The Magical Bums
May 13, 2009 by AlexV
The Orlando Magic are a team that has just downright gotten under my skin. It has hardly anything to do with a biased opinion. This literary lashing that is about to ensue is derived from their lack of effort but mainly their incompetence.
A lot of people probably thought the Magic would beat the Celtics fairly handily without Kevin Garnett, with the series going no more than six games, especially since they were 3-1 against Cleveland, 3-1 against Boston, and 2-0 against the Lakers in the regular season. You know why they had such great records against those teams in the regular season but don’t look like it in the post season (like the way they let the Philadelphia 76ers start out to a 2-1 lead in their first round series)? Because they keep playing like the team that looked so good in the regular season, as opposed to the type of team that it takes to get through the postseason… one with heart, and guts, and that wants to live up to the hype, rather than expecting to.
An example of this is Dwight Howard. How many times has he missed on his short hooks in this series? More than someone who is considered in some circles “the next Shaq.” He has the same expression and drive in playoff games as he does in the regular season games, and I would not be surprised if he never worked on that might-as-well-be eyes closed hook shot of his. And who is to say that he should try to live up to Shaq, but he sometimes seem to have an heir as if all the hype is true and that’s that…. no need to work on it or prove it.
Then you have guys like Hedo Turkoglu and Mikael Pietrus looking like all they can do is shoot three pointers. They need to play smarter than that. They are the three seed in the Eastern conference and sport the fourth best record in the entire league, not the three-balling 29-53 Golden State Warriors. Turkoglu and Pietrus need to trust their inside game more and try to force fouls on that Boston interior defense. They have no excuse. Like they say… “You live by the three and you die by the three.”
In game four, they were down by 10 or so with six minutes to go, and only had a little over 80 points total, and needed the help of a six plus minute Celtic scoring drought in order to catch up for the one point lead they blew on Davis’ jumper. Then, in game five, when they seemed to get it right as they had a ten or so point lead on Boston with about four minutes to go, they blew that, and lost by three! You know what that smells like? Pure, plain, and simple incompetence.
Until they change, I will be an advocate of what Charles Barkley said a few nights ago… “If they can’t beat the Celtics without Kevin Garnet, then how in the world do they expect to beat them with him?” It’s not a pity to say the following either, because they’ve only brought it on themselves… The Magic are the second round version of those loaded teams who can never get out of the first round. Except in this case they just can’t get out of the second.” – Alex V