Blogtable: Are Magic for real?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

Are you a believer in the Magic yet? Meaning, are they championship material? Why or why not?

Steve Aschburner: I probably won’t be a believer in Magic right up to the point where Commissioner David Stern is handing Stan Van Gundy and Dwight Howard the Larry O’Brien trophy someday. It’s a bias I have against that 3-ball-heavy style of theirs and, irrationally enough, it lingers even though the two players I least trusted – Vince Carter and Rashard Lewis – are gone. Turns out Gilbert Arenas accounts for enough distrust for two. Now, if Marcus Camby is standing alongside Howard once the trading deadline passes … well, I’ll still be a skeptic until it all comes together.

Fran Blinebury: Things have come together quicker than I thought, but it could still be a problem in the playoffs due to a lack of size behind Dwight Howard.  Can they really get away with simply extended minutes from Brandon Bass?  The good news, of course, is that Miami lacks size as well. But those hulking Celtics could be a problem.

Art Garcia: I said in this space before that they were definitely improved, but I didn’t see parade potential. I’m changing my tune. Fast. Hedo Turkoglu finally looks comfortable again, Jason Richardson is solid and Gilbert is providing a spark off the bench. Tie that in with man-beast Dwight Howard and steady Jameer Nelson, and this is a team that should have the Celtics and Heat shaking in their sneakers.

Scott Howard-Cooper: I’m a believer they should be in the conversation – but also that they’re the third-best team in the East. They defend and rebound and shoot pretty well. Or at least they did before the big trade. Now, there’s a lot of relying on the unreliable Hedo Turkoglu and a weaker perimeter defense with the departure of Mickael Pietrus. Let’s see how the new mix works. Ask the question again in four to six weeks.

Shaun Powell: Orlando winning a championship would not surprise me in the least. I love the way Stan Van Gundy has made this transition go so smoothly, by satisfying all the egos and assigning roles in short time. Bringing Gilbert Arenas off the bench was a good move, a way to keep Jameer Nelson‘s confidence up and also take advantage of Gilbert’s “I won’t rock the boat”-mentality. Not saying GM Otis Smith should take any bows yet, but his work is paying off.

John Schuhmann: I’m going to need a little more time before I answer that question. They’ve been better on both ends of the floor since the trade, which is promising. I love that Stan is letting them run more, and I think they still match up relatively well against both Miami and Boston. But I’m curious about them using Brandon Bass as their primary four and reducing the number of shooters they have on the floor. That’s not how the Magic have been successful in the past, so I want to see it work over time and against the better teams in the league.

Sekou Smith: I’m a believer that the Magic have championship material and potential. The only problem for the Magic is that material and potential might only be good for a second round exit in the Eastern Conference playoffs, depending on how the matchups break down. The Magic still have ground to make up on the Heat and Celtics. And if I the playoffs started right now I don’t know anyone outside of Orlando that would pick them over the Heat or Celtics in a best of seven. The good thing is the Magic has time to get better. Stan Van Gundy has plenty of time to figure out what does and does not work for this bunch, so he can adjust his program accordingly. Because he knows better than most that whatever they do during the regular season means nothing if they experience another playoff flameout like the one that sunk them last season.

34 Comments

  1. dam it says:

    i like every1 on the magic except for dwight….. go turkoglu!!!

  2. win says:

    definitely no…… common, are you kidding me…they wont even win against chicago in a best of seven game…stan and otis keeps on barking and complaining and even criticizing transactions of other teams.. they should shut up and do their job.. they are talented but they dont have a good atitude and respect to other team to BE a champion or even a championship contender… LAKERS VS HEAT/CELTICS…..

    • Fact Not Fiction says:

      Yep, their attitude was their downfall in the finals of 09 and it will continue to be unless Howard humbles up some. It’s funny but he is going through the same thing Shaq did during his time with the Magic. Good supporting cast but bad attitude.

  3. Arthur says:

    I already think the Magic can win it all but I agree with Steve Aschburner. They need Marcus Camby to give them the size they need to go against Boston. I think Ottis Smith will do the right thing in the end.

  4. Jonas says:

    I am a believer! Last year boston was in this kind of slump..people were saying they were old and can’t play with young and tested teams.but they almost took the gold(almost). Orlando is a team who can upset both boston and miami! Let’s see and lessen our talk.

