A bit of chatter from the D-League Showcase
Marc Stein of ESPN.com checks in with some news about the Orlando Magic, reporting from the annual D-League Showcase in Boise, Idaho that is taking place this week. Apparently, they're disinclined to trade Marcin Gortat.
At least two sources with knowledge of Orlando's thinking remain convinced that the Magic will not consider trading reserve center Marcin Gortat before the summer.
The Magic continue to give the impression that it's too soon for them to consider shake-up moves, even when they're "just playing terrible" ... in the words of coach Stan Van Gundy after Tuesday's road loss to lowly Indiana.
After spending more than $80 million on this season's roster, Orlando appears to have convinced most of its peers that it is going to give the current group a full season to see what it can achieve.
Denton: Amway Center Update
John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com provides an update on the Amway Center, which is scheduled to open in downtown Orlando in October.
[Alex] Martins said he’s eager to see the looks on the faces of fans when they walk into the new Amway Center for the first time.
And he’s already dreamed about what Opening Night of the 2010-11 season for the Magic will look like. In fact, he already has in mind a scenario that would make the opening one of the grandest nights in Orlando’s history.
``To be able to close down the Amway Arena by hoisting that trophy and then opening the Amway Center by hoisting the banner, that would be a storybook finish to building a new building. You couldn’t dream of a better opening,’’ Martins said. ``We dream about that every day. We’ve never been better poised in the history of our organization to give us an opportunity to do that. This team is as deep and as competitive as any that’s ever played here in Orlando and it gives us our best chance ever to win a World Championship. ``Hopefully we’ll stay healthy as a team, continue to improve as the year goes along and hopefully it will take us toward winning our first World Championship in June.’’
Is the Economy Responsible for the Three-Point Bulge?
Bethlehem Shoals of The Baseline notes how three-point shooters are an inexpensive commodity in the NBA (HT: The Dark).
Turkoglu, King of the Kustom Karz
Checking in on Hedo Turkoglu, a former Magic player.
You thought Hedo Turkoglu was a mild-mannered chap with superior basketball skills and respect for all those around him? Think again. At least when he was in Orlando, dude liked to rip up the road in a fully customized Dodge Charger. The lights keep flashing once the car turns off. I know this is five minutes long and in Turkish, but it's funny to watch the contrast between Hedo's low-key demeanor and the need for speed that's peaking out from underneath. Too bad he had to leave this baby at the border in Canada, since moving vehicles are illegal there.
Luis Scola, Eddy Curry among NBA's best, worst bangs for bucks
UPDATE (from Ben): Paul Forrester of Sports Illustrated names Magic poing guard Jason Williams as a starter on his Best Bang For the Buck team.
PG: Jason Williams (Orlando Magic), $825,497: Signed out of retirement as a backup for Jameer Nelson, Williams earned his keep in leading the Magic to a 13-4 record as a fill-in starter while Nelson was out with a knee injury. In those 17 games, Williams averaged 5.1 assists and only 1.3 turnovers. Also, for the season, the 11-year veteran is shooting a career-high 42.3 percent from three-point range.
Orlando Magic better off with Vince Carter instead of Hedo Turkoglu?
UPDATE 2: John Hollinger of ESPN Insider takes a closer look at whether or not the Magic are better off with Vince Carter leading the offense.
Yet, in Orlando, many observers seem to yearn for the halcyon days of last spring when Turkoglu directed the offense. Carter has been more productive than Turkoglu in terms of sheer numbers (22.9 points per 40 minutes, 16.98 PER), but he's getting his numbers in a different way. Carter is shooting only 39.3 percent from the floor after Tuesday's 2-for-15 stink bomb in a 97-90 loss to Indiana, and despite all the weapons around him, his assist rate threatens to set a new career low. [...]
I still maintain the Magic came out ahead in the exchange. Carter's numbers are likely to move back closer to his career norms during the second half of the season, for starters. Plus, while he makes more money than Turkoglu, the dough is guaranteed for only one year after this one -- meaning he won't become the cap albatross Turkoglu might. Finally, the Magic still are sitting on a huge trade exception from the Turkoglu sign-and-trade deal that they could use to bring in reinforcements.
The Five Most Valuable Non-Superstars In The NBA
UPDATE 3 (from Ben): But The Game Is On says Rashard Lewis is the 5th-best non-superstar in the league. (hat tip: BDL)
Lewis goes from shooting 47% from the field and 45% from three land (averaging six attempts) in Orlando wins to shooting 30% from the field and 32% from three in losses. When Lewis isn’t going right, the Magic almost lose every bit of the match-up problems they had last season, which could be a big problem come playoff time.
Orlando Magic News for January 6th: Magic Unlikely to Trade Marcin Gortat; Updates on the Amway Center, Three-Pointers, and Hedo Turkoglu
By erivera7 Updated