Warning: This is one of those "the sky is falling" posts.
Hedo fumbled around with the ball from about 27 feet out, dribbled a few to his right and threw up a prayer over Travis Outlaw. It banked in. The Magic pulled one out from nowhere and improved to 17-5 on the year. Things were going good. They kept winning. Several weeks later Orlando was beating up on Atlanta by 38... And it was only halftime. They swept San Antonio and the Lakers. All over the internet Magic fans were demanding respect from ESPN, arguing that aside from the puns Orlando was playing forth fiddle to LA, Boston, and Cleveland, despite having the best record in the whole, wide National Basketball Association.
Everyone's favorite columnist at the Orlando Sentinel was jumping on the bandwagon, his shinny bald head visible from row T of the upper bowl at home games. Perhaps it was because Tim Tebow can only be talked about so much, but even Mike Bianchi was saying that this team must be watched. Boston came to Orlando on a Thursday and beat the Magic, but there was still plenty of rejoicing around town. After all, we really had a chance! That was just one game.
The All-Star rosters were released. Dwight was already in, but Jameer and Rashard were going to be joining D12 in Phoenix. Orlando was the only franchise with 3 players on the team. Cleveland's Mo Williams was disappointed, and it didn't get much better because the same night Orlando beat Lebron and Mo and the Cavs by 11.
A few days later, Jameer dribbles at the top of the key, looking for an opening. He takes a few to his right and spins through two Toronto defenders; a slick highlight move on the way to an easy layup. The win in Toronto seemed like another day at the office.
Then Jameer got hurt and things changed. The mood at Amway was somber as everyone knew the chances of winning it all died at that exact moment. But it wasn't necessarily because Jameer got hurt that it wasn't going to happen anymore. Ya see, us Magic fans fooled ourselves into believing we could do it at all. But when you think about it, it was never going to happen. Here are some of the reasons why:
- The Big Train likes the Magic. The list could stop here, but I'll continue.
- A team that relies so much on the 3 point shot won't be able to continue it during the playoffs when the game slows down.
- God revels in our disappointment.
- Many of the tools over at ESPN (Yeah, I'm talking about you Stephen A., Jamal Mashburn, and Jalen Rose) actually said the Magic were a legitimate contender.
- Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson, and Rashard Lewis were on the All-Star team.
- Brian Cook still plays for the Magic.
- The Magic still had to get by potentially both the Cavs and Celtics, not to mention whoever would be waiting for them from the other side. Face it, the odds were still not too high.
- Our best player, Mr. Dwight Howard, is still the youngest player on the team.
- Tiger Woods would more than likely show up for some playoff games.
There is still a lot more basketball to be played this year, and crazier things have happened, so there's still a chance... Until the basketball gods remember that The Big Train is a Magic fan.
Thanks to Lifes Padawan and the pure genius of Arrested Development for the Fun and Failure poster. Also, Michael Cera better sign on for the AD movie. We all want to see it more than he will... Never know.