Yes, this is real life.
The Cavaliers are really 3-3. The Warriors have actually lost two games.
And yes, the Orlando Magic are sitting atop the East at 4-1.
Basketball in Orlando hasn't been this high since the days of Dwight Howard, and even then, it was different. Nobody saw this coming... nobody. And although it's still way too early to claim the Magic can keep this hot start rolling, they certainly look much better than everyone thought. And the players all know it.
For Orlando youngster Aaron Gordon (who is averaging 23.7 points and 9.7 rebounds on 59.5 percent shooting and 72.7 percent from 3-point range in his three games played), he's even started boasting.
"People aren’t going to take us lightly and if they do, we’re going to blow them out,’’ Gordon said to John Denton on NBA.com, "This is just a good group with a good vibe and good energy. Everybody is playing together so well and it looks like we’re having fun, huh?’’
Magic veteran Nikola Vucevic added some words of his own, sounding a bit cautious about his team's future going forward: "That year (in 2015, when the Magic lost 12 of their next 14 games after starting 19-13 ) can show how quickly things can turn. We started off great, playing good basketball and then we hit a stretch where we lost (eight) in a row and we could never recover from it. That struggle two years ago should show us that you can’t take any nights off in the NBA. You are going to run into some bad stretches – that’s just part of the season – but while we’re playing well and feeling good, we have to take advantage and get as many wins as we can.
No doubt, we are seeing some sense of reality in Vucevic there, who's been in a situation like this before.
This time around, the Magic want to prove that they are for real. They want to show the world that they have finally arrived. being 4-1, beating the Cavs and Spurs in blowout wins, and playing in a way that gets everyone involved is surely the right place to start.
If you ask anyone, they'll probably admit that there's no way Orlando can keep it up. That there's no way this team is this good. And, they may be right.
One thing is for sure though, the Magic are looking to prove all those people wrong... one game at a time.