  5. Sands says:

    I want the Miami Heat to win, but I’m scared of the magic right now, yes I’m a believer. Everybody is talking about Boston and Miami but this team is problem right now. They got good players, in my opinion they have one the best bench players in the East. Is really hard not to see them as a championship material.

  6. Mimi says:

    Iam not really 100% sure if Magic are contenders they lack size for one and you cant always rely on your 3 point shooters, also someone to back up dwight. Can they challenge the Celtics? The C’s are looking deep, hunger, and dont even get me started with there size advantage. But i see the Magic taking the Heat though. Anyway i think theres some areas Magic need to look at. But hey they can take a shot at it.

  7. Nonya says:

    Do i feel that the magic can make it to the playoffs? yes Do i think they can make it out the second round? Maybe if they had easy teams as they did last years. The issue here with Orlando is what many will not see down the line. The coaching staff is s start, I respect Otis for telling Gundy to play small, but, I have to ask why? We had every reason to run big and play sort of a Boston style of play Orlando playing big plus shooters would have been a nightmare.

    Now that is just me This trade was idiotic in the first place I am die hard carter fan wand with that I say this.But why didn’t they get rid of him last year. I been riding with Orlando since the days of Shaw, Anderson, Penny, and Horace. They have been my team for a good while. I know I did not keep up with them like I should have over the years I am the first to admit that.I like that we have a PF/C in Dwight Howard I like our point guard in Nelson but this team was meant to run big. The only good thing is Carter is gone. They should have benched him to send a message to him before that trade.

    as for the topic at hand

    This team is a dark ally either the will lead you to where you are trying to go or send is to dead end where I have to ready all these DH12 fanboys crying louder over DH12 leaving Orlando (band-wagoner’s much?). This team may get a chip ( I am still an Orlando fan so i will always support no matter what) but the fact of teh matter is we have a Miami Heat team on the rise and in a few years will be a force to reckon with in the future and a Boston team training their next batch of Paul, Allen, and KG (Now with added Shaq and J’neal to pass on knowledge) for the future, of course how people are clearly over looking the bulls as well. Orlando needs a clear out change. Defense my ass when your opponent is clearly right on your tail for points you have done nothing in the form of defense. and 88-99 game is a defense game not a 119-109.

    Orlando has too much on their roster now. No one will want Arena’s right now (maybe the wolves) .Richardson, isn’t his contract up this season? Clark? Seriously with work that boy will be a cold hard beast.

    I am not looking for now I am looking for longevity that we clearly do not have right now.

  8. Stan says:

    Are Magic for real?
    No sure

  9. 4trackdemo says:

    Hedo is awesome, God only knows why he left. JJ is scoring off the bench, they have Dwight, Richardson, and Arenas…their only real weakness is a back up for Howard and an over reliance on threes. The trouble with relying on three’s is sometimes good shooters with decent shoots just won’t hit, especially in the playoffs.
    Three’s are icing, not cake.

  10. Parker says:

    All these basketball analysts and “experts” have the same opinion every time you ask them if they think so and so team will win the championships this year: they stick to the defending champions or the runner up. They play it safe and BORING. Anyone out there with balls to come out and say they think Orlando will win?

  11. Olga says:

    I always said that the Magic need a big man, like Camby or R. Wallace, why wait to long.

  12. Evan says:

    If magic get camby or sheed , its a done deal , Boston is too dang old , they get hurt every other game, Miami has no big or point guard with a name you can even remember , lakers are hot and cold every 10 games , GO MAGIC they have the best offensive in the land , one problem is the DAMN REFEREES , david stern is a Bit**

  13. DG says:

    they need another solid defensive big man. Bass will either have to take bosh, garnett, josh smith, or any combination of the 3, on the way to a eastern conference title. Camby would help, they Need a better primary 4. Bass would be perfect off the bench though

  14. Nonya says:

    I am not saying this trade wasn’t need Ia m just feeling that this trade was already planned 6 months prior unknowing to the public. It seemed as if Vince and Carter Both just knew what was coming before the season and kinda gave in. IDk

  15. karlo says:

    I think Orlando has the talent to contend for the title much like the Heat. But they still have a lot of work to do when it comes to chemistry due to the trades that they made. It’s not like a strong bond is formed within a span of weeks or so. Unless they get another big man before the trade deadline ends, they will struggle matching up against the length and size of Celtics and the Lakers. No offense to the Heat, Magic, Spurs, or any other team fans out there but in my opinion, if the Celtics and Lakers keep their players healthy, they’ll go at it again in the finals.

