Orlando Magic Fan Guide to the Postseason
Orlando Magic Fan’s Guide to the Postseason
Finals: If you are anything like me, these games are just painful to watch. They basically consist of me constantly asking “what if” and wondering how our team would have matched up against the Lakers. However, it is good entertainment if you want to hear Stuart Scott relentlessly praising Magic Johnson or if you want to play Mark Jackson drinking games. “Hand down, man down”. Drink! Other drinking game ideas for the Finals: Drink every time a Celtic flops (double for a Paul Pierce faked injury), drink for each Kobe scowl, or if you are feeling really depressed and want to fully maximize your alcohol intake, drink for every bad foul call.
NBA Draft: The Draft is taking place this year on Thursday, June 24th at MSG in New York. The Wizards control the number 1 pick and barring anything crazy happening, will be drafting John Wall. The Magic currently hold picks number 29 and 59 and while there could potentially be some minor movement by the Magic, nothing major is expected. Some players that draft experts have the Magic looking at right now are the 7-footer out of Florida State, Soloman Alabi, as well as Quincy Pondexter (SF, Washington) and Willie Warren (PG/SG, Oklahoma). I have a hard time ever seeing Alabi being any more than a backup center, but fortunately we have a guy named Dwight Howard manning that position. Plenty more draft coverage to come in the coming days.
Summer Leagues: Summer leagues offer the first glimpse into the league’s new draft picks and how they may perform in the coming season. While not always the best measuring stick for success (Stephen Curry was “turrble” in last year’s summer league), it is always entertaining to see how these guys show up during their first stints as NBA players. During last year’s Orlando Pro Summer League, Magic fans got their first look at newcomer Ryan Anderson. Most of us had not seen much of Anderson before the Carter trade and he came out and averaged 21 ppg over the 5 game stretch. While the games are normally closed to the public, you are able to stream them live on orlandomagic.com. The 2010 summer league information is tentatively as follows: Vegas July 9-18 (20-22 teams), Orlando July 5-9 (6-8 teams), Utah July 24-30 (6 teams), Chicago July 11-15 (5 teams).
Free Agency: The free agent summit frenzy officially begins July 1st. At that point, teams can begin to talk to free agents and agree in principle to deals. I’ve faintly heard a rumor that some guy named LeBron James is on the market, but haven’t been able to find anything in the media about it. Magic free agents include: J.J. Redick (restricted), Matt Barnes, Jason Williams, Anthony Johnson and Adonal Foyle. Foyle, AJ and J-Will are all most likely gone, Barnes is up in the air and J.J. will likely be back. There will be tons of coverage on this topic for the majority of the off-season. Stay tuned!
World Championships: The FIBA World Championships in Turkey run from August 28th through September 12th. Many of the biggest NBA stars are reportedly going to be sitting out this tournament run but Team USA will still be well represented. Dwight Howard has yet to make an official announcement on the matter but most reports seem to believe that he will skip it this go-around. Even without Kobe, LeBron or D12, the Red, White and Blue will still be considered the hands down favorites. Team USA opens up against Croatia on the 28th.
WNBA: Look, the Orlando Miracle are not returning. Nykesha Sales is not walking through that door. Even if she did, I’m doubting nobody would recognize her. If you are really not getting your basketball fix and NBA TV classic re-runs aren’t fulfilling you, then the WNBA playoffs begin in late August. According to the commercials, you can “Expect Great”. However, you could absolutely find more entertaining pickup games at your local YMCA, but unfortunately those are not televised.
Training Camp: End of September/early October. An exciting season will be in front of the team as they open the new Amway Center and continue their quest towards an NBA championship!