Throughout the offseason, I have seen Bleacher Creatures continuously bash the Orlando Magic for their signings, trades, and overall decisions made thus far.
It has gotten to the point where I am literally lost for words.
How can an NBA fan seriously state that the Magic have gotten worse since their disappointing loss in the NBA Finals?
Furthermore, how can fans really rank teams, such as the Atlanta Hawks and Washington Wizards ahead of the Magic, when Atlanta could not even win a single game against the Cavaliers in the playoffs, and Washington never even reached the playoffs during last season?
What was once entertaining for me (which is reading other fans opinions), has turned into a pathetic joke.
The Orlando Magic are once again the most underrated team in the NBA heading into the 09-10 season and will fight to prove that they deserve to be mentioned with the Lakers and Celtics as one of the most dominate teams in the league.
Who they lost and who they gained
Rafer Alston- Alston was acquired by Orlando when Jameer Nelson went down with a season ending injury. The Magic were in serious need of a point-guard and Alston was the best option available. During the playoffs, Alston shot 38 percent from the field (including shooting somewhere in the teens during the Finals).
Jameer Nelson- Since Nelson is back at full strength, Orlando upgrades from a potential retiree Rafer Alston, to a proven All-Star in Jameer Nelson.
Courtney Lee- Lee enjoyed a fantastic rookie season, coming up huge for Orlando during the first round of the playoffs. Lee was a terrific defender, matching up against some of the top tier players in the league, and was expected to shut them down. Lee ended the season averaging just 8.4 points per game, with 2.3 rebounds per game, and 1.2 assists per game.
Vince Carter- Carter is a proven superstar throughout his entire career. He averaged 20.8 points per game, 5.1 rebounds per game, and 4.7 assists per game last season and considered it a “down year.”
The Magic are gaining a superstar, and it is sad to see that fans think so highly of Lee, when his impact at most was minimal all season long.
Tony Battie- Battie averaged 4.8 points per game and 3.6 rebounds per game for the Magic during the 08′-09′ season, never really playing much and not having any significant impact whatsoever.
Ryan Anderson- Anderson was a rookie last season and never received any publicity. He heads into the start of next season as one of the top players in the Orlando Summer League, averaging the second most in rebounds per game and 3PTM. Anderson stands 6’10″, with the capability of knocking down the trey ball and grabbing rebounds.
Hedo Turkoglu- Turkoglu played remarkably well for the Magic during the Eastern Conference and NBA Finals. He proved to be an efficient ball-handler along with his already established jumper. Turkoglu came up very clutch during many moments of the playoffs and recently signed with the Toronto Raptors.
Bass showed immense signs of All-Star flashes with the Dallas Mavericks and has a tremendous amount of potential to emerge as one of the most elite forwards in the game today. He is expected to start at the four spot and will improve his overall game to new heights, especially alongside the best center in the game today in Dwight Howard.
The Magic gained in the point-guard, shooting-guard, and power forward position this offseason. They lost Turkoglu, but replaced him with Rashard Lewis at the three spot.
Orlando will arguably prove to the NBA world that they are the most powerful team in the league today.
Please comment below and tell me your opinions on this. And to the two people that wrote that Atlanta and Washington will have better seasons than Orlando this year, do not even bother commenting.
Written by Brandon Ribak
Article originally seen at Bleacher Report.