WDBO Sports Director Scott Anez has seen, or listened to, every Orlando Magic game ever played! A local boy who graduated from Lake Brantley High School and UCF, Scott began his career by covering the Magic's inaugural season in 1989 and he is known as the Voice of the Magic Fan in Orlando. This is Scott's 18th season hosting AM 580 WDBO's Inside Magic, the highest rated sports talk show in Orlando. He also serves as Broadcast Host for the Orlando Magic Radio Network. Scott shares his unique take on what's happening at Two Magic Place and beyond with ANEZ SEZ. Read more of Scott's previous blogs at the Anez Sez archive or at http://580wdbo.com.
Posted by Scott Anez, Monday, Nov. 15, 2010, 8:45 AM
The Good, Bad and Ugly
The Orlando Magic are 6-3.
We're sitting on top of the Southeast Division.
Yet, I sense some distress from Magic Nation right now.
We all need to keep in mind--it's November! The Magic and every other NBA team are still trying to figure out who they are at this time of season.
With that said, let's give you the good, bad and ugly of the early season.
...Brandon Bass. B-Bass has become our Super Sixth Man. He's defending and rebounding, two things he didn't do much of last season. He's shooting over 49% from the field and nearly 90% from the line. Bass has been a rock so far.
...Dwight Howard's offensive game. It's very clear that Superman was doing a little more than just making movies and spanning the globe over the summer. He has shown off a wide variety of offensive moves, including a new and improved bank shot. Dwight (21.9ppg) is well on his way to averaging a career high in points this season.
...Mickael Pietrus. Vive la France! After choppy playing time in the early season, M-P has reentered Stan's rotation and he's produced. M-P has scored 36 points and drained 12-three pointers in the last two games.
...Jameer Nelson, AKA Mr. Clutch. Was there any doubt that Jameer wouldn't hit that fall-away baseline jumper in New Jersey Saturday night?
...While I love Dwight's new offensive repertoire, I don't like what I see from the free throw line. For the season, he's shooting at a clip of .514. I know that Dwight works overtime on his free throws--but, practicing the wrong thing over and over again gets you nowhere. How about trying something different? Dwight's not Shaq--Dwight actually has decent technique and a nice touch. He can do this. I know he can. Don't flick the ball toward the rum--bend the knees and follow through! There's no reason why Dwight should not be a 70% free throw shooter.
...Along the same lines, I don't like the fact that this team is by far and away dead last in the NBA in free throw percentage (.651). Obviously, Dwight has much to do with that number. But, ya take D-12 out of the equation and you find out that we'd be around the 75% mark from the line--a mediocre percentage for this team.
...I didn't like Stan Van Gundy's early season lineup experimentation. Seems to me that Stan tried to reinvent the wheel. I understand that we have an abundance of talent on this roster. But players are very much creatures of habit. Over the last few games, those habits have begun to form as the rotations have stabilized.
...I don't like the fact that we tend to turn the ball over in bunches. It was a problem in the preseason. We've had a couple of 21-miscue performances in the real deal.
...We've got to get a whole lot more from Rashard Lewis. In the loss to Toronto Friday night, he was benched in crunch time and did not even attempt a three-point shot--the first time in his Magic career that's happened. This, from the same guy who led the NBA two seasons ago in three's made and attempted. With the exception of the win in Charlotte, Rashard, has been invisible in the early season.
...I don't like Dwight's five technical fouls in nine games. Sure, the league's hypersensitive whistle this year is beyond ridiculous. But, Dwight must adhere to the new rules and quit moaning and groaning to the refs. At 16 techs, he'll be suspended for one game. At this rate, Dwight will be home for Christmas.
...I don't like our defense right now. This team has hung its hat on its stellar team defense over the last few years--but, recently, the 'd' has lacked focus and intensity. Opponents are scoring at will. Once upon a time, teams shooting 50% vs. us was a rarity...But, over the last three games, we've surrendered 50% to Utah...50% to Toronto...49% to New Jersey...47% to Atlanta...48% to Charlotte.
...And finally, I don't know if you noticed, but there's an impostor wearing jersey #7 this year. JJ Redick, where are you? JJ's shooting 27% from the field and, get this, 12% (3-25) from three-point-range.
Anez Sez is solely the opinion of Scott Anez and does not reflect the views of the Orlando Magic or the NBA.
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