A few pointers. First, without Dwight Howard, the Magic have nobody who can even pretend to keep up with Roy Hibbert. Hibbert also got a nice write-up over at Grantland, which is worth reading even if you're not a Pacer fan.
The rest of it, well, I've got some issues with Grantland and the way they have given the Pacers no respect for what they did this year during the season. Bill Simmons essentially picked Orlando to win this series based on his "Ewing Theory"* and because the Pacers are "unproven." Even Indianapolis native Mark Titus** had less than flattering things to say about this team.
*In a nutshell, the Ewing Theory is that there are certain guys who on paper should be dominating forces, but their teams seem to do better without them. Patrick Ewing is, of course, the namesake of the theory.
**You might remember Titus as a walk-on for Ohio State that made a mockery of the NBA draft a few years back. Yeah, he seems like exactly the kind of guy who would write a post about a team he claims to be a fair-weather fan of.
Clearly, these people have not been paying too much attention to the Pacers this year. Game 1 was clearly an anomaly, and I think this last game further cemented it. You had to know the Pacers were not going to continue to shoot so poorly from outside. You had to know that the Pacers were not going to keep scoring less than eighty points. You had to know that this team was not going to continually choke away fourth quarters and go scoreless for four minute chunks. You had to know they weren't going to continue to miss free throws at this rate.
Unless, maybe, you didn't watch the Pacers this year.
That's a valid excuse. If you hadn't watched this team and hadn't paid very close attention to the numbers, you wouldn't know these things. Here's the rub, though: if you don't know, why would you say so? You just end up looking like a fool when your "patsy" three seed beats the stuffing out of your semi-dark horse.
If you don't know much about a team, just come out and say it. I know we as a society like to be right to and like to come off like we know everything. But it isn't an honest way to live and it's not an honest way to write. I think if you go back through my archives, you will see that I have plainly stated when I haven't paid the attention I should to a particular player or team that I'm writing about. And when I've been off base, I've generally come back and said so. It's not much of a repercussion, but it's more than most writers do these days. Heck, I had a guest post when I felt like I short-changed a hot topic at the time because I knew who would have a better perspective. And I will do it again when the need and opportunity arises.
I know the nice thing about a blog is the freedom and the ease of which to get your voice and thoughts out there. I get the appeal. But it's still a printed word. Maybe it's made up of electrons and magnetic media instead of ink and paper, but it's still out there and more or less as permanent as newspapers unless you have access to a good archive. Don't write something outrageous just because you feel you have to. Write what you believe, and more importantly, write what you know. If you don't know, just say so. If you're guessing, make sure people know. You have a responsibility if you want your voice heard. Don't let ESPN convince you otherwise.