Orlando Magic Blog

Group Blog talking about the NBA 2009 Eastern Conference Champions. Due to the amazing success of the 2009 playoff run comments are now frequently deleted to kill offensive comments, incoherence, or asininity. Comments can no longer be anonymous and require either a Blogger or OpenID account.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

A Real Magic Make-Over

Point guards: Jameer is serviceable,the fact that this is his first year as a starting point guard in this league means the jury is still out,with a full year under his belt i think he'll be fine,he should be able to improve on his assists totals while getting his shooting percentage back up.Carlos in my opinion has no place here,he isnt a good fit at what were trying to do,if we were an offensive team than he would be ok because offensively he does pass the ball,but we're an inside outside team that preaches defense first,carlos is our weakest defender because of lack of speed and often times as you watch him defend his best defense is sticking his hand out and getting a hand check foul called against him,at least it isnt a free lay-up because carlos has to have the slowest footspeed in the nba.Travis is also serviceable,has good defensive footspeed,can shoot the three,and will pass,what more can you ask for in a back-up. Shooting guards:Grant isnt a shooting guard,but he's played there all year when healthy,he needs to move over to the three.Keyon has been the primary back-up and in my opinion he should have carlos's role as the back-up point guard,moving him to the point would preserve his defensive abilities which we can still use,at the back-up point he wouldnt have to shoot as much also.Which brings me to keith and JJ,keith should remain the starter even with grant and keyon healthy,and JJ his back-up enough said. Small forwards:Hedo isnt starter quality,usually a starter is someone who can be an effective scorer quality wise and not quantity wise when it comes to shooting % totals while being a good defender,hedo is neither,how is he our starter?.Posey,prince,butler,james,deng,bargnani and granger are all better small-forward starters,and all of their teams are currently ahead of the magic,except for poesy.Trevor has been hedo's primary back-up and should remain the back-up small-forward when everyone's healthy,trevor has alot of up-side so he's virtually untouchable.I would love to see grant be the starter here,that would get us back near the top of production offensively and defensively from the small-forward position in the east,with hedo and trevor as the back-ups,the fact that they are so different would give a coach the ability to use them in roles which is what this team needs,if you need offense bring in hedo,if you need a defensive presence bring in trevor. Power-forward/center:Dwight and darko should be the starters,with battie as the back-up,this is the only position on the team where we dont have alot of un-wanted bodies (except for maybe pat...LOL),but its the position where we probably could add a few or give some time to augustine,you dont score 16pts and grab 17 rebounds in a d-league game if you cant ball.And bo has a role untill he decides to retire,he's cheap,good presence in the locker room,he hustle's and is just an all-around good guy.I'm not gonna say a whole lot about pat as he hasnt been played,good for bsh finally getting something right. My starters: Jameer,keith,grant,darko and dwight. Second unit:keyon/trav,JJ,trevor,hedo and tony.Depth: Travis,james. Expendable: carlos,pat and bo.


  • At 7:22 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Thanks for doing that BIG. That’s what I felt like doing after I got going on my post last night. I basically agree with you from top to bottom. A few names might change here or there. But after thinking about it, and seeing what you wrote, it all comes back to the original problem; Brian Hill.

    It’d be nice to see Hedo take a spot on the bench, if B Hill needs an excuse, call it motivation, as the guy hasn’t looked nearly as good this season.

    Three small forwards might present a problem. While I could see Hedo’s minutes being reduced easily, I don’t see B Hill reducing Ariza’s or G Hill’s. B Hill will probably continue playing them out of position. Hedo’s minutes should be easy, bring him off the bench, he’ll jack up 5 shots in 3 minutes, if he’s on, he continues to play, if he’s off, he doesn’t. I wish Hedo could play a little PF off the bench, he’s 6-10, but he’s probably too weak; but maybe not, there are a lot of teams that play "small ball" now days.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Nelson continue starting, or seeing Dooling get a shot at playing PG a little. If he’s not going to play some minutes at the PG position, he doesn’t really have a place. Because it’s just not going to work with him at the SG spot, especially after seeing what Bogans and Redick can do there night in and out.

    Carlos Arroyo might turn into a problem. The Magic are making money off of him, and Carlos has a lot of fans. There would be some pissed off people if he was gone, regardless if it was better for the team. I don’t know if Otis has the balls to do something that will end with Carlos leaving.

    My starters are the same as yours as of today. The main questions in the future will still be on the wing. Is Grant going to still be around? Will they move Hedo to the bench? How good can Ariza be? Is Bogans good enough to start? I think so, as long as he has a strong consistent wing player next to him. Then there is Redick, who has that potential, but as of now just needs and deserves regular minutes. As for Jameer, I hope his passing will come around, once he gets familiar with who he’s playing with every night. Lastly, Dwight and Darko should be locks at the 4 and 5.

    Back to the problem; Brian Hill will never be the guy to make the changes and tinkering that needs to be done. He pretty much does the exact opposite of what we need. It’s almost like he’s scared, but it’s OK for now right...because he has an excuse, injuries. In the end, it’s always hard for me to blame the players, when I know Brian Hill is the one facilitating everything. And then there's Otis Smith, who seems more spineless as each day passes.

  • At 8:47 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Excellent assessment of the Magic roster, Big Figure.

    I'm a Grant Hill backer, but the only problem I have with him starting is this... the fact he still might have to sit out the second of back-to-back games, and the extended minutes he probably would get as a starter would make him more susceptible to injuries. For those reasons, I would prefer to see Grant come off the bench as a SF when he is healthy.

    I like Ariza as the starter at the 3 spot when he comes back. I thought Hedo might play better with Grant out, but Hedo's last two games have been so-so. However, he could be valuable off the bench, along with Grant.

