The NBA preseason is a time for, among other things, experimentation. Coaches can tinker with new lineups, plays, and philosophy in games of no consequence in a real game setting against real opponents, as opposed to on the practice court in a scrimmage.
The Orlando Magic began their preseason Tuesday night in a victory over the Houston Rockets which can alternately be described as thrilling and sloppy. The banner change in their lineup was playing Rashard Lewis at small forward for a majority of his minutes, though he indeed started at power forward. But as I noted yesterday, Lewis was the only player who manned more than one position for Orlando. Which, in turn, got me thinking about the other multi-positional players on the team's roster, and which two-player combinations might be similarly compelling.
I'm curious to hear what you think on this topic. Now that we've seen how Lewis and Brandon Bass fare together that the forward spots, for example, what's next? Your poll choices are:
J.J. Redick at shooting guard, Vince Carter at small forward: the Magic tended to play much better with this alignment than with Carter at the two and Matt Barnes at the three against the Bosotn Celtics in the postseason, so to an extent, this pairing is a known commodity. Yet it's also something that might need another look.
Marcin Gortat at power forward, Dwight Howard at center: we've seen this group before too, but in very small, sporadic doses over the last two seasons. Aren't you the slightest bit curious to see whether Gortat can make good on his promise that he can stretch the floor on offense alongside Howard?
Stanley Robinson at small forward, Malik Allen at power forward: both of these players sat out Tuesday's win despite the fact that they're healthy. They're playing on unguaranteed deals and have yet to make their Magic debuts. Why not see what they can do together, even if it's in garbage time? There's always the chance for the high-flying Robinson to tip-in a missed Allen layup. And believe me, Allen misses a lot of layups.
I'm sure there are other combinations that are worth our attention, but those are the three that stood out the most. Feel free to vote the "other" option if you'd prefer to see an alternative lineup first. RSS readers, please visit this post on the website to vote in the poll. It ends tomorrow night at 7 PM.
The Magic's next chance to experiment is tomorrow night in Indiana against the Pacers.