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TomShoe's Player Profiles: Orlando Magic

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TomShoe's Player Profiles: Orlando Magic

So, it turns out "Mr. PER" John Hollinger is putting up his updated player profiles for this year. I know many people want to look at them, but ESPN can be a real B- when they're putting up paywalls and shoving the benefits of insider in your face every other article. So, for sh*ts and giggles, also because I'm pulling my hair out waiting for either Oct. 5 (Start of the preseason), or Oct. 30 (start of the regular season), I might as well post them here, for nbadraft.net and the whole internet to enjoy.

Looks like ESPN's Power Rankings are up. Predictably, the usual suspects are at the top 4. NBA - where competitve balance happens :/ Anyway, Magic up, Knicks tomorrow, and the last of the playoff teams, the Utah Jazz, coming Sunday.

Enjoy.

-TomShoe

PROJECTED STARTERS

JAMEER NELSON, PG

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

16.0
4.2
7.1
14.4

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Small, strong pick-and-roll point guard who shoots very well off the dribble.
+ Can take a hit and finish despite his size. Solid, steady passer and ball handler.
+ Size an issue on defense. Only average lateral quickness. Strong leader.

Analysis
It says a lot for Nelson's locker room role that a rebuilding Magic team tried desperately to get rid of everyone else but brought him back, at age 30, on a three-year deal. If you throw out the 2008-09 outlier, he's been consistent at his moderately productive level for half a decade now and become shockingly middle-of-the-road across the board. Nelson ranked between 21st and 37th among point guards in every category I track except free-throw rate, blocks and steals.

The low free throw rate is a surprise since Nelson goes to the basket a fair amount and has the frame to take contact; it may be an outlier since it's a pretty big drop from his previous seasons. As for the steals, Nelson was one of the league's most foul-prone point guards in 2010-11 but dialed it back considerably last season. As a consequence, however, his steal rate was a career low.

Nonetheless, Nelson's increasing vulnerability at the defensive end has to be a concern going forward. He's short, he's older and he won't have Dwight Howard around to have his back. Even last season, Synergy rated him far below the league average for point guards, and the Magic gave up 3.9 points more per 100 possessions when he played.

ARRON AFFLALO, SG

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

16.5
3.7
3.0
13.5

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Tough wing with excellent outside shot and good handle. Average athlete.
+ Clever offensive player. Much-improved finisher off the drive. Draws fouls.
+ Well-regarded defender but metrics slipped badly last season. Will force shots.

Analysis
Afflalo changed his game dramatically last season, and I'm not sure all of it was for the good. First, the positive: He's really developed his offensive game. Two years ago Afflalo was strictly a catch-and-shoot guy, but now he can put it on the floor and create, and he still ranked in the top 10 at his position in both TS% and turnover rate.

While the 3-pointer remains his most deadly weapon (39.8 percent last season, 40.5 percent career), Afflalo also shot a stellar 68.0 percent at the rim and, more amazingly for somebody with limited hops and explosiveness, had one of the highest free throw rates at his position. My only quibble is that he seemed to break the offense at times to search out his own shots, but it's hard to argue with his efficiency.

Defensively, however, he regressed. Badly. Afflalo had a rep as a defensive stopper that helped him get a big contract the previous summer, but all his metrics last season were poor. Synergy rated him the single worst wing defender in basketball, and while his other metrics weren't that bad, none of them painted him as a net positive at the defensive end.

Afflalo again had an incredibly low rate of steals, which isn't an indictment in and of itself, but looking at lineup combinations, the Corey Brewer-Danilo Gallinari wing pair was vastly more effective (91.3 allowed points per 48 minutes) than any with Afflalo (97.3 with Gallinari, 96.8 with Rudy Fernandez, 100.9 with Brewer). Of the Nuggets' 10 most commonly used lineups, only one didn't involve Afflalo ... and that one was, by far, their most effective defensively.

Afflalo was overrated as a defender to start -- he's an average athlete and really needs to be competing all out to be a plus at this end. Last season he wasn't. He's still a valuable player because he's so efficient offensively, but I'd like him more if he rediscovered his defensive zeal.

HEDO TURKOGLU, SF

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

13.5
4.6
5.3
11.2

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Classic "point forward" who thrives operating pick-and-roll going to the right.
+ Great handle and court vision for his size. Good set shooter but struggles on the move.
+ Subpar defensive player. Weak rebounder for his size. Poor finisher in the paint.

Analysis
Turkoglu continues to slide as he gets into his mid-30s and last season he was barely a rotation-caliber player, let alone a starter. The silver lining is that most of the decline resulted from a career-low 35.3 percent mark on 3-pointers, a number that's likely to rebound closer to his previous norms around 40 percent.

Otherwise, Turkoglu kept up his point-forward routine and mostly preserved his shooting, scoring and assist numbers, but only at the cost of a turnover explosion. Turkoglu's 15.4 turnover rate was the second-worst among small forwards, and while his high assist rate (third at his position) was helpful, it resulted in a merely good pure point rating rather than a great one. Usually, that's his best skill.

Otherwise, Turkoglu doesn't score at a high rate, nor with high efficiency. He had a career-low rebound rate that ranked him among the league's worst small forwards, even though he's the tallest one in the league at 6-foot-10. And defensively, he's a liability given his slow feet and low-wattage motor.

GUSTAVO AYON, PF

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

11.7
9.6
2.7
15.6

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Fundamentally sound big man who excels moving without the ball.
+ 'B' athlete, but a strong help defender with great instincts and reactions.
+ Limited shooting range and ball skills. Not a creator but can finish.

Analysis
What a find this guy was. Rescued from the Spanish League by the New Orleans front office, Ayon almost immediately proved to be one of the Hornets' best players.

Offensively, he shot well in the basket area with the aid of one particularly sneaky move: On pick-and-rolls on the opposite side of the floor, he would duck in along the baseline while his man had his head turned, catch, pivot and make a reverse layup. He'd beat teams with this twice a game, boosting an otherwise anemic stat line offensively.

On defense, he was something of a coach's dream. Ayon ranked ninth among power forwards in blocks per minute, second in steals, and in the top third in rebound rate. He's tough, mobile, a solid flopper and big enough to play center in a pinch. He wasn't as strong on the ball as he was in help situations, as opposing bigs got their numbers against him, but he was a huge disruptor and helped on the boards to boot.

GLEN DAVIS, C

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

15.8
8.8
1.4
13.2

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Short widebody in the frontcourt who defends the post well using leverage.
+ Average shooter but likes midrange jumpers. Has poor elevation at the basket.
+ Very nimble for his size. Love taking charges. Doesn't block shots or rebound.

Analysis
Davis played great in the playoffs, but the much larger sample of the regular season showed off the shortcomings of his approach. Feasting almost entirely on 17-foot jumpers, Davis simply wasn't accurate enough to make it work, shooting 32.6 percent on 2s outside of 10 feet and 39.6 percent on an unusually large chunk of shots from 3-9 feet. His shot selection also needs work, one of the other drags on his shooting percentage.

Davis generated a lot of shots with few turnovers this way, ranking 10th among centers in turnover rate, but the tradeoff wasn't worth it. Davis' 42.9 percent on 2-point shots was the fourth-worst among centers, and with no 3s and not many free throws, his true shooting percentage was also found wanting.

Defensively, Davis won't defend the rim, but he rebounded a bit better than in past seasons. He didn't take nearly as many charges as he did in Boston, but he still led the team on a per-minute basis despite no longer ranking among the league's leaders. His lack of length was a real problem at center, where opponents had a 20.2 player efficiency rating (PER) against him, according to 82games.com, but at power forward he generally did a solid job.

RESERVES

AL HARRINGTON, PF

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

18.8
8.6
2.0
14.1

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Spot-up shooting forward with 3-point range and ball skills. Average athlete.
+ Poor defensive player overall but has mastered "pulling the chair" on post players.
+ Subpar rebounder. Creates shots but gets tunnel vision and struggles to finish.

Analysis
Harrington had a surprisingly big season, likely saving himself from the amnesty process despite playing the tail end of the season on a torn meniscus. While not known for his defensive prowess, he improved on that end as well. Harrington played harder than at any previous stop and has become something of a master of "pulling the chair" against bigger post players. He also set a career high in rebound rate, and his defensive stats were solid across the board: Denver gave up 3.3 fewer points per 100 possessions with him on the court and opposing power forwards had just a 13.7 PER against him, according to 82games.com.

Combined with his usual scoring prowess -- better than a point every two minutes -- it made Harrington a valuable player, even if he scored with just moderate efficiency. He shot a lot of 3s but didn't shoot them particularly well (33.3 percent), and although he puts it on the floor a lot for a big he doesn't draw many fouls.

