- Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “The [Orlando] Magic on Thursday brought aboard Chris Duhon, a veritable minnow on the free-agent market, while the largest, meanest shark circled all around them. And that meant only one thing. They’re going to need a bigger budget. The Magic’s grand plan looked pretty good until it turned out that a prime-time news conference Thursday didn’t involve the President. LeBron James couldn’t really beat the Magic as a Cleveland Cav, so he announced he was joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in a Holy Trinity of Superstars in Miami. Orlando has been out of the playoffs for more than a month, but this had to feel like another day the faithful needed cheering up. And to make matters worse, all this great fortune is heaped on Miami. If Stan Van Gundy feels as if the Heat are out to get him, can you blame him? The words from LeBron that had to make Magic fans cringe, ‘I’m going to take my talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat.’ ”
- Chris Duhon is excited to play for the Orlando Magic.
- Head coach Stan Van Gundy: “I think that certainly on paper they have to be the favorite. You can talk about needing time and the whole thing. But face it, Boston did it in the first year with the three guys [Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce] together. As good as those guys are, they were a little bit older at the time. You’ve got three guys right in their prime. You have to make them the favorites in the East on paper. Then, Los Angeles, as the two-time defending champions, you can’t write them off.”
- Today, Rashard Lewis introduced his new baby boy to the world.
- General manager Otis Smith hasn’t seen a trade offer for Marcin Gortat that he likes.
- Duhon wishes the New York Knicks the best of luck in their future endeavors.
- Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post has news and notes from Duhon’s press conference.
- Chris Tomasson of NBA FanHouse: “While many other teams are in a frantic mode, one of the NBA’s best outfits is content now to sit back and watch for a while. The Orlando Magic on Thursday did sign point guard Chris Duhon to a four-year, $15 million contract. But general manager Otis Smith said the Magic, NBA finalists two years ago and Eastern Conference finalists last spring, is now willing to be patient and see how things unfold in free agency.”
I'll flesh things out in a post tomorrow, but I disagree entirely. Howard may have the advantage at center, but there is no one on Orlando that can stop James or Wade and that'll be all she wrote on that matchup. Miami has in their possession, regardless of their supporting cast, three of the top 10 players in the NBA. There's no one the Magic can acquire, outside of Chris Paul (which is a pipe-dream, more or less), that will negate the advantages the Heat will have.
It's not impossible for Orlando to beat Miami, but it's going to be freakin' difficult.
The depth won't be an issue, in my opinion. The Heat have already acquired Mike Miller and outside of the center position, they should be able to acquire other role players that will be able to complement James, Wade, and Bosh. It'll happen sooner or later. And after the first year, Miami will be able to continue to acquire pieces with the bevy of exceptions that will be at their disposal.
Gilbert's letter, by the way, was ... dramatic.