NBA Countdown: No. 8 Orlando Magic
Tim Povtak previews the Orlando Magic on behalf of Sporting News.
View from the other benchThen why does Vince Carter have a higher assist percentage than Hedo Turkoglu this past season (and a lower turnover percentage, to boot)?
(an opponent breaks down the Magic)
"For a team that went to the Finals, these were not small changes they made. If they don't get back there, or if the team has a drop-off in the regular season, there is certain going to be some second-guessing. Getting Vince Carter certainly is no drop-off from letting Hedo Turkoglu leave, but they are different, really different players, different in what they do best. Vince is capable of creating something when there is nothing out there. But Turkoglu was a much more willing passer, and a lot of times he created for his teammates."
The 5 Obstacles To The Orlando Magic’s Championship Run
Gerald Narciso of Dime Magazine takes a look at the five obstacles in the way of a championship run for Orlando. Here's one of them:
A lot has been made about Dwight Howard’s one dimensional game. His lack of post moves and inability to make free throws makes him a liability come crunch time. He insisted that he worked on both those areas over the summer, but so far in the preseason, he has been inconsistent from the line. Superman is destined for another monster season and deserves MVP consideration, but if you’re a franchise player and can’t be a factor in the game’s final minutes, than you can’t win championships.Oh, like Wilt Chamberlain or Shaquille O'Neal? ed. note: I'm also a fan of the incorrect go-to phrase, "lack of post moves", when referring to Dwight Howard.
Game Notes: Magic at Bulls
Bryan Crawford of SLAM ONLINE shares his observations of last night's game between the Orlando Magic & the Chicago Bulls. An excerpt from his write-up:
From what I saw last night on the make-up of the Orlando Magic and the camaraderie they all seemed to share in the locker room after the game as they gorged themselves on a buffet of barbecued ribs and watched Monday Night Football together, you can almost certainly expect the Orlando Van Gundy’s to make another deep run into the playoffs, possibly repeating as Eastern Conference champions and making it to the NBA Finals again. Especially with the addition of Vince Carter and a healthy Jameer Nelson. There’s something to be said for a team that gets along and who genuinely like each other. This year’s Magic team certainly seems to have that going for them.
Orlando Magic turnovers, defensive lapses irk Stan Van Gundy
Tania Ganguli notes how head coach Stan Van Gundy was not pleased with the game, yesterday. As expected, defense and turnovers were the issues.
The Magic committed 12 turnovers in the first half of their 101-98 win over the Chicago Bulls. They had 18 by the end of the game. So... at least it got better?
But that didn't stop Stan Van Gundy from replying with a, "No, not even close. Awful." When asked if he was pretty pleased with his team's performance. (It wasn't me, I promise)
The Baseline Sees All: Orlando Magic
UPDATE: Bethlehem Shoals of The Baseline eloquently questions why so many people are questioning that the Magic are still for real.
What am I missing here? Is Vince Carter still so loathed or resented that he must taint any team he comes to? Is everyone still worried about their offense, specifically Howard's role in it, when they'll have their second-best player back healthy and have added an elite scorer? This team should win a championship and it's absurd that anyone's lukewarm or less than bullish about them. We should be falling at their feet and wondering how even the Lakers can match their depth.
Lets Not Forget About Keyon
UPDATE 2: Sebastian Pruiti of NetsAreScorching takes a look at a former Orlando point guard, Keyon Dooling, and tries to decipher which position is best for him with New Jersey.
Sources: NBA, referees getting closer to agreement
UPDATE 3: It appears that replacement refs are no more.
The NBA's locked out referees appear to be inching close to a return to work after an unexpected meeting Tuesday in New York between commissioner David Stern and Lamell McMorris of the referees' union, ESPN.com has learned.
NBA Preview: Orlando Magic expert predictions
UPDATE 4: ESPN.com writers offer their respective predictions on how the Orlando Magic will fare in the 2009-2010 season. Check it out.