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Do Magic's Big Deals Improve Their Team?

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Justin Jaudon    158

This will be a very long post, as I have a lot to say on the subject. Read the whole thing if you want to reply, please. If you cannot read such a long post, I do not blame you.

 

Ok, I will just say that I do not see how this could not make the Magic better.

 

We replace Vince Carter, Mickael Pietrus, Rashard Lewis, and Marcin Gortat with Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, and Earl Clark. I am going to look at this player by player, then assess it as a whole.

In my opinion, Hedo is going to be coming off the bench. It will not shock me if he starts early on, but I think eventually, he does more for Orlando as a sixth man. His energy will be good in with the reserves, where he will have more of an opportunity to handle the ball, which is when he is most effective. As a sixth man, he replaces Pietrus most directly. Pietrus, even last year, has not been as impressive as he was in the playoffs during the finals run. His defense is good most of the time, but he fouls a lot (though less than he used to). Offensively, he is as unreliable as they come. When he is hitting his shots, his crazy fall-away jumpers and ill-timed threes seem fantastic, and we wonder why he is not scoring more every game. Most of the time his shots are not falling, however, and he quickly stops shooting unless he's wide open from long range. He adds nothing to the offense when he is on the floor with other reserves, and he is not getting open threes off of Howard double-teams. Hedo is also inconsistent as a shooter. However, unlike Pietrus, Hedo can drive the basket and make shots for other players. When he is in the game with reserves, he can be the focal point of the offense and allow good spot-up shooters like JJ and Ryan Anderson to get open looks. So even when he is not shooting well, he is an asset on offense. Defensively, Hedo is underrated, if still not great. As long as he is not asked to play power forward, he is smart and long and doesn't generally allow players to get by him to the lane. He allows a lot of jumpers, but his length usually bothers most players not being Paul Pierce. This is where he will struggle most. Not against Lebron, who will shoot jump shots over anyone and either make or miss them depending on how he feels that day. Pierce owns Hedo. But look at the game footage, and you see that Pierce owned Pietrus as well. Peaches always went for that shot fake, and would get in foul trouble faster than you could think. Orlando now has Q Richardson. If they do not trade him, he will see a lot of minutes when they play Boston. Overall I think Hedo is an improvement as a sixth man, mostly because he gives them a playmaker off the bench, which is something they desperately needed.

 

Jason Richardson will play probably start at the SF position, and play good minutes at SG as well. With most of his minutes coming at SF, he is most directly replacing Rashard Lewis. This looks to require less evaluation, as Richardson is averaging close to 20 and Rashard more like 12, but Rashard is more than the sum of his scoring numbers. Rashard can still cause mismatches with most SF, and sometimes when he slides to PF. That being said, his lack of aggression negates those mismatches. When matched up with smaller 3s, he rarely posts up; and when matched up against big slow 4s, he still seems afraid to shoot the three even when he is open. Defensively he is not terrible, but he can cause mismatches for the other team at times. He is not laterally quick enough to guard guys like Lebron or Pierce, and is quickly overmatched by those guys. Against most 4's, he annoys them, slaps at the ball, and generally makes them work hard, if not exactly keeping them under control. He is a good help defender when it comes to playing the passing lanes, but is no threat as a shot-blocker. Overall, he is solid defensively, but he has holes that can be exploited. I say this in all seriousness; Jason Richardson may be the perfect wing man for this system. I have never been his biggest fan in other offenses, I will admit that. He is neither a great ball-handler nor a great passer, even for a small forward. Fortunately, he won't have to be. All he really has to do is shoot open threes, which he does extremely well, run on fast breaks, which he does well, shoot the ball coming off screens, which he does very well, play the pick-and-roll with Howard, which he does well enough, and run backdoor streaks to the basket, which he does very well. As long as he does those things like he has done them his entire career, he will put up 18 to 20 points a night in Orlando. Defensively, he is a mystery. At times he shows a lot of skills defensively, and he can get after the ball in the passing lanes. That being said, most of the time, he seems disinterested in defense. Not as bad as Vince Carter, but let us not compare the two. Instead I will just say that Stan Van Gundy has gotten a lot out of players who were not considered great defenders in the past, so I will take a wait and see approach with this. At best, Richardson might be a quite serviceable defensive stopper if not exactly Bruce Bowen. At worst, he will be a guy who loses focus at times and needs to be prodded to keep his head in the defensive game (which Stan will not have a problem doing). While guarding 2s and 3s, I think Orlando will be better off with Richardson than with Lewis. Where they will run into trouble is this: losing Lewis as a sometimes-4 will cause them to rely more on Ryan Anderson. I am not sold on this guy. Offensively, I like him. He is more aggressive as a shooter than Lewis at this point, but his defense is hard to gauge. I think with more playing time his post defense will improve, but he does not have the same pesky hands that Lewis does, nor is he really any stronger. And he might be an even worse shot-blocker. All-in-all, defensively, Anderson is a small downgrade from Lewis at the 4. So the total defensive shift is negligible to me. We get a little better on the perimeter, a little worse underneath. So the overall assessment of the replacement is similar to the last replacement: much better on offense, a little less defensively.

