I give orlando an A+ for keeping reddick. That was absolutely vital, and as a j-will fan i think it was a great move to keep him as well. Maybe Jason Williams isnt as much of a scoring threat as he once was, but he has a very high basketball I.Q. and nows how to get the ball to the right person on offensive (and he understands that 80/85% of the time thats dwight).I give the Magic a C- for the pick up of Richardson and Duhon. I will gladly eat my words, and i hope they work well with us, but neither player is really in their prime or something we really needed. I give the Magic an A for keeping Brandon Bass and commiting to using him more next season. I think we learned the harsh lesson in the Boston playoff series that we have to be more creative with our 4 spot. Rashard at 3 gives us more room to use either Bass or Anderson, or maybe one of our new rookies. I give Orlando a B overall, with the hopes that Richardson and or Duhon play well for us. I think if Vince plays a little more consistent than last year and Reddick keeps getting better like he has been we will be a tough team to beat next year.
Eric and Tired: You both are correct in some of the comments you have made. However, the reason we didn't advance was because of SVG. His unwillingness to make crucial offensive and defensive adjustments is what cost us the series. This Magic team was built with the purpose of being able to match-up with any lineup in the league. Last year's roster had the necessary talent to win in the playoffs. Unfortunately" if you live by the sword you die by the sword" or the lack of willingness to adjust. A great fighter doesn't wait until he has been knocked down twice in one round to start throwing punches. Look at the glaring difference between Pierce and Carter in that series. Pierce: Age 33PPG: 24FG%: 51FT%: 84 (47-56)3pt% : 44% (13-29 including 0-6 one game)RPG: 8.3Carter: Age 33PPG: 14FG%: 37FT%: 83 (20-24)3pt%: 21 (4-19)RPG: 3.8Carter was sorely outplayed in the series. Yet no critical changes were made until it was too late. I also saw the beating that Lewis took at the hands of the Celtics bigs. If he was sick as was stated, then sit him down, and play a healthy player that has the enegry to run and bang in the playoffs. Where was Dwight's help on the boards he had to go 1 on at least 3 in most cases. I agree that the intesity was there. But it wasn't consistent; it has to be in the playoffs. This comes back to coaching, if the intensity is down or a player is draggiing, sit em down and move on to the next player. That is why Otis built this team with interchangeable parts. I watched as shot after shot wat forced, why? SVG! How many times would you see hom get mad because of forced shots, the players are running his system, you want them shooting 3's so that is what they did. When the shot is not there put the ball on the floor, get to the rim, draw a foul, don't keep shooting 3's Stan.I am looking foward to the upcoming season and believe that coaching strategies will be forced this year if changes aren't made accordingly. Vanderweide has already said to expect to see more of B.Bass this year. I don't think he or Otis will sit back and let SVG stubbornly refuse to adjust in the playoffs this year. The Eastern Conference will be to tough this year to not utilize all the talent on the the team.
Horribly asessed, There was no lack of intensity or size, there was a lack of adjustments as admitted by SVG. Bottom line is, we shouldn't have seen Lewis at the 4 as much as we did against a KG, as old as he is, KG is still a great defender agile and long enough to keep Lewis in check behind the three point line and there wasn't a chance he could post garnett so that option was taken away as well. Gortat and Bass are able to match Boston phsycally with no issue at all. If you watched that series as you claim you did, you would've has seen open shot after open shot missed by the role players, especially Barnes, to the point that he was left open and dared to shoot. riduculous. "VC's soft 18ppg ".....thee most ubsurd thing I've ever seen, although he had bad games in 4 and 5 he played well in games 1,2 and 6.His production is on par with what was expect with the make up of the team being what it is. Matter of fact he was one of 2 players player that gave us a chance at games 1 and 2, the other being dwight Howard. Perkins and to extent Sheed (based on all those Detorit games) were usually the measuring stick used to guage dwight's improvment on the offense. Dubbed the Dwight Stoppers, Howard put a stop to that really quick with games of 30, 31, and 28 on 59% shooting in a critical series. So dont give me that crap that he hasn't improved. That's before working with Hakeem, of course people like you with Miami Heat colored glasses on will spin working with oine of the greatest offensive centers of all time in a negative light. Improvments out east? Who else has improved beside Miami? Chicago, you think Boozer is the player that puts them over the top? :-D please. Boston employed a bunch of over the hill goons that people pretend can guard Howard. Shaq was flopping on Dwight in his Phoenix days. JO, Fat Baby, Perkins? Don't make me laugh. It's going to come down to adjustments by svg effectively using the versatility of the team and not hiding behind his stretch 4 offense also the role players need step up in a series againt Boston or Miami.
