Orlando Magic News for January 8th: Looking Good in the Rebounding Department; Deal or No Deal

  • Importance of Good Board Scores (Version 2010)
    Jay Aych of The Painted Area takes a look at the rebounding margins of contenders, which is a quick and simple way of projecting playoff success, and figures out which teams are in good shape right now.

    Since were close to the midway point of the season, thought it was time for another installment of examining the rebounding margin of contenders. We've found examining a team's rebounding margin is a quick, simple way of projecting playoff success. This started in 2007, when we wanted to explore the correlation of rebounding and title chances. [...]

    It was no surprise that strong rebounding is a key component to winning titles. But we found it interesting that out of the 40 teams to make the Finals in that 20-year span between '87 to '06, only four teams had a negative rebound margin for the regular season. We also found that the +1 rpg margin threshold seems to be a strong indicator if a team can win the title. If your team rebounds below the +1 rpg margin for the regular season, you're unlikely to win the title. [...]

    Currently (stats as of 1/6/10), the Lakers (+2), Magic (+2.6), Cavs (+3.8) and Spurs (+4.1) are in good shape in the rebound margin department.
  • LeBron, Dwight Howard to re-create classic McDonald's spot
    J.E. Skeets of Ball Don't Lie states that Larry Bird, Dwight Howard, and LeBron James spent some time in Indianapolis earlier in the week re-creating a commercial spot for McDonald's.

    Word has it the commercial will run during the Super Bowl, which would be James' third Big Game commercial. His first was in 2005 for Bubbilious brand gum, and last year he dreamt he was playing football for the Cleveland Browns in a popular State Farm ad. He may have also voiced one of the Budweiser frogs. We're not sure.
  • Unlike Nets, Magic GM Sees No Need to Ban Card Games
    Tim Povtak of NBA FanHouse shares some interesting news.

    The Orlando Magic will not be following the lead of the New Jersey Nets, who banned all gambling games on team flights in the wake of the Washington Wizards/Gilbert Arenas/handgun upheaval, which was sparked originally by an argument over a high-stakes card game.

    "There's no sense in having a knee-jerk reaction to everything,'' said Magic general manager Otis Smith, whose team is in Washington for a Friday night game against the Wizards. "You have to know your team, know the dynamics of it. It's not a problem here.''
  • Auctioning Off My Stuff for a Good Cause
    Dwight Howard posts on his official blog today and states that he's auctioning some of his basketball gear on eBay for charity. Check it out.

    I wanted to tell you guys today about a project that some of my friends are working on and hopefully we can raise some money for charity. We are selling a lot of my game-worn and game-used shoes, jerseys and warm-up shirts on e-Bay. The money that we gets from the stuff will go to my foundation, the Dwight D. Howard Foundation, to help kids go to camp next summer. We give out scholarships to some of the kids to come to the camps in Orlando and Atlanta who might not be able to afford it otherwise.

    So we need you guys to check out the stuff and see if you would be interested in any of it to buy. It’s going to a good cause and I really think you guys might be interested in the stuff we’re selling on there. I know people go crazy when I throw my shoes and jerseys into the crowd. If you’ve never gotten one of those, here is your chance.

    Our seller’s name on e-Bay is DwightsStuff12.
  • Washington Wizards, New Orleans Hornets, Utah Jazz, Miami Heat all must make a trade before the deadline
    John Hollinger of ESPN Insider asserts that there are teams, like the Washington Wizards, that need to make a deal by the February 18th trade deadline. Involved in some of these scenarios is the Orlando Magic.

    For instance, consider this deal: Orlando uses its massive trade exception from the Hedo Turkoglu trade, adding Mike Miller, Dominic McGuire and DeShawn Stevenson (with the exception) from Washington, while sending J.J. Redick to Washington and Mickael Pietrus to Memphis. The trade would shore up the Magic's shooting and also clean up next year's balance sheet a bit.

    If Orlando doesn't like that one, several potential variants work. For instance, Wizards center Brendan Haywood could go to the Magic while Redick stays in Orlando ... or the Magic could add Haywood, send Redick and Anthony Johnson to Memphis and hang on to Pietrus ... or the Magic could acquire Butler instead of Miller ... or the Magic could obtain Jamison instead of Miller and send either Brandon Bass or Marcin Gortat (with his consent, which presumably he'd give) back to Washington.

    In any case, a three-way deal with Orlando and Memphis is the obvious escape hatch for the Wizards' predicament. But Memphis (or Sacramento) must be involved, since all the avenues above require using nearly all of the Grizzlies' or Kings' $4.2 million in remaining cap space.
    Acquiring Miller, McGuire, and Stevenson for Redick and Pietrus would be a lateral move, at best, for the Magic. Miller would be the only player of value and there's not a pressing need for Orlando to acquire someone like him. Making a move for Butler, a two-time All-Star, would be intriguing but his inability to be efficient on offense or shoot threes at a high clip wouldn't make him a good fit for the Magic, even though his defense would help. Netting Haywood or Jamison would be good moves but would either player be content with coming off the bench for Orlando? Jamison in particular, as good as he is, isn't usurping Rashard Lewis at power forward. It's highly unlikely that Stan Van Gundy would move Lewis (or Jamison, for that matter) to small forward to accommodate such a move.

    The only possibility would be for Jamison to be the sixth-man, a role he's filled before with the Dallas Mavericks in 2004 when he won the Sixth Man of the Year Award. If Jamison is willing to come off the bench, then perhaps something could work out with all parties involved. However, Ryan Anderson would be pushed down on the depth chart, which wouldn't be good given that he is producing at a similar rate to Jamison (albeit in less minutes) at a much cheaper price. I haven't even mentioned the issue of finances, which would be a roadblock in nearly any trade scenario for the Magic. And also, like Ben mentioned before, is it necessary for general manager Otis Smith to make a move? Right now, no.
  • Five Thoughts: Magic, Thunder & Bulls
    UPDATE: Is Ryan Anderson better than Rashard Lewis? Bradford Doolittle of Basketball Prospectus doesn't say yes but doesn't say no, either. 

    Lewis was one of the 20 best players in the league last season, so I'm not quite ready to advocate a power forward coup in Orlando. However ... it wouldn't be the craziest suggestion ever. Anderson is a player that statheads such as myself have liked since his days at Cal, when he was third in the nation in Offensive Rating among high-possession players, according to KenPom.com. (The top two were George Hill and Stephen Curry. Blake Griffin was fifth.)

    This season, Anderson is using 26 percent of Orlando's possessions when on the floor and is creating 1.19 points per possession used. Lewis' figures are at 21 percent and 1.21. For each 100 team possessions, Anderson is contributing five more points than Lewis. His defensive metrics are also superior. Anderson's statistical plus/minus is an outstanding +11.5, second to Dwight Howard on the Magic. (Lewis is at +4.6). Anderson just misses qualifying on NBAPET's leaderboards since he's only played 29 percent of the available minutes at his position. If he did qualify, his SPM would rank 12th in the league. According to 82games.com, the Magic are 5.4 points per 100 possessions better with Anderson on the floor; it is 1.9 points WORSE with Lewis playing.

    I'm just saying ...
  • NBA: Houston Rockets could join Chris Bosh chase
    UPDATE 2: In financial news, the Magic project to owe a luxury-tax payment of $12,574,601. Last time I checked, that's a lot of money.

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