Orlando Magic News for July 31st: Another Take On Matt Barnes, Checking In With Jameer Nelson & Mickael Pietrus, and More

  • Matt Barnes, Brandon Bass Should Improve Magic's Toughness
    Tim Povtak of NBA FanHouse chimes in on what Matt Barnes brings to the Orlando Magic, specifically from his high school football playing days.

  • What’s Left in Sheed’s Tank?
    Neil Paine of Basketball-Reference examines what type of impact Rasheed Wallace will make for the Boston Celtics. Take note, Magic fans.

    Contrary to a lot of people’s perceptions, ‘Sheed didn’t have a horribly bad year last season — yes, he suffered multiple leg injuries, his conventional numbers were down (14.2 points/36 min. on .419 shooting isn’t exactly the greatest thing to put on your free-agent resume) and his efficiency stats dropped across the board (worse ORtg, worse DRtg, lower %Poss), but he was still a good defender by both box-score metrics and on/off-court data, and he still managed to post essentially an average PER even in a down season. If that’s an off year, then it speaks pretty well about your abilities as a player, right?

    And then there’s the matter of adjusted plus/minus, which loves the guy. I mean, it really loves him. As you can see above, his estimated +/- from the box score stats has always been high (high enough, in fact, to rank him just outside the top 10 PFs of all-time by the metric), but even that seems to understate Wallace’s apparent effect on his team’s point differential when he’s in the game. In 2002-03 & ‘03-04 combined (with ‘04 weighing double), ‘Sheed was the 11th-best player in the NBA by APM, and when you combine 2004-05 & ‘05-06, you find that Wallace was the most effective player in all of basketball over that span! Additionally, in 2007 he was 21st overall, in 2008 he was 20th, and even in his "down year" of ‘09 he was the 9th most effective player in the league by APM. Adjusted plus/minus is a funny metric sometimes with a lot of year-to-year inconsistencies, but this kind of run can’t be a mere coincidence. Wallace is obviously doing things on the court that make his teams better at both ends, and he’s doing it year in and year out.
  • Looking (Using Advanced Statistics) At The Vince Carter Trade - Part 1
    The Nets Are Scorching examines the Vince Carter trade using advanced statistics, and deciphers if the move made sense for New Jersey. 

  • Stan Van Gundy wonders how effective the Magic would be offensively with Gortat and Howard both on the court
    Tania Ganguli provides another quote from Stan Van Gundy, concerning the effectiveness of playing Marcin Gortat and Dwight Howard together.

    SVG: It may continue a little bit. We'll have to see how much. I thought, and still think, that against some lineups it can be effective defensively and on the boards - I don't think there's any question about that. Both of those guys move their feet very well for centers, and I think either one of them is capable of guarding power forwards - or at least the bigger power forwards. I wouldn't want to put them out on the Rashard Lewises or Dirk Nowitzkis of the world, but they can certainly guard the bigger power forwards. My question is on how effective we can be at the offensive end of the court with those guys playing together. That would determine it. We'll just have to see as we go. I think they're both centers, which makes it tough to play them together a lot, but it's possible at times."
  • Camp Pietrus
    Want to see what Mickael Pietrus has been up to this summer? Click on the link to check out a video of Air France's home island of Guadeloupe (which is beautiful, by the way), where he's running his 5th annual basketball camp.

  • Jameer Nelson hopeful summer moves will change Magic karma
    Paul Forrester of Sports Illustrated talks with Jameer Nelson and asks the All-Star point guard some questions. Here's a snippet of the Q/A with Nelson: 

    SI.com: In previous summers, you've organized team workouts near your home in Pennsylvania. Will it be business as usual this summer?

    JN: We're trying to piece it together because our team was in transition. For the most part, the big guns have committed -- Vince [Carter], Dwight [Howard] and Rashard [Lewis]. After those guys have committed, no one can really back out unless they have some type of serious issue.

    This year we're doing it from the 16th through the 22nd of August. We do it at the same facility every year, same gym at Haverford College. We'll work out with my trainers -- conditioning drills, weightlifting, stuff to get your body right. The basketball stuff we do is later in the afternoon. We do that for about 2-3 hours.

    Afterward, we'll mix up the nightlife. We always do a dinner. Other days we'll do paintball or bowling, maybe go to the movies.
  • Magic's Nelson gives youths an assist
    Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Enquirer delves in on Jameer's AAU program in his hometown of Chester, Pennsylvania (HT: L Magico). 

    Some NBA players sponsor youth basketball teams. The Orlando Magic's Jameer Nelson is taking it a step further.

    The Chester native and former star at St. Joseph's promotes basketball and academics, responsibility, social consciousness, and pride in the community.

    To give back to his community, the NBA all-star has created and sponsors the Chester-based Team Nelson AAU program. In its first season, the program has featured two teams: for those 13 and under, and those 14 and under. The players formerly competed for the Chester-area programs Youth Interlock and Educated Athletes.

    "I just think that it's needed," Nelson said of his program. "I'm not able to help out every kid. But the ones I have in my program I am able to help out." 
  • NBA Top 100 Dunks 2008-2009
    For your viewing pleasure and/or if you're bored, SLAM ONLINE compiled the top 100 dunks of the 2008-2009 NBA season. Enjoy.

  • Lookahead to NBA trade deadline 2010
    UPDATE: Chris Sheridan of ESPN.com takes a look at which players are the most likely to be traded during the upcoming season. Dad makes the list.
    5. Anthony Johnson, Magic
    Back in 2000, Johnson was the only player to be dealt on trade deadline day, going from Atlanta to Orlando for a conditional future second-round draft pick. Stan Van Gundy had no use for him in the Finals after AJ had been a rock for the Magic through the first three rounds of the playoffs (Yes, Stan had to play Jameer Nelson. But couldn't AJ have gotten a sniff when Rafer Alston was struggling?), and somebody in contention and playing on tilt will want some veteran insurance at the point (that could be you, Bryan Colangelo, when you look down your bench and take a long, hard gaze at Roko Ukic. Just be prepared to throw in a healthy chunk of cash to help Magic owner Rich DeVos tackle his luxury-tax tab). We should note here that the Miami Heat have a $4.26 million trade exception (Marcus Banks) that expires next Feb. 15, and Portland has a $2.9 million exception (Ike Diogu) that expires Feb 18.
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