  16. michael says:

    magic are playing good but i still think they need to get their act together. They are starting off games horrible no energy. Then having to come back. Most of the players in the trade are playing well but Arenas needs to be more agressive and the magic need to find a way to get him more minutes even if that means benching bass or j-rich

  17. Mitchel says:

    Rman is right.. Celtics is the scariest & most dangerous team in the NBA right now (I’m a Lakers fan)..
    Their bench is full of talented players and they are too big for Miami & Orlando (if they can keep their players healthy).. And we all know that size does matter in playoffs.. I can see them winning the 2011 NBA title if Lakers can’t keep their focus..

  18. Mitchel says:

    This is the most exciting season i’ve ever seen.. Western Big 3 Lakers, Spurs & Dallas (I hope MAVS become healthy when the playoff begins) & Eastern Big 3 Boston, Miami & Orlando but don’t count out Chicago..

  19. I used to believe in Magic but the only problem is… “the Heat is ON!”

  20. Rman says:

    Magic is good and an elite team. Can they beat the Celtics? Absolutely not. Celts have their eye on Banner #18 more than ever (and even more than last year when they had Sheed). Celts are way too big and have the best and deepest bench in the NBA. The C’s are also the biggest team in the NBA with four 7 footers (KG, Shaq, JOneal, Erdan) and a great defender in Perkins once he returns and is healthy. If Sheed does come out of retirement he would join the Celtics and why wouldn’t he? He is still lingering around in Boston and really has no reason to be. Celtics all the way this year for Banner 18.

  21. ariel says:

    Rebounding is what makes Hedo a mess in Toronto and Phoenix. . But in Orlando rebounding is not anymore his problem. Dwight is there in the paint all the time and he can focus being the point forward of the team. Most importantly, He knows the system very well and Stan still has the confidence in him. . .Goodluck Hedo……

  22. Wait a minute says:

    Well let’s see… they got the all the talent, most of the positions covered, couple weak spots but ALL top teams have weak spots, uuhhhhh well I think they’re ready for a championship. Let’s just see what they do.

  23. Donut says:

    yup, they need some more decent defensive bench especially the center position.

  24. MIkko says:

    I do believe in Magic, right now… they’ve got a great chemistry but still luck of size inside…. maybe the sleeping giant can help them if they will let him land in orlando…. they now have the materials for a champoinships they only need to add some more pieces in order to be more competitive ….. I’ll tell you, you’ve got to believe in “Magic”….

  25. Admir Zlatic says:

    Does noone else see what i see???? this is earily similar to the magic of the 2009 playoff run , Hedo is playing big assisting big and making life a lot easier for howard like before while now the magic have a healthy jameer nelson and a spark off the bench in arenas and to finilize it they have jason richardson who is a clear upgrade from courtney lee,ryan anderson plays alot like rashard lewis so they didnt give up lot trading him away and like before everyone is forgeting and underestimating them which they loved to use when they thrashed the cavaliers back in 09. so to me they have a better chance than before still the only team that i would not be sure about the magic playing against again is the lakers with theyre great size, also i really hope the magic dont sweep their first two playoff rounds thats never good for anyone.

  26. China says:

    Orlando’s guards are gonna have to shoot lights out in order for them to be a legitimate contending team.
    When Dwights out with a couple early fouls, who you gonna throw the ball down in the paint to when you play Boston or LA?
    I like that Bass is putting in work, but come playoff time they dont have enough firepower in the post to take down a 38 year old wannabe Beyonce (Shaq).

  27. Patrick says:

    I am definitely a believer that this Magic team is championship material. I knew they would get a lot better after the trade but I didn’t think they would gel this good so quick. They have been doing a great job on both ends of the floor. This team is playing like they’ve been together since training camp. The only thing that I’m worry about is them not having a true back center behind Dwight Howard. I hope they can get Marcus Camby or sign Rasheed Wallace if he decides to come back from retirement. This team is enjoying a 9 game winning streak and I think they can keep it going.

    • Charbo says:

      Im not buying the magic right now they still lack defeners other then dwight lets see gilbert no, jason no, hedo definently no, then you trade gortat away, great now you can only beat chicago, atlanta and whoever else that makes the bottom 4 spots in the playoffs

  28. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Shawn Gregoire and Vegas Basketball. Vegas Basketball said: Blogtable: Are Magic for real?: Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most … http://on.nba.com/dW23pp [...]