Fizer's Take: Orlando Magic
Nobody thought they'd go that far but they did... Nobody expected Dwight to even dominate as far the Eastern Conference Finals but he did... Nobody expected Jameer Nelson to have an All-Star year but he did just before injuring his shoulder... It was a season filled with unexpected results. The Magic were simply unstoppable... They started really well before faltering in the last weeks of the Regular Season where they did finish a high 59-23 mark. Nobody though that they'd go that far after having lose Game 1 through an Iguodala killer buzzer. Nobody thought they'd take Boston to 7 games though we could argue, of course, that C's have no KG. Heck, nobody even thought the Magic can stop the Cavs. Dwight Howard was a specimen and a beast and he continues to develop more of his game come next few seasons. Simply put, Dwight Howard is a beast. The mere fact that he's just 24 years old makes it scary for other teams waiting to stop him. Or should I say, at least TRY to stop him at any cost. The Magic did a great job when Jameer went out as they acquired Skip To My Lou to start at PG and from there, things went OK to Excellent. With a supporting cast that has their own roles including Mickael Pietrus, Anthony Johnson, JJ Reddick... With guys that are All-Star calibers in Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis helping out on the perimeter and of course, the Face of The Magic, Manchild Dwight Howard, the Magic looks near unstoppable and made a LeBron-Kobe duel disappear for at least that season. The Magic appeared in their second Finals appearance and finally won a Finals game when they succumbed the Lakers in Game 3. The Lakers did win in 5 but you can't forget what Stan Van Gundy and the boys did after having to go through tough times in the SemiFinals and the Conference Finals. Still, no one was complaining and it was clear that the Magic are a force to be reckoned with in the East after years of disappointment prior to the coming of Dwight Howard.
The Magic did not have any draft pick since they traded it to the Memphis Grizzlies. Though they did not bring in any rookie, they were pretty much busy in the offseason which could make up for their incomplete draft grade.
The offseason were a busy time for the Orlando Magic. They flirted in getting Hedo back but when the breaking news spread that they acquired Vince Carter, Ryan Anderson for Courtney Lee, Rafer Alston and Tony Battie, it was clear that they are ready to forget about signing Turkoglu. It was a sign that the Magic are looking to upgrade and, to me, this is indeed an upgrade for the team who wants to be back in the promised land only to fall short. They were willing to give up a talent like Courtney Lee just to have VC in Disneyland. Ryan Anderson was said to be a mere "part" of the trade only to the surprise of some that he's actually one of the players that the Magic want and need at this point. Anderson is an explosive scorer who could fill the void left by Hedo at the 3 spot. Though he doesn't have the playmaking skills that Hedo has, Anderson can still shoot with the best of 'em and he has this season as a target to prove to the fans that he belongs. Another offseason move was the re-signing of Marcin Gortat and the adding of Brandon Bass... Though Gortat was unhappy to be back in the Magic roster, it was clear the Magic will fight tooth and nails in having him back as a back-up for Dwight. Brandon Bass could be a firepower the team needs inside and his physical presence will take pressure off of Howard. It is clear that the Orlando Magic will be legit contenders in the East but can they prove that against the mighty Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers? Can Vince Carter finally have his playoff moment? Can Orlando come back in the Finals? So many questions that are yet to be decided but one thing's for sure, getting 8-0 in pre-season gives us a glimpse of what the Magic has in store for NBA fans.
NBA Draft Grade: N/A
NBA Offseason Grade: A
Predicted W-L: 62-20
This is just a writer's opinion... Anyone who wants to comment, I am open for it^^
they are better than they were last year. the only thing keeping them from being the favorites is the fact that cavs and celtics got better too. I think matt barnes has been the most overlooked pickup this offseason. this guy can do it all and will be appreciated come playoff time. vince carter will fit better offensively than hedo and they will go 61-21 imo
m.f you did a take on my team