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Orlando Magic News for September 16th: Checking in on Marcin Gortat; Dwight Howard, Repeat Defensive Player of the Year?

  • Marcin Gortat's Polish national team eliminated from EuroBasket 2009
    Josh Robbins checks in on Marcin Gortat's national team in the Eurobasket '09, Poland, which lost to Spain.

    Marcin Gortat’s time at the European basketball championships has ended.

    Spain routed Poland 90-68 Wednesday in Gortat’s hometown of Lodz. The defeat eliminated the host nation from EuroBasket 2009. 

    Gortat, the Orlando Magic backup center and Poland's only current NBA player, scored 12 points and collected a game-high 12 rebounds. 
  • Top 5 Contenders For Defensive Player Of The Year 

    Gerald Narciso of Dime Magazine lists the top five contenders for Defensive Player of the Year. Leading the pack is, of course, Dwight Howard.

    1. Dwight Howard: Superman won the award last year and could very well repeat again this year. At 7-feet and blessed with ridiculous athleticism, Howard can clean the glass and beat up shots basically on cue. He averaged 13.8 rpg, 2.9 bpg and even a steal in ‘08-09. If the Magic win the East in the regular season, this award stays in Orlando.
  • 4-Year WS trends For 2009-10 Players
    Neil Paine of Basketball-Reference shares intriguing news about creating a projection system for Win Shares. Something worth keeping an eye on.

    As part of the process required to create a projection system for Win Shares similar to that which we employed for Statistical +/-, I have to create tables with four-year WS trends for each player in NBA history. So, since I'm clearly not going to get the projections done today, I figured I'd hold you guys over with a table of these trends for all players who played in 2009 and/or will play in 2010 (rookies excluded, for obvious reasons). It's a huge data dump, I know, but at least it gives you a look at how each team's current roster looks, Win Shares-wise.
  • The Disease… Is Back.
    Matt Moore of Hardwood Paroxysm states his excitement for the 2009-2010 NBA season. The anticipation is certainly starting to rise, no?

    And so it is that the doldrums have summer have passed and I am ready for the season to start, even though we still have a month and a half to go. That’s nothing. We have loaded teams and new rookies and Kobe vs. LeBron, which we all love even though we all talk about how tired we are of it. We have Nash still running around making insane passes. We have Durantula growing bigger and better (do not underestimate Harden). We have Shawn Marion who can do about ten things pretty well and Dirk Nowitzki who can do about three things insanely well, and Tim Thomas, who… yeah.

    The point is that it is time for the 09-10 season. LeBron’s contract year. Kobe’s race for one for the thumb. Shaq trying to make one more run at relevance. The Eastern Big 3. The Spurs reloaded. The Birdman uncapped.