Nice try, Eric. You've confused your faithful parroting of Magic management's spin, for "basketball knowledge." The facts are these: the Magic were bounced out of the playoffs for lack of defensive intensity, physical size, toughness, and a dependable and willing go-to scorer. They had a summer that offered the best free agent crop in memory. They also entered the summer with a team loaded with tradable assets, which many so-called NBA experts routinely called the deepest in the league. And what did they do to address their problems? What did they do to improve their glaring deficiencies so exposed by Boston? What did they do, to not only increase their competitiveness compared to last year's team, but to prepare for the even stronger Eastern conference challenges they will face this year? If you are honest with your answer, you will say "nothing." They have not improved the team over last year. They will have a decent regular season record, once again, but will be bounced out again summarily by the first team they meet who is serious about winning a championship. You have a right to cling to your hope that the pedestrian moves they made this summer will rocket them further toward a repeat appearance in the Finals. But, my guess is, you know better than that. Vince, and his very soft 18 ppg, are another year older. He showed very clearly, that when the going gets tough, he withers. Dwight likely hasn't improved his still yeoman-like offense this summer, as he again circled the globe a time or two. Rashard has shown the ability to be a dominant, unguardable scorer when in the low post, but Van Gundy apparently is only willing to use him in that capacity when Dwight is out of the game. I cant, for the life if me, understand why. Bottom line is, they still do not have the go-to scorer. They did not get bigger. They did not improve team toughness. They did not address their lack of tenacity. They remain a team heavy with skilled, nice players. But sadly, very light on warriors and fighters who understand, or have the physical ability, to get tougher in the playoffs.
Anton, You would let 18 ppg vc go and keep 6 ppg Matt Barnes b/c he got in the face of Kobe in a meaningless regular season game? Maybe he should've gotten in the face of Paul Pierce and not get merked on every posession, or how about making layups and three's so Boston couldn't shade vc and jameer on drives to the basket...let me throw some basketball knowledge your way Boston left him open b/c he was a liabllity on offense, easilly upgraded by a better scorer and equally good defender in Q Rich. fake passing the ball to Kobe's head didn't do anything for us againist Boston, where was that intensity against Pierce?.Aquiring Duhon and Richardson was an improvment at both positions. Duhon is a guy with good court vision, decent range, and good 1on1 defensive skills. Good size at the 1 to match up with some of the bigger pg's in the league.He had problems in D'Antoni's uptempo offense but should thrive in Orlando's half court sets with the likes of Howard, Carter, and Lewis on the court, significantly better talent. Not to mention he's familiar with JJ redick who's hard work has translated well to the court.Q Rich is a better long range shooter right off the bat, he can even be iso'ed a little against certain players and he has an underrated post up game. he's a good rebounder for a wing. Defensively their styles are different, Barnes is a peskier defender, a llittle taller and longer. Q is not as quick laterally, but he's very similar to Pierce, strong upper body to deny penetration. Players with a quick first step get by him, while stronger guys we're able to go through Barnes once they got past his perimeter defense. Example, pierce would bump Barnes enough to create space for his mid range J. So both have their strengths and weaknesses on the defensive end.Overall I gave Orlando a B, Duhon and Q aren't world beaters on their own, but they are upgrades to to their respective positions on this team.
How on planet earth did they let Matt Barns go. I would have let Vince Carter go first. How many players in the league wil get in the face of Kobe Bryant. I know 2 Matt Barns and Ron Artest. Both are in LA know. I wonder why?