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Orlando Magic News for August 7th: Shaquille O'Neal Talks About Rashard Lewis, A Twin Towers Look, and More

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  • PED Crisis in the NBA? Shaq Doesn't Think So
    Shaquille O'Neal appears on ESPN Radio and offers insight on Rashard's suspension (via The Baseline).

    "[...] I can say, a lot of guys including myself, we do go in to these GNC stores and for example, we look at a bottle and it says, ‘Fan Man Buster Plus’ and it has a nice little picture on the thing, we’ll buy it without even doing the research or looking at it. But, I think now guys really have to look and see what’s on the back so we’re not taking anything. But, again, most people when they read the labels they just buy it, ‘Fat Booty Buster Plus - lose your fat booty in 10 days.’ But, I don’t think the guy was like, ‘Let me use a steroid.’ I’ve known Rashard a long time and he’s not that type of guy." 
  • Team Positional Production Allocation… or Something
    Neil Paine of Basketball-Reference takes a look at how success is correlated with a backcourt-heavy or frontcourt-heavy team.

    What does any of this mean? Well, again, it’s best to balance your production between your frontcourt and your backcourt, your bigger players and your smaller ones. But, it appears that there’s a very slight trend over the last decade that says teams who rely on their guards and smaller players tend to win a few more games over the course of a season. This makes sense, given that the league spent most of the Oughts trying to tip the advantage in favor of perimeter scorers with modifications to the rules on hand-checking and more liberal foul calls on drives in general.
  • Could Rashard Lewis's absence give way to a twin towers lineup?
    Tania Ganguli wonders whether or not Rashard Lewis' absence may pave the way for Marcin Gortat to see more minutes alongside Dwight Howard

  •  If he had to do it over again, LeBron James still would not have shaken hands with the Magic
    LeBron James speaks with David Aldridge of NBA.com and stands firm with his decision not to shake hands with any of the Orlando Magic players after losing in the Eastern Conference Finals (via the Orlando Sentinel).

    "I look at the handshake like this," James said. "During the regular season, no one ever says anything. We play 82 regular-season games, eight preseason games, guys at the end of the game, no one ever shakes hands. Ever. And you move on to the next game. The congratulations, I congratulated Dwight (Howard) via e-mail, told him congratulations and good luck in the Finals. The shaking hands thing is really not a big thing for me. It's not I'm a sore loser or anything like that. I'm just moving on. You guys beat me ... I think sometimes people want you to accept losing, and I will never accept losing. There's ways to handle it certain times, and shaking hands may be it. But I will never accept losing, at anything that I do."
  • UPDATE: Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports checks in on Twitter.
    Orlando and Memphis have shown interest in UFA Jason Williams, source says. New York passed on making offer, after claiming from waivers.
  • No Steroids (Or Common Sense) in NBA
    UPDATE 2: David Whitley of NBA FanHouse chimes in on Rashard.

    Lewis tested positive for DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone for those scoring at home). It can be found in supplements at any nutrition store. Lewis said he mixed the powder with smoothies, not realizing it was a banned substance.

    Orlando's forward has an $118 million contract. You'd think he could hire a personal pharmacist to approve everything that goes in his mouth. Considering his 10-game suspension will cost Lewis about $1.6 million, it would have been a smart investment.

    So call him stupid or call him Roid-Shard. Just don't call the Magic's Eastern Conference championship as tainted as the Red Sox' 2004 World Series title.