Orlando Magic: How Good Can Ryan Anderson Be for Orlando?

Jason HenryCorrespondent IJanuary 2, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 28:  Ryan Anderson #33 of the Orlando Magic reacts in the final seconds of their 84-81 loss to the Atlanta Hawks during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on April 28, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Before the season started, Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy was torn between starting forward Ryan Anderson or newly acquired big man Glen Davis. Quietly Anderson is putting any questions about Van Gundy’s decision to rest.

Anderson got the nod and he’s starting to tighten his grip on that job. Last night Anderson scored 24 against the Raptors in Orlando’s come-from-behind victory that included a 32-point fourth quarter from the Magic. So far this season Anderson is averaging 20 points and six rebounds and he’s the team’s leading scorer.

Truthfully, who said before the season started that Ryan Anderson would be the team’s leading scorer five games in? Didn’t think so.

Anderson is 6’10” and while he doesn’t have the inside game that most big men his size have, he makes up for it with his perimeter presence. He’s quick to knock down a three pointer, and as the season progresses look for Anderson to add to his aggression toward the rack.

But how long can Anderson keep this up? Besides him there are other scorers on the team like center Dwight Howard, forward Hedo Turkoglu and guard Jason Richardson. Once teams start to key in on Anderson will he adjust his game or will his numbers start to decrease?

Not only that, Van Gundy has reservations about Anderson’s rebound production. After their win against the Nets, Van Gundy openly said Anderson’s three-rebound performance wasn’t good enough.

“Ryan is going to score, and I think he’s capable of a lot more...Nobody with his ability should be out there with three rebounds on a night like tonight,” Van Gundy said about Anderson’s need to be more aggressive around the rim.

Anderson is only a four-year “veteran” and last year he averaged 10 points per game. His field goal percentage has improved from 43 percent to 46 but that’s more than likely due to Anderson’s starting role and his increased shot attempts.

We may be in store for our answer soon as the Magic take off on a four-game road trip that include three games out west and a finisher against the Knicks on Jan. 16.


Jason is a reporter for the West Orlando News where he covers the Magic and the Orlando Predators. He’s also a featured columnist for the Dallas Cowboys for the Bleacher Report.