2007 Orlando Magic Season Preview
The Orlando Magic look to put up more points this season than they have in recent years due to the addition of forward Rashard Lewis (.461 FG%, .390 3P%, .841 FT%, 6.6 RPG, 2.4 APG, 22.4 PPG) from Seattle. Lewis is an amazing point producer. Orlando also has a new coach. At first it was twice-NCAA champ Billy Donovan. But then two days after taking the job, Donovan said, “Never mind.” Steve Van Gundy took the job instead.
At 21 years old, forward Dwight Howard (.603 FG%,.500 3P%, .586 FT%, 12.3 RPG, 1.9 APG, 17.6 PPG) can hit from inside and outside, while grabbing rebounds with ease. His Achilles’ heel so far is his foul shooting. If he can get those numbers up, he’ll easily average more than 20 PPG. As noted, Rashard Lewis joins Howard at the other forward position. The other guy upfront will vary depending upon what’s needed-- from Hedo Turkuglo for scoring to Tony Battie for defense and rebounding to Trevor Ariza to defend against faster, more athletic players.
At point guard, Jameer Nelson (.430 FG%, .335 3P%, .828 FT%, 3.3 RPG, 4.3 APG, 13.0 PPG) enters his fourth year and Orlando desperately needs him to break out. This is a team that often looked lethargic in 2006- 2007; they need Nelson to push the ball up and also to create some fast break opportunities. J.J. Redick (.410 FG%, .388 3P%, .900 FT%, 1.2 RPG, 0.9 APG, 6.0 PPG) had injury woes and adjustment issues in his first pro season last year. Hopefully, he can step up this year. If he can’t, there’s depth coming off the bench.
The fact is the Orlando Magic have a lot to lose this year. The city is trying to hang onto their franchise and build a new arena. This may be the club in the NBA with the most to lose and win. The fact is that the 40-win Magic of last season have a chance to win the division and go deep into the playoffs. In 12 years this team has not gotten past the first round of the playoffs. Will this be the year that the Magic finally become magical?