By Matthew Curtis | Enzian Theater December 15, 2006 at 11:33AM
So I'm listening to Sports Talk Radio last week and some so-called expert is going on about the Orlando Magic, the City Beautiful's lone pro sports team (forget Arena Football) that had gotten off to a terrific start this year. Young and deep and playing with surprising confidence, they had amassed a 13-4 record for the best in the Eastern Conference, even going 4-2 on a brutal 6-game West Coast road trip. The opponent that night was the Detroit Pistons, and this idiot on the radio not only said the Magic should have no problem beating them, but also gave them the kiss of death by talking about their lack of injuries and excellent team health. If I could've reached my hand through the radio and planted it over this moron's piehole (think Clay and Kelly), I would've done so.
Since those fatal words were spewed over the airwaves, the team has lost 6 out of 8 games, played like crap, and sustained enough injuries to knock out 4 players (including 3 starters) from the regular rotation--Hedo Turkoglu (ankle), Keith Bogans (ankle), Jameer Nelson (groin), and (what-do-you-know) Grant Hill (knee). This is not good. And to add insult to injury, the Bobcats' Sean May--whom the Magic passed on in the draft two years ago to take Spaniard Fran Vazquez, the forward who changed his mind about playing in the NBA and stayed home instead--lit them up for a career-high 32 points in the Charlotte win. Ouch!
Let's hope Santa brings some clean bills of health soon (a smothering defense and some outside shooting would be nice too). Until these guys come back, it could be ugly for a while. A.I. anyone?