No one cares about Orlando except Orlando fans. The Underdog down 0-2.
I was watching game one of the NBA Finals pitting the Lakers against Orlando and I realized that no one is giving Orlando a real chance to upset the Lakers. This is very reminiscent of the time when I was watching New Jersey face off against the Lakers with Shaq. Kobe is unstoppable while Pau Gasol provides length and stability. Lamar Odom is off eating too much candy with his erratic play while Bynum gets in to early foul trouble. The Lakers look too good. D-12 and the Magic appear lost, young, and dumbfounded barely connecting 30% of their shots.
I admit even I fell asleep after the first quarter. I knew it was over when someone told me, "I predict the Lakers blowing them out." After the first quarter ended, the prediction held true. Once I sensed Kobe getting aggressive, I fell asleep. The Sandman got me. I did not give Orlando that much of a chance either; guilty as charged. I was right in doing so for game one since I knew Orlando would be too nervous and in awe of the whole spectacle. The Laker front runners annoy me, but they have every reason to do so. Face it. Kobe and company are unstoppable.
And the fans are very cocky going about their business.
So who actually cares about Orlando?
I actually do and whoever loves to root for the underdogs. I support the guys who do not seemingly have no chance in hell. I relate to the underdog because I have been one my entire young life. No one really believes in me except for some friends and family. Even then they lost faith in me sometimes. I am pretty sure most of us can relate. Hell, even Michael Jordan was an underdog once before he broke through. Fact is Dwight Howard and the rest of the squad are very young. They did not make it to the Finals by accident, but then again, they did not really struggle either. The only real struggle I recall is when Orlando lost Dwight Howard in the Philly series and they still managed to put them away. Is this more of a struggle? Shaq does not support his former team and he has been hating on Howard. How much of an underdog can one become?
Remember when Chicago faced Magic Johnson and the Lakers in 1991? After Los Angeles won the first game, most abandoned the Bulls because they claimed that they lacked experience. Remember when Detroit faced the Lakers in 2004? The Purple and Gold Squad was too stacked with Shaq, Kobe, Karl Malone, and Gary Payton. Who did Detroit have? No superstar.
Yet the underdog defied the odds and defeated Goliath.
Does Orlando have a chance in winning the championship? Of course they do. Even underdogs have a shot. Like Lloyd once said from the classic comedy Dumb and Dumber, "So you’re telling me there’s a chance?"
Sometimes that’s all we need.
We love to prove people wrong even when goals are far fetched. No one can believe that Eli Manning and the New York Giants can beat the undefeated Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. No one fathomed Dikembe Mutombo and the Denver Nuggets upsetting the heavily favored number one seed Seattle Sonics in 1994. Or how about Baron Davis and the Warriors knocking out Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks? Didn’t the 7th seed Anaheim Ducks knock out the President Trophy team San Jose Sharks?
The odds are stacked against Orlando big time. Everything looks bad, but I bet Orlando does not care. They believe in themselves.
And nothing else matters.
They will have a shot an upset when they make when they make at least 45% of their shots while Dwight Howard avoids early foul trouble. If they can do that consistently then the Lakers better be careful. Personally I would not get cocky even if I was heavily favored. The underdogs sometimes win when it is least expected. It has been recorded in history. We’ve witnessed this stuff before. Try not to get too arrogant.
So who cares about the Orlando Magic?
I care about Orlando. They’re not my favorite team, but if something crazy happens in their favor then that restores my faith because I consider myself the underdog in every situation in this test we call "life." We work hard and struggle in order to obtain certain things such as success. Usually this gets more difficult as the odds pile against us. When that happens, fight harder to rise and overcome.
I think that’s the very essence of an underdog. We become that to get motivated. To get things done. To shut up the haters. The Magic better embody that. Game 2 was close as I predicted, but they’re down 2 games. Their chances are dwindling fast like paper stacks of certain players.
But remember what Kevin Garnett once said, "Anything is possible."
Do you still see Orlando having a shot in this series?