Last season the Orlando Magic played the role of the underdog throughout the postseason, surpassing professional predictions and overall expectations.
Versatility, passion, three-point shooting, and a little bit of luck is what brought this behind the curtains Magic team to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1994.
Orlando heads into the upcoming '09-'10 NBA season with the best preseason record in the league (7-0) and with six new athletes on their roster, each bringing a special aspect to the Magic's game.
1. Vince Carter (SG) - Vince Carter enters his 12th season in the league and from the signs of things (averaging a team high 17.3 PPG in 6 preseason games), he looks to be in for a big year. Coming from a beat up New Jersey Nets squad, Carter's eye is on the prize and nothing else. VC will become the new go-to-guy for Orlando, inevitably emerging as one of the most dangerous buzzer beater threats in the league.
2. Brandon Bass (PF) - Four-year man Brandon Bass will finally get his opportunity to compete for starters minutes this season. Standing 6'8" and weighing 250 lbs, Bass's physique is extremely similar to that of LeBron James'. BB has already raised eyebrows throughout the preseason and with Rashard Lewis out for the first 10 games of the season, Bass will get the chance to prove that he deserves every minute on the court that he gets.
3. Matt Barnes (SG/SF) - Barnes enjoyed a career-best season last year with the Phoenix Suns, where he averaged 10.2 PPG, 5.5 RPG, and 2.8 APG in 27.0 MPG. Barnes arsenal is composed of excellent defense abilities and a consistent jumper. Standing 6'7", Barnes will have the role of defending the most elite players in the league today.
4. Ryan Anderson (PF) - Anderson was obtained in the Vince Carter trade and brings a lot more to the table than most imagine. The forward will ultimately cause miss-match problems for the defense as he has a sweet stroke from beyond the three-point arc. Anderson is not expected to get more than 20 MPG as he is the third-string power-forward back up, but you can guarantee that he is the best third-string back up in the league.
5. Jason Williams (PG) - Williams took off last season before returning back to the NBA court for action. J-Will will have to fight with Anthony Johnson for the back-up point-guard role, but that should not be a problem for white chocolate. Williams looks like the J-Will of old and if he can distribute the ball and hit the open trey, then the more the merrier.