- Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel: “The Orlando Magic possess more depth than perhaps any other team in the NBA. That’s a great thing for the coaches and fans. For a couple of players who won’t make the nightly rotation – not so much. With the Magic playing Rashard Lewis at the three and the four – which is “a good thing to do,” Stan Van Gundy said – the team will trot out a nine-man rotation on many nights.That means two of the following players will likely receive DNP-CDs on some games: Ryan Anderson, Brandon Bass, Quentin Richardson, J.J. Redick and Mickael Pietrus. Every one of those players would qualify for the rotation on pretty much any other NBA team. All of them, except of course for Redick, played significant minutes on their previous squads. And a couple of them won’t be playing every night this season for the Magic.”
- Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “The Orlando Magic are working to make themselves less predictable when the 2011 playoffs arrive. The team already has posted-up more — and with more players — this preseason. They’re also running some sets through the elbow in which the players will have the freedom to create. [...] Van Gundy wants his team to have more flexibility as the year goes on, even on the defensive end of the court. In practice today, the team did a lot of zone defense work. The Magic worked on it in past years, but Van Gundy said players knew that Van Gundy would rarely use it during games. That could change this year.”
- The Orlando Sentinel next player preview is up. The subject? Mickael Pietrus.
- Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post with some post-game locker room observations after the Orlando Magic thrashed the New Orleans Hornets by the score of 135-81 at the Amway Center: “The Magic’s new locker room is, as you might imagine from a $480 million building, immaculate. It’s circular, with high ceilings and a gargantuan Magic logo in the carpet at the center of the floor. Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson have the cushiest arrangements, as the lockers on either side of theirs are empty, allowing them to spread out. From a practical standpoint, it also means media types can crowd around the team co-captains without blocking another player’s locker, a situation which cropped up all too often in the old Amway Arena locker room. Andrew Melnick of Howard the Dunk and I agree that the visiting team’s locker room at Amway Center is a tremendous upgrade over the Magic’s locker room at Amway Arena, which should give a decent idea of how nice the host’s locker room is. Still photography is not allowed in the locker room, which is why I’m stumbling all over myself trying to describe it.”
- Ken Berger of CBSSports.com revisits the Vince Carter-for-Gilbert Arenas trade rumor: “Significant progress was made toward that end this past summer with Orlando, according to sources with knowledge of the situation. The framework of a trade that would’ve sent Arenas to the Magic with Vince Carter going to the Wizards was arranged, with GM Otis Smith being one of the few executives in the league willing to contemplate such a deal because of his personal relationship with Arenas. In the end, it was the cost that killed the deal; Arenas has four years and $80.1 million left on his contract, which amounts to two years and $44 million more than Carter.”
- According to John Schuhmann of NBA.com, the Magic have a chance to lead the NBA in offensive efficiency this season: “The Magic replaced Matt Barnes, a 32 percent 3-point shooter last season, with Quentin Richardson, who shot 40 percent with the Heat. They might actually have Jameer Nelson for a full season. And Dwight Howard, still just 24 years old, should continue to improve his post game.”
- Orlando has the best pre-season team ever.
- Do you believe in Magic?
- Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus explains the SCHOENE projection system: “We first introduced SCHOENE to project the results of the 2008-09 NBA season. While the player projection aspect is not entirely unique–ESPN Insider’s John Hollinger independently developed a similar projection system–SCHOENE goes a step further by beginning to consider team context. For each team, player usage rates are adjusted (along with efficiency) to replicate the interactions between players in divvying up offensive possessions. Another adjustment handles defensive rebounding because of the tendency for good rebounders to cannibalize defensive boards from their teammates and vice versa. While SCHOENE’s default output is per-possession or per-shot rate stats, it also incorporates team pace to produce complete, realistic stat lines for each player. This is especially useful for creating fantasy projections, since a player’s per-game averages will depend in part upon the pace at which his team plays. Finally, SCHOENE brings it all together to create team stat lines, unprecedented for an NBA projection system. This gives us an idea not only of a bottom-line projection for each team’s win-loss record but also how they will get there and projected strengths and weaknesses.”