Why The Magic Could Be The Best Team In The East
Last season, the NBA Western Conference was one of the toughest sport conferences in the whole World. Despite winning 48 (58.5%) games, the Golden State Warriors were not good enough to make the playoffs. Guess how many games the Eighth Seed in the East, the Atlanta Hawks, won? 37. That’s a 45.1% win rate. I’m sorry, but that’s ridiculous. So while all the focus is on the West this season, it would still be appropriate to review who the best team in the East may be. After all, the team will have to play the best in the West in next years NBA Finals.
I personally believe that the Orlando Magic will get First Seed in the East next year. There, I said it. It may not be the most orthodox of choices, but it technically is the most clever. When you think about it, the Celtics and Pistons are aging. The average age of the Celtics big Three is 32. The average age of the Pistons big Three is also 32. Now I’m not saying that the Celtics or Pistons will not get the 1st seed because of their average age, but I AM saying that the Magic are the future and that they have more youthful flair. The Pistons almost admitted that last season was their "last haul at the big one". You can't fight forever, eventually age catches up. Of course, the Cleveland Cavaliers come into play here, but what have they done to improve their team? Their team is still basically LeBron.
Out of all the Centers in the league, Dwight Howard is the one I’d want on my team the most. I mean, when you are talking with your buddies about players who had good games the previous evening, if someone mentions that Dwight Howard has a 20/20 game, no one is shocked, because he is so good that 20/20 games mean nothing to him. Apart from being arguably the most dominant C, he is also a very good personality with an extremely high work rate. What more do you want than a big man who fights hard for every little board/ point/ block/ steal/ deflection he can get? Howard's on court excellence in itself is good enough to make the Magic a contender. But hold up here, the Superman has help, unlike LeBron, this makes him and his team a lot better.
So what help does Dwight have? First of all, he has Hedo Turkoglu, last year’s Most Improved Player. If Hedo can repeat his 20PPG - 6 RPG - 5 APG season, then the Orlando Magic have three great players on their team. Turkoglu has a very good all around game, and it will be critical for the Magic to re-sign him at the end of the season should he opt out of his contract. To add to Turkoglu, the Magic have Point Guard Jameer Nelson. Nelson was the vice captain on this Magic team last season, and it will be him who is responsible for distributing the ball and taking care of it. My personal beef with Nelson, is that he is not a real Point Guard. Still, he is a good player, and seems to fit in well with the other players. They also have Rashard Lewis, one of the NBA’s premier shooters. The Magic here have two very versatile players in Hedo and Rashard. Both players can play PG through to PF, and this allows a rotation to be made. You don't know which player is playing where. It opens up the court for Dwight do to his thing. Neither Lewis or Hedo are great rebounders, but Dwight's phenominal rebounding more than makes up for this. The Magic also picked up Pietrus who’s speed and offensive ability will help the Magic a great deal.
So as you can see, the Magic’s starting lineup is very strong. I personally believe that it is better than any other lineup in the East. Nelson - Pietrus - Turkoglu - Lewis - Howard. That’s a force to be reckoned with in the East. The Magic just needs to hope that one of their starters do not get injured though (and knowing Nelson, he will get injured), because they have little to no Depth for the stars. Should Turkoglu and Lewis or dare I say it, Howard get injured, the Magic have not got a chance. Still, their starting lineup works very well together, with good spacing and movement. It should be interesting to see what they can do. To add, Van Gundy is an excellent coach, who can pass on some well needed experience to the Magic players.
The Magic, in my eyes, are the Best team in the East. They may struggle against the experience of the Pistons and Celtics in the playoffs, but it still should not belittle their potential. They have one of the best in the game, two good Forwards and one good Point Guard. The team works well together. They have an excellent coach. What more could they want? I personally do not believe they will be able to beat out a Western Team in the Finals, but this could be their year to make the Finals.
Yes, the Superman may be seeing some Super action come June.
~ Darth Bynumite.
Edited by Darth Bynumite, September 25, 2008 - 04:53 PM.