 

So Arenas will play 2G when Jameer is on the floor and PG when Jameer is not. So he will most directly be replacing Vince Carter. Let me preface this by saying that I am not a Vince Carter fan. I never have been. When he came in the league, I thought he unfairly overshadowed the much better Paul Pierce. As he grew up in the league, I thought he was a choke artist. When Orlando traded for him, I fell victim to a curse known as wishful thinking. I suspended all I had learned the previous years and pretended that all Vince's late-game troubles had been because he was unhappy in Toronto, then equally so in NJ. So I thought coming home to Orlando might get the disinterested monkey off his back and turn him into a consistent scoring threat. Foolish, I know. I have learned my lesson. People don't just change without a reason. There was nothing holding Carter back in Toronto or NJ but himself, and Van Gundy never could get him motivated in Orlando. Surprising, I know. Vince, to me was a pariah in this offense from this start. He is not a spot-up shooter, but a rhythm shooter. That would be ok, if he could run a pick-and-roll, but as good a ball handler and passer as he is, he does those things well only when isolated against a defender one-on-one. As a pick-and-roll guy he just never seemed to get it. When he was healthy and interested, he could get to the basket easily enough, but once again only when in isolation. Orlando is not an isolation basketball team. Stan likes pick-and-rolls, pick-and-rolls, and post ups (and more pick-and-rolls). This formula worked well enough to get Orlando to the finals a couple years ago, so I think it is solid thinking. Defensively, Carter was disinterested. He never really committed to the system, and even though the team was great defensively until very recently, I will not give him much credit for that. His defense is the main reason he only plays 30 minutes a game in Orlando instead of his previous career average of 35. In truth, I would rather have JJ Reddick on defense than Carter. At least JJ is trying, and smaller 2s seem to actually be bothered by his consistent nagging. Arenas is actually a very capable defender, especially playing the passing lanes, even against bigger shooting guards. He is very quick, and his defense gets better later in games. Offensively Arenas is interesting. He takes a lot of bad shots, and therein lays his only real problem. He is a great passer for a 2, and a good one as a PG. He is a terrific penetrator, and once he gets inside he is a good finisher and a very good interior passer. He is great running pick-and-rolls, and we know how much he will be doing that. He can play off the ball some, but his strength is when he is controlling the offense. At first I thought that would be a problem considering he and nelson would be on the floor for 20 minutes or so per game together. Then I listened to Stan's presser and he said that Nelson had wanted some plays off the ball anyway. So I thought about that, and I remembered that in college Nelson played with Delonte West. I am a U of R fan, so I saw these guys a few times when they played the Spiders. West would sometimes handle the ball and let Nelson run off back screens and get open looks. Nelson has been at other times accustomed to playing off the ball, actually. When Hedo would take the reins late in games, Nelson did much the same as he did in college with West. So Nelson and Arenas should not have too much trouble making it work. People say Arenas could not play the 2 with John Wall, but Jameer is not John Wall. Wall needs to have the ball in his hands all the time to be effective, Jameer does not. So what is the true effect of Arenas on offense? I cannot be sure, in terms of how much he will score. I doubt it will be less than 16 per, but he could come in and put up 25 a night. It is hard to really know what Arenas we will get as a scorer. What we know we will get is a penetrator who will improve our offensive aggressiveness significantly. And that is paramount. Orlando has been the last year-and-a-half one of the worst teams in the league as far as shot attempts and fast break points. Even when you are shooting well, if you are not aggressive, you will have trouble pulling away; and you will never win a 7 game series against a good team if you do not put them down when you have the chance. Good teams fight back, even if you shoot well all night. So Orlando will sacrifice a little offensive efficiency for a lot more tempo, and will lose a disinterested defender to gain a tough one. So the defense will probably not suffer much overall from his bad shots, because he will make up for it by giving them more forced turnovers and less easy drives to the lanes from opposing 2Gs. When he is in the game as a PG, his defense will really be an asset, as he is big while still being quick and gritty. So I think this is possibly the biggest upgrade, but at worst it makes them better offensively if just because Arenas can play the pick-and-roll so much better than Carter.