The drawback is that Harrington is a Fluke Rule player. As a reminder, this rule postulates that when a player age 28 or older has a PER above 14 and it increased by three or more points from the previous season, there is about a 94 percent chance the player's PER will drop the following season. On average, the drop is almost exactly three points.

To review, last year's Fluke Rule class included the rather staggering example of Lamar Odom, who had the greatest one-year PER drop in the last quarter century; Tony Parker, who blithely ignored the rule; and Tyson Chandler, who was at least as good as the year before. Nonetheless, among the group the trend held. Not with the resounding strength it showed a year earlier, perhaps, when all seven players obediently declined by 2.5 to 4.5 points, but it held:
Fluke Rule Players, 2010-11

Player
2010-11 PER
2010-11 PER
Change
2012-13 PER
Change

Chris Wilcox
12.04
18.09
+6.05
12.46
-5.63

Tyson Chandler
12.58
18.45
+5.87
18.66
+0.21

Tony Allen
14.23
18.40
+4.17
15.70
-2.70

Tony Parker
16.49
20.44
+3.95
22.04
+1.60

Lamar Odom
15.98
19.50
+3.53
9.26
-10.24

Brad Miller
12.96
16.37
+3.41
10.71
-5.66

Chris Andersen
15.88
19.03
+3.15
18.97
-0.06

Average
14.31
18.61
+4.30
15.40
-3.20

Similarly, this season's cast can also expect a drop in production. Along with Harrington, two others join him in the fairly limited Fluke Rule role call for 2011-12:

Fluke Rule Players, 2011-12

Player
2010-11 PER
2011-12 PER
Change

Al Harrington
12.31
15.39
+3.08

Jarrett Jack
14.20
17.97
+3.77

Anderson Varejao
15.21
18.93
+3.72

Average
13.91
17.43
+3.52

Harrington had previously attained this PER level and Jack was a 28-year-old last season, each of which are factors that can give a player slightly better odds of avoiding a regression. None of the three players saw the extreme spikes that, say, Chris Wilcox did a year earlier. Nonetheless, each of these three players is a strong bet for decline in 2012-13.

J.J. REDICK, SG

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

16.0
3.3
3.6
14.3

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Deep-shooting wing who likes to use shot fakes to attack and draw fouls.
+ Solid defensive player. Undersized but good fundamentals. Poor rebounder.
+ Excellent ball handler and entry passer. Quick but lacks explosiveness.

Analysis
One of the few bright spots in Orlando's Dwightmare was the career year by Redick. He shot a career-high 41.8 percent on 3s while taking nearly half his attempts from out there and shot a sizzling 91.1 percent from the line. Surprisingly for a small 3-point specialist, he also got to the line at a high rate for a shooting guard. As a result, he was Orlando's third-best per-minute scorer after Dwight Howard and Ryan Anderson.

The real differentiator for Redick has been his ballhandling. At this point he's almost a point guard, ranking fifth among shooting guards in pure point rating while sporting one of the lowest turnover rates at his position. He can run pick-and-rolls going to his right hand, but it's more to pass than score, as he's not a great finisher and struggles getting his jumper away off the dribble.

Defensively, Redick is a solid team defender who moves his feet, but his lack of size and athleticism make it problematic for him to challenge shots. However, he has no disruptive ability at all, sporting the second lowest steals rate in the league. His defensive metrics rate him average to below-average, but with his offense that's all he needs.

NIKOLA VUCEVIC, C

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

15.0
12.6
1.9
14.8

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Seven-footer with soft touch and deep shooting range. Hangs out on the perimeter.
+ Good rebounder but not a great athlete. Mediocre defender who fouls too much.
+ Won't turn it over but never draws fouls. Decent strength but not overtly physical.

Analysis
Vucevic had a very good start to his rookie season before his shots stopped finding the net, and by the end of the playoffs he was out of the rotation entirely. The key stat for Vucevic is his brutal 46.2 TS%; only six centers were worse. For an offensive-minded player, this was a bit of a disaster.

The problem for Vucevic is that he shot a lot of jumpers and mostly missed them. He made only 35.7 percent outside 10 feet, and nearly half his shots came from out there. With so much pick-and-pop business, he rarely got to the line, ranking dead last among centers in free throw rate. The lone positive was that he never turned the ball over, as he was fourth among centers in turnover rate.

Vucevic surprised on the boards, where he was in the top third of centers, and defensively he wasn't bad for a rookie -- with some experience and more physicality he should be decent. He had a high foul rate, however, and he's not a shot-blocker.