    I basically agree with all the other starters and bench rotation that Big Figure has projected. I really like Bogans as the starting SG, with Redick as the backup.

    As far as Carlos, Keyon, and Travis at the back-up PG... it's really a tough call for me to make. As has been pointed out, Dooling's best position is pt guard. Arroyo has improved his play over the last week significantly, at least on the offensive side. Dooling is the better defender, however, and because the Magic are a defense-first team, Dooling would probably be a better fit than Arroyo. However, I've been encouraged about the improvement Arroyo has shown on the offensive end the last week. Also, what about Diener, who has shown positive attributes at the pt guard spot? Could the Magic be alright with Dooling as the back-up PG, because he is the better defender, but is so streaky offensively? It's a tough call for me. I'll live with whatever decision the Magic make. There's a logjam here, and one of the three has to go.

    Although I haven't been too happy with Nelson the last few games, I agree he should be the starting pt guard, and he should improve once all the injured Magic players get healthy.

  • At 9:41 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Well covered by you all. I will just complement your posts by adding a couple of notes:

    1 – I agree that Jameer is capable of doing a lot better. I think he is a victim of Hill’s philosophy of taking the ball to the basket all the time rather than shooting, as he so often preaches. The problem is, that is not Jameer’s strength, and now that all scouts have seen what his game is all about, he cannot sneak up on anybody. That is exactly the reason his shots have been blocked quite often lately, and also the reason that his focus on shooting has been wandered. He needs to first focus, and practice, more on shooting, and second on passing.
    2 – I like Keyon at PG, and that is who he really is. He is a change of pace compared to Jameer, and a good defender off the ball.
    3 – Hedo and Carlos are making $5,883,300 and $4,000,000, respectively this year. Hedo’s salary goes up by nearly ½ million dollars each year, but Carlos has only one more year left on his contract at the same salary. The two salaries combined would give us just about what we need to trade for a Rashard Lewis, for example, who is making just south of 10 million dollars this year. However, he has a player's option on his contract, which if executed will pay him north of 10 million (although chances are he is gonna opt out and go into the free agency market). That could be an excellent trade if we could pull off since Seatle is not ready to pay him in excess of 12 million if he backs out of his contract by summer, as a result of which they might lose him with no compensation. That may become a factor that Seatle may try to trade him.
    4 – Trevor would eventually become a starter at the SF position. He is not ready yet, and needs to work more on his jumpshot. However, his jumpshots look good as of late, and they have a good form, but they need to become more consistent.
    5 – It seems to me that Smith and Hill are in the business of covering each other’s behind. They both looked very shaky, lately, and I don’t know how far they can pretend that everything is hanky dory. A season that started with high expectation of reaching the top four seeds, and going deep into the play-offs, is gradually fading away. Both Smith and Hill are emphatically trying to point to the youth of the team to down play the expectations so that making to the play-offs by itself could be declared as a victory. That is why I hope that the Magic does not make it to the playoffs for two reasons: 1) We could get rid of Hill; 2) We may be able to keep the draft that we shipped to Detroit in Darko and Carlos’s trade.

  • At 11:43 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    I cant agree with you more matt,to me there's been two time this year where i thought the bottom would fall out,at one point we were playing horrible and then cleveland showed up on the schedule actually playing worse than we were and we beat them pretty bad,then came new jersey,same thing happened,we were playing bad and beat new jersey by alot,those couple of wins between alot of loses is the only reason this team is still afloat,but looking at the schedule it looks like the team is about to capsize.Matt do we get to keep the pick if its in the top 5? I cant remember.....

  • At 12:00 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Hedo and carlos for rashard lewis,that would be a good deal for both sides,hedo would be alot more effective in the western conference being able to run,and not having to focus on playing individual defensive assignments against the eastern top small-forwards.Same goes for carlos,he could back-up ridnour and give the sonics a spark off the bench with his passing in the open court,he'd get alot more passing opportunities playing with a team that likes to run which is his primary attribute.Rashard would be heaven sent,i know for sure intro/OW would agree with that,he could immediately take over the shooting guard spot,at 6ft7 he's got good enough size and three point range to be very effective in the eastern conference.On another note:As smart as it sounds to give trevor the small-forward spot,he's still not ready like matt said,he still has to improve on his jumpshooting and free-throw shooting,grant at least for the end of this season gives us a better chance to win there as a starter,i dont think the back-to-back situation is a big deal because we only face about one or two more of those situations this season,plus you have to have leadership on the floor.

  • At 1:45 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Yes, we keep the pick if it is in the top 5, which means we have to do real bad in the season or get lucky with the ping pong ball. The downside of taking Rashard Lewis is that we have to deal with him in summer if he opts out of his contract to test the free agency market. Otherwise, his salary goes up to about 10.5 million dollars, which is very reasonable for a player of his caliber. That risk is minimal, since we are giving up players that are odd men out, so to speak, and if we could not reach an agreement with Rashard, we will still have that money to spend on another available free agent. Compared to Ray Allen: 1) he is younger and has more upside to him; 2) Allen's salary for next year is in the 16 million plus range.

  • At 4:21 PM, Blogger Ken said…

    The thing that worries me about getting a Rashard Lewis type player, or Ray Allen, or Vince Carter, Pao Gasol or whomever, is we still have BSH as a coach. His passion for playing players out of position, and his poor substitutions I believe would negate any improvements made in the roster. Without a coach who knows how to take advantage of player strengths and weaknesses I think you would just have great players running around confused. I as much as everyone else would love to see Rashard Lewis or Pao Gasol in a Magic uniform, however as long as BSH is the one coaching them, It would just be a matter of time before we are right back to where we are right now.

  • At 6:33 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Well put, Ken. It made me pause, as well since the players' talent could cover up the so-called coach's deficiencies at least in a short term.


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