May 21, 2009

A Magical finish

by Dan Bilicki In: Basketball

Everyone who wrote off the Magic are eating humble pie today. After beating the Cavaliers in Game 1 of the Eastern final, Orlando proved that they are more than just fodder for LeBron James/

Not, only did they beat the Cavs, they beat them with the odds stacked heavily against them. Let’s all keep in mind the following.

-Dwight fouled out in crunch time. Without the defensive player of the year patrolling the middle on the final possessions, the Magic still were able to stop the Cavs and score at the other end.

-LeBron was at his best, beating everyone off the dribble and putting up a line of 49-6-8. If you can beat the King when he’s playing off the hook like that, you can beat anyone in the NBA right now.

-This was only the third loss of the entire season at home for the Cavaliers and it was only the second that really mattered. Remember, that third loss came on the last day of the season against a hungry Sixers team and LeBron sat the game out. It was also Cleveland’s first loss of the playoffs.

-The Magic came back after a woeful first half and only really turned it on during the third quarter. It’s very rare that a team can win on the strength of one solid half. It’s usually a combination of that plus a collapse by the opponents – something I’m not so sure the Cavs really did.

Will this all matter in the long run? Probably not, because LeBron would never let his Cavs fall to a supposedly inferior opponent. But, at least there’s some doubt now.

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