Updated Dec. 4
Do you believe in magic?
That question might be best known as the title phrase in a folksy 1960s track of the same name by a band called The Lovin' Spoonful, but right now, it's the hottest topic in NBA circles. That's because the Orlando Magic have been playing the role of rude guest all season, serving up not so lovin' spoonfuls of losses to their hosts seemingly every time out.
|Stan Van Gundy was 'impressed' with his Magic's latest win -- a 123-117 verdict at G.S. on Monday. (AP)|
It's incredibly difficult to win the final game of a road back-to-back when you get to finally head home after a long trip once the final whistle blows. Sometimes it's a question of focus, but mostly, your legs just give out.
When the Warriors rallied from a double-digit second-half deficit and took a four-point lead with a few minutes remaining, the Magic should have been done. They could have counted their blessings and started looking forward to sleeping in their own beds the next few nights after a red-eye chartered flight that got them back to Orlando at a time when many were just making their commute to work.
Instead, they rallied and won, capturing a game in which guards Jameer Nelson and Keith Bogans each outscored Dwight Howard and Rashard Lewis. That's how well the Magic are going. Everyone is contributing.
"I told them tonight that I was impressed," head coach Stan Van Gundy said. "I told them before the game if we win here tonight, it will be the best win of the year."
Consider me impressed, too. Given their success on the trip, the fact Boston still hasn't gone out to the West Coast to make its bones and their head-to-head victory over the Celtics in mid-November, the Magic have earned the designation as the top Eastern Conference squad.
This week's Power Rankings: