New Blood, Old Blood: What WiIliams and Duhon Bring to the Magic
This year, with the re-signing of Jason Williams and the addition of Chris Duhon, the Orlando Magic are looking to add more depth for their starter Jameer Nelson to play in front of. There are a few things that these two signings tell Magic fans about the Magic game plan for next year.
When Jason Williams was on the court for Jameer Nelson, he was able to lead the team much like Jameer and averaged 3.6 APG while on the court an average of 20.8 minutes. Despite a somewhat menial playoff performance last year, he will still bring his championship experience and swagger to the court.
With the addition of Chris Duhon, Williams probably won't see as much time as he did last year. Duhon will be a fresh option for the Magic to play behind Jameer. Duhon brings a player that started all last year who averaged a cool 5.6 APG. This is more than Nelson had at roughly the same amount of game time played. Duhon will be able to be more efficient on a team where he has tools around him. The Magic's bench is at its best with quick ball movement working around the perimeter and Duhon will definitely fit into that equation.
A Healthier Jameer Nelson
With the addition of Duhon and keeping Williams, Jameer Nelson will probably see a drop in regular season playing time. While still being the unquestioned starter for the Magic, Duhon and Williams will be able to take off some the load for the injury prone Nelson. Expect to see Jameer drop his minutes per game and see Duhon take over time from Jason Williams. A good mix would be Jameer playing about 25 MPG, while Duhon takes the brunt of the backup work at 15-20 MPG.
The older Williams will see a definite drop in minutes, seeing about 5-10 MPG, but will play a role similar to Anthony Johnson last year. Instead of sitting on the bench like Johnson last year though, Williams will be utilized most the games of the regular season.
All the stress on Jameer to carry the team will hopefully be alleviated by the addition of more depth. It will hopefully mean a healthier Jameer Nelson.
However, if Nelson is injured, the Magic now have an ample backup core to carry the team during his injury.
The Three is Still the Game
With Williams coming off of his strongest three point percentage of his career at .380 and Chris Duhon able to lob up threes at about .350 last year, the Magic will continue to throw up threes like no one else in the NBA. The great ball movement that these PGs bring to the Magic is accentuated by their ability to be a part of the movement and hit the three when needed.
Jason Williams brings the experience and knowledge of the Magic's system that fills out Orlando's PG depth. Orlando keeping Williams shows GM Otis Smith continuing to value strategy and chemistry over the big flashy moves of other teams.
Williams lives in Orlando and will do all he can to bring the championship to his home.
Chris Duhon brings something that was noticeably lacking in the Magic's PG depth last year . . . youth. With Anthony Johnson at 35 and Jason Williams at 34, Orlando's PG depth weren't what you would call spring chickens. With age comes higher injury risk. With an already injury prone Nelson, Duhon seems like a safe young bet at age 27.
He will work well in the Magic system as a role-player who will move the ball efficiently and take some of the pressure off Nelson.