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Justin Jaudon

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Justin Jaudon last won the day on March 18

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  1. Justin Jaudon

    2019-2020 Official Regular Season Thread

    I'm not a Trump fan, but this seems like one of those 'hindsight is 20/20' things. Sure, he could have done that. And so could every other country. Basically no one did that. Nationally we're handling this worse than a few of countries, better than a few. It certainly hasn't been a win for Trump, and as usual his tendency to speak in nothing but hyperbole hasn't helped, but he did do some things that were good, like cutting off travel from China nice and early (which a lot of left-leaning people criticized him for, claiming it was somehow racist). Virtually everyone in the world has been a step late on this, partly because China lied and imprisoned people who were trying to warn the rest of the world about it, and partly because this is a unique situation, and partly because people make mistakes even when they have the best of intentions. I'm not saying Trump has done a great job with this. I'm saying, again, blaming Trump for this virus and what it's done to the world, even this country, is too much.
  2. Justin Jaudon

    2019-2020 Official Regular Season Thread

    Evidence is needed to make the claim, though, that Martins was a problem, or that ownership were 'calling the shots on all fronts'. You can have an opinion, but without any evidence I have to assume it's just blind conjecture. The team has been solid from a financial standpoint, which is Martins' job, despite a long rebuild. So... he's been doing very well at his job. Why would we have moved on from Martins, considering that? Blaming him because he's been a common denominator is absurd. So has Stuff. Is it Stuff's fault? My opinion is that the largest part of this team's troubles during the rebuild can be laid at Hennigan's feet, but even that is a largest part where there is plenty of blame to go around. It's a cluster of bad situations, really. From the start, Hennigan didn't hire the right coach for a rebuild. The evidence would be Vaughn's obvious lack of direction and player expectations while he was here. We saw this in interviews. Oladipo talked about the culture in Orlando, how it was aimless and just a bunch of talented guys with no leadership. When they brought in leadership (Skiles), it so clashed with the laissez faire management style that Skiles lost it. Now I do think Martins miscalculated here, and he can take some of the blame. It seems fairly clear the organization liked Skiles for his tough-guy leadership style, and pushed that hiring through, with Hennigan at best being 'okay' with it. But Skiles and Hennigan were never going to be able to co-exist, and that hiring is partly on Martins. But it should be noted that Orlando improved by 10 games that year; and when Hennigan was once again able to hire 'his guy' in Vogel, the team fell apart even worse than before. It became clear during the Hennigan/Vogel year (right away, with the Oladipo trade, and the Biyombo signing) that Hennigan was terrible when the pressure was on to actually improve. I don't think this pressure was impatience from management. Orlando had the talent to start getting better, obviously, considering there were at least three future All-Star guys on the team when they started putting the pressure on for improvement. Harris got better almost the moment he left Orlando's terrible culture, and Oladipo exploded the moment he was given another real opportunity. It wasn't that they needed more time, but rather they needed to be on a team with direction. Direction as a basketball team wasn't and has never been Martins' job. That was Hennigan's job, and it was clear by the end he was terrible at it. Blaming the culture of the team at that point on Martins would be insane, even during Martins' most hands-on period, as the only mistake he can solidly be blamed for would be when he tried unsuccessfully to improve the terrible culture by injecting Skiles. It wasn't the right move, but it's hard to make the argument that letting Hennigan continue to have his way would have gone better, considering how the team fell apart under Vogel, the guy who basically embodied Hennigan's laid back/no expectations/no consequences style. At this point, Martins was clearly happy to step back and let Jeff Weltman take over setting the tone, which was absolutely the right call. It's fairly clear the culture of the team has improved the last two-and-a-half seasons, despite the players being mostly the same. Two playoff-level teams after a year of evaluation shows that, among other things. But you see how that blame goes a lot of places during the bad years that are still haunting us. Hennigan was the catalyst, sure. But Vaughn was too lax, Skiles gave up, and Vogel was not a leader at all. All of those guys had the opportunity to fix the rebuild, from a coaching standpoint. Skiles probably could have, if he'd been willing to put up with fighting Hennigan for the culture of the team. Bad luck had a lot of impact. What if we'd gotten the 3rd pick in '14, or the 4th pick in '15? Or a top three in '17 or '18? Would we be considerably better? Hard to know, but it's a good bet. I don't see how poor luck can be thrown on Martins or ownership. Martins can have some blame for the Skiles hiring (though, again, it's hard to say this really hurt the team), but it seems the move to a Pres. of Ops management style is the sensible option to remedy that failing, considering that Martins was still doing a good job at the business side of things. If I hire an IT guy to build a web-site, then ask him to help me write my novel, should I fire him from his IT position if he can't write? Lastly, sure, in the end the state of the franchise rests on ownership, because they're signing the checks. But i would point this out: of the 7 teams that have expanded the league in the last 35 years, we are one of 3 with a championship appearance, one of only two with multiple championship appearances, and the only team from a smaller market to get to the big series. We are one of only 4 smaller market teams with multiple championship appearances since the merger (the others being Cleveland, San Antonio, Portland, and Utah). Orlando hasn't changed ownership. We aren't San Antonio. We've been much more consistent than Cleveland, who basically owes all their multiple championship appearances to one guy. We're on par, from an organizational success standpoint, with Portland and Utah since entering the league. Historically, we're probably the fourth or fifth-best smaller-market team in league history, and a single championship would likely move us to second-place on that list, considering Cleveland's history without Lebron and and how long it's been since Portland won anything. We are in a better situation for the foreseeable future than any of those teams except Utah. That is the state of the franchise, and the ownership should be commended for that.
  3. Justin Jaudon