 

And then we have Earl Clark, 'replacing' Marcin Gortat. Clark will not play. He is a project, and I doubt he will see more than 7 or 8 minutes a game. Marcin Gortat was the best back-up center in the league. That being said, when you have the best starting center in the league, a great back-up is actually not all that necessary. Look at Shaquille O'Neal. Who was his back-up in L.A.? Oh yea, it was Marc Mad Dog Madsen. Gritty guy, but a solid option he was not. Shaq was nearly as prone to foul trouble as Dwight, but the Lakers weathered their minutes without him when they needed to. Orlando will have to do the same. Now that they have so many good perimeter players, they actually have the game to do that. They just need a serviceable back-up who does at least some of the same things defensively. They do not currently have that guy. Right now, when Howard comes out, they have nothing to replace him. Malik Allen is useless on defense, and Daniel Orton is not going to be ready for a long while. My hope is that Orlando will trade JJ and Chris Duhon for a solid backup center. I would love to see them send those guys to Sacramento for Samuel Dalembert. Trade makes sense for Kings as Cousins is starting to impress and Duhon could compete for big minutes on that team with Beno Udrih. JJ would be good for them as well, as they could use a good back-up at 2. That might be asking too much, I know, but someone like that is what they need. There are a lot of guys in the league with that skill set, as long as you don't need them to be a threat offensively. So overall, we're looking at a loss defensively, but only the loss of a guy who played 15 minutes a game. If they pick up even a decent back-up via trade, the loss will actually not be that much.

 

As a whole, each piece that was changed showed a little of the same trend. They gave up a little defense to gain a lot of offense. They fix their biggest problem, which is that they were a team with no energy and no tempo. They gained a smaller problem. They now lack depth at center. If they fix that problem, they really lost nothing and gained a lot. I think their perimeter defense will actually be better, because I think Arenas and Richardson will put more pressure on the passing lanes than Pietrus and Carter. And I think as long as Howard is in the game, we are better defensively down low, because Bass will see more minutes. Our problem will be our bench defense; and as Otis said, they will look to make deals to improve their as well.

 

By the way, when JJ Reddick is struggling does anyone else have the urge to chant, "I do believe in fairies"?

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Captain Hi-Top    791

Only because Hollinger and Thorpe are my favorite guys associated with ESPN

 

 

Greg (Maine)

 

 

So it seems to me Orlando got the best player in both trades, Gil and JRich, should that make it a win for Orlando?

 

David Thorpe (12:02 PM)

 

 

Jrich and Turk? Thumbs way up. Arenas? Booooooooooooo.

 

 

http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/chat/_/id/36165

 

edizz1e (Queens, NY)

 

 

Why no love for Gil?

 

David Thorpe (12:13 PM)

 

 

You really have to ask that question?

 

Nick Olson (Tomah)

 

 

Would the Magic have been better off doing the Carter trade, and just keeping Lewis instead of getting Arenas?

 

David Thorpe (12:48 PM)

 

 

I thought so.

 

Allen (Philippines)

 

 

should SVG start arenas or nelson? jrich, hedo, bass and howard seems set as the starting 4.

 

David Thorpe (12:49 PM)

 

 

Nelson has to start.

 

 

 

Jason J (NYC)

 

 

Does Rashard get rejuved playing with Wall, or is he just the lesser of two evils for Washington?

