Magic's loss to Detroit was embarrassing especially in the way they blew late leads and faded away in closing seconds. After loosing the fourth game by a close margin at home, Magic players were seen at bars and nightclubs instead of spending time in the gym getting ready for the next game. Dwight was, and has always been, an exception. The team leaders, coach, GM and captains alike, ought to establish strict rules on how players spend their times in between games as play-offs roll in.
With that prelude, I would like to summarily grade the players, the coach and the GM (not in that specific order) for the 2007-08 season:
Pros - Hiring Stan Van Gundy, signing Rashard Lewis and staying away from public speeches, if he could help it!
Cons - Billy Donovan's fiasco, mishandling the need for a legit starting PF, signing an unproven PG to a long term contract unnecessarily, failure to engage in trades to address the deficiencies partly due to bad signings (untradable players) and partly due to the lack of weight and clout.
Stan Van Gundy:
Pros - Consistent coaching style, maximum implementation of assets available with minor exceptions, passion and integrity, excellent players' relations and communication.
Cons - In-explainable use of players or lack thereof, average skill in developing new talents and occasional judgement lapses in game time situations.
PGs - Keyon has been the most consistent of the three PGs while Jameer and Carlos had many ups and downs. GRADES: Keyon - B+, Jameer - C+, Carlos - C.
SGs - The differences between Mo and Keith were insignificant, and none could be considered starting quality SGs. Mo performed above all expectations (credit goes to the coach), and Keith was solid in 3-point shooting. J.J. was not given enough opportunity to show what he is made of (knock on the coach). GRADES: Mo - B+, Keith - B+, J.J. - could not be rated due to the lack of playing time.
SFs - Hedo was outstanding and Mo fitted in nicely, as well. GRADES: Hedo - A-, Mo - has been graded before.
PFs - Rashard was as impressive as expected although out of position which had uninevitable effects for the long season. Brian overachieved and Marcin was hardly used. GRADES: Rashard - A, Brian - B, Marcin - could not be rated due to the lack of playing time.
Cs - Dwight was spectacular as he took his game to a new level (Patrick's influence could not be underestimated). Adonal was average and performed as expected while James was hardly used. GRADES: Dwight - A, Adonal - C+, James could not be rated due to the lack of playing time.