Sum it up and it appears the Sixers inadvertently drafted the second coming of Spencer Hawes.

ANDREW NICHOLSON, PF

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

Did not play 500 NBA minutes last season | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Long forward who can shoot and score. Good shot-blocker and rebounder.
+ Poor ball handler. Old for a first-round pick. Big, soft hands. 'B' athlete.

Analysis
Nicholson has drawn comparisons to David West because of his combination of size and shooting ability. He made 59 percent of his 2s, 78 percent of his free throws and 43 percent of his 3s as a senior at St. Bonaventure -- awesome numbers for a big man. He also added solid rebounding and shot-blocking stats, although like West he's not an elite athlete.

Where the West comparison breaks down is with his ballhandling. Nicholson had among the worst pure point ratings of any 2012 draft prospect, while West is among the best ballhandling bigs in the NBA. For that reason, Nicholson's remit is likely more limited to pick-and-pop scoring than to attacking opponents off the bounce.

Nicholson, who turns 23 in December, is also old for a first-rounder and suspect defensively. He's likely to contribute immediately with his pick-and-pop game, but the other stuff is an open question.

MOE HARKLESS, SF

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

Did not play 500 NBA minutes last season | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Long, athletic, quick combo forward who can run the floor and jump.
+ Needs more strength and a better motor. Mediocre outside shooter.

Analysis
The Al-Farouq Aminu of this year's draft, Harkless lured the Sixers, and then the Magic, with his athleticism and length despite the clear holes remaining in his game. The best lines in his résumé are his high rates of blocks and steals, which indicate that his length could be a real asset on defense if he could add strength and compete more.

Harkless is only 19, and rebounded decently as a collegian given his size disadvantage. Nonetheless, it's going to be harder for him to round out his skills to be a good pro if he isn't capable of playing regularly, and I'm not sure he's good enough to crack a rotation right now. His offensive metrics seem well behind the curve.

JOSH McROBERTS, PF

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

8.8
9.4
3.0
11.8

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Quick-leaping lefty power forward with explosive hops and great court vision.
+ Mediocre shooter but will fire set shot if left open. Likes to dribble out rebounds.
+ Turnover-prone. Below-average defender. Needs to improve strength, quickness.

Analysis
McRoberts looked like a solid pickup by the Lakers before proving otherwise with a miserable season that culminated in the indignity of losing his minutes to Troy Murphy. Unbelievably, it was made for defensive purposes. Opposing power forwards had an 18.6 PER against him, according to 82games.com, and L.A. allowed 7.9 points per 100 possessions with him on the court (his Synergy numbers were poor as well). About the only thing he ended up doing capably was taking hard fouls.

McRoberts might have survived this had he produced as he did in Indiana, but his offensive numbers drastically tailed off as well. For whatever reason he completely stopped shooting, averaging just 7.7 points per 40 minutes -- the lowest scoring rate among the league's 70 power forwards. His percentages weren't that bad, but he was mostly idle, ranking among the bottom three power forwards in usage rate.

McRoberts continued to be an adventuresome passer, for both good and bad -- he was in the top seven at his position both assist and turnover rate -- but on balance he landed eighth at his position in pure point rating. He's only 25 and there's no reason he should have dropped off so dramatically, so the chance of recovery certainly is there.

QUENTIN RICHARDSON, SF

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

9.7
6.2
1.8
8.9

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Physical wing who mostly spots up for 3s on offense. Weak ball handler.
+ Middling accuracy from outside. Low release point. Can't jump anymore.
+ Tough and takes charges, but lacks great mobility on defense.

Analysis
The fact Richardson stayed in the Magic rotation was all you needed to know about Orlando's shaky wing depth. He shouldn't be getting minutes anymore. While Richardson is tough and a solid team defender, he can't move. Even in his newfound specialty of defense -- one forced by the fact that none of the other wings could do it -- he was average at best. The one area he handled well was checking bigger, physical 3s that like to post up.

That would have been valuable if he'd provided some offense, but he kills his own team at this end. In his old age Richardson has become a spot-up 3-point shooter who doesn't shoot particularly well, with a 34.7 percent success rate from downtown. While that's an upgrade on the 28.8 percent from the previous season, it doesn't cut the mustard for a corner specialist. Richardson averaged only 9.9 points per 40 minutes, and once again had an unusually high turnover ratio for a spot-up shooter.

