I know it’s looking pretty far in the future, especially with the Magic trying to run down the Celtics for the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference, but I came across this interesting nugget from ESPN True Hoop blogger Henry Abbott. In his post last Friday, Abbott references the dominance the Lakers have shown against some of the top teams in the league this season, including Cleveland, Boston and San Antonio. But as Abbott mentions, there is one small problem to the theory that the Lakers have excelled against the league’s top four teams.
“According to [John] Hollinger’s playoff predictor, my list of four elite teams is missing one: The Orlando Magic. The Magic currently rate as slightly more likely than San Antonio to win the title. And how has Orlando performed against the Lakers? Magically well. Having won by three on December 20, and twice that on January 16, they are undefeated. It’s a small sample size, to be sure. And the Magic could have a very tough road to the Finals, likely having to face both the Celtics and the Cavaliers on the way. But at least there is one small flaw in the nearly perfect armor the Lakers put on for the big games.”
I’ll take it even a step further, according to today’s playoff odds, the Magic have a 10.5 percent chance of winning the title, compared to just 7.3 percent for the Spurs. I watch the Western Conference on a regular basis, and I don’t see any of the teams as a serious threat to the Lakers, whether they have Andrew Bynum or not. But if the Magic can survive series against both Boston and Cleveland, I think the Magic would have a decent chance to “shock the world.” What do you think? Could the Magic really beat the Lakers in a seven-game series?