah. Theres a problem here. Everyone is suddenly a basketball expert. Dwight this, Lewis that, come on people. Heres the real deal. Hedo is hated even in Orlando. He’s garbage as a player and although he has his high points, hes an average player on his best days. Dwight is a great DEFENDER. But he has NO game outside the 4 foot range. Free throws included. The Magic are not that great of a team. They didnt even “win” against the Celtics. The Celtics lost those games, the Magic didnt win them. Amazing happens and its happening, in the West, not the East. The Magic should not be where they are at but Lebron will take care of that soon enough. Im not a Cavs fan, nor am I a Lebron fan but if credit needs to be given, I give it to Lebron James for doing what he has done in the playoffs. He is playing 90s “Jordanlike”. The Magic are just grinding. Well, trying to grind. They have given up on gaurding King James and have gone back to the fundamentals, and its working. We can all say they are playing amazing but a true fan of basketball in general with any knowledge at all will say the opposite. THEY HAVE BEEN LUCKY. Lucky Garnett got hurt. Lucky that the Cavs havent really played a Cavs type game yet. Lucky that the opposing teams have choked. And please dont say that if Jameer Nelson was there he would have equaled Kevin Garnett. NOT IN A LIFETIME. The Celtics lost those last 2 games by themselves. It didnt matter what team they were playing. Lebron James is playing his best ball but he doesnt seem upset yet. I dont see the want in his eyes. You see him grimace and smirk after the games but he still doesnt seem to want it. Let him get that want in his eyes and get the rest of the team on point and the “Magic” will show up. The poor Orlando Magic will see real magic as they see Lebron pound in only 30 points but the rest of the Cavs do what they are supposed to do. Lets be real here. Bandwagon fans jump on the wagon when their hometeam is winning. They know nothing of what is going on. I respect this website and the writers since you have never steered my thoughts off but dont apologize. The Magic are here for a reason, as a sparring partner for the Cavs. The main event will happen when the Cavs play the Nuggets (or Lakers) in the Finals. Lets call a spade a spade. Luck doesnt run forever. My prediction? Cavs in 7. Nuggets in 7. Cavs in 6 over the Nuggets.

THEREALESTVOICE

Posted by: THEREALESTVOICE on May 26th, 2009 at 9:11 am

and earlier in the year, jameer was easily playing better than all of them …

ha!

Posted by: coque on May 26th, 2009 at 5:35 pm

REALESTVOICE – I’m going to have to disagree. You cant argue with the results, and what they have done in these playoffs is hardly something to cough at. They have taken a 2-1 lead over the best team in the league (and if it wasn’t for “the shot”, it would be 3-0 to the Magic). They have taken the rest of the Cavs out of the game (Mo and Delonte. The Cavs bench doesnt count because they have always been below average). The season series Magic v Cavs now stands at 4-2. And although I dont want to see the Magic succeed (I’m still feeling dirty on what they did to Stevie Franchise a few years back)), I think they have what it takes to beat the Cavs, unless the Cavs can find a way to beat them.

3-1 tonight would not surprise me at all, although i do think the Cavs will win (I just cant picture a team like the Cavs being in a 3-1 hole)

Posted by: r.i.p_petrovic on May 26th, 2009 at 7:55 pm

Dude, I don’t know what Magic did to your team along their way, but I’m sure they didn’t mean it. So, cool it off will you? Celtics lost games, Magic didn’t win them? Calling Hedo average, Dwight with no offense, Orlando lucky !?! If it wasn’t for LeShot, this would be a sweep. If it wasn’t for all the calls that comes with the king, it would be a sweep. And Magic pretty much spanked Celtics in game 7, complete obliteration. If it wasn’t for that fat guys buzzer beater, that series would be over way soon. It isn’t about the king crab wanting it, they cannot do anything to stop magic offense. Please, have some clue about the game before posting nonsense. And lay off the hatorade, because this team will win it all.

Posted by: to realestvoice on May 27th, 2009 at 8:21 am

After seeing last night’s performance (Rashards shot was insane), th Magic definitely do look legit. The one thing that I cant get my head around is how casual they were with their offense last night when they were up by 5 & 7 pts.

