- J.J. Redick: “I’d be lying to say that I don’t want to start at some point. I’m sure every NBA player feels that way. I value my role on this team, and obviously the [Orlando] Magic value my role on this team. I take a lot of pride in contributing. We won 59 games last year and were two games away from a return trip to The Finals. So, I think my focus this summer is most definitely on this coming season. I don’t know what is going to happen with Vince [Carter]. I don’t know who they’re going to bring in. [General manager] Otis [Smith] seems like he’s always got some stuff up his sleeve. Right now, I’m just focused on getting better and kind of helping the team move forward.”
- With general manager Otis Smith and the Chris Paul rumors, never say never.
- Click here to watch the video of Redick’s press conference, which took place today.
- Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post: “During Summer League play, I spoke to a source familiar with the Magic’s thinking who said that [Stanley] Robinson is “deficient” in every part of the game that doesn’t involve athleticism, which he said would make it “tough” to play successfully under Magic coach Stan Van Gundy. There’s also the issue of fit. Robinson would thrive in an open-court system which maximizes his gifts, as he did at Connecticut, where transition opportunities accounted for nearly one-fifth of his possession usage during his senior year, and he produced 1.275 points per possession on 71.2% shooting, according to Synergy Sports Technology. But Orlando isn’t a running team. Synergy shows that the Magic ranked 23rd in transition-generated offense last season, and Tom Haberstroh of Hoopdata tells me the league average is 12.5%. Now, not to be too reductive, but if Robinson’s best asset is his ability to get out in transition, but the Magic do that only a little more than once every 10 trips, what is he to do for the other nine possessions?”
- Is Matt Barnes going to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers?
- Sekou Smith of the NBA’s Hang Time blog has the Magic listed at No. 2 in the Eastern Conference’s pecking order behind the Miami Heat: “We know Dwight Howard probably won’t agree with where his team has been placed in our revamped Eastern Conference food chain. But the Magic didn’t make a major personnel move this summer that assists them in their pursuit of the Florida state title hunt. Matching an offer sheet for J.J. Redick is great for continuity, but doesn’t compare to what the folks in Miami pulled off. (Though we do like the addition of Quentin Richardson in place of Matt Barnes.) The Magic will remain a power as long as Howard wears the uniform. But there were some serious flaws exposed by the Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals. Neither Vince Carter nor Rashard Lewis has proved capable of taking over games in the postseason, leaving only Howard and Jameer Nelson to serve as true game changers for Stan Van Gundy‘s bunch. The Magic never could decide what to do with Marcin Gortat and Brandon Bass, two players that might have helped more against the Celtics had they been utilized sooner and more strategically. The Magic’s resolve will no doubt be fueled by doubters who assume they have been passed up by not only the Heat but also the Celtics. That’s a good thing, because they’ll need an added edge to fight for that top spot.”
- Fran Blinebury of NBA.com: “With the Boston Celtics getting old enough to practically creak, with LeBron struggling to find the right combination of teammates and his own will in Cleveland, with the Lakers bench continuing to be a spot that makes them vulnerable, it stood to reason that the Magic believed their window to claim a championship or two or three for most of the next decade was wide open. Then Pat Riley made his move to slam that window shut on their fingers. Even in the middle of another sultry Florida summer, you can feel the chill in the Orlando air. This is the season when the Magic will move into the spanking new $380 million Amway Center and had expected to christen their homes with bubbly title talk. Now they suddenly get elbowed aside as the No. 2 team in the neighborhood. One minute Orlando is going into the season as the likely No. 1 contender it the Eastern Conference and the next everyone is wondering if they’ll have what it takes to hold off Miami to merely win the Southeast Division title.”
Monday’s Magic Word
I agree with most of what Sekou Smith said, although I think Rashard has shown his value in the playoffs way more often than not. People keep harping on the Boston series, ignoring his previous performances. Here's to hoping they're back in the overlooked status and have that chip on their shoulders again.