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Orlando Magic Media Day: Otis Smith

The following questions were ones that I asked either one-on-one or within the media scrums (no different than the formats of previous Q/A's). For additional questions and answers, feel free to visit the Orlando Magic's site or the Orlando Sentinel's site to hear the additional commentary from the coaches and players.


Otis Smith:


Do you think that's a testament to the team's depth [not being concerned about not having Rashard Lewis for the first 10 games of the regular season], the fact that you have that luxury to play those guys and not have much of a drop-off?

Well, I'm not saying we're not going to have a drop-off because offensively, I think that's where we're probably miss him the most because of his spacing but it is a testament to how deep we are and how we're able to play different. We'll miss him but some of those other guys will be able to pick up the slack and help play a different way for 10 games and then when he gets back, we'll play a different way. I think that's all the adjustments that teams make when they have guys out.

Was Dwight Howard the only player that recruited players to come to Orlando during free agency, or was there anyone else that spoke to the targets that you were going after?

Dwight probably talked to a lot of guys, some guys we had interest in as a team and some guys that he had interest in so I'm not sure what Dwight has done. I rarely, rarely, rarely let guys in that capacity. For the most part, his recruiting is just him being him. He don't have to do a thing. We'll be able to attract guys just because it's Orlando.

How much more growth do you think Howard has, especially offensively?

A lot. I think he has a lot of growth and a long ways to go, both offensively and defensively. Defensively, he's doing his thing. Offensively, he's just continuing to grow, just letting the game come to him and slow down but that just takes time. As time progresses and as he matures, particularly as a big man, it just takes him a bit longer to go.

Do you have any specific concerns about the decrease in the salary cap and the decrease in the luxury tax within the next year or two?

Well, if anyone in my position that doesn't have concerns about it, should be in another position. Yes, there is some concerns. 

Tim Povtak of NBA FanHouse, if I'm not mistaken, because I can't remember (bad memory, I apologize), asked Otis Smith an intriguing question that I felt was worth sharing pertaining to the center position in the NBA.

All the good teams in our league have very good and strong players at the center position, both on the inside and out. With him, when we're talking about Dwight, as we talk about developing his jumpshot, it's that fifteen foot standstill *points to the free-throw line*. If he can do that, he shot more free throws than anybody in the league last year, if he can shoot the fifteen foot standstill at about 70%-75% clip, he will turn the world upside down. You know why? Because now, we just foul him. We just foul him because we don't know what else to do, there's no other way to stop him so foul him and send him to the line where he's shooting 56% and the odds go up. I think if you got a centerpiece, you're able to do more things. 


You need a good-to-great point guard but he don't need to be spectacular. If you have a center, you can change it, you can really change it. Look at what the Lakers did. Their best player is Kobe Bryant but they're not a slouch in any of the other positions, either. I mean, they can play Bynum and Gasol and able to compete with him [Bryant] as the centerpiece. If you don't have a center, it's hard to do multiple things. It's hard to force people in the inside and all the shooters but somebody has to attract them.