On Thursday, ESPN.com gave fans the opportunity to determine the five ultimate players for every franchise in the NBA. Voting commenced for several days and for the Orlando Magic, the players chosen were Penny Hardaway at point guard, Tracy McGrady at shooting guard, Grant Hill at small forward, Rashard Lewis at power forward, and Shaquille O’Neal at center.
However, are these the correct choices?
We can find out.
Utilizing linear metrics like statistical plus/minus, PER, and Win Shares/48, it is easy to determine which players for the Magic should have been chosen based on their production. Hardaway and McGrady were no-brainers, so there’s no need to go over their statistics.
It’s a little difficult to quantify a player’s impact and influence on the team since there are a number of variables involved, but these are some things be taken into account on a smaller scale since those intangibles do matter.
So without further ado, let’s begin.
Grant Hill v. Hedo Turkoglu
|Grant Hill||GP||MP||PER||stat. +/-||Win Shares/48|
|Hedo Turkoglu||GP||MP||PER||stat. +/-||Win Shares/48|
Hill: NBA All-Star (2005) | Turkoglu: NBA Most Improved Player (2008)
If we’re comparing the totality of both players’ careers, there would be no debate about the choice since Hill — at his absolute best — was a top 10 player in his prime with the Detroit Pistons before injuries derailed his career. However, we’re strictly looking at Hill and Turkoglu during their tenures with the Magic and that’s where things get interesting.