Wednesday, January 28, 2009

With victory comes responsibility

Good story out of Orlando where Stan Van Gundy's team has "been good regardless of where they have played, going 17-4 at home and 17-6 on the road. They have smashed teams from the rugged Western Conference going 18-4 with first-ever season sweeps of both the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs."

But, as the saying goes, with victory comes responsibility.

"It's been an adjustment for us because before when we felt like we were the underdogs, we were out there trying to prove a point versus the really good teams," said [Rashard] Lewis, who hit four 3-pointers to add to his NBA-leading total of 129. "Now that we're an elite team, other teams are looking at us thinking they can make a statement by beating us. It's taught us that we have to come ready to play every night."

ORL center Dwight Howard said the team has learned from past lessons:

"We must stay humble and not get satisfied," said Howard. "I remember a couple of years ago we were the No. 1 team for a while, but we got lazy in practice and things went down from there. We've learned our lesson. To stay successful, we have to stay humble, positive and level-headed. We understand all of this stuff can be taken away at any time."