 

David Thorpe (12:58 PM)

 

 

He's sent from heaven.

 

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Mat    4

So much time without posting...

 

This moves looks really desperate, specially the Arenas move. there wasn´t other option for us? Really? Take that HUGE AND AWFUL contract of a player who never win anything who has problems, bad attitude, who has he´s worst numbers of he´s career. I mean he never was a good shooter, but now he looks awful even with john Wall in the team. If this going bad? We can´t do anything. I know Otis want to make Howard stays, but this move looks really unintelligent and desperate.

 

Jason Richardson an upgrade over Carter? It´s unfair fr Vince to say that. I really want to see other player not named Carter in our core, and i never wanted him in orlando, but all know that Richardson won´t have the same responsabilities that Carter had. About J-rich, it comes to my mind the playoffs that richardson let Artest get that rebound that eliminates Phoenix.

 

I like Hedo´s back, he will do the great things that he did when he was other seasons, but he will be the same player? I hope Stan will.

 

Gortat and Pietrus to Phoenix and Arenas and Richardson in orlando, make us SCARY weak on defense. Who will play the defense that Stan likes? i don´t want to see Van gundy making an hara-kiri.

 

i don´t see how this team can beat San Antonio, Los Angeles, Boston or Miami in playoffs.

 

Of course this core needs the opportunity to show they can win a championship but still...

 

Can Stan make this team works and playing good defense to take this team to another level?

 

The major part of this trades are a BIG "IF"

 

We solved the Washinton problem if you ask me...

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Earl Clark has been the best addition of the 4 to the team. Stick in a fork in us.

 

Actually if you watch how they play Hedo and J Rich have been good additions as well. Hedo is moving the ball and defending and Richardson is defending and the shot will come around.

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ball junkie    78

Actually if you watch how they play Hedo and J Rich have been good additions as well. Hedo is moving the ball and defending and Richardson is defending and the shot will come around.

 

But what about Arenas ?....I'm trying to give the guy a chance and am pulling for him to turn his career around with us but....."DANG" he's been terrible!!!

 

Alpha Quasar tried to warn us.....

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Hank Moody    60

This will be a very long post, as I have a lot to say on the subject. Read the whole thing if you want to reply, please. If you cannot read such a long post, I do not blame you.

 

Ok, I will just say that I do not see how this could not make the Magic better.

 

We replace Vince Carter, Mickael Pietrus, Rashard Lewis, and Marcin Gortat with Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, and Earl Clark. I am going to look at this player by player, then assess it as a whole.

In my opinion, Hedo is going to be coming off the bench. It will not shock me if he starts early on, but I think eventually, he does more for Orlando as a sixth man. His energy will be good in with the reserves, where he will have more of an opportunity to handle the ball, which is when he is most effective. As a sixth man, he replaces Pietrus most directly. Pietrus, even last year, has not been as impressive as he was in the playoffs during the finals run. His defense is good most of the time, but he fouls a lot (though less than he used to). Offensively, he is as unreliable as they come. When he is hitting his shots, his crazy fall-away jumpers and ill-timed threes seem fantastic, and we wonder why he is not scoring more every game. Most of the time his shots are not falling, however, and he quickly stops shooting unless he's wide open from long range. He adds nothing to the offense when he is on the floor with other reserves, and he is not getting open threes off of Howard double-teams. Hedo is also inconsistent as a shooter. However, unlike Pietrus, Hedo can drive the basket and make shots for other players. When he is in the game with reserves, he can be the focal point of the offense and allow good spot-up shooters like JJ and Ryan Anderson to get open looks. So even when he is not shooting well, he is an asset on offense. Defensively, Hedo is underrated, if still not great. As long as he is not asked to play power forward, he is smart and long and doesn't generally allow players to get by him to the lane. He allows a lot of jumpers, but his length usually bothers most players not being Paul Pierce. This is where he will struggle most. Not against Lebron, who will shoot jump shots over anyone and either make or miss them depending on how he feels that day. Pierce owns Hedo. But look at the game footage, and you see that Pierce owned Pietrus as well. Peaches always went for that shot fake, and would get in foul trouble faster than you could think. Orlando now has Q Richardson. If they do not trade him, he will see a lot of minutes when they play Boston. Overall I think Hedo is an improvement as a sixth man, mostly because he gives them a playmaker off the bench, which is something they desperately needed.

