The off-season is far from over, and there might be a handful of moves that the Magic will still make, but that hasn’t stopped people from making predictions on how Orlando will perform next season. Some fans are saying the Magic will be a top team in the East, others are thinking that there will be little improvement, and then there are those that think Orlando can possibly be worse.
Here is a little Magic Maththat can possibly help individuals determine Orlando’s outcome, based on their own opinions. First you need to take all variables into account. Do you think the signing of Rashard Lewis will offset the losses of Grant Hill and Darko Milicic? Will Stan Van Gundy be better than Brian Hill…ect. This simple addition/subtraction formula will be a great way to decide how much Orlando will improve (or digress) this year due to the busy off-season. Get your calculator ready for Magic Math because here we go…
Start off with taking the sum of Orlando’s total wins last year, which was 40.
Determine how much better you think Stan Van Gundy will be than Brian Hill. If you think he will be a tremendous improvement, add 4 to the win column (thus getting 44). If you think he will better the team a reasonable amount, add 3; and if you think he will offer just a slight improvement over Hill, add 1. If you feel that Brian Hill was a significantly better coach than Van Gundy (you might be on drugs, just kidding, but not really) subtract 4. If you feel Hill was fairly better, subtract 3, and if you think Hill was just above Van Gundy, subtract 1. Of course, if you think there is no difference, just keep the score at 40. MY SCORE: +4…Van Gundy is a great coach, and will get the best out of his players, offensively and defensively.
Next, consider how much you think the addition of Lewis will help out the team. If you are under the impression that he will be turn into an NBA All-First Team player, add 4. If you think he will be an all-star or make those around him all-stars, add 3. If you think he will get his 20 points and be a good #2 option add 2, and if you get the notion that he will help out a little offensively, add 1. If you think he will ruin the chemistry of the team, subtract 4. If you think that Darko and Grant Hill were better than his presence subtract 3 or 2 depending on how strongly you feel. If you think he will slightly take away from Howard and other players, subtract 1. No difference, add or subtract nothing.MY SCORE: +3… Lewis will improve the team. While he might not increase his numbers that much, he will make those around him better with his presence alone.
Now, ask yourself if you think Orlando will be able to add another big man (or men) to the roster. If they land a 10 and 10 guy, add 3. If you think the team can land a tough player like Eaton Thomas and if you feel Martin Gortat develops into 8,8,2 guy, add 2. Several aging veterans like P.J Brown, add 1 or 0, your liking. If you think the team adds an untested player or just one 38+ year old, subtract 1. If you think they stick with just Gortat, take away 2, and if you think the Magic stands pat, subtract 4. MY SCORE: -1…While Gortat might be useful coming off the bench, he isn’t ready to start. A guy like P.J Brown or Antonio Davis would be nice as well, but their age would be a concern. Someone of that caliber is likely what the Magic will get.
Orlando had one of the youngest teams in the league last year. Will the year of experience (including playoffs) help improve the play of youngsters like Howard, Jameer Nelson, Trevor Ariza and J.J Redick drastically? If you think so, add 3. If you think each player will be slightly improved, add 2. If you think that year will make little difference, especially for guys like Redick who received limited playing time, keep the score at 0. If you think that the more pressure that is applied to the youngsters will make them worse or under perform, subtract 1-3, your choice. MY SCORE: +2… A guy like Nelson may never get better, but a year of experience will certainly help all of the young members of this Magic squad.
O.K, we’ve covered Orlando. Now let’s concentrate on the team’s main opponents. If you are under the impression that several playoff teams like Miami and New Jersey will be worse this season, add 3 to Orlando’s score. If you think that a few of the higher seeds will fall off and not too many non-playoff teams will sneak up on Orlando, add 1-2. If you think that things will remain the same, add 0. If the Eastern Conference seems to be much improved, subtract 3-4. If there are several teams, ahead of and below the Magic last year that look better, subtract 1-2. MY SCORE: +2… Miami is getting older and Wade won’t be relied on until later in the year. New Jersey is getting up there in age as well, and same with Detroit. However a healthy Wizards team, an improved Charlotte and Boston squad and a Chicago team that looks prime, things won’t come too easy.
With everything I have taken into account, my predicted win total for Orlando next season is…(drum roll)…50. That is pretty much what I thought Orlando would get this upcoming season, maybe a little bit better than I expected, so the formula seems to work. Will Magic Math help you get a hold on this team?