Orlando Magic News & Notes: May 7
Oklahoma City Thunder: You are looking live at Rob Hennigan’s favorite dream: He falls into a deep sleep and envisions a Kevin Durant, a Russell Westbrook, a James Harden and a Serge Ibaka falling into Magic uniforms at the end of a rainbow. As a former Okie exec, he’s Thunderstruck.
OKC is a team that Hennigan wants the Magic to be when they grow up, but that kind of draft luck is an aberration. Still, a guy can dream, can’t he?
The returning players’ diminished roles weren’t necessarily by design: Nelson and Davis missed a combined 74 games due to injuries, and an injury-riddled Türkoğlu fell out of the rotation for good following a league-mandated suspension of 20 games for violating its drug policy. Nonetheless, the large portion of minutes that the newcomers played attests to the franchise’s new direction.
If the Orlando Magic win the No. 1 overall pick and select Noel, he will likely sit the entire season. The Magic will focus on the continuing development of their young core and will (probably) own a top lottery pick next season. 2014 would be Noel’s rookie season, as the Magic would allow him to take as long as he needs to fully recover. Noel would face unreal comparisons. His two predecessors–Shaquille O’Neal and Dwight Howard–dominated in their stints in Orlando and fans will expect the same of the freshman out of Kentucky.
His stat line of 4.1 points and 3.7 rebounds per game in limited minutes were modest. He had a double double against the Knicks in a return to his native New York and then another against the Bobcats a few weeks later. It was great to see O’Quinn take advantage of the opportunity when it was presented to him.
It sure seemed before the Magic and Cavs started their series in 2009 that 99 out of 100 people predicted Cleveland would win. But rather, unforeseen comebacks on the road by Orlando, clutch baskets by Rashard Lewis throughout the series and a remarkable resilience to overcome LeBron’s historic game-winner proved more accurate than what the critics projected.
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