Orlando for the good part of the 90's was the team in Florida, but all that changed when Shaq left the Magic. Ever since, the Magic have been trying to rejuvenate the franchise, finally bringing back coach Brian Hill from the Penny-Shaq days. Besides losing their first-round draft pick to go play European ball, Orlando was fairly uneventful in the offseason. Was it a lack of motivation or a preposition of a consistent mesh?.Their record might not show it, but Brian Hill has done a great job reshaping what is basically the same team as last year, minus Grant Hill. Last year Orlando allowed and scored around 100 every night and was a fast-paced team.
When the Magic traded Cuttino Mobley last year (who was on the last year of his contract) they couldn't continue the same style of game without him. Coach Hill knows that in the same pace as last year, they have no chance of outscoring the opposition. But by slowing it down to a crawl, they can better dictate the tempo.
It's a clever move that's very existence was the cause of the shot clock. And they've shot the ball better being 4th in the NBA in 3P%.However when you play that way, your offense will suffer as well. Orlando is dead last in NBA in scoring. They had offensive problems to begin with, seeing as leading scorer Steve Francis is a Point Guard.
No Grant Hill means that the only player on the Magic who can create his own shot is also the person running the offense. A Point Guard who is the team's leading scorer causes problems: case and point, Orlando is tied for last (with Portland) in the NBA in Assists Per Game and is 26th in turnovers. There is also a logjam for the backup PG with Travis Diener, Keyon Dooling, and Jameer Nelson all vying for playing time.
Although they shoot the 3 well themselves, they've so far allowed guards like Eddie Jones to have field days against them.Last Wednesday, Grant Hill practiced with the team for the first time this year. Hill told reporters that he could be back in action in as little as a week. And since this is an abdominal injury and not a leg ailment, we can assume this isn't blind optimism.
Orlando has done well hovering around .500 with Grant out, so fortunes should be looking up from this point on.Shaq's injured, the Wizards are down, and Charlotte and Atlanta are sub par. At the moment they're 1.5 back from Miami and 1 back of 8th seed New Jersey.
It's clear they have a better chance at the #8 spot than the division, but they need Grant Hill back to do it. If not, then they'll continuing coming close but not really competing..Visit Articles on Football Betting for more expert articles on sports.
By: David Pincus