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 21st season hosting FM 96.5 and AM 580 Newstalk WDBO 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, Friday, October 26, 2012, 10:30 AM
A Heat Re-Peat
As we head into the NBA’s regular season, it’s time for Sez to tell you what team will stand above the rest come June of 2013.
I have a pool of three teams with an A-Grade shot at winning it all this season: The Miami Heat, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The teams on my 'if things break their way' list? Boston, San Antonio and the Los Angeles Clippers.
Let’s begin with the Heat.
LeBron James gets it. He finally gets it, both on the court and off. That’s frightening to the rest of the NBA.
You look at what The King did in the playoffs last season—the numbers defy logic.
30.3 points per game…50% shooting…9.7 rebounds…5.6 assists. With Dwayne Wade hobbled, LeBron did something that he hadn’t done years past—he fought through adversity and delivered the hardware.
While his game has matured on the court, his off the court game has also come of age. LeBron finally learned how to turn out the ‘noise’ from the media and fans alike. He just looks as if he is finally at peace with himself and his game.
While the Heat added veterans like Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis, there is valid concern about Dwayne Wade’s health, or lack thereof. Wade missed 17 games last season with assorted injuries. He has had knee and ankle injuries creep up on him in the past. Can Wade stay away from serious injury this season?
The Los Angeles Lakers are next on my list.
This team's starting five could just well be the starting five for the Western Conference All Star team come February—Nash, Kobe, Artest, Gasol and Howard.
There are a number of questions I have about this Laker team heading into this season.
Can an aging Kobe Bryant stay relatively healthy through the 82-game grind? How long will it take for this team to gel?
But here’s the biggest question I have for this Laker team: Will Dwight buy in?
Many of us still have ill feelings about how the whole Dwightmare went down in Orlando last season. That aside, let me say this…No matter what Shaq says, Dwight Howard is the best big man in the game today. It’s not even close.
However, I wonder, how Dwight will react to being a 2nd, 3rd or possibly 4th option in Mike Brown’s offense at times this year.
Howard carried the Magic to the 2009 NBA Finals mainly because the man was a one-man wrecking crew on the defensive end. Over the last few years, I think Dwight lost his edge defensively because he decided that he wanted to see his name in lights, thus, score more points.
Can Dwight get back to being that unstoppable defensive force? If so, Showtime will be back in L.A.
The young Oklahoma City Thunder knocked on the door last year and made it all the way to the NBA Finals. Question is—Will the Thunder push through this season?
To me, Kevin Durant is the second best player in the game today, behind LeBron. The man is a master. He is unguardable on the offensive side of the court.
That OKC team is pretty much unchanged from last year. They have all the talent it takes to get back to the Finals.
But, here’s the question about OKC…Will the Thunder trim The Beard? Will the Thunder sign super sixth man James Harden to a contract extension before Halloween?
The Thunder are in a predicament.
If they sign the high-scoring Harden to a max-extension (4 years, $60 million), the estimated tax bill in OKC would be more than $30 million for three years. Keep in mind, the Thunder are playing in market number 28.
However, this is a classic double-edged sword. If they elect to wait it out and allow Harden to become a restricted free agent next summer, you run the risk of his contract situation and potential trade deadline deal to become a major distraction in a year when this team is expected to shatter the glass ceiling.
We in Orlando know all about these distractions, don’t we?
I wouldn’t want any part of that decision. Good luck, OKC!
The best of the rest?
I keep wanting to write off the Celtics--and they keep proving me wrong.
I think Coach Doc Rivers has done a masterful job in limiting regular season minutes for guys like Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce the last few seasons. He’ll have to perform his magic again this season.
The C’s lose Ray Allen, but, they gain guys like Jason Terry, Courtney Lee and Jared Sullinger from Ohio State.
The Spurs? Well, again, I along with many have written them off for years—but here they are again. Do Duncan, Parker and Ginobili have one more run left in them?
Watch out for the L.A.Clippers. I like what they did in the off-season, quietly adding guys like Jamal Crawford, Grant Hill and Matt Barnes to the likes of All Stars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin and you’ve got a team that will make a run this year.
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