Kelly Dwyer thinks Magic will be a top team next season
You're the Orlando Magic. You just won 59 games, you probably should have beaten the Boston Celtics, you were designed to win a championship, and your best feature involves a 24-year-old, 6-11 center who can slap the top of the backboard while leading the NBA in blocks and rebounds at the same time.
Could you start things over, if you wanted to, Mr. Orlando Magic? No, you couldn't. Because you've already spent the money. You bought the tickets, and you're on the cruise. It doesn't matter if you don't like the buffet, if you can't stand the MC, or if you forget to pack your good slacks. You're on the boat. You're going to be there, with this crew, until at least 2012.
The Orlando Magic are stuck, but the Orlando Magic are stacked. I had them coming out of the East, all season. I had them offering all the answers, too quick for the Celtics, too sturdy for the Cavaliers, too good for Atlanta. I thought they were going to defend their crown, and I told anyone that would listen that the finals were to start in Florida two days from now.
I was wrong, obviously. The Magic leaned too hard on people, not players, who shouldn't be leaned upon. People who cannot be trusted. Respect the hell out of Jameer Nelson as a person, I implore you, but at times he's too unaware of his own talent. His own gifts. The same can be said for Vince Carter, who could be an absolute demon in the triple-threat position in a playoff game. The exact same for Rashard Lewis. All three failed Orlando, in May....a team that's probably going to return just about everyone next season, and a team that should probably have the best chance (with Boston possibly fading, and LeBron James going or staying or who the heck knows?) at taking the Eastern crown in 2010-11.
You bring everyone back, and you try again. The Magic are a championship-level team. If only they knew.
Here is the complete column from Kelly Dwyer from Ball Don't Lie.