Is anyone else as shocked/impressed with the Magic’s recent winning spree as I am? As an avid Magic fan (for 21+ years now.. yes, I was at one point one of those little tikes standing on Grandma’s lap, dancing on the Jumbotron), I could not be more pleased.
I was skeptical from day one with Otis’ decision to bring Vince Carter to the Magic. Though once an impressive basketball star, his career has run its course and his talent is played out. On the opposite end of this spectrum, we have Rashard Lewis, who has been nothing but a faithful, game clenching power forward. There is no arguing how impressive Lewis has been – his three-pointers dazzled Orlando Magic fans in the 08-09 season, earning him recognition as the team’s second leading scorer. His performance the last year or two, however, has been anything but extraordinary. The Rashard Lewis/Gilbert Arenas swap with the Washington Wizards (though not astounding to the naked eye), was a blessing in disguise. It is true Arenas has not shot his best this season, only about 39%, but his move to the Magic has brought them a dynamic playmaker and offensive leader.
I am sure I’m not alone when gleefully welcoming Hedo Türkoğlu back to the team. The Magic’s fourth quarter game has been quite discerning this season, and I am positive that having Mr. 4th Quarter back on our side will make all the difference in the world. Sadly, I feel there is not much to say about Marcin Gortat or Mikael Pietrus. Though they have helped the Magic win games in one way or another, they are easily replaceable. Jason Richardson outshines them both behind the three-point ark, and is just what the Doctor ordered. And although Earl Clark will probably never see the glistening new Amway Center court, we welcome him as well.
It’s easy to see the excitement I have for the Magic’s future. I embrace all four new players with open arms and every Orlando fan out there should too. Sure Lewis may have been your favorite player, and if you’re like the friends of mine who refuse to have an outdate jersey, you may even have to go and buy a new one, but that’s the price we pay for greatness. The Orlando Magic doesn’t care about winning next year or five season from now, they want to excel this season, now. And for all you non-believers still out there – the Magic’s winning record for the last three games says it all. Who would’ve thought we’d beat some of the top teams in the league merely a week after this somewhat controversial trade?