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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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2013/14 NBA Team Preview: Orlando Magic

Season Review 2012/13:

Advanced Stats
Numbers
Rank
Pace
92.2
15
Offense
101.6
27
Defense
109.1
25
Rebound
50.1
16

4 Factors
Offense
Numbers
Rank
Defense
Numbers
Rank
eFG%
48.5
20
eFG%
50.8
22
TO%
13.7
12
TO%
11.8
30
Reb%
25.4
21
Reb%
25.4
7
FT%
14.9
29
FT%
19.5
8

Monthly Performance
Record
OffRtg
DefRtg
November
 5-10
99.3
105.6
December
 7-9
106.5
106.2
January
 2-12
109.5
118.9
February
 2-11
98.3
112.0
March
 3-13
103.3
115.0
April
 1-7
98.7
110.8


Inevitably, the Magic would always have one of the worst records in the league last season, as that was exactly their plan. After firing their long-time Head Coach Stan Van Gundy, long-time GM Otis Smith and trading away their franchise player Dwight Howard plus their second best player Ryan Anderson, Orlando started a rebuilding process last season.

Unexpectedly, the Magic were competitive early in the season by having a 12-13 record in their first 25 games of the league. Head Coach Jacques Vaughn managed to surprise the league by forming an underrated starting lineup. This good start was contrasting with the organization’s expectations for this season and so, surprisingly or not, Orlando ended the regular season on an 8-49 record on the following 57 games, bad enough for them to be the worst team in the league in the regular season.

Glen Davis got injured and was done for the season, then Orlando traded J.J. Redick near the trade deadline and they didn’t want to use veteran players such as Hedo Turkoglu and Al Harrington to give more minutes to develop the young players.

Nikola Vucevic, Tobias Harris and Andrew Nicholson were the main young players of the team last season, especially Vucevic who showed great rebounding skills and a nice post up game, good news for a franchise that lost Dwight Howard.


Offseason Report:

Even though they were the team with the higest chance to get the #1 draft pick, Orlando got only the second pick. However, Cleveland surprisingly picked Anthony Bennett and Orlando picked Victor Oladipo, who was definitely going to be the #1 overall pick in the draft if the Magic had gotten the #1 pick in the lottery.

Orlando only started their rebuilding process last season and so, the priority of the team this season will be similar from the past year. This is why the team didn’t try to make any moves on free agency or on trades. They had some minor deals to give depth to the team such as getting PG Ronnie Price and PF Jason Maxiell, who signed a 2-year contract for about $5 million.


Season Preview:

It’s clear that Orlando will be one of the worst teams in the league once again this season and with a high chance to get the #1 pick in next year’s draft. This has been their plan since last season and considering that next year’s draft has one of the most hyped classes in the last few years, Orlando will continue their rebuilding this season in order to get a player full of potential in the draft.

So, the team’s main priority for this season will be to develop their young players. Victor Oladipo is mostly known for his intaginbles, high motor and a terrific defensive player, but with a lot of flaws on offense. This will be the ideal team for him to develop his offensive game without any pressure. The organization won’t care if he has low %FG’s as long as he improves throughout the season.

Both Victor Oladipo and Nikola Vucevic seem to be two players that will part of the team’s franchise. Vucevic was one of the biggest surprises in the league last season, as even though he had shown some positive signs at Philadelphia, he was never given the opportunity to develop on the Sixers, who got rid of him in a terrible decision for the Sixers franchise, who is now stuck with Kwame Brown and Spencer Hawes at the Center position. Vucevic had some incredible rebounding numbers in some games, but the most impressive games were his two performances against the Miami Heat, where he had 20 points on 9-17 FG and 29 rebounds in December and then 25 points and 21 rebounds while shooting 11-16 FG! He is just 22 years old and he will have a great opportunity this season to keep developing his game.

Tobias Harris, Maurice Harkless and Andrew Nicholson are three young players that have a more limited upside. All these players had a lot of playing time at the end of the past season, something that allowed them to pad their numbers, especially Tobias Harris who scored 19.8 points and grabbed 9.8 rebounds per game in eight games in April! Of course Harris got these numbers with a low efficiency (44% FG), while showing zero effort on defense! The organization is ready to give a lot of playing time to these players once again this season, as they didn’t add any proven players to the roster in the offseason. Therefore, these three players will have a golden opportunity to keep developing without the pressure of needing to win games. Let’s see how they will take this opportunity.

Glen Davis is the only experienced player in the frontcourt, but he is injured and questionable for the first game of the regular season. He was “fun” to watch last season due to his insistence in taking bad shots from long range, despite hitting just 33% FG of those shots.

Besides Davis, only Jameer Nelson and Arron Afflalo are veterans that were part of competitive teams in the past. Nelson had some injury problems last season by missing 26 games while having his worst season of his career shooting wise: 39.2% FG! He focused on being a more pass-first PG and so, he had a career high of 7.4 assists per game! Regarding Afflalo, after three excellent seasons in Denver, he had a natural down season efficiency wise, as he went from a role player on Denver’s offense into a primary shooter in Orlando, so the Magic’s opponents were more focused on guarding him than when he was with the Nuggets. Afflalo will definitely be involved in a lot of trade rumors near the trade deadline and with him being on his prime right now, he would definitely be a nice piece for any contender team near postseason.

Just like it happened last season, Head Coach Jacques Vaughn will have as his main task to develop the young players in the roster. Turning Oladipo into the Rookie of the Year this season would be a nice challenge for Vaughn, while the rest of the team has no conditions whatsoever to be competitive this season.

My name is André Gomes, I’m from Portugal and I am a Professional Handicapper. My sole purpose is to constantly beat the sportsbooks by taking advantage of the evaluation errors they make. It is most... Read more

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