    2019-2020 Official Regular Season Thread

    Okay... We have terrific team ownership in Orlando. We're barely a mid-market team and we have never seen any inkling that ownership wasn't willing to spend money to put a good team on the floor. That's a rarity. As for Martins, your view of him seems to boil down to, "anything bad that has happened, it's his fault, and this doesn't need to be verified with any evidence." I can't argue with that. It's entirely opinion, and since I'm not part of the organization, I don't know how to say you're definitely wrong. Sure, Martins told Otis to trade most of the team for his former buddies. Sure, Martins told Hennigan trade Oladipo and Sabonis for Serge. The only negative we have any evidence of where Martins is concerned is that he helped hire Skiles, which, to be fair, worked from a purely basketball standpoint. Not sure how we can blame Martins for Skiles' meltdown. Maybe he should have just fired Hennigan before Skiles got to that point. Hard to say.
  4. Justin Jaudon

    2019-2020 Official Regular Season Thread

    I guess I just can't think why a guy should be fired for not being good at something that isn't his job. Aside from the couple of years when he was clearly being asked to do more, which he was apparently quite happy to step away from, he's done a great job for this team. Aside from probably being too hands-on during the Hennigan years, how was he "part of the problem?"
  5. Justin Jaudon

    2019-2020 Official Regular Season Thread

    I'm not sure why this is fantastic news. I get that for a short time he was probably too involved in the basketball side of things; but that seems to no longer have been the case, since the organization went to the President of Basketball Ops and GM format. And no one can argue that Martins wasn't fantastic at his actual job.
  6. Justin Jaudon

    Magic at Spurs - Saturday, February 29th @ 8:30 P.M.

    It looks very much like Gordon is going to be up near 33% or higher by the end of the season, unless he's out for an extended period, which is an utter shock considering his start. He did the same thing last year, where he started out struggling, but pulled it together late season, and he seems on his way to that again with a 39% February. If you look at his month-to-month numbers by year, it's clear he's getting more consistent from outside, if not as quickly as we'd all like. There's every reason to believe he can be that 36% guy. But he'll be the 36% guy who shoots 30% one month and 40% the next. Gordon's shooting is not really a problem for this team, long-term, so long as he maintains the same level of improvement over the next couple seasons, which is reasonable to bank on. Jonathan Isaac is just 22, and his shot looks good. It's hard to say what his % would be if he was healthy this year. Were November and December down months? He certainly shot better after the All-Star break last year, though he still wasn't consistent yet. But good NBA minds and shot-coaches seem to think he can be a very good 3-point shooter with his stroke in time, so it's reasonable to bank on that. The point with Gordon/Isaac is how well their DEVELOPED games complement each other. Gordon is already almost there, really. He needs to get more consistent, but he's already able to put together months of consistently good shooting. Just needs to get those couple of 27% months up to 30%, and we're golden. He absolutely can do that, and he seems serious about it. Isaac is really in the same boat, but younger, so it may take time, or it may just click; hard to say. But the rest of their games complement each other so well it has to be looked at. Defensively, Gordon is the perfect fit next to Isaac, especially so long as we're saddled with Vuc and Fournier, guys who struggle switching. Isaac was looking like a future DPOY when he went down, swatting shots and getting in the passing lanes, and Gordon is a very good player to have against an opposing team's best scorer; but beyond that, it's the things that don't show up in the box score that make these two fit so well. Take the Spurs game recently. Lyles put up a ton of points, because Gordon was too busy having to keep one eye on having to rotate to the basket if Vuc/Fournier got torched. With Isaac in the game, not only does Gordon not have to worry about covering the basket (because of Isaac's elite rotating and swatting skills), but he can be the guy who guards DeRozan in the first place, while Isaac's length allows him to do what Gordon was trying to do without losing Lyles. With no Gordon, Isaac can't afford to play as free defensively, because Gordon's incredible ability to switch onto everyone won't cover for him chasing a block. Now add a fully realized Bamba into the mix, and you see the potential. a Defense anchored around Isaac/Gordon is scary good. Offensively, they complement each other very well also. Gordon has shown himself to be a terrific cutter since Markelle arrived. Isaac has that ability as well. Gordon is becoming a terrific passer as well, both to cutters and to spot-up shooters off the drive. Isaac benefits from Gordon's ability to crash and get Isaac open outside shots over smaller guys (because Gordon's proficiency around the basket and power getting to the basket mean you have to put the smaller forward on Isaac), and also his vision when Isaac cuts. Without Gordon, or someone who can do what he does, the only time Isaac is going to get shots - aside from on the break - is from Markelle collapsing the lane. He doesn't move particularly well along the perimeter to get shots off of Vuc passing from the paint, and he's not likely to be a pull-up shooter off of screens or an iso scorer. Gordon and Isaac are also both scary on the break, especially together. Yes, we need shooters. Whatever SG we go with moving forward has to be an elite shooter, because the rest of these guys are not going to be great, most likely (still a chance for Isaac - and Bamba, really; just don't see much room for GREAT with Gordon/Fultz). Whatever our long-term plans at C are, the guy has to be able to shoot (hopefully that's Bamba). But pretending that Gordon and Isaac can't play together is absurd. They're a nightmare together defensively, and both can be serviceable shooters offensively. We need them to be decent shooters, but that's all. And they both should get there.
  7. Justin Jaudon