KYLE O'QUINN, PF

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

Did not play 500 NBA minutes last season | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Strong, long-armed big man who plays hard, draws fouls and makes free throws.
+ Undersized for a 5. Game lacks refinement. Not a great athlete. Decent shooter.

Analysis
An insurance big who likely will stick around the league because he's wide and willing to do the dirty work, O'Quinn didn't play against great competition in college but made a name for himself in Norfolk State's first-round NCAA tournament upset of Missouri.

The best line on his résumé is the free throw column, as he both drew fouls in bunches with his physicality and made 69.6 percent and 76.2 percent in his last two seasons. Nonetheless, that may prove much harder in the NBA than in the MEAC, and he doesn't have a single overwhelming skill that makes him a sure thing to stick.

CHRISTIAN EYENGA, SF

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

Did not play 500 NBA minutes last season | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Pogo-jumping project wingman who needs more reps to refine his raw game
+ Makes spectacular shot blocks and dunks but has few ball skills.
+ Must improve defensive fundamentals and add strength. Decent shooter.

Analysis
A throw-in to last season's Ramon Sessions trade, Eyenga played only seven NBA games last season with the Lakers and was rerouted to Orlando in the offseason.

Eyenga also played 510 minutes in the D-League, and the results weren't encouraging. His PER was just 11.5, according to basketball-reference.com. He shot 25.9 percent on 3s and 54.5 percent from the line, and for an athletic player his athleticism markers -- rebounds, blocks and steals -- all were really ordinary. He didn't draw fouls at a high rate either. About the best thing he did was shoot fairly well on 2-point shots.

Eyenga is only 23 and had very little game experience before coming to the league. The best thing for him may be to play in the D-League full-time and work on becoming a spot-up-shooting defensive stopper. He desperately needs the game reps that come with a full season of regular play, and the past two campaigns (with a lockout in between) weren't particularly helpful in that regard.

ISH SMITH, PG

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

Did not play 500 NBA minutes last season | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Tiny speedster who can push the tempo and break down the defense.
+ Poor shooter. Needs to improve decisions and distribution from the point.
+ Size leaves him vulnerable defensively. Needs to add strength to compensate.

Analysis
Smith played 26 games for Orlando and Golden State, and things went better than in his rocky rookie campaign. Smith created more plays, slashed his turnover rate and proved surprisingly helpful on the glass.

Nonetheless, one huge weakness remains: He can't shoot. Smith shot only 38.3 percent from the floor, and finished the season with an abysmal 42.2 TS%. Granted, it was a small sample, but he only made one 3-pointer and earned only eight free throw attempts. Given those parameters, he'd need to shoot 50 percent from the floor to warrant much of a role.

Right now Smith is miles away from that. While he's speedy, he struggles to finish at the rim before defenses close the holes he's trying to exploit, and he doesn't see the court particularly well. He might be best off going overseas for a year or two and getting a ton of game reps to improve his offensive feel, but it appears he'll be back in Orlando as a third point guard.

E'TWAUN MOORE, G

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

Did not play 500 NBA minutes last season | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Slim combo guard who likes to go left. Not a true point guard.
+ Tough and competitive, but a B athlete and just an average shooter.

Analysis
Moore proved expendable when the Celtics had a chance to get Courtney Lee, but he had shown enough promise as a defensive-minded combo guard that Boston likely would have kept him otherwise.

The biggest issue working against him is his shot chart: 85 jumpers, 12 shots at the basket and just seven free throw attempts. With a ratio like that he needs to be a knockdown shooter, and it's not clear if he's capable of it. Moore was also too turnover-prone for a catch-and-shoot guy, and he needs to take more 3s and fewer 2s.

If he can make himself passable offensively, he's tough enough defensively to keep himself in the league. While he's short and slim for a 2, he would seem to match up well against the profusion of combo guards around the league, especially in the second unit. Orlando took a low-risk flier that he can accomplish that.

JUSTIN HARPER, F

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

Did not play 500 NBA minutes last season | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Pick-and-pop big man who mostly hangs out at the 3-point line. Quick release.
+ Soft player who shies from contact and doesn't rebound. Questionable motor.

Analysis
Harper played 84 largely forgettable minutes for the parent club, in which he reinforced everybody's worst fears about him by earning one free throw attempt. Surprisingly, he didn't get any time in the D-League, so that's all the info we have to work with. Not an encouraging start.


cornegg
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Joined: 06/08/2012
Posts: 105
Points: 48
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Can it be

June 27 already?

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