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Stretch 4 or Traditional 4?

By Sean Reaves

August 1st, 2010

Many Magic fans thought the Orlando Magic would target another big man this off-season to lockup all speculation that Rashard Lewis would officially return to the SF position and possibly moving Gortat to PF, but with the Magic signing Q-Rich, this has left the table open again to where Rashard will start. With recent comments by Bass saying he doesn't want to sit another year on the bench, the hard work of Ryan Anderson and Marcin Gorat this summer, and Otis Smith telling Rashard to start practicing at SF, many believe that Marcin, Ryan, or Bass will be starting at the PF position.

If Rashard was to start at the three position, this would leave either Pietrus, Q-Rich, or Redick out of the rotation, all are also very valuable trade assets as well as Vince Carter. Vince Carter is a $17 million expiring contract, and would be a very valuable trade asset at the trading deadline. Mickel Pietrus is a serviceable bench player. He is on the border-line of being a good to great defender. He is a streaky shooter, when Pietrus is on, he is on and is very hard to stop. When he is off though, you can expect a few 1-6 shooting nights. Pietrus has come up big in the playoffs in recent years. Pietrus has the ability to get to the basket and make plays, but when Pietrus puts the ball on the floor, he has a habit of taking a step back and stepping out of bounds. J.J. Redick who the Magic have recently matched has proven to gain the trust of SVG. We have seen Redick on the court with the game on the line in the playoffs last season. Orlando Magic matched the offer sheet by the Bulls to keep Redick on the team with a front loaded offer. Don't expect to see Redick being the one taking the backseat if Rashard is to move to the 3. A very underrated defender, and a High IQ player. Redick has worked hard to earn a spot on the team, and minutes have increased.

If Rashard Lewis was to continue to stay at the PF position, this would be interesting to see what happens to the blockage of PF and Centers we have. Marcin Gortat is a very valuable center, and has been working on his mid-range game to increase his minutes at PF. He has stated he would love to start along Dwight Howard at PF, but the problem would be if they were both to get into foul trouble, who would play Center? Brandon Bass, a good fit at PF, but is undersized, and has very suspect pick and roll defense. Bass has a good mid-range game, and has the ability to create contact inside and get to the FT line where he can deliver. Then we have Ryan Anderson, which is a very interesting prospect. His post offense is underrated, and underused. Ryan Anderson has the ability to play in the post, but is more likely to be seen on the 3 point line, where he is efficient as well. Ryan Anderson is a high IQ player, and has the ability to create offensive mismatches, but his strength and toughness as of right now is a question.

So what should the Magic do? If Otis Smith doesn't make a move by the trade deadline, expect the lineups to be decided by match-ups. For example, last season vs Boston, Orlando would have been better off starting Brandon Bass at PF and sliding Rashard to the SF, instead of keeping the lineup as-is with Barnes at the SF position. Physical teams will cause for a more physical front-court. When we play more finesse teams, expect Rashard to play at the PF position, much like in the Atlanta series. This current lineup gives Orlando options. Lets not be surprised though by a deal at the trading deadline.

1 comment:

  1. Nice breakdown of the I will say bit of a mess the Magic have gotten themselves into with all the bigs. It is nice to have options but how hard should it be to figure out the 4 and 5 plan on a basketball team really.