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News » Orlando Magic Roster Report 2009-10-19

Orlando Magic Roster Report 2009-10-19

Orlando Magic Roster Report 2009-10-19ANALYZING STARTERS:

G Jameer Nelson is on the spot because he missed the Magic's second half of the season and their run through the playoffs, watching from the sideline as he recovered from surgery. He must prove he can run this team better than Rafer Alston did in his absence. The Magic were so confident, they dumped Alston to make sure there was no point guard controversy. Nelson became an All-Star for the first time just before he was hurt.

G Vince Carter is a proven scorer, but he's not a proven winner. He can get his shot in almost any situation, but he must prove he can take a back seat to a dominating center like Howard. He has to do more than just shoot three-pointers and he must remain aggressive with his drives to the basket. His scoring likely will dip significantly because the Magic have so many other weapons.

F Brandon Bass will be the starting power forward at least for the first 10 games in the absence of Rashard Lewis. He was obtained in the offseason from Dallas to give them a true power player to help Howard around the basket. Unlike Lewis, though, he is not a three-point threat. His role is sure to change when Lewis returns.

F Mickael Pietrus struggled through an injury-marred first season with the Magic, but he was solid coming off the bench last season in the playoffs. He can hit the three-point shot and can defend well when he isn't in foul trouble. If he doesn't play well, Lewis may return to play small forward instead of power forward. He needs to have a good start to keep his spot in the lineup.

C Dwight Howard is going to be hard-pressed to repeat his great performance last season when he was Defensive Player of the Year, leading the league in both blocked shots and rebounding. Howard still must focus on defense, although he has talked about becoming more of an offensive force this season, which he can do if he improves his free-throw shooting. When he is aggressive offensively, he forces opponents to double-team him, leaving someone else open.


G J.J. Redick will play primarily behind Carter at shooting guard. His overall game has improved considerably in his first few season, although he surprisingly struggled with his shot last season. The Magic had a chance to trade him last season, but they kept him for his shooting, hoping he remains a dangerous weapon when he is on the floor with Howard.

C Marcin Gortat wants to start playing some at power forward because he won't get enough minutes backing up Howard at center. The Magic tried playing them together a little last season and they may experiment more with the idea. Van Gundy is thrilled at the versatility he has on the roster and he remains intrigued by Gortat's potential.

F Matt Barnes might become the Magic's defensive stopper on the perimeter. He should be able to guard most guards and small forwards. He will battle Pietrus for playing time. He also could back up Carter at shooting guard if Redick struggles defensively.


C Adonal Foyle (sore right knee) has been slowed throughout training camp, although he is expected to be mostly insurance this season. He won't get much playing time unless Dwight Howard or Marcin Gortat is injured.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 20, 2009


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