 

Jason Richardson will play probably start at the SF position, and play good minutes at SG as well. With most of his minutes coming at SF, he is most directly replacing Rashard Lewis. This looks to require less evaluation, as Richardson is averaging close to 20 and Rashard more like 12, but Rashard is more than the sum of his scoring numbers. Rashard can still cause mismatches with most SF, and sometimes when he slides to PF. That being said, his lack of aggression negates those mismatches. When matched up with smaller 3s, he rarely posts up; and when matched up against big slow 4s, he still seems afraid to shoot the three even when he is open. Defensively he is not terrible, but he can cause mismatches for the other team at times. He is not laterally quick enough to guard guys like Lebron or Pierce, and is quickly overmatched by those guys. Against most 4's, he annoys them, slaps at the ball, and generally makes them work hard, if not exactly keeping them under control. He is a good help defender when it comes to playing the passing lanes, but is no threat as a shot-blocker. Overall, he is solid defensively, but he has holes that can be exploited. I say this in all seriousness; Jason Richardson may be the perfect wing man for this system. I have never been his biggest fan in other offenses, I will admit that. He is neither a great ball-handler nor a great passer, even for a small forward. Fortunately, he won't have to be. All he really has to do is shoot open threes, which he does extremely well, run on fast breaks, which he does well, shoot the ball coming off screens, which he does very well, play the pick-and-roll with Howard, which he does well enough, and run backdoor streaks to the basket, which he does very well. As long as he does those things like he has done them his entire career, he will put up 18 to 20 points a night in Orlando. Defensively, he is a mystery. At times he shows a lot of skills defensively, and he can get after the ball in the passing lanes. That being said, most of the time, he seems disinterested in defense. Not as bad as Vince Carter, but let us not compare the two. Instead I will just say that Stan Van Gundy has gotten a lot out of players who were not considered great defenders in the past, so I will take a wait and see approach with this. At best, Richardson might be a quite serviceable defensive stopper if not exactly Bruce Bowen. At worst, he will be a guy who loses focus at times and needs to be prodded to keep his head in the defensive game (which Stan will not have a problem doing). While guarding 2s and 3s, I think Orlando will be better off with Richardson than with Lewis. Where they will run into trouble is this: losing Lewis as a sometimes-4 will cause them to rely more on Ryan Anderson. I am not sold on this guy. Offensively, I like him. He is more aggressive as a shooter than Lewis at this point, but his defense is hard to gauge. I think with more playing time his post defense will improve, but he does not have the same pesky hands that Lewis does, nor is he really any stronger. And he might be an even worse shot-blocker. All-in-all, defensively, Anderson is a small downgrade from Lewis at the 4. So the total defensive shift is negligible to me. We get a little better on the perimeter, a little worse underneath. So the overall assessment of the replacement is similar to the last replacement: much better on offense, a little less defensively.

 

