ORLANDO, FL - MAY 04: Josh Smith #5 of the Atlanta Hawks reacts after taking an elbow from Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic as Jameer Nelson #14 of the Magic looks on in Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at Amway Arena on May 4, 2010 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
I stand by what I wrote last week about the Orlando Magic and disrespect: sure, some analysts don't like them, but the ones who are paying attention certainly do. And everyone in the NBA, I believe, recognizes that they're a legitimate championship contender. But I think we're beginning to see the impact of the higher-profile talking heads whose opinion of the Magic isn't too high. Take, for instance, the respondents to this ESPN poll question:
What's more true of the Magic's 43-pont win over the Hawks in Game 1?
The choices are, "Magic were that impressive" and "Hawks were that embarrassing."
The results, to date?
64% say the Hawks were just that awful.
I write this post not to complain, but to merely point out that a majority of NBA fans deny the Magic agency when they win. Yes, the Hawks played poorly. But it's not as though the Magic had nothing to do with that, is there?
This pattern isn't new. When the Magic defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals, the consensus was that the Cavs blew that series, and not that Orlando took it from them. And, in the previous round, when they rallied from a 3-2 series deficit to defeat the Boston Celtics, which included a blowout win on the Celtics' home floor? They only managed that because Boston's Kevin Garnett missed the entire series due to injury.
I'm curious as to how that poll would play out if the Cavaliers were the team that dominated by 43 points, instead of the Magic.