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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Final Product?

Posted by Scott Anez

WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET

With the signing of Polish center Marcin Gortat, General Manager Otis Smith checked off the final task on his summer to-do list this week. So, with 14 contracts heading into 2007-2008, what you see on the current roster is what you're gonna get come September 29.

Coach Van Gundy, it's up all up to you now brotha!

Let's take a snapshot of this Magic team as we head toward training camp.

Point Guards: Jameer Nelson, Carlos Arroyo and Keyon Dooling.

Magic brass believes that Jameer will rebound this season under Coach Stan, who hopes to take pressure off his point guard with his early offense. We need Jameer to take over a leadership role with this club. Coach Van Gundy is a Keyon fan, having coached him at Miami. Expect to see Keyon playing more of a role as a backup point. Carlos is a great talent. The hope here is that the new coaching staff is able to tap into consistency from Carlos. The point guard spot is definitely a concern heading into camp. We need more heady play, play-making and on-ball defensive pressure from our point guards this year.

Question: Can Jameer start creating for his teammates?
Shooting Guards: Keith Bogans, JJ Redick, Trevor Ariza.

If the glass is half empty in your world, you view two guard spot as a potential problem area. If you're Joel Glass, well, you look at this position as being stocked with versatility. Bogans had a falling out with Coach Brian Hill last year. But he's another guy who gets a reprieve under the new coaching staff. Bogans is a tough minded defender who could be the starter come Halloween night. JJ's gonna get a lot more love this year but I just don't see him becoming a full time starter. Trevor will see some time at the 2 as well because, frankly, he's our best defender. Hedo Turkoglu may also get some p-t at the two, but I have my doubts about him defending that position. The two guard spot has great versatility, but with Grant Hill moving west, this is have to be gonna be shooting guard by committee this season.

Question: Can JJ become the offensive weapon we think he can be?

Small Forwards: Rashard Lewis, Hedo Turkoglu, Trevor Ariza, Pat Garrity.

Without a doubt, this is the most fortified small forward position in the NBA. Lewis is the guy, but again, there's much versatility here. Lewis and Hedo can play the power forward position if need be. Lewis can also play the 2. Depending on matchups, so can Ariza. Hedo was on the trading blocks over the summer but will be back after a down year last season. This position will certainly be a strength.

Question: Can Rashard become the go-to-guy we desperately crave?

Power Forwards: Tony Battie, James Augustine, Marcin Gortat.

I have a lot of respect for Tony. He is a warrior. But, he's not cut out to play 30-plus minutes per game anymore. With Darko now in Memphis, the pickup of free agent Adonal Foyle was huge. Foyle will back up both Battie and Dwight down low. Augustine is young and energetic but still has a long way to go. Gortat brings the bulk. But, again, he's young, green and will have to learn the NBA game on the fly. As good as Dwight is, the power forward spot is more than adequate.

Question: Can we keep Tony Battie healthy and relatively fresh this season?

Centers: Dwight Howard, Adonal Foyle.

Have you seen Dwight in the FIBA Americas tourney yet? He looks like a monster! Granted, Dwight is still shooting bricks at the free throw line. But, playing alongside the likes of Jason Kidd and Kobe Bryant will undoubtedly rub off on the young 21 year old phenom. The addition of Foyle adds a much needed low-post defender and shot blocker to the club.

Question: Coach Ewing, can you help Dwight develop an 8-10 foot jumper to keep defenses honest?

So, there ya go. A snapshot of the 2007-2008 Orlando Magic.

Coach Van Gundy, win or tie, we're with you....
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
But…there still is a chance the Magic could make a deal.
As reported, the Denver Nuggets waived veteran point guard Anthony Carter on Wednesday.

Carter was signed to a two-year deal last season and he wasn't eligible for league assistance with his minimum salary of over $1.1 million. Therefore, if he's waived and not claimed by another team, the Nuggets can re-sign him to a one-year deal and get league assistance that will save the organization hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The Nuggets are hopeful he won't be claimed by another organization, and if that turns out to be the case, the team will likely re-sign him.

However, if another team picks up Carter, the Nuggets will be only left with Chucky Atkins and AI at the point guard position. AI often doesn’t run the point, which is why we saw Steve Blake and Carter playing the position a lot. So if someone picks up Carter, the doors for the Magic/Denver trade could be reopened, as they might really need a player like Dooling or Arroyo.

