Orlando Magic need Dwight Howard, Vince Carter to emerge as leaders
John Hollinger of ESPN Insider projects Jameer Nelson's season, according to his PER (18.81) and his shooting percentages. Not too bad of a dip.
It seems highly unlikely that Nelson will shoot so ridiculously well from middle and long ranges next season, and we should expect his numbers to regress to the mean as a result. He should continue to be an impact player, but one should look at his 2005-06 season as a barometer. Nelson's true shooting percentage (TS%) that year (56.7 percent) was nearly five points lower than last season's (61.2 percent), but he still averaged better than 20 points and six assists per 40 minutes. That's the type of season to expect from him this year, and it may be the difference between Orlando's winning the title and losing in the Finals.
NBA locks out refs
Adrian Wojnarowski shares unfortunate news that will surely affect the league, regarding the NBA and its game officials. Be prepared for replacement refs.
The NBA has locked out its referees, Yahoo! Sports has learned. After failing to reach an agreement with its game officials, the NBA will start referee training camp with replacements next week.
Talks ended on Thursday, when the league and NBA Referee’s Association were unable to come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement. The NBA will use Developmental League and WNBA officials to start the preseason, and perhaps, the regular season.
2010 Projected Win Share Rates
Neil Paine of Basketball-Reference posts the projected Win Share rates for every player in the NBA for the 2009-2010 regular season. Listed among the leaders are Dwight Howard and Rashard Lewis.
Rate stats are, of course, relatively easy to project for basketball players because they don't fluctuate a ridiculous amount from season to season -- they are generally a function of the player's ability level, with teammates, coaches, and other external factors playing a role as well. Playing time, however, is always difficult to project because much of it stems from factors outside the player's control, like injuries, coaching decisions, trades, etc.
So, while I continue to work on an acceptable method to project minutes, I thought I'd tide you over on a Friday afternoon with the projected Win Share rates I've been working on. It uses a framework similar to the SPS, with the added wrinkle of draft position being accounted for with inexperienced players.
NBA Wives take spotlight by
Shannon Owens posts information for those into reality shows.
According to one of my favorite websites, theybf.com, Shaunie O'Neal, wife of former Magic center Shaquille O'Neal, Denika Williams, wife of Magic guard Jason Williams and Royce Reed, the mother of Dwight Howard's son, will be among a cast of NBA wives shopping around a reality show featuring their lives.
NBA Summer Moves: Southeast Division
UPDATE (from Ben): Joey Whelan has plenty to say about the Magic in his evaluation of moves Southeast Division teams made this summer. He lists their signing of Brandon Bass as the best offseason move of any Southeast team:
For starters, it gives the Magic a true power forward to line up alongside Dwight Howard who can provide toughness, defense and tremendous help on the glass. With the type of scoring punch that Orlando will feature in their other four starting positions, Bass isn’t going to have to worry about scoring, just rebounding the basketball and playing physical. Perhaps most importantly though, this allows Rashard Lewis to shift back to his natural position of small forward and that will be a slight upgrade on [Hedo] Turkoglu at that spot. So rather than just filling a void (a la [Vince] Carter) Bass gives the Magic an upgrade on toughness inside and allows them to shift and slightly upgrade at the small forward spot.
Click through to read Whelan's assessment of the Magic's acquisition of Carter and Ryan Anderson, and their decision to match Dallas' offer sheet to Marcin Gortat.
- Don't forget to check out Ben's write-up posted earlier today, regarding the Magic's top 10 plays of this past season. Have a good weekend, everyone.