Sleight of Hand: Orlando’s Extreme Makeover Makes The Magic Relevant Again

December 18th, 2010 by Dan Meadows Leave a reply »
Coming into the season, the Orlando Magic were widely regarded as one of the elite teams in the league, and a definite title contender. But a quarter of the way through the schedule it appears that, despite Dwight Howard’s consistent dominance, the Magic were falling off the pace set by Boston, Miami and Chicago in the Eastern Conference.

Things have gotten particularly rough of late, culminating in losses in five out of six games, mostly on the road, to Milwaukee, Atlanta, Portland, Utah and Denver. The only win in this span was to the lowly Clippers. If anyone had any illusions that Orlando, as presently constructed, had any chance of hoisting the trophy, they no longer do.

Enter Magic GM Otis Smith and a roster makeover that could rival those made by Boston and Miami in recent years. With today’s two reported trades, the Magic will rid themselves of shrinking violets Vince Carter and Rashard Lewis, as well as perpetual Stan Van Gundy doghouse resident Mikael Petrius and unhappy backup center Marcin Gortat. In their place comes Jason Richardson, Gilbert Arenas and the return of Hedu Turkoglu. Welcome back, Orlando!

When Orlando let ...

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