5 Best Situational Lineups for the Orlando Magic in 2012-13

Hunter KonsensCorrespondent IISeptember 23, 2012

5 Best Situational Lineups for the Orlando Magic in 2012-13

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    Despite the revamped roster, Orlando Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn still has a few solid lineups to use at his disposal. The absence of Dwight Howard will almost certainly hurt next year's win total, but that doesn't mean this team can't be competitive.

    In fact, the Orlando Magic may have one of the deepest rosters in the entire Association. Before anyone blows up the comment section, the fact that the team is projected to have a bench core of Al Harrington, Moe Harkless, Andrew Nicholson, Kyle O'Quinn, J.J. Redick, Quentin Richardson, Ish Smith and Nikola Vujevic is pretty remarkable, to say the least. 

    This team will most likely not contend for a playoff berth, but there is no denying this team has the tools to upset some elite opponents. The team will most likely battle consistency issues, as the roster is quite young, but the organization has some quality talent.

    Losing Howard is a big, albeit necessary, blow, but the franchise is headed in the right direction.

Starting Lineup

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    Point Guard: Jameer Nelson

    Shooting Guard: Arron Afflalo

    Small Forward: Hedo Turkoglu

    Power Forward: Glen Davis

    Center: Gustavo Ayon

    On first glance of the Magic's starting lineup, two observations will most likely be deduced: This lineup is small, yet talented, and there is a nice blend of youth and veteran leadership.

    Jameer Nelson and Hedo Turkoglu will be the only returning starters next season. Both players are entering the twilight years of their respective careers, but that is not to say they can't produce at a high level. 

    Nelson is arguably one of the most gifted point guard scorers in the entire Eastern Conference. Sure, he may not be contributing at an All-Star level, but he will lead this team to a few upset wins next year. 

    Turkoglu, on the other hand, has seen his skills and athleticism dwindle to the point that he looks like a shell of his former self. He is routinely beat off the dribble on defense and rarely scores over 20 points in a single contest.

    Nonetheless, few players in the entire Association have the skill set Turkoglu possesses. At 6'10", this Turkish forward can simply play many roles. His versatility is quite valuable to Orlando.

    Once you factor in Arron Afflalo, who is one of the best defenders in the league, Glen Davis, last year's sixth man who exploded to the tune of 19 points and nine rebounds per game in the playoffs, and Gustavo Ayon, who hopes to build off a promising rookie season with the New Orleans Hornets, this starting lineup could surprise Orlando Magic fans and the NBA community alike.

Big Lineup

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    Point Guard: J.J. Redick

    Shooting Guard: Moe Harkless

    Small Forward: Hedo Turkoglu

    Power Forward: Gustavo Ayon

    Center: Nikola Vucevic

    In a league where size plays a critical role in success, the Orlando Magic will be tested by large lineups a plethora of times throughout next season. Despite the Miami Heat winning the championship with no true center, many teams still believe having one or two seven-footers controlling the paint is the most successful method.

    The Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers, New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets are just a few organizations planning to utilize their size to their advantage. 

    With the above lineup, the Orlando Magic would be able to combat squads with a set of proverbial towers patrolling the interior.

    The trio of J.J. Redick, Moe Harkless and Hedo Turkoglu will most likely be bigger than any triumvirate of perimeter players the opposing team will throw out. Obviously, Turkoglu will have ball handling duties in this lineup, as Redick doesn't have the ability to effectively control an offense.

    The duo fo Ayon and Vucevic is young, but size doesn't care how experienced you are. Ayon, a near seven-footer, and Vucevic, a true seven-footer, will present problems for teams facing the Magic.

    In the end, this squad will have an average height of 6'9", which is quite large considering the small starting lineup.

Three Point Lineup

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    Point Guard: Jameer Nelson

    Shooting Guard: J.J. Redick

    Small Forward: Quentin Richardson

    Power Forward: Al Harrington

    Center: Glen Davis

    The NBA is gravitating towards a league where shooting reigns supreme. In turn, the Orlando Magic need to find a lineup that specializes in shooting from behind the arc.

    Of course, I wouldn't advice coach Vaughn to use this unit for long periods at a time, but if the team needs a quick three points or just a jumpstart on offense this squad would do wonders.

    Perimeter players Nelson, Redick and Richardson are all knockdown shooters. Each have the possibility of heating up and nailing a few threes at any given point.

    The big man duo of Davis and Harrington isn't anything to smock at in terms of shooting. Sure, this duet is small, but there offensive prowess will make you pay if you take them lightly. Harrington's range extends past the three point line, while Davis has a solid mid-range jumper.

Defensive Lineup

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    Point Guard: Ish Smith 

    Shooting Guard: Arron Afflalo

    Small Forward: Moe Harkless

    Power Forward: Andrew Nicholson

    Center: Gustavo Ayon

    There is a reoccurring misconception in the NBA community that the Magic don't have any defensive stoppers on the roster. That is simply not the case.

    Arron Afflalo and Ish Smith form a formidable defensive duo at the guard positions. Both are quite quick and capable of shutting down opposing backcourts. Rookies Harkless and Nicholson don't have the tools, yet, to be considered elite defenders, but there respective athleticism makes them prime candidates to fill said role.

    Gustavo Ayon is definitely the weak link in this lineup, but he most likely won't significantly hinder the overall defense of this core. 

    There will be many times this season where this lineup will be useful. After all, the starting lineup is far from being considered a defensive juggernaut, causing opposing teams to put up points in bunches. If this occurs, Vaughn will be forced to play this unit.

Young Lineup

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    Point Guard: Ish Smith

    Shooting Guard: E'Twaun Moore

    Small Forward: Moe Harkless

    Power Forward: Andrew Nicholson

    Center: Nikola Vucevic

    This year will be the start of a new chapter in the history of the Orlando Magic. The franchise is finally free from their former crippling superstar, and ready to rebuild through the draft. Behind general manager Rob Hennigan and the Orlando Magic brass, a new phase is currently in progress.

    So, there is probably going to be a few times this season where the organization tests their young players, hoping they found a diamond in the rough.

    All five of these prospects have the potential of developing into true starters, but for now they have an opportunity of producing for a franchise that is still reeling from the departure of their All-NBA talent.