The Orlando Magic: The Anatomy of a Team without a Leader

Frances White@WestEndGirl62Analyst IIMay 13, 2009

BOSTON - MAY 06:  Mickael Pietrus #20, Rafer Alston #1, Dwight Howard #12 and Hedo Turkoglu #15 of the Orlando Magic huddle during a stop in play against the Boston Celtics in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at TD Banknorth Garden on May 6, 2009 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeated the Magic 112-94. 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 Elsa/Getty Images)

When the Orlando Magic drafted Dwight Howard it was the second time in team history that they got a dominant big man in the NBA draft. The previous as we know is the big moniker Shaquille O'Neal; who spits words of wisdom with his own quotable Shaq-tologies.

Howard even assumed one of Shaqs' numerous nicknames of "Superman," a clear sign of disrespect. Howard had merely donned the costume and the name stuck.  He tries to carry the weight of the "S" on his chest but it doesn't quite fit.

His on-court persona is the same as it is off the court. His dunks have power but you don't quite fear that he can save the day.

His house is described as having draws full of candy. Candy! isn't that sweet, more saccharin to go with his sugary game. 

He calls his coach out instead of looking in the mirror to see how really small that "S" on his chest has gotten. 

May I suggest a new nickname of "The Boy Wonder" Batman's side-kick Robin.  Robin had such quaint sayings like "Gee whiz Batman"; yeah that's it Robin, because you have along way to go before you start resembling the Dark Knight.

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He was right when he recovered in his game five post-game interview to paraphrase it isn't about the offense it is about the defense. 

He also has to question whether he wants to lead or remain a boy in a man's league.

Rashard Lewis, like Howard, is a preps-to pro player; he was brought on board to help balance the offensive attack with his three-point shooting. Lewis has an impressive array of moves, he can take you inside, outside, mid-range and take it to the hoop. 

He is the "riddler" of the team, enigmatic but yet forceful with his game at the same time. He has played with Dwight for a few years and he still doesn't know how to work well with him. Lewis should spend sometime with his big man in the off-season get to know each others game.

Hedo Turgolu: Close your eyes and listen to the description of his game and you will swear that it was Lewis' game that is being described. They both have a tendency to shrink in big moments and with the two of them on the court the offense is unbalanced and the interior defense falls on the shoulders of Dwight Howard alone.

Mickael Pietrus is a better fit at small forward; he provides the Magic with a slasher who will probe the defense and create more opportunities for Howard other than post-ups and dunks. He has an attitude that the rest of the team needs to have and he will rebound the ball.

They could also do a sign-and-trade with Hedo Turgolu, and move Pietrus to the three.

Courtney Lee was the one component that was a surprising success for the Magic; He has the same mental toughness  that Pietrus has. He can create his own shot and has great potential at the two spot. He could lead but I doubt that it would happen until he gets more experience. Plus he is only a rookie.

Rafer Alston does not know how to take advantage of mismatches and read the defense, he controls the ball and more often than not thinks about his shot first. 

There was a reason why Houston didn't hesitate to trade him and hand the point guard duties to Aaron Brooks. He will either be released, traded or become Jameer's back-up.

                  This season's lineup               Lineup That I would like to see next year

Center            Dwight Howard                    Dwight Howard

Small Forward  Hedo Turgolu                      Mickael Pietrus

Point Guard       Alston                              Jameer Nelson 

Power Forward  Rashard Lewis                   Rashard Lewis

Shooting Guard  Courtney Lee                   Courtney Lee

The Magic need a major upgrade in team attitude and chemistry.  A change in the lineup and some minor trades will make the Magic what they think they are now.  A team with mental toughness that can vie for a championship.


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