Last night on ESPN's halftime of the Celtics-Heat game, Byron Scott and Avery Johnson were going over teams who they thought need to make a deal before the deadline in a couple weeks. Without missing a beat, Scott named the Magic as a team who should look to try and get Hedo Turkoglu back, rather sarcastically stating that Vince Carter is a failure in Orlando.
Apparently Scott has been unable to see the Magic play in the last couple weeks, because they've been performing like the team they ought to be. Avery Johnson even disagreed with Scott, saying he liked Carter and that the Magic would be okay.
All of the debate over the Magic involving trades is simply hearsay right now and the real question is whether Otis Smith will allow the team's chemistry to work itself out or will he look for help through the market?
Two weeks ago I thought the prime candidate for a trade would be Marcin Gortat, who boasts a $30 million contract and before a few weeks ago, spent most of his time helping the team when Dwight Howard gets in foul trouble or needs a quick breather.
However, after the game against the Celtics just last week, it became obvious to me that Gortat can play a major role with this Magic squad. Gortat can do this with his tough defense or simply the spark he brings off the bench, especially when playing alongside Howard.
So, with Gortat improving and the team playing better, what exactly is keeping them from the top of the East standings?
Perhaps the biggest problem thus far has been the lack of chemistry. New players, injuries, and a different style of play have not been a good recipe for the Magic thus far this season.
I personally think that while it is cliche, the bulk of the problems are with the switch on the wing position from Turkoglu to Carter. However, unlike most I think the problem can be fixed by Carter himself.
VC needs to do two things that Turkoglu used to do well. First, he must use the pick and roll with Howard towards the basket. Secondly, he needs to become more aggressive bringing the ball up on fast breaks, allowing himself to fill the point-forward position that they've missed without Turkoglu.
Although I believe the problems can be fixed internally, what kind of calls could Smith be making right now and for whom?
There are a few names on the trading block that could help bring some aggressiveness like a Caron Butler or a Kevin Martin, but at what price?
I personally feel different about the makeup of the team after watching their play for the last couple of weeks. They've won six of eight and four in a row, only dropping two close games to the Lakers and Grizzlies.
The team has the talent to win the title with the current squad, however while most analysts are dissecting Carter's problems, the key may just be Rashard Lewis' aggressiveness on offense and getting Howard more attempts, like they have recently.
Another benchmark this Sunday against the Celtics will tell more to the tale, but I personally think this team is going in the right direction. Otis Smith is never one to react to a single game but more-so to look into stretches and long runs. I've got to believe that Smith will make the right move for the Magic and it could be by not doing anything at all.