NBA Preview: Orlando banking on Magic act from Oladipo
SEP 30, 2013 1:24a ET
Meet the Magic
Victor Oladipo is the face and future of the Orlando Magic. How’s that for a welcome to the NBA?
Actually, Oladipo isn’t necessarily expected to save the franchise by himself. But the Magic may at least count on him to play point guard someday.
That seemed to be the skinny after this past summer, when the No. 2 overall draft pick spent lots of time directing offense. Interesting, because that wasn’t really Oladipo’s role in college.
He instead spent most of his time as a high-flying hustler, nifty backcourt defender and occasional scorer without a true position.
Now, we’ll get to see how Oladipo’s game translates to a league full of guys who can play just like him, way above the rim. Does he have the full range of fundamentals? Can he guard basketball’s Kobe Bryants and Dwyane Wades? Does he possess the ball-handling skills to create for others?
Lots of scouts have their doubts. The Magic never did. It should be fun finding out who’s right.
As for the rest of the team, Orlando has some intriguing pieces -- including the likes of young center Nikola Vucevic, young forwards Tobias Harris and Mo Harkless, and young big man Andrew Nicholson.
Heck, even young coach Jacque Vaughn, entering his second season, has proven to be a bright strategist who related well to this hungry bunch.
But the repeated phrase there is “young.”
That’s not so bad. It’s just not anything that makes you think Oladipo and the Magic are quite yet capable of doing anything beyond occasionally captivating their viewing audience.
Coach: Jacque Vaughn (20-62, second season)
Last season: 20-62, did not make playoffs.
Projected starters: C Nikola Vucevic; PF Glen Davis; SF Tobias Harris; SG Arron Afflalo; PG Jameer Nelson.
Key reserves: G Victor Oladipo (r); SF Marice Harkless; PF Andrew Nicholson; PF Jason Maxiell; PG E’Twaun Moore; C Kyle O’Quinn; SG Doron Lamb.
New faces: Oladipo, Maxiell; PG Ronnie Price.
It wouldn’t be a total shock to see veterans such as Davis, Afflalo or (especially) Nelson in different locations come the February trade deadline. Without of those three, the Magic’s plan would involve taking a step back before improving. With those three, there’s still too much youth to expect much of a leap.
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