|2012-13 Team Rating|
|19th Overall||23rd Overall|
Stats through Jan. 22
There is life after Dwight Howard after all. In fact, Nikola Vucevic has been a find in the middle. Glen Davis picked up where he left off last season. And Mo Harkless, Josh McRoberts, Andrew Nicholson and Gustavo Ayon have all had their moments.
Arron Afflalo is leading the team in scoring and Jameer Nelson is third behind Davis. They don't have a ton of quality depth but they are making it work with the pieces in place.
They rank in the bottom third in the league for a reason. Without their usual anchor in the middle, teams have no reason to fear going at the rim against this team. A defensive-minded philosophy is fine. Having the human resources to execute it is another story.
Veteran shooter J.J. Redick leads the charge off the bench with his 14.9 points but there is little else to speak of in terms of consistent offensive production from the reserves.
No one was quite sure what to expect from Jacque Vaughn when he took over. By all accounts, he's been better than most expected, instilling the right attitude for a team with little to no expectations and driving them hard enough that they're tough to deal with on a nightly basis.
The Magic have shown that those previews that suggested their season would be an 82-game dumpster fire in the wake of Howard's departure were as shortsighted as they were just plain wrong. .They'll still be a lottery team and they're still years away from regaining the ground they've lost the last 10 months. But they've weathered the toughest part of the process already. The rebuilding can begin now.
And that's where the Magic front office, led by general manager Rob Hennigan and assistant general manager Scott Perry, have to go back work rebuilding this roster basically from scratch. Whatever prize(s) they land in the June Draft have to be foundation pieces, because there aren't any locks for those spots on the roster right now.
-- Sekou Smith
Explanation of Marking System
|Golden State Warriors||B+|
|Los Angeles Clippers||A-|
|Los Angeles Lakers||C-|
|New Orleans Hornets||C-|
|New York Knicks||A-|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||A|
|Portland Trail Blazers||B-|
|San Antonio Spurs||B+|