So Arenas will play 2G when Jameer is on the floor and PG when Jameer is not. So he will most directly be replacing Vince Carter. Let me preface this by saying that I am not a Vince Carter fan. I never have been. When he came in the league, I thought he unfairly overshadowed the much better Paul Pierce. As he grew up in the league, I thought he was a choke artist. When Orlando traded for him, I fell victim to a curse known as wishful thinking. I suspended all I had learned the previous years and pretended that all Vince's late-game troubles had been because he was unhappy in Toronto, then equally so in NJ. So I thought coming home to Orlando might get the disinterested monkey off his back and turn him into a consistent scoring threat. Foolish, I know. I have learned my lesson. People don't just change without a reason. There was nothing holding Carter back in Toronto or NJ but himself, and Van Gundy never could get him motivated in Orlando. Surprising, I know. Vince, to me was a pariah in this offense from this start. He is not a spot-up shooter, but a rhythm shooter. That would be ok, if he could run a pick-and-roll, but as good a ball handler and passer as he is, he does those things well only when isolated against a defender one-on-one. As a pick-and-roll guy he just never seemed to get it. When he was healthy and interested, he could get to the basket easily enough, but once again only when in isolation. Orlando is not an isolation basketball team. Stan likes pick-and-rolls, pick-and-rolls, and post ups (and more pick-and-rolls). This formula worked well enough to get Orlando to the finals a couple years ago, so I think it is solid thinking. Defensively, Carter was disinterested. He never really committed to the system, and even though the team was great defensively until very recently, I will not give him much credit for that. His defense is the main reason he only plays 30 minutes a game in Orlando instead of his previous career average of 35. In truth, I would rather have JJ Reddick on defense than Carter. At least JJ is trying, and smaller 2s seem to actually be bothered by his consistent nagging. Arenas is actually a very capable defender, especially playing the passing lanes, even against bigger shooting guards. He is very quick, and his defense gets better later in games. Offensively Arenas is interesting. He takes a lot of bad shots, and therein lays his only real problem. He is a great passer for a 2, and a good one as a PG. He is a terrific penetrator, and once he gets inside he is a good finisher and a very good interior passer. He is great running pick-and-rolls, and we know how much he will be doing that. He can play off the ball some, but his strength is when he is controlling the offense. At first I thought that would be a problem considering he and nelson would be on the floor for 20 minutes or so per game together. Then I listened to Stan's presser and he said that Nelson had wanted some plays off the ball anyway. So I thought about that, and I remembered that in college Nelson played with Delonte West. I am a U of R fan, so I saw these guys a few times when they played the Spiders. West would sometimes handle the ball and let Nelson run off back screens and get open looks. Nelson has been at other times accustomed to playing off the ball, actually. When Hedo would take the reins late in games, Nelson did much the same as he did in college with West. So Nelson and Arenas should not have too much trouble making it work. People say Arenas could not play the 2 with John Wall, but Jameer is not John Wall. Wall needs to have the ball in his hands all the time to be effective, Jameer does not. So what is the true effect of Arenas on offense? I cannot be sure, in terms of how much he will score. I doubt it will be less than 16 per, but he could come in and put up 25 a night. It is hard to really know what Arenas we will get as a scorer. What we know we will get is a penetrator who will improve our offensive aggressiveness significantly. And that is paramount. Orlando has been the last year-and-a-half one of the worst teams in the league as far as shot attempts and fast break points. Even when you are shooting well, if you are not aggressive, you will have trouble pulling away; and you will never win a 7 game series against a good team if you do not put them down when you have the chance. Good teams fight back, even if you shoot well all night. So Orlando will sacrifice a little offensive efficiency for a lot more tempo, and will lose a disinterested defender to gain a tough one. So the defense will probably not suffer much overall from his bad shots, because he will make up for it by giving them more forced turnovers and less easy drives to the lanes from opposing 2Gs. When he is in the game as a PG, his defense will really be an asset, as he is big while still being quick and gritty. So I think this is possibly the biggest upgrade, but at worst it makes them better offensively if just because Arenas can play the pick-and-roll so much better than Carter.

 

And then we have Earl Clark, 'replacing' Marcin Gortat. Clark will not play. He is a project, and I doubt he will see more than 7 or 8 minutes a game. Marcin Gortat was the best back-up center in the league. That being said, when you have the best starting center in the league, a great back-up is actually not all that necessary. Look at Shaquille O'Neal. Who was his back-up in L.A.? Oh yea, it was Marc Mad Dog Madsen. Gritty guy, but a solid option he was not. Shaq was nearly as prone to foul trouble as Dwight, but the Lakers weathered their minutes without him when they needed to. Orlando will have to do the same. Now that they have so many good perimeter players, they actually have the game to do that. They just need a serviceable back-up who does at least some of the same things defensively. They do not currently have that guy. Right now, when Howard comes out, they have nothing to replace him. Malik Allen is useless on defense, and Daniel Orton is not going to be ready for a long while. My hope is that Orlando will trade JJ and Chris Duhon for a solid backup center. I would love to see them send those guys to Sacramento for Samuel Dalembert. Trade makes sense for Kings as Cousins is starting to impress and Duhon could compete for big minutes on that team with Beno Udrih. JJ would be good for them as well, as they could use a good back-up at 2. That might be asking too much, I know, but someone like that is what they need. There are a lot of guys in the league with that skill set, as long as you don't need them to be a threat offensively. So overall, we're looking at a loss defensively, but only the loss of a guy who played 15 minutes a game. If they pick up even a decent back-up via trade, the loss will actually not be that much.

