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Orlando Magic News for January 14th: Rashard Lewis Trying to Bounce Back; A Look at Defense

Orlando Pinstriped Post Photo / Bruce Maddox
Orlando Pinstriped Post Photo / Bruce Maddox
  • Denton: Lewis Hoping to Regain Form
    John Denton of elaborates on Rashard Lewis' offensive struggles and comments on how teams in the NBA have adjusted to the Orlando Magic's style of play.

    Lewis said teams have grown wise to many of the plays the Magic used to crush foes with last season. Teams rarely leave him now to double-team Howard inside because of Lewis’ 3-point stroke. They’ve limited the effectiveness of Orlando’s high-low play with Lewis at the top of the key and Howard rolling down the middle – a staple of the offense last season. And getting the ball to Lewis in the post has been a chore what with defenses hounding him.

    Said Lewis: ``I just find myself floating around waiting to try and get a shot. Sometimes I have to force a shot and those aren’t good shots. Forced shots aren’t going to go in. Teams have done a good job of scouting us.’’

    Van Gundy took responsibility for trying to find different ways to get Lewis free for shots. But he also noted that Lewis has ``really struggled on drives this year to finish.’’

    Lewis doesn’t know how this season will finish, but he admitted that the start has been particularly frustrating because expectations are so high now and there’s a championship-or-bust mentality among the team. He was suspended for the first 10 games of the season by the NBA after taking a banned supplement last spring. There was a transition period after he returned as he worked to get his legs and shot back under him. And of late, he’s just asked for more looks to help the Magic shake out of their offensive funk.
  • Rashard Lewis Looking for Shots
    Philip Rossman-Reich of Orlando Magic Daily tries to figure out why Lewis has been in a funk on the offensive side of the ball this year.

  • Midseason Awards: Nobody Has Been Better Than Carmelo Anthony
    Dime Magazine picks its midseason awards.

    Defensive Player of the Year: Dwight Howard (Magic) I know this is kind of the safe pick, we really wanted to pick Gerald Wallace here. But after giving it some thought, Howard is still the most dominant defensive player in the game. He’s first in both rebounds (13.2 rpg) and blocks (2.49 bpg) and basically owns the paint. Plus, Dwight never would have let David Lee dunk on him.
  • A Look at Steals: Does Gambling Pay Off?
    OPP Guest Contributor Jon Nichols writes a post for Hardwood Paroxysm and takes a look at whether or not gambling for steals on defense pays off.

    Creating turnovers on the defensive end certainly is a good thing.  After all, it is one of the Four Factors.  Still, the ability of a defense to generate steals in particular is not always assumed to be beneficial.  Perhaps it is better to play more safe and solid D.  I’ve decided to look at the numbers and see what conclusions we can draw.
  • NBA trade season: Top 25 players most likely to be dealt
    Chad Ford of ESPN Insider takes a look at the top 25 players most likely to be dealt by the February 18th trade deadline and, most notably, no one on the Magic is listed.

  • New Jersey Nets could reverse their fortunes as soon as next year
    UPDATE: Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated shares some pertinent news.

    The Magic's current skid of six losses in 10 games has not put coach Stan Van Gundy's job in jeopardy. League sources said Van Gundy is on solid ground. The same cannot be said about most of the roster. An NBA source described Orlando GM Otis Smith as "active" in trade talks and said the Magic could look to reshape their roster before the Feb. 18 trade deadline.
  • Is the Magic Gone in Orlando? " mathletics
    UPDATE 2: Wayne Winston, the statistical guru whom the Dallas Mavericks previously employed, picks the Orlando Magic to win the Eastern Conference. The most important thing for Orlando, writes Winston, is to play Jason Williams at point guard whenever Dwight Howard is out of the game. Why? "When [Jameer] Nelson or [Anthony] Johnson is at the point and Howard is out the Magic are 17 points worse than average."