A Tribute To Rafer Alston

Brandon RibakSenior Writer IApril 15, 2009

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 8: Rafer Alston #1 of the Orlando Magic reacts during a game against the Boston Celtics at the TD Banknorth Garden on March 8, 2009 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics lost 86-79. 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 Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

When the Orlando Magic's starting point guard, Jameer Nelson, went down on February 2nd with a shoulder injury, it seemed as if the Magic's fantastic season was surely over and done with.

The Magic had a record of 3-3 for the next six games, including an extremely embarrassing loss to the New Orleans Hornets (117-85).

During that game, it was evident that the Magic were in desperate need of a true point guard...and fast.

With the trading deadline quickly approaching on February 19th, Magic fans slowly began to lose hope in their team.

On that final day, I tuned into ESPN to see which trades would go through.

After about ten minutes past three o'clock, ESPN Analyst Marc Stein was contacted on the phone and announced a three-way deal that sent the Orlando Magic's Brian Cook to the Houston Rockets and Adonal Foyle and a first-round draft pick to the Memphis Grizzlies.

In exchange, the Rockets obtained point-guard, Kyle Lowry, from the Grizzlies and, most of all, the Magic acquired Rockets starting point guard, Rafer Alston.

Since Alston has come to "O-Town," he has started in 27 of 28 games. Skip-to-my-Lou is averaging just under 12 PPG, 5.2 APG, 2.9 RPG, a career-high 1.8 SPG, and most importantly, 40.7% from field-goal range (a career best field goal percentage since the 04-05 season).

The Magic hold a record of 19-9 since Alston has stepped onto the court. He has proven to be a perfect fit for the team as he has outstanding experience in the league and tremendous chemistry with the Magic's roster.

With a record of 59-23 on the 08-09 NBA season, Rafer Alston deserves a great amount of credit for his amazing impact that he has given to the Magic this year.

Thank you Alston for improving the Magic's overall play this season. If it was not for you, they would not be where they are right now.

Also, big thanks to General Manager, Otis Smith, for pulling out a truly phenomenal trade within minutes of the trade deadline.