Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Were the 2009 Orlando Magic cheating?

We all remember the Eastern Conference Finals that year. The Cavaliers had just finished a season in which they won 66 games. They were rolling through the playoffs, having swept both the Pistons and the Hawks. The Magic, who had just defeated the Garnett-less Celtics, were expected to simply be a minor speedbump as LeBron brought us our championship.

But it didn't work out that way. First, Orlando rallied from a 15 point halftime deficit to take game one in Cleveland. LeBron made his miracle shot to save game two, but the Cavaliers could not win a game in Orlando. The Magic won the series in six games before going on to lose to the Lakers in the Finals.

This never really made any sense to me. How was this Orlando team, that consisted only of Dwight Howard and some role players, able to knock off the Cavaliers (who legitimately looked like one of the best teams in NBA history during the regular season and through the first two rounds)?

The assumption has always been that they just got hot at the right time. And that may be true. After all, they did end up losing to the Lakers once their hot shooting appeared to cool off.

But today's news that Hedo Turkoglu tested positive for a PED is suspicious.

You see, not long after that series in 2009, Rashard Lewis tested positive for a PED. Both Turkoglu and Lewis were key role players around Dwight on that Orlando team.

Obviously, the fact that these two players happened to once be teammates and were involved in separate PED scandals three years apart might just be a coincidence.

But when you consider that only a very small number of NBA players have ever been caught using PEDs (we're talking less than ten), the fact that two of them once played together becomes more interesting.

Did the Magic simply get hot for those six games in the summer of 2009? Or were some of them helped by banned substances that allowed them to increase their stamina each night? We'll probably never know for sure. But considering today's news, it seems to be a fair question to ask.


  1. The NBA is the dirtiest league out there re: PEDs. Every team in the NBA is dirty to some degree and have been for years...and that includes the 08-09 Cleveland Cavaliers.