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NBA Market Watch: Preview-Orlando Magic
by: Eric Weiss - Sports Aptitude
November 2, 2007
Off Season Overview:

Orlando was one of the most aggressive teams in the market over the summer. The Magic spent above and beyond what was necessary in order to secure the services of Rashard Lewis.

Having a perimeter scorer the caliber of Lewis will help open up the court for holdovers Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson. The two received contracts that will keep them in Orlando for the next five years. Both Howard and Nelson put in some real work over the summer to get ready for what they hope to be an excellent season.

All three players seem to value the investment the Magic organization has made in them, which speaks loudly to the quality of their character. How things play out on the court remains to be seen, but the team now has three main scoring options to work with in addition to some solid role players.

Last year’s draft pick JJ Redick worked hard to rehab from his injuries and looked strong coming into camp before getting nicked up again. Redick may not have the body type to ever be healthy full-time, but as a complementary scorer he could pay dividends working off the attention that the main three players will receive.

Depth Chart:



Strengths:

The Magic have nice scoring balance in their rotation. Turkoglu, Bogans, Ariza, Arroyo, and Redick are all capable scorers and each has the ability to shoot from the perimeter which will allow Dwight Howard to operate in space more frequently. The perimeter shooting of the Magic also creates driving lanes and the team has some players who can put the ball on the floor.
Orlando’s best three players play at complementary positions that should help them to function well as a group. Lewis is playing out of position at the power forward position, but plays like a wing and allows Howard to have domain over the paint. Jameer Nelson is coming into his own as a point guard in Stan Van Gundy’s system and played spectacular basketball throughout the preseason.


Weaknesses:

Orlando’s defense and interior depth is suspect and the loss of Tony Battie will be felt. Lewis has length, but isn’t known as an extremely physical player so it remains to be seen how he’ll function against quality four-men defensively. Pat Garrity duplicates Lewis in terms of his outside-oriented offensive game, but to be relied upon as the primary backup power forward may be a lot to ask.

Defensively, much of the pressure rests on Howard’s shoulders. He is the only starter with plus defensive ability and there isn’t much else in the main rotation left in support. Trevor Ariza and Adonal Foyle will give a good account of themselves. Keith Bogans and Jameer Nelson can be gritty at times defensively, but the team as a whole will be more reliant on trapping schemes and playing the passing lanes to turn opponents over.

Overall, it’ll take some work for this team to become better individual defenders and they could really use another big man with size and tenacity to man the frontcourt opposite Howard. Letting the popular Carlos Arroyo go and pursuing a defensive guard with more court sense than Keyon Dooling would be a big help as well.

Outlook:

The Magic are definitely better than last season, Lewis ensured that when he brought his high-powered offensive game to Orlando.

The Magic have a core in place that are of a similar age, so they should be able to grow together as a group. Solid perimeter shooting and an incredible physical specimen to work the interior on both ends of the court should make the Magic a long-term contender. As long as GM Otis Smith continues to find the proper pieces to augment the current base, the future in Orlando should be bright.

For this season, the team has probably moved itself up into contention for the 6th-8th seed in the playoffs. Their lack of experience as a unit and the on-going development of some of their key players probably puts them behind some of the other teams in the east such as Washington, Cleveland, and Miami.

The Magic are facing a tougher Eastern Conference then last year, but should compete for the playoffs. Indiana, Milwaukee, and Miami should be fighting with Orlando all season for playoff positioning and each looks like first-round fodder for the top teams in the East.


 


Feedback for this article may be sent to eric.weiss@gmail.com .

 

Rashard Lewis
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 190 lbs.
Birthday: 08/08/1979
35 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Alief Elsik
Previous Team: , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #3 in 1998 Draft
by the Supersonics
Positions:
Current: F,
NBA: SF/PF,
Possible: F
Quick Stats:
6.3 Pts, 2.3 Rebs, 2.0 Asts


Dwight Howard
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 240 lbs.
Birthday: 12/08/1985
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Southwest Atlanta Christian
Previous Team: , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #1 in 2004 Draft
by the Magic
Positions:
Current: F,
NBA: C,
Possible: F
Quick Stats:
11.7 Pts, 9.3 Rebs, 1.4 Asts


Jameer Nelson
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 193 lbs.
Birthday: 02/09/1982
32 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Chester
Previous Team: St. Joseph's , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #20 in 2004 Draft
by the Nuggets
Positions:
Current: G,
NBA: PG,
Possible: G
Quick Stats:
7.0 Pts, 1.8 Rebs, 5.3 Asts


Tony Battie
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 11"
Weight: 227 lbs.
Birthday: 02/11/1976
38 Years Old
Teams:
High School: South Oak Cliff
Previous Team: Texas Tech , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #5 in 1997 Draft
by the Nuggets
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
Pts, Rebs, Asts


Pat Garrity
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 237 lbs.
Birthday: 09/23/1976
37 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Lewis Palmer
Previous Team: Notre Dame , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #19 in 1998 Draft
by the Bucks
Positions:
Current: F,
NBA: F,
Possible: F
Quick Stats:
2.1 Pts, 1.4 Rebs, 0.4 Asts


Trevor Ariza
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 201 lbs.
Birthday: 06/30/1985
29 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Westchester
Previous Team: UCLA , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #14 in 2004 Draft
by the Knicks
Positions:
Current: F,
NBA: SF,
Possible: F
Quick Stats:
14.4 Pts, 6.2 Rebs, 2.5 Asts


Adonal Foyle
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 263 lbs.
Birthday: 03/09/1975
39 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Hamilton
Previous Team: Colgate , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #8 in 1997 Draft
by the Warriors
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
Pts, Rebs, Asts


Keith Bogans
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 210 lbs.
Birthday: 05/12/1980
34 Years Old
Teams:
High School: DeMatha Catholic
Previous Team: Kentucky , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #14 in 2003 Draft
by the Bucks
Positions:
Current: G,
NBA: SG/SF,
Possible: G
Quick Stats:
2.0 Pts, 0.5 Rebs, 0.5 Asts


Carlos Arroyo
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 220 lbs.
Birthday: 07/30/1979
35 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Colegio Santiago Apostol
Previous Team: Besiktas , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
12.2 Pts, 2.0 Rebs, 4.8 Asts


Keyon Dooling
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 196 lbs.
Birthday: 05/08/1980
34 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Dillard
Previous Team: Missouri , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #10 in 2000 Draft
by the Magic
Positions:
Current: PG/SG,
NBA: PG/SG,
Possible: PG/SG
Quick Stats:
6.0 Pts, 0.0 Rebs, 1.0 Asts


Otis Smith
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 210 lbs.
Birthday: 01/30/1964
50 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Forrest
Previous Team: Jacksonville , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #17 in 1986 Draft
by the Nuggets
Positions:
Current: F,
NBA: F,
Possible: F
Quick Stats:
5.6 Pts, 2.1 Rebs, 1.0 Asts


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