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.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

One NBA columnist who does not like what the Magic did this off-season

In a column today from espn.com Bill Simmons recaps the NBA offseason, which includes his take on the Magic:

To Marcin Gortat, who parlayed one "little hit" (a solid playoff performance) into a $33 million deal that, if you're a Dallas fan, you should be happy isn't clogging up your cap right now. I liked Gortat heading into the summer as a great value risk in the "four years, $17.6 million" range. Nothing higher. Dallas offered him nearly double, which made sense because this is the same team that inked Raef LaFrentz, Shawn Bradley, DeSagana Diop and Erick Dampier to more than $225 million in "Why the hell did we do that?" deals. Then Orlando shocked everyone by matching … you know, because any time you can pay $7 million a year for someone who plays 10 minutes a game, you have to do it.

So what now? Poor Gortat is being stalked by the ghosts of Jon Koncak, Jim McIlvaine, Jerome James, DeSagana Diop, Luc Longley, Todd MacCulloch and every other free-agent center who was overpaid in the $30-33 million range and immediately turned into a stiff. Dallas had to go to Plan B: throwing away $4.5 million on a goofball like Drew Gooden. As for Orlando …

So Orlando makes the Finals with an unconventional lineup and a style that confounded just about everybody. The Magic flip three backups for Vince Carter, seemingly solving their hole at shooting guard that Kobe exploited so brutally. (I had them as the favorites in the East after that trade.) What possessed them to spend $50 million on Gortat and Brandon Bass over just bringing back Turkoglu and making another run at the title? Now they're just a conventional NBA team with conventional guys in conventional positions … um, that's not how you made the Finals, fellas.


  • At 7:18 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Everyone's entitled to an opinion; that doesn't mean they're right, which is the case with Simmons here in that column.

    He says the Magic are now just a conventional team with conventional players, but ignores the fact that the Magic increased their depth and versatility in the front court in a big way.

    Mickael Pietrus can play SF if need be; Rashard Lewis can play either SF or PF; Matt Barnes can play SF or PF; Ryan Anderson is a very good three point shooter for a big man at PF, plus the Magic have a legitimate PF in Bass and a solid backup in Gortat at C.

    Stan Van Gundy can really play different combinations on the court depending on the situation and who matches up best with the opposing team, which is something he was limited in last season because of the lack of a true PF and the lack of depth at PF/SF.

    Sure, the Magic used the unconventional lineup last season with Turk at SF and Lewis at PF which helped lead them to the NBA Finals, but the Lakers exposed the Magic's lack of frontcourt depth and lack of a true PF in the Finals.

    As much as I liked Turk, it was probably wise on the Magic's part not to keep him with a long-term, big money contract, because he is 30 years old now and on the downside of his career, whereas Gortat, is only 26 and will be a solid backup for D12 for at least this season, even though he probably won't play more than 12-15 minutes a game.

  • At 11:36 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Exactly, Mike. I cannot add much except mentioning that Simmons despite saying that after adding Vince Carter he considered Magic the best in the East, is not seeing the bigger picture that Magic is after the big trophy, and that could not have been acomplished with a decimated frontline and Hedo at SF position.

  • At 4:21 PM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    this is also the clown who has called Dwight Howard the worst skilled superstar ever, gave Orlando zero chance in the playoffs, called drafting Howard over Okafor a travesty doesn't see any talent in Lewis and on and on. If it has anything to do with Florida Simmons has something bad to say about it.

    Just another asshole from Massachusetts and as a Northeastern grad I know about them first hand.

    He fancies himself to be an NBA expert because he attended a bunch of Celtics games in his youth. yet like most ESPN commentators his predictions are always wrong and he never admits it.

    Only John Hollinger, David Thorpe and Marc Stein have credibility at ESPN.

  • At 2:23 PM, Blogger Ken said…

    Well said, Mike.

    This is just another espn clown who only writes positive about the Lakers, Celtics and Cav's. He liked the Carter trade, but doesn't like keeping Gortat and adding Bass??? That somehow made us an ordinary team?? Every move this offseasn made the Magic better and deeper. I don't give this morons opinions any credibility whatsoever!

  • At 4:01 PM, Blogger #nicolo said…

    I hope the Magic can win it all next season. With the signing of Vince Carter, they now have the kind of player that can close out games if they needed to.

    Pls visit my blog about NBA's latest updates at


    Where you can find hard-to-find articles and rumors about the league.



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