Previewing Magic Things – The Season Has Arrived
There are several really good previews of the team floating around the internetz. I encourage you to read the Orlando Pinstriped Post preseason review, the Orlando Magic Daily preview and the extensive Hardwood Paroxysm preview. I’m taking a different approach here for preview purposes and looking at some “outside the box” angles that will affect the team this upcoming season. Important things like, who is going to bring skittles? And, can we possibly think of a better parody song/name for Maurice Harkless? And be specific.
Player Most Likely To Make Fans Turn Irrational: DeQuan Jones
Jones did the hard part and made the team. He will likely get some minutes in the beginning of the season due to injuries with the rest of the team, but he remains as the 15th roster spot on the team. The backup QB is always the fan favorite in football, and with basketball it tends to be the young, unproven rookie at the end of the bench. Jones had a great preseason and is a phenomenal dunker – but let’s try and keep things in perspective.
Sleeper: Harkless. We love us some rookies in the Land of Irrational.
Most Likely To Turn It Up: Glen Davis. He definitely is ‘gon turn it up.
Sleeper: Gustavo Ayon. You never know when a latin remix may be necessary.
Most Likely To Be Traded: J.J. Redick
Poor, J.J. Next to Jameer, no long-time Magic player was probably more harmed by the Dwight Howard fiasco than Redick. He has handled the annoyances and distractions well and continues to be the hardest worker on the team. However, he is sitting on a $6M expiring contract that makes a trade inevitable. Shooters like Redick will always hold tremendous value.
Sleeper: Al Harrington, Josh McRoberts
Least Valuable Player: Al Harrington
Not for a lack of wanting or trying. Harrington’s knee issues continue to hamper him after offseason surgery and he is traveling across the country on Nov 12th for a checkup. At that point he will either be cleared or be held out longer. I have no real basis for this, but I have a gut feeling that it will be significantly longer before we see Harrington on the floor for the Magic. Which is unfortunate, because the team badly needs him to show that he is healthy for trade market purposes.
Sleeper: Kyle O’Quinn – I love KOQ, but his value this season will come in terms of his ability to develop himself rather than help the team.
Most Likely To Surprise: E’Twaun Moore
Moore showed an excellent ability to score in the preseason, averaging 11.5 ppg as well as 5 assists per game. The 6’4″ combo guard is still learning to play the point guard position but showed that he will be far from a liability in that role. Moore already has secured the backup PG position and in Jacque Vaughn’s free-wheeling offense, he’ll have a chance to shine with the ball in his hands.
Sleeper: Andrew Nicholson. Nicholson is extremely skilled offensively and has proven that he can score against NBA competition in short spurts (10.6ppg in the preseason). If he can improve his defense throughout the year, he’ll secure a spot in the rotation.
Player Fans Should Be Most Patient With: Moe Harkless
Harkless is raw. There is no other way around it. His athleticism and hustle will get him noticed, but he will struggle offensively adapting to the NBA game.
Sleeper: Turkoglu. The young guy is still learning…
Best Frontcout Duo Nickname: “Baby Goose”
Things The Team Will Miss This Year: Boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts, bags of Skittles, having the team’s best player throw every other player on the team under the bus, Stan Van Gundy’s tranquility, #duhonturnover, “I like this team”, the playoffs.
Phrase You Won’t Hear From Me This Year: “This team needs to tank”
I am absolutely in the minority here, but believe strongly that losing on purpose presents a humongous risk that a losing mentality would permeate into the organization. It sends a dangerous message to the guys you are attempting to develop. Winning breeds contentment, losing breeds contempt.
Sleeper: “I can’t believe Turk took that shot.”
Phrase You’ll Hear A Lot From Me This Year: “How could you beee Moe Harklesssss”
I wish I had something original. I really do… but it gets in your head and it can’t escape. Dammit Kanye.
Sleeper: “Big Baby just dove into the stands unnecessarily”
Projected Win Total: #38wins
It’s overly optimistic and probably -most likely- rooted in homer-ism. However, it remains in my mind realistic. Also, I already regret this.
Game 1 – Friday, November 2nd – Tickets available from $6 to $221 here.