Team Preview: Orlando Magic
STATE OF THE FRANCHISE
PLAYING TIME DISTRIBUTION
Dwight Howard will see between 35 and 40 minutes a game, but they will be split up between the center and power forward position. Tony Battie will miss a good amount of the season with a torn rotator cuff. Adonal Foyle will play his customary 10 minutes of solid defense each game, and Marcin Gortat will probably only see garbage minutes if anything. Rashard Lewis will play about 40 minutes each game and can play anywhere from swing guard to power forward. Hedo Turkoglu will likely see a slight reduction in time due to the team’s versatility, but he should still play 20-25 minutes at the other forward position to begin the season. Pat Garrity and James Augustine barely saw any minutes last season, and they should probably expect the same this season considering the team’s off-season frontcourt acquisitions. Jameer Nelson will play around 30 minutes each game at the point guard position with Carlos Arroyo taking the remaining minutes behind him. Trevor Ariza and J.J. Redick should see a boost in minutes this year. Ariza will likely start at SF, while Redick might see about 15-20 minutes per game. The progression of both Ariza and Redick will force Keyon Dooling and Keith Bogans to give up some minutes. Dooling has the ability to play both point and shooting guard and is a natural scorer, and Bogans could log a few minutes at the small forward position as well.
* Dwight Howard – ORL [C]: After playing with Team USA and the rest of the best players in the league this summer, it’s easy to see that Howard should be mentioned among the league’s elite. Last season, Howard increased his field goal percentage and points per game for the third consecutive season. He also played in every game and has yet to miss one in his three-year career. This season, expect Howard to see more touches in the post as defenses will be forced to extend to Rashard Lewis’ three-point range. He should average about 20 points per game, but he could easily score more if he shot better at the free-throw line, a problem which drops him a few spots in fantasy rankings. Still, expect Howard to be among the league leaders in rebounding and blocks.
Adonal Foyle – ORL [C]: Foyle will be counted on as the team’s best rebounder off the bench and its best post defender. He has blocked almost two shots per game during his career, but he doesn’t really offer anything else in terms of fantasy production.
Marcin Gortat – ORL [PF,C]: Gortat will provide the Magic with a big body off the bench, but he’ll have a difficult time finding minutes in his rookie season.
* Rashard Lewis – ORL [SF]: The Magic got the biggest prize of the offseason in Lewis, and big things should be expected out of him in his inaugural campaign with the club. After sharing shots with Ray Allen for the past five seasons, Lewis will finally take over the role as primary scorer. Lewis got a head start in that department last season, recording the highest scoring average of his career. He should reach 25 points per game this season and also provides solid percentages and a lot of three-pointers. Lewis just turned 28, so he is set to have one of the best seasons of his career. Lewis will make a lot of people happy as a second or third round pick this season. Beware that the Magic might slot him at PF with Battie out, which could extend his position eligibility to SF,PF.
Pat Garrity – ORL [SF,PF]: Garrity is coming off his worst season as his professional. He only averaged eight minutes a game last season and will have a difficult time finding the court again this year. Garrity used to put up big three-point numbers, but now he’s been relegated to one of the last spots on the bench.
James Augustine – ORL [PF,C]: Augustine will give the Magic an athletic defender off the bench but will struggle to find minutes behind a crowded frontcourt.
* Trevor Ariza – ORL [SF]: Ariza is an intriguing player who could really see a big improvement in his overall numbers this year. He was just beginning to play well in December when he got injured and lost almost a month. He came back and played decently down the stretch, giving the Magic hope that he could become a good player for them this season. He has good size and is a good rebounder for a guard, but he won’t make many threes, and his free throw percentage is horrendous. However, he did shoot over 50 percent from the field last season, a very good clip for a guard. Ariza will likely increase his scoring to somewhere between 10 and 15 points per game and should have his best season yet. With Battie out, Ariza will likely slip into the starting shooting guard role with Lewis stepping into the power forward position.
J.J. Redick – ORL [PG,SG]: Redick struggled through his rookie season, battling injuries and not seeing much playing time. However, as he did in college, he worked hard in the offseason to improve his game. He isn’t very quick and isn’t a very good defender, but there aren’t many guys in the league with a better long-range shot. If he plays about 25 minutes a game, he could score at least 10 points per game and put up good three-point numbers and percentages. A lot of his numbers will depend on if he starts or comes off the bench, which the Magic have yet to determine.
Carlos Arroyo – ORL [PG]: Arroyo is probably the Magic’s best pure point guard, but he isn’t the shooter that Nelson is. He can get the ball up the floor and doesn’t mind passing off to his teammates. His assists should increase this season, but he doesn’t get the minutes to be a strong fantasy contributor.
* Keyon Dooling – ORL [PG]: Dooling can play several roles for the Magic. He can play point guard and is also a good shooter. He might lose some minutes this year, but he’s an able scorer who isn’t afraid to shoot the ball. He'll likely start at shooting guard for the Magic to begin the season.
Keith Bogans – ORL [SG]: Bogans will find playing time hard to come by this season as the Magic have a lot of guys they like ahead of him. He can score but is a bit undersized and can’t shoot as well as the other swing players.