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Here’s another installment of the Magic Basketball Mailbag.
Between Gortat, Carter and Bass, who is most likely to get traded this summer and/or by the February deadline?
With the latest Chris Paul rumors hitting the mill, maybe all of them get dealt this summer. It remains to be seen what happens with Paul, but that’s a possibility that hasn’t been ruled out even if it’s unlikely that anything occurs between the Orlando Magic and the New Orleans Hornets.
A more reasonable guess is that Brandon Bass is the player that gets traded, before Vince Carter and Marcin Gortat, prior to the trade deadline. Bass has made it clear that he either wants to play or go elsewhere. And common sense dictates that the Magic need Carter and Gortat much more than they need Bass. Carter and Gortat have defined roles with Orlando, while Bass — for the time being — is third on the depth chart at power forward behind Rashard Lewis and Ryan Anderson.
Granted, things can change between now and then but if the Magic are in a position to make a deal, like they were this season when they engaged in talks with the Charlotte Bobcats to acquire D.J. Augustin before things went haywire (namely, the Bobcats demanding J.J. Redick in the deal), it wouldn’t be too surprising to see general manager Otis Smith pull the trigger and trade for someone that fills an immediate need on the roster.
That being said, it’s tough to predict what will happen. Circumstances change all the time.
What do you think Anderson should give attention to improving this offseason?
Ryan Anderson needs to improve his individual defense, as well as get stronger physically. Anderson has a firm grasp of the team concepts defensively, given that he does a good job of executing his defensive rotations, showing on pick and rolls when necessary (though his lateral quickness betrays him in these situations sometimes), and what not. But there’s no question that Anderson can improve his ability to defend players one-on-one. Sometimes Anderson will get out-muscled in the post, for example, so that’s why it’s suggested that he gets stronger so he doesn’t have to deal with that issue as much.
Orlando’s defense seems to permit opponents to take inefficient mid-to-long range jumpers. What tweaks should be made when facing teams who excel in the mid-range jumper like the Celtics with Pierce & R. Allen?
Let them shoot it. It’s a percentage play.
Paul Pierce, actually, was a below-average shooter from 16-23 feet (38.0 percent) in the regular season this year but against the Orlando Magic, he shot 45.4 percent from that range in the 2010 NBA Eastern Conference Finals. Yeah, that percentage hurt the Magic somewhat. But Pierce killed Orlando from three-point range, where he shot 44.8 percent for the series. That really hurts. Given the Magic’s personnel, one strategy is to run him off the three-point line and funnel him to Dwight Howard in the paint. Easier said than done, though, given that Pierce is so adept at drawing fouls wherever he is on the court and getting to the charity stripe. Against Orlando, Pierce made a living at the free-throw line.
As for Ray Allen, he’s easier to deal with. The reason why J.J. Redick has so much success defending Allen is because he is relentless at chasing him around screens and not giving him much daylight to shoot the basketball. Also, Redick usually does excellent job of denying Allen the opportunity to receive the ball. If push comes to shove, the Magic are better off allowing Allen the mid-range jumper as opposed to him filling it up from beyond the arc.
Even then, as a team, the Celtics didn’t shoot mid-to-long range jumpers very well in the Eastern Conference Finals. Ironically, Boston was able to beat Orlando partly because they shot threes efficiently. The point is that the Celtics didn’t beat the Magic with long two’s, so let them shoot them at their discretion.
Any preference for 3rd PG?
If I had to choose, Chris Quinn sounds good to me per Ben’s recommendation.
Thanks for the questions!
If you have a question for the mailbag, you can reach me at eddy.rivera7 [at] gmail [dot] com