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News » Orlando Magic Getting Inside 2008-05-30

Orlando Magic Getting Inside 2008-05-30

Orlando Magic Getting Inside 2008-05-30
Another year of experience alone should improve the Magic next season, but it won't move them close enough to win an NBA championship, and that won't be good enough.

They won 52 games last season and reached the second round of the playoffs -- their best season in 12 years -- making it clear they are a team on the climb.

Yet the unhappy ending -- to those dastardly Detroit Pistons -- to an otherwise good season has caused considerable angst, raising questions about what more can be done.

"It's going to be a busy offseason because you can't take anything for granted," said Magic general manager Otis Smith. "You can't just say, 'we'll bring everyone back and we'll be better.' It's 'how do we move the organization to the next level?'"

Smith has his own key free agents to deal with -- Maurice Evans, Keyon Dooling, Carlos Arroyo -- but he also has his eye on the rest of the free agent list, wondering where he can add and subtract to the roster.

Rashard Lewis is untradeable because of the size of his contract. Dwight Howard is off limits because of his value to the franchise. Hedo Turkoglu could produce the most trade talks because of his production-to-cost ratio.

Both Keith Bogans and Adonal Foye are expected to exercise the option to stay an additional year. Jameer Nelson will continue trying to prove he can be the conductor running the show. And J.J. Redick has issued a play-me-or-trade-me edict.

SEASON HIGHLIGHT: Dwight Howard emerged as the league's next great center, setting a foundation from which they can build. He had 10 games of at least 30 points and 15 rebounds. The emergence of Hedo Turkoglu was surprising. He went from a career as a role player to a reliable, late-game go-to-guy.

TURNING POINT: Everything was going so well, an outstanding regular season and a stomping of the Toronto Raptors in the first round. Once the series with Detroit began, it all turned sour pretty quickly. The Pistons were too experienced and too tough for the free-flowing Magic with all their three-point shooters. The Magic lived and died with the three-pointer all season long, but it didn't work in the playoffs against the Pistons.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 30, 2008


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