The Orlando Magic enter a difficult phase to their season as they start a four-game West Coast road trip that includes a date with the Golden State Warriors.
Wasn’t the Eastern Conference supposed to be trash?
As often happens in life, assumptions make donkeys of all of us. Approximately three weeks into the season and some of the best, most surprising basketball has come from the NBA’s weaker conference. At the very least, it has thrown out more headlines.
And above it all, the fact the Orlando Magic, after 11 games, sit in the upper echelons of Eastern Conference standings.
Every basketball pundit and their aunt told the world this year’s Eastern Conference would be nothing short of an abomination. This did not bode well for those who thought the Magic would find themselves still at the bottom. That was the going thought still.
Some still say winning in the East is not exactly something to boast about. Even the Cavaliers seemed to have shunned the annual duty of being crowned king of that particular pile.
But for Magic players and fans, it was exactly the start they needed. Orlando has gotten off to a hot start and put itself in position. Expectations are growing for this team. But everyone wants to know whether this group is for real. Just how much can this team be believed.
Now the going gets tough.
Injuries have and will come, the Magic will gain a target on their back, the real season is just beginning. Not only that, but the Magic must contend with the dreaded Western Conference, as they will this coming week.
Orlando will take its first major road trip of the season, heading West for a four-game trip.
Perhaps the Eastern Conference was misjudged. But the Western Conference is bang on target to be the juggernaut-filled death arena it was always destined to be. Luckily, the Magic are about to experience an interesting cross-section of said conference.
When the Magic get home next week, they will know a lot more about themselves and what they can accomplish this season. The road ahead is important to study.