Friday , Jan , 16 , 2009 J.N.

Why don’t the Magic at 31-8 get any mention alongside the Celtics and Lakers?


Why don't the Magic at 31-8 get any mention alongside the Celtics and Lakers?I’ll mention them right here.

They’re very good. I think they’re scary good.

One of the biggest weaknesses, besides experience, was their point guard play from Jameer Nelson. This guy was being mentioned in every trade talk scenario for Kirk Hinrich, Andre Miller, and whoever last season. He picked up his game this year, along with their bench, to become a top 2 seed in the East, and probably, a top 3 team in the entire NBA. Scary as it is already, Dwight Howard is STILL improving, but not in the free throw category for some reason. Contrary to what others spew, the Orlando Magic is a very good defensive team. They are 6th in the league in opponent PPG, 3rd in opponent FG% and 6th in opponent 3P%. They can defend just fine.

Recently against the Sacramento Kings, this team landed an all time three point record. They’re just too dangerous from the perimeter. If their jumpers are not falling, they can resort back to Dwight Howard.

Honestly, they look like they’re just one quality big man away from having the perfect inside-outside game to knock any team. They can pursue Chris Kaman in some kind of trade just like every other team in the league. The problem is the Magic don’t have much to offer from their bench or starting lineup to get either man.

They’re not giving up Dwight Howard in any trade even if it’s for Kobe, Chris Paul, or Lebron James. They’d rather have Howard playing with them.

They’re not giving up Rashard Lewis despite having a ludicrous deal. He’s an all around guy that can shoot the three ball.

I don’t know why they’re assuming that they’ll be able to resign Hedo Turkoglu. Ask Jim Paxson and Carlos Boozer how that worked out.

Jameer Nelson can still be had in the right deal where they also get a point guard back. Even though he picked up his game scoring wise and has become a better thief, his assists are still too low. He has Dwight, Hedo, and Rashard Lewis at his disposal and he’s merely averaging 5 assists. I know that Hedo likes to bring up the ball, too. That’s still not an excuse for his small assist average. Imagine Derrick Rose, Deron Williams, or Chris Paul can do with those guys. It’s frightening. Face it, Jameer is who he is; a good combo guard, but not a true point guard. I would still look to trade him unless Orlando can land solid two-guard to team up with him. Derek Fisher, Kobe, and Shaq worked. I’m not so sure about Courtney Lee since he’s just a rookie. Rookies usually have problems on D so the verdict is still out. He has ways to improve.

If they want to win a title soon would Orlando welcome back Tracy McGrady despite being a former shell of himself? I heard he might be available. Yikes, probably too much of a sore spot eh?

The Orlando Magic still find themselves at 31-8. D-12 is emerging as a great defensive player.

Tonight, they’re facing Kobe and the Lakers at Staples Center. This is a great test to see if they can beat a championship caliber team. Lakers are coming off a heartbreaking lost from the Spurs. Derek Fisher messed things up for the Laker faithful in that game.

Even if Orlando loses tonight, they’re still the most dangerous team in the East. I can see them knocking out Boston. If they can land another quality big, they can knock any team in the entire L.

They’re very good now. How do you beat them? Try to get Dwight Howard in foul trouble? What if Howard got your big men in foul trouble?

And why do the major networks barely mention them? They’re one of the top teams with a 31-8 record. They have the leading All Star vote getter. You would think him alone can fetch more publicity just like the Celtics and Lakers.

[image:http://www.flickr.com/photos/keithallison/3065527680/]