- Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post: Finding am empirical way to evaluate NBA team chemistry may seem an impossible task, but Numeranda may be onto something with its latest post (via Basketball Reference, whose own post on the subject brought this one to my attention) using Adjusted Plus-Minus statistics to evaluate the “chemistry” of a given five-man unit. [...] For starters, that the Magic’s starting group last year of Jameer Nelson, Vince Carter, Matt Barnes, Rashard Lewis, and Dwight Howard slightly over-achieved, with a 1.06 chemistry rating. More interesting, to me, is the great extent to which replacing Barnes with Mickael Pietrus causes that lineup to under-achieve, with a staggering -9.79 rating.”
- Trey Kerby of Ball Don’t Lie appreciates Rony Seikaly’s musical talents: “As you probably already know, Rony Seikaly has followed up his successful basketball career with a successful career as a DJ. It’s only natural that a 6-foot-11 center who cut his teeth in Miami would return to the party scene behind the wheels of steel. Frankly, nothing could make more sense than that. However, what you might not have known about Rony Seikaly is that he’s not just a DJ. No, he’s way more than that. Now, he’s a recording artist as well. His first single, “Come With Me”, which will be officially released by New Jersey-based Subliminal Records Aug. 3. Head over to Soundcloud to have a listen.”
- Here’s the link to Seikaly’s new single.
- Ian Thomsen of Sports Illustrated: “[The Orlando Magic] look as if they’ll go into next season with the same team around center Dwight Howard. They’ll hope that another year brings them closer together and enhances their platforms of team defense and ball movement that results in dunks for Howard or three-pointers for everyone else. But each of Miami’s big three figures to win his individual matchup against this team. Will Brandon Bass play a bigger role at power forward? If so, then Rashard Lewis will revert to the small-forward spot as Orlando becomes a more conventional team than the 2009 finalist that upset James’ Cavs while playing through Hedo Turkoglu as an eccentric point guard. Vince Carter showed during the playoffs that he isn’t an elite scorer who can carry Orlando through the final two minutes. The Magic will need to apply their depth to attack relentlessly, and they’ll also need an MVP season at both ends of the floor from Howard. It’s hard to imagine them beating Miami unless Howard emerges as an unstoppable force around the basket.”
- Thomsen is incorrect. It’s doubtful that Bass will play a bigger role with the Magic. And it makes no sense for Orlando to slide Rashard Lewis to the small forward position, unless they were to acquire a premiere power forward to make the alignment work. Right now, that player isn’t available.
- Dwight Howard is one of 10 anti-LeBron’s? Austin Burton of Dime Magazine explains: “Orlando doesn’t have a great track record of keeping their superstars happy (Shaq, T-Mac), but they’ve rolled out the red carpet for Dwight and won’t let him get away if they can help it. As long as he’s making good money and has a solid team around him, there’s no reason to believe he’ll leave. Florida will always be a popular destination for free agents, so there’s no reason Dwight shouldn’t be the anchor of a contending team for the rest of his career.”
- Brandon Bass and Marcin Gortat need a change of scenery.
- Can team chemistry be quantified?
Wednesday’s Magic Word
Bass and Gortat can have a change of scenery if someone is willing to pay fair price for them, rather than pennies for dollars.
A small but Magic-related story on SI today: SI's top 50 money makers, three of which are Magic players (Lewis, Carter, Howard). Not a huge (or surprising) story but interesting to see where some of the Magic's money is going: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/specials/fortunate50-2010/