 

As a whole, each piece that was changed showed a little of the same trend. They gave up a little defense to gain a lot of offense. They fix their biggest problem, which is that they were a team with no energy and no tempo. They gained a smaller problem. They now lack depth at center. If they fix that problem, they really lost nothing and gained a lot. I think their perimeter defense will actually be better, because I think Arenas and Richardson will put more pressure on the passing lanes than Pietrus and Carter. And I think as long as Howard is in the game, we are better defensively down low, because Bass will see more minutes. Our problem will be our bench defense; and as Otis said, they will look to make deals to improve their as well.

 

By the way, when JJ Reddick is struggling does anyone else have the urge to chant, "I do believe in fairies"?

 

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But what about Arenas ?....I'm trying to give the guy a chance and am pulling for him to turn his career around with us but....."DANG" he's been terrible!!!

 

Alpha Quasar tried to warn us.....

 

So did I. There are a bunch of people on here giving DOM/Nation Of/AQ crap about this but he isn't pulling this out of his rear. He lives in the Baltimore area and watches Wiz games. Even that aside all you had to do was follow the guys career and you would know what he is. He is a volume shooter who shoots crap percentages and has no idea about shot selection. People like to say that he can still give us more than Shard. I guess we will see but I would be willing to bet that Shards shooting comes around before Gilbert understands how to play within this offense (or any offense for that matter). I would have rather had a 20 million dollar Pat Garrity than to have a 20 million dollar Steve Francis for a year longer. We should have made the one move and then decided if we needed to gamble on Gilbert, I would be willing to bet there wasn't a single other team calling about him....not one.

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Actually if you watch how they play Hedo and J Rich have been good additions as well. Hedo is moving the ball and defending and Richardson is defending and the shot will come around.

 

I want to see Hedo defend that way 10 games from now before I start considering it. With a few exceptions, he played very good defense tonight.

 

But until I see him doing it every game, or at least most games, I'm going to treat it like I treat those games where Dwight goes 14/16 from the FT Line: A pleasant anomaly. Bad, lazy defenders tend to stay bad, lazy defenders.

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I want to see Hedo defend that way 10 games from now before I start considering it. With a few exceptions, he played very good defense tonight.

 

But until I see him doing it every game, or at least most games, I'm going to treat it like I treat those games where Dwight goes 14/16 from the FT Line: A pleasant anomaly. Bad, lazy defenders tend to stay bad, lazy defenders.

 

Oh I know, but maybe the last couple of years were a wake up call for him. Even if he doesn't keep up that kind of D he is moving the ball well.

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~O~    488

Hedo's..defense..was impressive as well as his passing. He's going to make his same "hedoish" mistakes.

 

Jason Richardson has yet to impress me. He came up big in the closing seconds..but we're going to need him to shoot better and more efficiently throughout the game.

 

Gilbert Arenas has yet to show me what he can do on offense. He has great dribbling skills and has shown me flashes in a few passes. However....his shooting isn't getting any better. I guess he struggles equal to those of Rashard..or..its the fact that he wasn't a great shooter to begin with. If we had the confident Arenas from a couple of seasons ago, then hell, I won't even worry.

 

The most disappointing was the Tyson Chandler dunks. There were about 7 or 8 of them. Blown assignments, bad pick and roll defense, and some late rotations were to blame.

 

I think we played well and had great opportunities but in order to win, the Magic have to make a majority of their open shots. Missing the types of layups that the Magic players are missing out there is inexcusable.

 

I felt the Magic had played great tonight. Excellent ball movement and grade ..B effort. But.....hey, the magic took a huge leap today without a practice under their belt. I guarantee we win our next game.

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COLOMBIANO    118

Gilbert isn't the best shooter, but he's not gonna shot 1-6 every night. He will improve. Just like J-Rich who's also shooting a low % since he joined the Magic. All 3 will improve.

 

I'm happy to see Hedo play some D! He did a pretty good job on Dirk tonite!

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