Cohen: Evaluating The Talent (Reserves)

By Josh Cohen
May 18, 2011


Now that we have all had a couple of weeks to digest the Orlando Magic’s season following their disappointing defeat to the Atlanta Hawks in the First Round, I decided to evaluate each of the players’ performances from the year.

After reading through my analysis, vote on the grade you think each player deserves. In this edition, I dissect the reserves.

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Grading System:

A - Excellent; Absolutely sensational; Definitely at a first-rate level

B - Pretty good; Generally content with a few exceptions here and there; Still need some improvement if they want to be a significant contributor next year

C - Somewhat disappointed; Expect more consistency; Hope for major improvement next season







J.J. Redick
It was a rollercoaster season for J.J. Redick, who last summer re-signed with the Magic for three years worth $19 million. It didn’t start particularly well as Redick connected on just four of his first 28 3-point attempts.

But after the slow start, the former Duke standout rediscovered his rhythm and went on a shooting tear in which he shot 30-of-53 (57 percent) from long distance in December and 26-of-65 (40 percent) in January.

Unfortunately for Redick after he developed into Orlando’s most reliable bench scorer, the sharpshooter suffered a lower abdominal injury in March and missed the final 17 games of the regular season.

Aside from a splendid Game 5 against Atlanta in the First Round, Redick struggled to find his range in the postseason when he returned.

What grade would you give J.J. Redick for his performance this season?
What grade would you give J.J. Redick for his performance this season?
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Ryan Anderson
From uncertainty to starter to out of the lineup to dependable reserve, Ryan Anderson’s season was filled with intrigue.

When the season began, Anderson was projected to be the third power forward in the rotation (behind Rashard Lewis and Brandon Bass). But after solid play in the preseason, Stan Van Gundy decided to start Anderson for a handful of games before benching him completely until December’s blockbuster trades.

Once inserted back into the rotation, Anderson flourished and reached double figures in scoring in 13 of the 15 games in January. He also closed the regular season strong – pouring in a career-best 28 points against the Bulls when Dwight Howard was suspended.

Though like his teammates didn’t thrive in the playoffs, Anderson showed tremendous promise as his career continues to progress.

What grade would you give Ryan Anderson for his performance this season?
What grade would you give Ryan Anderson for his performance this season?
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Gilbert Arenas
There was a mixture of excitement and ambiguity when the Magic acquired Gilbert Arenas as part of December’s blockbuster trades. Generally absent the previous three seasons with knee problems, it was a mystery as to what kind of value and production the former three-time NBA All-Star would deliver.

Though he did have a few quality outings late in the season – particularly in the playoffs when he erupted for 20 points in Game 4 against the Hawks – it was an extremely disappointing few months for Gilbert.

Struggling to adjust to Stan Van Gundy’s system, Arenas had a difficult time in a more structured offense. The hope, nonetheless, is that after a few months of rehabbing his knee, Gil will come back next season with greater health and focus.

What grade would you give Gilbert Arenas for his performance this season?
What grade would you give Gilbert Arenas for his performance this season?
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Earl Clark
Generally viewed as a “throw-in” in the Magic-Suns trade, Earl Clark surprised many when he arrived in Orlando with his ability to attack the basket and play stifling one-on-one defense.

Though still raw and with plenty to improve upon, Clark has the potential to eventually transform into a dependable role player especially because of his aptitude to guard perimeter players with his length.

What grade would you give Earl Clark for his performance this season?
What grade would you give Earl Clark for his performance this season?
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Quentin Richardson
There was some skepticism when Orlando decided to essentially replace Matt Barnes, who became a fan favorite because of his energy and tough-minded attitude, with Quentin Richardson.

Q-Rich gave the Magic several quality efforts, including one during Orlando’s epic comeback victory in Miami, and was a great locker room guy to keep the team focused. Hopefully for next season, however, the 11-year veteran can become more of a consistent difference-maker on both ends of the floor.

What grade would you give Quentin Richardson for his performance this season?
What grade would you give Quentin Richardson for his performance this season?
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Chris Duhon
Some thought that when the Magic signed Chris Duhon in the offseason that he had the chance to be the best backup point guard in the NBA. After starting for New York for two seasons, it seemed like Duhon would be a perfect backup to Jameer Nelson.

But for a variety of reasons that may have included a lack of confidence in his shot, Duhon never materialized into a threat off the bench and was ultimately replaced by Arenas as the primary backup point guard.

What grade would you give Chris Duhon for his performance this season?
What grade would you give Chris Duhon for his performance this season?
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