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2010-11 NBA Preview: Orlando Magic

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Andres Alvarez – from Nerd Numbers the Blog – offers the following review and preview of the Orlando Magic.  His analysis suggests that there might be two dominant teams in Florida.

Sometimes I have trouble letting go. In Tuesday’s podcast I asked if Camby for Vince Carter would be good for Orlando. My brother said it was a bad idea. I brought it up to Arturo, he also said no. I could have let it go but instead I decided to look over the numbers myself. In the end I agree with them (kind of), and you lucky readers get a review/preview of the Magic. We all win (except me)!

Player Pos Minutes WP48 Wins Dwight Howard C 2843 0.377 22.3 Matt Barnes F 2097 0.198 8.7 Vince Carter GF 2310 0.107 5.2 J.J. Redick SG 1808 0.132 5.0 Jason Williams PG 1703 0.128 4.5 Jameer Nelson PG 1860 0.115 4.5 Marcin Gortat C 1088 0.158 3.6 Mickael Pietrus GF 1687 0.085 3.0 Ryan Anderson PF 910 0.110 2.1 Anthony Johnson PG 406 0.116 1.0 Brandon Bass PF 648 0.043 0.6 Rashard Lewis PF 2368 -0.003 -0.1 Total 19728 0.146 60.2

Table 1: 2009-2010 Orlando Magic

Last year the Magic had two great players; Matt Barnes and Dwight Howard. For some reason they let Matt Barnes go. On the plus side they still have Howard. This team is very deep and very balanced. Something I will point out is they do have a lot of their success riding on Dwight Howard. While this is a great model for regular season success, it is not necessarily the ideal way to go for the playoffs. I apologize but I’m going to throw a bunch of tables at you and then hopefully use it to make a point.

Player Pos Minutes WP48 Wins Jameer Nelson PG 1500 0.243 7.6 Vince Carter GF 2476 0.173 8.9 Quentin Richardson SF 2000 0.181 7.5 Rashard Lewis F 2400 0.117 5.8 Dwight Howard C 2800 0.377 22.0 Chris Duhon PG 2076 0.099 4.3 Brandon Bass PF 1576 0.076 2.5 Mickael Pietrus F 1500 0.081 2.5 J.J. Redick G 1376 0.124 3.5 Marcin Gortat C 1176 0.278 6.8 Ryan Anderson PF 1000 0.111 2.3 Total 19880 0.178 73.9

Table 2: 2010-2011 Orlando Magic Optimistic Prediction

Player Pos Minutes WP48 Wins Jameer Nelson PG 1800 0.115 4.3 Vince Carter SG 2310 0.139 6.7 Quentin Richardson SF 1894 0.060 2.4 Rashard Lewis F 2400 0.013 0.6 Dwight Howard C 2843 0.377 22.3 Chris Duhon PG 2176 0.074 3.4 Mickael Pietrus GF 1329 0.058 1.6 Ryan Anderson PF 1312 0.064 1.7 Marcin Gortat C 1133 0.158 3.7 J.J. Redick G 1200 0.061 1.5 Brandon Bass PF 664 0.043 0.6 Rest of Team SF 819 0.000 0.0 Total 19880 0.118 48.9

Table 3: 2010-2011 Orlando Magic Pesismistic Prediction

Player Win Range Rashard Lewis 5.2 Quentin Richardson 5.2 Jameer Nelson 3.3 Marcin Gortat 3.1 Vince Carter 2.2 J.J. Redick 2.0 Brandon Bass 1.9 Mickael Pietrus 0.9 Ryan Anderson 0.6 Chris Duhon -0.2 Dwight Howard -0.3

Table 4: Win Range for 2010-2011 Orlando Magic

Looking at each player’s WP48 for the last two years gives a very funny picture. In the optimistic year I used each player’s best year from the last two years. In the pessimistic year I used each player’s worst year from the last two years. Essentially at tip top shape this team could challenge Miami for best in the league. However, at their worst this team could be fighting with Atlanta for best of the worst in the playoffs. We can see four players have a lot to do with this. Rashard Lewis was absolutely terrible last season. Had he even played mediocre this team would have taken top spot in the East. Quentin Richardson had a break out year and clearly Miami Orlando (thanks SportsFanatic613!) is hoping he’ll replace Barnes. This could cost the Magic a few seeds if it doesn’t pan out. Finally Nelson and Gortat both have shown flashes of brilliance, but questionable coaching decisions around Gortat and injuries from Nelson have slowed them. With that I’ll do one last table.

Player Pos Minutes WP48 Wins Jameer Nelson PG 1500 0.125 3.9 Vince Carter SG 2476 0.120 6.2 Quentin Richardson SF 2000 0.100 4.2 Rashard Lewis PF 2400 0.075 3.7 Dwight Howard C 2800 0.377 22.0 Chris Duhon PG 2076 0.075 3.2 Brandon Bass PF 1576 0.075 2.5 Mickael Pietrus GF 1500 0.081 2.5 J.J. Redick G 1376 0.100 2.9 Marcin Gortat C 1176 0.175 4.3 Ryan Anderson PF 1000 0.100 2.1 Total 19880 0.139 57.5

Table 5: Final Prediction for 2010-2011 Season

If Jameer Nelson and Gortat can regain a little form, Vince Carter plays primarily at the two-guard and Dwight Howard keeps on being Superman then this team can pretty much repeat last year. Rashard Lewis and Quentin Richardson are the big question marks. Between the two of them they’ll probably use between 4000 and 5000 of the Magic’s minutes. If they play close to average the Magic look great. If they play poorly then they leave some holes on the team. Still the Magic look poised for another 50.0 win season. However, all of the complaints about them in the playoffs last year will still hold and I don’t think Miami, Los Angeles or Portland will cut them any slack.

-Dre

P.S. Still refusing to let go I’ll follow up my Camby comment. Vince Carter actually helps keep the Magic well stocked at the SG/SF positions. Rashard Lewis is really the biggest weakness on this team. The Magic could try and trade him for Camby, which would be amazing. I doubt Portland would be foolish enough to do that. Another option would be to simply play Anderson and Gortat more minutes. These two players are young and have both played above average. Doing this would require the Magic to admit Lewis is not really worth the money and history doesn’t seem on our side for that happening.

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