Brian Schmitz has written a fantastic profile of Orlando Magic reserve center Marcin Gortat, already one of my favorite players. The article is full of fun information, including that Marcin's suits are hand-me-downs from Dwight Howard, but my favorite part is this one:
Gortat, 6 feet 11, 245 pounds, is expected to be in the rotation when the season begins Wednesday night against the Atlanta Hawks.
"Definitely, I feel good I get this playing time. The coach trusts me. Hopefully, I'll get some playing time the regular season," he said. "I'm happy Coach gave me opportunity as a four-man [in the exhibition season]. . . . the chance to be on the floor the same time with Dwight [Howard]. I think we can both be a danger."
The possibility of seeing Dwight and Marcin on the floor together, perhaps with Rashard Lewis at small forward, delights me. Being able to play two young, athletic bigs at the same time is a luxury the Magic haven't had since 2006/2007, when they could pair Howard with Darko Milicic. But Brian Hill was reluctant to do that, preferring instead to play Howard with Tony Battie, so we never got a chance to see how Dwight would play with another banger flanking him. Now we will. Awesome.
Schmitz has his predictions for this season, which include a 53-29 record overall and a 30-11 home record.
John Denton takes a stab at naming the 20 most significant moments in Orlando Magic history, coinciding with the team's 20th anniversary season.
Britt Robson of The Rake puts the Magic third in the Eastern Conference and first in the Southeast Division and says that Orlando won't have to worry about Howard's struggles in the Olympics translating to the NBA season.
Charley Rosen, in the same vein, says Orlando is the second-most likely team in the East to upset the Boston Celtics' hope for a second consecutive NBA Finals appearance; he rates Cleveland first. He also says Orlando's defense is "underwhelming," which is only partially true. The Magic don't force a lot of turnovers, but that doesn't make them poor defensively. (ht: PistonsNationBlog)