    2019-2020 Official Regular Season Thread

    I got it, guys. We've been going about this all wrong. We all want to get away from Euroball. But what if we lean in? Trade Gordon for Bertans Isaac for Bogdan Bogdanovic Fultz for Satoransky DJ for JJ Barrea Ross for Joe Ingles (I know, not technically Euroball, but I think we can allow it) MCW for Ntilikina Bamba for Maxi Kleber Ennis for Rodions Kurucs Iwundu for bringing back Hezonja Aminu for Isaac Banga Birch for Dragan Bender Clark for Dzanan Musa Frazier for Thanasis Antetokounmpo (very important) Think of all the fundamentals and shooting! Then, after seeing all those Euro guys, and his brother already here, Giannis demands a trade to Orlando.fool proof! Make it happen WeltHam!!!
  8. Justin Jaudon

    Magic at Spurs - Saturday, February 29th @ 8:30 P.M.

    I make it a rule to never complain about losses on the second night of a back to back against anything better than a full-on tank mode team.
  9. Justin Jaudon

    Magic vs Timberwolves - Friday, February 28 @ 7:00 P.M.

    How many nasty one-on-one blocks does Aaron have the last few games? He's had a bunch, it seems. I don't remember him doing that much before recently.
  10. Justin Jaudon

    2019-2020 Official Regular Season Thread

    Mostly because Luka doesn't suck.
  11. Justin Jaudon

    2019-2020 Official Regular Season Thread

    Still mad. Can't believe they robbed AG again.
  12. Justin Jaudon

    2019-2020 Official Regular Season Thread

    Seriously, the NBA needs to fix this. Invite Aaron to the next 3-point contest, but also only invite Ben Simmons to go against him.
  13. Justin Jaudon

    2019-2020 Official Regular Season Thread

    What did Aaron Gordon ever do to Chadwick Boseman? I know D Wade was protecting his guy, and Pippen is a hater. But why, T'Challa? Why?
  14. Justin Jaudon

    2019-2020 Official Trade Ideas Thread

    I'm a Gordon fan. I've said before he's very valuable beside Isaac. He also seems to be starting to thrive off of Fultz. I'm very glad we didn't trade him, because I want to see how he and Fultz and Isaac progress together for a while longer before I would let him go. If Chuma is really good, maybe you have to cash in that chip eventually and use Gordon to improve. But we don't know yet if we even can afford to lose Gordon, in my opinion, considering how well he plays off of the two best future pieces we have. To me - and I think most of the board agrees - the main goal moving forward should be getting away from Evan and Vuc running the offense. I don't even think we have to get rid of both of them to do that. I like a lot of what I see from our offense when just Vuc is out, and the same when just Evan is out. One of those guys alone isn't enough to freeze out Gordon and Fultz; but, together, they are too comfortable with running the same inefficient two-man game they have for years, especially in important end of game situations. I much prefer the way we've seen a few times when Fultz and Gordon take control at the end of games. I really think Gordon and Fultz together can be special, if we let them figure it out together. But that requires the training wheels (Vuc/Evan offense) to come off.
  15. Justin Jaudon

    2019-2020 Official Regular Season Thread

    Not making a statement about whether he should be fired. I think he's got his positives and negatives: he's consistent, and coaches good defense; but his offense is too rigid and predictable. He's like a sane version of Skiles, in that way, though certainly they run very different systems. But I honestly think the idea of him as a coach is similar to what it was with Skiles, for this team. I'm just of two minds on whether his rigidity on offense is helping our young guys learn to settle into an offense or just hindering their figuring things out. It's a long-term game we're playing with letting him hinder the young guys, hoping that once they get used to playing within the rules of his offense they'll figure out how to play around the edges of his system when they're more comfortable. But is his offense a safety blanket, or a straight jacket? Hard to tell at this point. What I'm wondering is whether he WILL be fired (or at least be on the hot seat) if such a collapse happened. Understand, I think it's entirely likely my prediction of 34 wins gets us into the playoffs. Missing the playoffs would, I think, require us to continue to look this bad for the rest of the year. Lose multiple games to teams below us and not pick up any games from those above us. Home losses to the Bulls, Hornets, Cavs, Hawks. That's the kind of collapse I'm talking about. Because at this point, it's not out of the realm of possibility, considering how lost and disinterested this team looks.