Orlando Magic Season Preview: The Rebuild has begun

 

Team Capsule
Last year was…oye. It’s still painful to even think about last year with the Dwightmare, the diet pepsi incident, and the early exit in the first round of the playoffs. But it all happened and there’s nothing the team can do about it. Stan Van Gundy was fired, Dwight Howard was traded, and Otis Smith Resigned. It’s time for a new season, new players, new faces, new everything. It’s time for rebuilding to commence and it’s time for a new era in Magic basketball. As any Magic fan knows the beginning of these eras are usually less than pretty.

To get a sense for the Magic this year I had to watch their pre-season game against the Hornets to get an idea of what they were going to look like. I came off more impressed than I was expecting. Yes it was pre-season so you have to take everything with a grain of salt but I liked that the team still involved a lot of ball movement and player movement. The main difference being that rather than focus on looking for the 3 point shot the team will be looking for any way to score. The defense wasn’t good but it wasn’t terrible. It’s definitely going to get torched by better teams in the regular season. The main problem is the bench. The bench in the pre-season game gave up a huge lead (not that it matters) and was extremely stagnant on offense. Actually the entire team would go stagnant on offense at times but the bench couldn’t do a thing. On the positive side Big Baby is still hustling, JJ Redick is still awesome, and Jameer Nelson still passes before he looks. Okay that last one isn’t very positive but it’s kind of funny. It’s not funny? Well who asked you?

Biggest Strength: Preperation
One thing that Stan Van Gundy always made sure of his teams was that they were prepared for every game even the ones that didn’t seem all that important. The Magic looked very prepared for their game against the Hornets despite it being a meaningless game.

Biggest Weakness: The Bench
The bench is incredibly bad. The players on the bench go stagnant on offense quite easily and the defense leaves a lot to be desired. This team isn’t going to have to tank at all this season. Thanks to this bench they’ll lose plenty of games on their own without any help from the coaching staff or front office.

Player to Watch: Any Rookie, sophomore, or 3rd year guy
I’m going to cheat here and not say one specific guy. The Magic are rebuilding and because of that a lot of these faces aren’t going to be around for a very long time with trades and cap space being cleared. The guys who have the best chance of staying are the young guys such as rookies. If you’re a Magic fan you want to pay attention to these guys so you know who will be the futures of the team.

2011-2012 Record: 37-29

Coach: Jacque Vaughn

Key Additions: Andrew Nicholson, Kyle O’Quinn, Arron Aflallo, Al Harrington

Key Subtractions: Dwight Howard, Stan Van Gundy, Chris Duhon, Ryan Anderson

Team Trajectory: Losing. Lots of losing
The Magic are going to lose a lot this season. It’s not going to be fun but rebuilding is a painful process that involves a lot of losing and draft picks. The hope is that the high draft picks will lead to drafting better players and these better players will lead to more wins in the future. Hopefully new GM Rob Hennigan can put together a team that will go back to its winning ways. Until then try and enjoy watching the development of the new younger players.

Projected Record: 23-59

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About Chris Barnewall
Hi I'm Chris. I'm from the Space Coast of Florida where NASA is. I grew up watching shuttles launch into the sky and watching the Orlando Magic on my TV. I hope by giving you my opinions and analysis on basketball we can have some awesome discussions on the topics I write. If you want to see some of the other random things I enjoy and talk about then go give me a follow on Twitter. @ChrisJandB Lets have fun with this!

2 Responses to Orlando Magic Season Preview: The Rebuild has begun

  1. ron says:

    Your record prediction is fair and your critique of the bench is legit. However, you are deducing way too much from one preseason game and it’s not terribly well-written.

    Magic fans should embrace a bad record. They should be in no hurry to improve this team. Tank or bust.

    As a Magic fan I’m pumped for this season. There are a lot of unknowns, and while those unknowns may struggle, it still should be fun. At least we’ll have a bunch of fresh faces and players hungry to play for this team. I’m quite excited about Vaughn too.

    • Chris Barnewall says:

      See the problem is that pre-season game is the only thing we can base off this team. Everything about them is new so the entire season is an unknown really. And the Magic shouldn’t have to tank at all because they’re already pretty bad. Just gotta keep signing young guys, trading for draft picks and developing young guys

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