Orlando gets little respect...
The general theme when they are noticed is that they are too young. Or Darko is still an enigma. It is assumed by the general wisdom that eventually they will fall behind Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Miami and probably New Jersey as well. And they rank no better than 8th in ESPN's power rankings. The other day a talking head on ESPN thought hurt Shaq is still more valuable thisyer than Dwight Howard because Howard is "too nice."
ESPN.com: SPORTSNATION - Chat-13797(Insider)
Keith (Grand Rapids): Hey Chad, do you have any idea what the Pistons got for that Darko trade? If a pick, what year?
Chad Ford: They have Orlando's first round pick ... right now that's not looking so good. I don't think they regret losing Ben that much ... but Darko? That's another story.
Sly (Boston): Orlando and Utah are the two hottset teams in the league, do you think they will be able to sustain this and win their respected division?
Chad Ford: Utah yes. I think they're the real deal. Great balance, well coached ... having huge years from Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer ... and we haven't really seen the real Andrei Kirilenko yet. Orlando will, for sure be a playoff team, and could win the Southeast if Shaq never gets back to 100 percent. But I still believe the Heat have some life in them and I think Orlando's a little young to sustain the pace that they're currently playing at. But make no mistake, Orlando's long term future is MUCH brighter than Miami's. By next year, the Heat will be looking up at Orlando in the standings for a long time.