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Orlando Magic News for September 17th: Ryan Anderson, Secret Weapon; Lists Galore!

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  • Ryan Anderson, Martell Webster among top NBA secret weapons
    Brian Hendrickson, in a special to Sports Illustrated, notes how Ryan Anderson could be the Orlando Magic's secret weapon in the upcoming season.

    The name isn't instantly recognizable, certainly not like Carter's. But the second-year forward just might emerge as the Magic's secret weapon this season -- one of many who surface in the NBA every year. They're the players who don't get the attention and remain anonymous during preseason speculation, but end up playing a vital role in their team's success. And Anderson has all the markings of that player for Orlando. [...]    

    Now look at how he complements the Magic's lineup. Orlando lacked a power forward who could pull defenders out of the paint whenever Lewis left the game last season, making it easier to double-team Howard. Anderson has the size to operate in the paint, but will also benefit from all those double teams as a kick-out option on the perimeter. If he can hit those shots consistently -- as he has already proved capable of doing -- teams may have to think twice about doubling down on Howard, freeing up the Magic's leader to operate more effectively.
    Mainstream media, welcome to the bandwagon.
  • Top 5 Contenders For NBA’s Most Improved Player
    Aron Phillips of Dime Magazine lists his top five contenders for NBA's Most Improved Player, and a former Magic rookie makes the cut.

    5. Courtney Lee, Nets - Since he was traded to the Nets, Lee has been moaning as if he was a franchise player. Now he’ll have the chance to show what he’s talking about as he slides in at the two-guard spot left by the void of Vince Carter. Playing alongside Devin Harris, he’ll have a great playmaker to play off of as Lee guns to become one of the NBA’s elite after averaging only 8.4 points per game last year.
  • The top 10 finest All-Star moments of the last decade
    Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don't Lie lists the top ten finest All-Star moments in the past decade, in which several former and current Orlando players make an impromptu appearance (Shaquille O'Neal, Tracy McGrady, Dwight Howard, Vince Carter, Jason Williams).

    Dwight Howard, and I love him for this, brings that whimsy. He's not thinking about his legacy, his place amongst the greats, and where he stacks up compared to Michael, Wilt, Shaq, whomever. Perhaps it's his upbringing, perhaps it's his confidence, perhaps it's his choice in religion. I don't know. But he's cool with himself, even if he's showing off.

    And, for years, he's given us Saturday nights to remember in the cold of February, bounding all over the court as he works the slam dunk contest. He's only won once in three tries, not the judges' finest hour, but he seems OK with that. OK with having fun.

    We need to be OK with that.
  • Video: Venice Beach baller challenges Dwight Howard
    J.E. Skeets of Ball Don't Lie sets up the particulars of this riveting story.

    Dwight Howard, in his bionic uniform, hit the famous Venice Beach basketball courts on Wednesday to shoot a commercial for "NBA Live 10." While filming, a local streetballer wanted to see if he could block one of Superman's dunks. Take a wild guess how it went before clicking here to watch the dunk/block off.