By Konate Primus
For the rest of our season previews, go here.
The Orlando Magic will be where they were last year, at home after a semi-decent season. Last year I paid close attention to Orlando because of the awesome start from the beginning of the season if you remember they started out 13-4 and sadly looked like the best thing on the east coast but down the line they lost something. They quickly fell to 20-40, got a few new pieces and finished 16-6. I watched closely and saw their issues.
1. No one commands a double team besides Dwight on their best night.
2. Lack of a solid backcourt.
3. They need a slasher, some one to open up things for Dwight
We all know Dwight Howard is a man-beast and we all know he could easily give you 20 and 15 this year and become the youngest cat to win the rebounding title, but even the best can get better. And who is better to show a already dominating young center some fancy footwork and nifty post moves? Aside from “the dream”, the king of New York is in line for that job. Pat Ewing coming in as an assistant Coach is a great look for the franchise. He brought Yao’s game to another level when he was working in Houston last season and Dwight is naturally more skilled than Yao so in the next couple years this kid will virtually unstoppable. However that’s not the Magic’s biggest problem. It’s going to be up to the suits in Orlando to see if they are in a position to make something happen.
The Magic are going in the right direction, but they are taking such l’il steps. Let’s be honest, these guys have been rebuilding since the Shaq and Penny era. They lucked up on Tracy McGrady but they surrounded him with mediocre players. Look where that got them, nowhere!
This season the front office brought in Adonal Foyle for some more depth on the frontline. In addition to bringing in Foyle they decided to let Grandpa Hill go, and bring in the high flying, slashing, younger small forward Rashard Lewis. Here’s how I see it: Rashard is an awesome small forward who can get to the basket, and habitually create his own shot but they still don’t have someone who commands a double team aside from Dwight. Rashard will have those nights when he’s in the groove of things and buckets will come to him as easy as fat women to KFC, conversely if you put a fairly decent defender on him that can change easily.
Good pick ups for the magic but the real problems lies with the backcourt. Jameer Nelson has those nights when he takes on the scoring load, but he’s too small to be a shooting guard and, he needs to learn how to make his teammate better. Throughout his career his ppg have gotten better every year but his apg has flat lined. He peaked at 4 apg and stayed there. JJ Reddick along with Hedo Turkoglu needs to grow some balls and step up to the plate! Both of them play so timid as if they are afraid to go inside the 3 point line. If Orlando can make some moves to beef up their roster in the backcourt especially at the 2 they will be in good shape. Their frontline is good enough to make something happen but they need good on both ends of the ball.
Moreover this season they brought in Ron Jeremy’s stunt double, Stan Van Gundy, who seems to work well in these situations. He took Miami in their time of lesser good and did wonderful work with them so maybe he can guide this team into path of winning and righteous playing. These guys can really make something happen this season. Of course he doesn’t have a Dwade but he has the soon to be most dominating post player in the league. And if not get ready for the same thing as last year and the year before and… you get the point.
On the other hand they could really really suck this year and end up getting a strong guard out of USC… or not.