Top 5 Second Units In The NBA
Gerald Narciso of Dime Magazine lists the top five benches in the NBA.
2. Magic: Even though the Magic lost key contributors to last year’s team that went to the Finals like Hedo Turkoglu, Courtney Lee and Rafer Alston, they loaded up on enough talent to make up for it. New additions Matt Barnes and Jason Williams will strengthen the Magic’s second unit backcourt. Ryan Anderson, who came over in the Vince Carter trade, might prove to be the team’s best offseason acquisition. He’s a forward that can play inside and out and has been killing it in the preseason. Last year, Mikael Pietrus was huge for the playoffs and will thrive in the team’s sixth man role. Marcin Gortat is a solid backup for Superman and sharp-shooter J.J. Redick should flourish now that Turkoglu and Lee are gone.
LeBron James, Lakers, Celtics and Spurs to vie for NBA's prize
Sports Illustrated, in its writers' predictions for the 2009-2010 NBA season, asks which team will be the biggest flop this year?
Ballard: Magic. This pick is only relative to expectations, which are probably unreasonably high after the team's Finals run last season. Hedo Turkoglu was a better piece for the team than Vince Carter, and Brandon Bass doesn't really fit into their offense. Sure, they'll still win a ton of regular-season games, but for a team with the goal of a championship, I'd be surprised if they made it to the conference finals.
McCallum: Magic. Third in the East? That's the way I see it. The Cavs and the Celtics are both better, and, by the end of the season, the fans will be wishing they were watching Hedo instead of Vince.
Dwight Howard, youth could make Orlando class of East again
Britt Robson of Sports Illustrated previews the Magic.
2009-10 NBA Season Predictions/Storylines: We're Picking the Orlando Magic
M. Haubs of The Painted Area explains why he/the site is picking the Orlando Magic to return to the NBA Finals in a re-match with the Los Angeles Lakers, and win.
We haven't changed our mind about Vince; what's changed is the way this team has developed - Carter doesn't have to be a team leader, nor does he have to carry the team. Howard is the undisputed face of the franchise, Nelson is the team leader, and Lewis is another productive player. That's the beauty of it: the pressure is off of Vince, he just needs to produce, he doesn't need to lead. And we think that he is, clearly, a more productive player than Turkoglu, still viable even as he is about to turn 33.
After an undefeated preseason, let's give out some awards
Zach McCann of Orlando Magic Daily hands out some pre-season awards before the Orlando Magic start the regular season, tomorrow, against the Philadelphia 76ers. A must-read.
TrueHoop Network 2009-2010 Preview: Shooting
Henry Abbott of TrueHoop explains why shooting matters more than ever in the NBA.
Shooting, size, speed, muscle, defensive teamwork, the ability to get into the paint, ball-handling ability, protecting the rim ... there are a lot of things that work on the basketball court.
And in the last few weeks, the first one -- shooting -- has started to look more important than ever.
2009-10 Orlando Magic Season Preview
The Orlando Sentinel previews Orlando.
Orlando Magic: Team picks up Ryan Anderson's contract options before season tips off
The title of the link should be self-explanatory.
UPDATE (from Ben): Lemon Face/Lion Face Previewpalooza!: Southeast Division
Matt Moore of Hardwood Paroxysm doesn't understand why so many experts--perhaps like some of the ones Eddy quoted above--are quick to dismiss the Magic as a tier below Cleveland and Boston.
Meanwhile, the Cavs added the biggest locker room hassle this side of Starbury and that makes them the best team again. Meanwhile, the Celtics may or may not be entered into the fossil record this year, but they’re still the rottweilers. I’m not asking for much here, just the acknowledgement that right now, it’s Orlando-Cleveland-Boston, 1A-1B-1C.