Posted by: r.i.p_petrovic on May 27th, 2009 at 7:57 pm

LOL. Posting nonsense? Hedo is AVERAGE. Hes a forward correct? What does a forward do? Assists? Maybe…Score? Yeah thats part of his job. Rebounds? Thats also a big part of his job. As a forward your job is to score and rebound. Or just score but he doesnt do either one. He averages what? 14? 15? Maybe 16 points a game? He rebounds ummmm, well he doesnt rebound. Guards grab 4 rebounds a game and he cant do any better than that? He doesnt do anything at all for the Magic. Oh wait, he does, he leads the Magic in TURNOVERS. You cant play a good game without turnovers right? Hedo just plain sucks. Hes an average player, like I said. So I can back up my “nonsense”. The Celtics didnt play half the game they normally play. They did try but they just couldnt get into it so yeah, they LOST those games. The Magic, even in game 7, didnt play a great game, they just played a better game than the Celtics did. Look at the stats for the series or individual games, all wayyyyy below average for Boston, just average for Orlando. Anyways, Dwight is an amazing player, BUT, hes invisible behind the 4 or 5 foot circle. His points come on dunks and layups. PERIOD. He is THE MAN on defense but on offense he scores in spurts from INSIDE the paint. You know that so why try and get on me over it. Its not my fault he cant shoot. As far as this team winning it all, I dont think so but the way things have been going, anything can happen and if it does we will end up with the most boring finals in years. Everyone wants to see Kobe Bean against King James. The best against the best, not the best in the West against the team that just happened to be there when the best teams had bad games. I live in Orlando so its not about hate, its about seeing the best play the best on the biggest stage for the gold. Shit happens sometimes, and you cant say anything about the calls because if you do your research and watch the games you would know that BOTH teams have had their share of bullshit calls and fouls. Jumpballs on clean blocks. Holding and hard handchecking going unseen. So whats fair is fair. Lebron gets calls because he has the balls to go into the paint on Dwight or anyone else. If they are in foulf trouble then they should back off. Basic elementary basketball. The series has been fair. If anything it has gone Orlandos way with all the goaltending “or so called blocks” Dwight has a game. So when you get your facts straight, then you can start remarking to my posts. Until then, you have been proven to know NOTHING about ANYTHING. The Magic still dont get credit from me because I want to cheer for the best, the underdog has no place in my heart. Sorry, thats just how it is. The Cavs are down 3-1 and probably cant win it now (so history says) so the Magic might grind their way to the finals and play whatever other team is there. Thats when the people will give up and stop watching. Im just a fan. If my team is in it or eliminated makes no difference, I want to see the best win.

THEREALESTVOICE

Posted by: THEREALESTVOICE on May 28th, 2009 at 3:40 pm

“The Magic, even in game 7, didnt play a great game, they just played a better game than the Celtics did.”

Isn’t the ability to get to the playoffs and then play a better game than your opponent when it counts all that matters?

“Look at the stats for the series or individual games, all wayyyyy below average for Boston, just average for Orlando.”

The fact that the Magic were first in the NBA in defensive efficiency this season may have had something to do with that. That’s kind of a big part of why they’re good.

Posted by: Andrew Thell on May 28th, 2009 at 4:22 pm

Therealestvoice – you’re from Orlando and this is how you feel about the Magic? Damn that’s hateful.

Posted by: r.i.p._petrovic on May 29th, 2009 at 8:31 am

Oh, THEREALEASTVOICE…. we missed ye. Sincerely.

Posted by: Brian Spencer on May 29th, 2009 at 12:48 pm

LOL…I have been working too much lately so I havent really had time to post but I have always kept reading. YES I am living in Orlando BUT if you dont already know, Orlando is the tourist capitol of the world. In other words, nobody that lives here is from here. Everyone comes from NY, Texas or whatever state they got kicked out of so they are mostly fans of other teams. You visit Disney World, like it, then move here. Same old story happens every day. With that said, it kind of irks me when people are Clippers fans or Utah fans and suddenly they jump on the wagon and are diehard Magic fans. Stick with your teamn, dont be embarrassed. The games were dead during the saeson, I actually went to a couple. Tickets were $11 on ticketmaster. NOW people are rooting and cheering while drunk at the bar watching the game. The general mentality is AGAINST the Magic. Sorry but I’m not alone. Its pretty common here. Sounds weird but true. I’ve lived here since 1991 and have seen it the whole time. The new O-rena is about 30% done. It will be done by 2010. Why we need more seats is beyond me. LOL. Its not hate. Im not a sore loser. Im not a whiner. I call it like I see it.

Mr. Thell, you are right, they were 1st in defense (because of Dwight), and they have kept their cool in the playoffs. No argument at all there, but statistically, they were not slated to win. But amazzzzzing, so amazing happens. LOL. Lets see how it goes tonight.

Sincerely? Yeah right. I get nothing but hate on here but I guess I deserve it sometimes. I bring it on myself. But I know I wasnt missed for a minute. LOL..

THEREALESTVOICE

Posted by: THEREALESTVOICE on May 30th, 2009 at 12:57 pm

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