8 Comments:

  • At 12:15 PM, Anonymous Showtime said…

    The great thing about the point gaurd position is that if Nelson does fall back into an Iverson phase, like last year we, have two good point gaurds to step in. With J.J. coming into his own, and the other two brining the D, the two gaurd spot looks pretty solid. I don't even have to mention the small forwards. Fortunately we have Turkie and Lewis to help pick up the slack in the power forward position. And although we don't really have a back up center, Dwight is a machine, and will have no problem going 40+ minutes a game.

     
  • At 4:44 PM, Blogger Mad Child said…

    I was looking around for info on who the starting shooting guard would be for Orlando for my season preview I am preparing, and I found this wonderful looking blog. Check out www.powerof15.blogspot.com to see why i think it's so wonderful. Great minds think alike. For that I just am going to have to post a link to this site on my page. Hopefully I can supply some views for you guys.

     
  • At 7:08 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    This was a pretty thorough and informative post about the state of the Magic roster now a month before training camp starts.

    I have my personal preferences about who I would like to see start, but I have the ultimate confidence in Stan that he will make the right decisions about who starts and what the bench rotation will be like.

     
  • At 10:14 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    I am not familiar with the author of the post. It is a straight forward and yet a simplistic assessment. While I agree with Mike that Coach Van Gundy should be given the free hand to pick the starting line-up and substitution rotation, the fact remains that this team is glutted in some positions while lacks in others. Allow me to expand:

    1 - By now, at least one of the PGs and SFs each should have been traded for serviceable BIGs or SGs.
    2 - While I don't see the SG position as a weak spot, trusting J.J. and Keith to fill in nicely, I see that Trevor would be yo-yo-ed between SF and SG positions making the substitutions a lot more chaotic that it should be. Now if anybody thinks that Rashard could be played at two, that would add to the confusion, probably making the Magic's offense the most sophisticated one since the inception of Triangle offense.
    3 - Switching between Jameer and Keyon, depending on offense or defense, will make Carlos useless and expendable, while adding to the confusion.
    4 - We have to realize that a balanced depth is good, but if not balanced it could not be called depth any more, and should be called what it is; GLUT & SHORTAGE.

    Having all that said, I believe this team under the leadership of Stan Van Gundy would do a lot better of the Magic of last year, and yet we should not lose the sight of the difficulties ahead.

     
  • At 4:02 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    WDBO Sports Director Scott Anez has seen, or listened to, every Orlando Magic game ever played. Scott began his career covering the Magic's first season in 1989 and is known as the Voice of the Magic Fan in Orlando. Scott has hosted Orlando's highest rated sports talk show, Inside Magic, for 15 years. He also serves as the Host for the Magic Radio Network, he has backed up David Steele on Magic TV and serves as a guest on Jeep Midnight Magic. Scott shares his unique take on what's going on at Two Magic Place and beyond with ANEZ SEZ.

    That is pretty much his introduction on his blog.

    I've listened to Scott for years on the radio. He has always seemed to mention the topics that need to be brought up, or at least bring up what he was aloud to without saying to much. I remember as the season was winding down, he had 10 points that the Magic needed to address this off season, and one of them was Brian Hill. Now it's not like he came right out and said the Magic were going to fire him, but he implied that a coaching change was going to happen, and this was while the Magic organization was still all about Brian Hill, or at least saying they were.

     
  • At 2:36 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    You make valid points Matt. It’s a situation that bothered me last year, and still bothers me now. I can’t remember how many times last season we were talking about the point guard situation/problem; and at that time we had 4 of them.

    The only way I think any of this can be justified, is that many of our players underachieved while being under the direction of Brian Hill. But now, under a respectable coach, it’ll be easier to see what can be brought out of every player, and who will fit best with Dwight.

    Still, as it turned out, last season was a total waste; it did nothing positive for the organization, unless you count it as proving Brian Hill worthless (which should have already been realized). It left us with a bunch of questions, from the top to the bottom of our roster; besides Dwight and now Shard. But even worse, Darko was left as a big question mark, and we lost him because of it. I mean really, could we have not put together a trade with Travis, Darko, and Grant to land something that could have helped this team? Teams would have been interested in the talent, let alone the expiring contracts.

    But now that’s the past; so we move forward. I can understand holding onto some of our “overstock”, if there are no attractive trades out there. I think Stan will get something more out of all our players, which will only increase their trade value. But a time will come, when we’ll need to part with a few players. One of the point guards needs to go. We need to find a place for Trevor. I have a feeling Hedo or Trevor will be gone within the next year.

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens, and how long it takes for it happen.

     
  • At 8:04 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    Thank you for the introduction on Scott Anez, OVERWADED. It proves that I need to get out a bit more!

     
  • At 3:05 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    ... all great comments, guys.

     

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