With the hype of the “Three Kings” arrival down in South Beach overshadowing the team that hails in the Magic Kingdom, are the Orlando Magic this year’s forgotten legitimate NBA title contender? No longer the front runner as the #1 NBA team in the “Sunshine State”, (just ask the Mirage in Vegas) the Magic will begin this season with the latest chip on theirs’, and Dwight Howard’s shoulders.
This offseason for the Magic has created little to no free agency buzz. Were there any that needed to be made? They could have definitely used a veteran scoring wing player off the bench, but besides matching an offer sheet the Chicago Bulls were offering J.J. Reddick, and not resigning free agent annoying, yet gritty defensive swingman Matt Barnes, all has been quiet in the Magic Kingdom. Then incomes the influx of 1/4 of the Redeem Team to South Beach, and all of a sudden the Magic and the NBA has a new problem on their hands.
Miami’s rise to the #1 team in the east by NBA analysts and experts has to be on the radar of the Magic. Orlando has the talent to make this preseason claim seem more like a false allegation. However, to dispel the “Miami Thrice” hype, the Magic have to strengthen themselves from within if they want to make their 2nd trip in the last three years to the NBA Finals.
By keeping their core group of players in tact, the Magic actually have the best squad in the East 1-12. But questions hangover this talented team. Will Dwight Howard develop a solid enough post game to be effective in crunch time situations? Can Vince Carter channel “Half-Man, Half-Amazing” from five years ago, when the playoffs starts? Will Rashard Lewis play like the underrated all-star from the then Seattle SuperSonics?
Are they just a team full of streaky shooters and an athletic big man? Will they play with enough heart to get to the next level and maximize their talent. The core group from the Magic, believe they have some unfinished business left to attend to for the 2010-2011 NBA season. Let’s hope they’re giving teams the business come next spring, instead of being on the receiving end.
The Magic are on the verge of one day possibly becoming NBA Champions or either becoming the Sacramento Kings of the early 2000′s. Its on them to decide their own fate. As of right now, up for grabs is supremacy in the Eastern Conference and whether or not they will let them boys from South Beach take their shine away.
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Written by Arthur Kai