Great post and thanks for coming in here with respect.If anyone is interested, the LA Laker blog is full of knowledgeable fans who have nothing but respect for the Magic. In a poll conducted before game 6 of the Magic-Legone series, almost every fan said the matchups were better against Cleveland. The only reason people gave for preferring to play Orlando was to get home court advantage.
The question is, how do you get fired up if the other side actually respects you?
The pundits are just idiots who have a 24 hour memory. Laker fans were subjected to three weeks of idiots like Jackson, Lengler, Barkley, Kenny Smith, Wilbon, and (oh the shame) even our own Magic call the Lakers an embarrassment and pick the Thuggets to win the series. So they win game 6 in Denver and now everyone is saying the Lakers are unbeatable (whispering the qualification "if they play every game as perfectly as they did in game 6).
Thinking your team will suddenly play at the same level as their best game of the postseason is just a child's fantasy. Series have ebbs and flows, where each team will be up and down.
It's only hindsight and media hype where one team gets "humiliated" because they get eliminated by losing badly in game 6 (does that sound familiar, fans?), while another team goes down "valiantly" when they get crushed in game 7.
The reality is, if a team stretches a series to 6 games, they were competitive and deserve to be applauded for their efforts.
The Magic are a great team and have a good shot at winning the championship.
Fans who know the game on both coasts pretty much agree that the point guard play will determine the series. If Alston plays great every night, Orlando could win in 5.
Having said that, I pick the Lakers in 6 or 7 games because he will have at least one off game in Orlando and a game 7 in Los Angeles will be a lot tougher than it was against the Celtics.
This will be an exciting, unpredictable series. Let's hope it's a clean, well fought series, one that people will talk about someday to their grandchildren!
Good luck, Magic (but no off balance prayers that bounce straight up off the back of the rim and go through the net as time expires in game 7 - I'm still scarred by that one).
The Lakers are a great team and this should be an excellent series. You are absolutely right that the PG play will be big in this series. That's why many of us want all of our weapons back.