Orlando Magic: 5 Creative Lineup Experiments Stan Van Gundy Should Try

Eddie WaltersAnalyst IISeptember 28, 2011

Orlando Magic: 5 Creative Lineup Experiments Stan Van Gundy Should Try

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    Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy has experimented with many starting lineup changes over the past few seasons, and heading into the 2011-1012 year, here are five lineups Van Gundy should consider starting. 

    The Magic have the NBA's second-highest payroll and one of the deeper rosters in the league, so the starting lineup possibilities are plentiful. 

    Van Gundy has the luxury of running many different starting lineups throughout the season and can even alter his lineup depending on the given matchup on a nightly basis. 

    While the Magic won 52 games last season, a disappointing first-round elimination from the playoffs proves there is plenty of room for improvement—altering the starting lineup is the first place to start.

    NoteJason Richardson is a free-agent and I'm compiling these lineups without him on the roster. 

Lineup 1

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    PG: Jameer Nelson

    SG: J.J. Redick

    SF: Hedo Turkoglu

    PF: Ryan Anderson

    C: Dwight Howard

    The Orlando Magic have started this exact lineup in the past, though I feel electing to start Ryan Anderson over Brandon Bass should be tried more often. 

    Bass brings more physicality down low as a more old-school power forward, but Ryan Anderson offers more on the offensive end with the ability to stretch the floor as a three-point shooter (39 percent last season). 

    Anderson averaged more than 10 points per game last season while grabbing six boards in just over 22 minutes of action per night. 

    Anderson is the kind of player the Magic must get on the floor as much as possible, and he looks to be the most promising young player on the entire Orlando roster. 

Lineup 2

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    PG: Jameer Nelson

    SG: Gilbert Arenas

    F: Ryan Anderson

    PF: Brandon Bass

    C: Dwight Howard

    This would be a non-traditional lineup for the Magic to try out, with both Bass and Anderson on the court at the same time as well as Arenas and Nelson.

    This Magic ran both Arenas and Nelson at the same time last season in small spurts, and I think they should try it more this year.

    Stan Van Gundy has to find a way to get Arenas on the court more, and this might be one of the ways to do it.

    Ryan Anderson would start at the small forward position because there is no reason to have Hedo Turkoglu in, as he plays like a point guard which would make little sense with two already on the court.

    This lineup would take time to gel, but the Magic have to find a way to get Arenas generating more offense, and with him playing the 2-guard he might finally be able to do so.  

Lineup 3

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    PG: Gilbert Arenas

    SG: J.J. Redick

    F: Hedo Turkoglu

    PF: Brandon Bass

    C: Dwight Howard

    This lineup gives the Magic good balance down low with Bass and Howard and on the perimeter with Turkoglu and Redick. 

    Arenas gets the start here because again—not to sound redundant—when you're paying a player $21 million, you have to get him more involved.

    This could very easily be a lineup we see a lot of next year. If Arenas shows signs of improvement, he could compete for the starting job over Nelson, making this the standard lineup for the Magic. 

Lineup 4

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    PG: Jameer Nelson

    SG: J.J. Redick

    F: Hedo Turkoglu

    PF: Earl Clark

    C: Dwight Howard

    Earl Clark is a new name inserted into the starting lineup here. 

    Clark was part of the midseason trades with the Phoenix Suns, and although he is not the most well-known player on the Magic, he is the most athletic player not named Dwight Howard.

    Clark is still a bit of a raw talent but he played some big minutes last season in limited action with the Magic, and fans saw glimpses of his potential.

    Clark is the man the Magic need to rely on for defense next season—they should have relied on him heavier last season.  

    Head coach Stan Van Gundy should have inserted Clark into the starting lineup during the playoff series against the Hawks. Starter Brandon Bass struggled mightily against the Hawks' Josh Smith, whereas Clark would have been able to give him a much tougher matchup. 

Lineup 5

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    PG: Gilbert Arenas

    SG: J.J. Redick

    F: Quentin Richardson

    PF: Earl Clark

    C: Dwight Howard

    We'll call this the Orlando Magic's best defensive lineup. Against a team like the Miami Heat, this lineup would be most ideal in stopping the Heat's big two-and-a-half. 

    Richardson is by far the Magic's best perimeter defender, and Clark and Howard are two very athletic defenders backing him up. 

    Arenas and Redick are by no means great defenders, but the Magic really do not have any other options there, and Jameer Nelson's defense is suspect at best. 

    This isn't a lineup we would see every night—but against a high scoring offense, it's one the Magic should consider.