Orlando Magic History
The Orlando Magic had a better season compared to others in recent years. With the development of Dwight Howard continuing and Jameer Nelson stepping up at the point guard position, the Orlando Magic is looking better at two vital positions. They already have their big man ready to go and Nelson has come into the league out of nowhere averaging nearly 15 points 5 assists a game. The Orlando Magic’s season, which saw better play from its players in the past, wasn’t always on the bright side.
In a competitive Southeast Division, with the Miami Heat, Washington Wizards, Charlotte Bobcats, and Atlanta Hawks, the Orlando Magic started the season with high hopes. The arrival of the coach with the most wins in Orlando Magic history, Brian Hill, raised player’s spirits. Unfortunately, those spirits came down when Grant Hill was sidelined with another injury to add to his already injury-stricken career.
To add to the drama going on in Orlando, Steve Francis becomes a problem and a distraction to not only his team but also the organization. Francis was suspended for several games but the suspensions didn’t solve anything. The superstar was finally traded to the New York Knicks for Trevor Ariza and former Magic player, Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway. The situation didn’t get better for Francis though as he joined a team with even more issues.
The Francis to New York deal wasn’t the only trade the Orlando Magic made. Surprisingly, they traded for former 2nd pick Darko Milicic and Carlos Arroyo for Kelvin Cato and a future draft pick. Milicic was sought after by many organizations after he didn’t receive much playing time coming off the bench for the starting five of the Detroit Pistons. The Orlando Magic finally landed the European player and in response, showed stints of his talent he was never able to show with the Detroit Pistons.
It was a roller-coaster season, but it ended on a high note, including the surge that didn't happen until the Orlando Magic traded away Francis, who never bought into the system Coach Brian Hill wanted to use. The continued development of Howard and Jameer Nelson, and the addition of Milicic were all high points. The team also selected J.J. Redick from Duke University, regarded as one of the best shooters in the draft. Drafting Redick provides Orlando with the shooter they so desperately need.
The Orlando Magic should improve with their current nucleus and the arrival of Redick. Dwight Howard finished second in the NBA in rebounding, and the Magic are more convinced than ever that he will become a great big man in the league. Although the Pistons gave up on him, Milicic showed signs of a very promising career. He is big, rangy, and has great hands and a good feel for the game.
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