Grading the Preseason Performance of the Orlando Magic

Oct 25, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic shooting guard Victor Oladipo (5) is the MVP of the preseason for the Orlando Magic. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Orlando Magic finished the preseason with a 2-6 record, but despite the lackluster record, there is still plenty of optimism surrounding the young Magic squad. Let’s take a looks at how the regular season roster performed during the preseason.

Nikola Vucevic: A

Orlando Magic starting center Nikola Vucevic followed up an excellent sophomore season with a great preseason. Vucevic showcased his already exceptional mid-range jumper and an improved post up game offensively. His improved post up game also extended to the defensive end of the court where Vucevic was able to utilize his improved post defense. The improvement on defense could not have been more evident than when Vucevic was forced to guard Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard. Vucevic even blocked Howard’s first shot attempt of the game.

Preseason Stats: 

11.4 ppg., 7.8 rpg., 1.2 apg., 1.00 blkpg.,

Kyle O’Quinn: C

The 2nd year center from Norfolk State struggled during the first five games of the regular season. At times it looked like O’Quinn had no business playing at the NBA level. However, O’Quinn looked much better during the final three preseason games as he averaged 11.3 points per game and drastically reduced his turnovers. O’Quinn is an above average passer for a center and can be an imposing defensive player due to his size, but he has to put himself in better defensive positions instead of fouling so often

Preseason Stats:

7.7 ppg., 6.1 rpg., 2.1 apg. and 1.71 blkpg.

Glen Davis: N/A

The Magic big man did not play in any preseason games as he continues to recover from offseason foot surgery. Despite not playing in  the preseason, Davis will likely be cleared for contact in practice in the next two weeks.

Preseason Stats:

N/A

Tobias Harris: B

Tobias Harris  showcased a potent jump shot and the ability to drive to the basket. However, Harris was limited by a sprained left ankle and only played in four of the Magic’s eight preseason games. Due to his limited playing time, the Magic were unable to see whether Harris is capable of guarding both small forwards and power forwards.

Preseason Stats:

12.3 ppg., 5.0 rpg. and 1.8 apg.

Jason Maxiell: B+

The veteran Jason Maxiell brings the Orlando Magic a toughness and defensive presence that the Magic surely need. During the preseason, Maxiell brought defense, a solid if unorthodox jump shot and rebounding to the Magic.

Preseason Stats: 

7.2 ppg. and 5.2 rpg

Andrew Nicholson: A-

Andrew Nicholson added to his already extensive offensive repertoire that consisted of a refined post game and a strong mid-range jump shot. This season, Nicholson has added the 3-point shot to his arsenal. The most impressive aspect of Nicholson’s 3-point shooting is his efficiency as he shot 46.7 percent from 3-point range. Nicholson also showed improvement on the defensive end of the court including three blocked shots against the Detroit Pistons.

Preseason Stats: 

6.7 ppg. and 3.9 rpg

Solomon Jones: B+

The local training camp invitee was considered a long shot to make the regular season roster. However, the veteran forward played smart basketball throughout the preseason and earned the final spot on the regular season roster. The local prospect out of Mount Dora High School and University of South Florida dreamed of playing for the Magic and guaranteed during Orlando Magic media day that he would make the regular season roster.

Preseason Stats:

4.5 ppg., 3.8 rpg. and 1.33 stlpg.

Maurice Harkless: B

One thing is clear, Maurice Harkless is the best perimeter defensive player on the Orlando Magic roster. During the preseason, Harkless led the Magic in steals with 1.75 steals per game, while also accounting for one block per game. Harkless has also been more aggressive attacking the basket on offense and has even put the ball on the floor, which is something that Harkless was unable to do last year. However, his 3-point  shot continues to be a weak spot for the 2nd year player out of St. John’s as he is shooting just 21.1 percent from behind the 3-point line.

Preseason Stats: 

11.7 ppg., 2.4 rpg. and 1.75 stlpg.

Hedo Turkoglu: N/A

Hedo Turkoglu did not play during the preseason as he and Orlando Magic General Manager Rob Hennigan are still working out the details of a contract buy-out.

Arron Afflalo: B

Most of the Orlando Magic veterans received very little playing time during the preseason and Afflalo was no exception. Afflalo only averaged 22.7 minutes per game. Last season, Afflalo led the Magic in minutes, averaging 36 minutes per game. Afflalo continues to add to his offensive game, while his once stellar defense, continues to regress.

Preseason Stats:

10.0 ppg., 2.0 rpg. and 2.0 apg.

Victor Oladipo: A

Rookie Victor Oladipo looks every bit like a Rookie of The Year contender. Oladipo led the Magic in scoring during the preseason with 13. 9 points per game. His explosiveness on both ends of the court is staggering as the Magic haven’t had a perimeter player with that much athleticism since Tracy McGrady left. Oladipo must develop a 3-point shot and reduce his turnovers, but there is no denying that Oladipo belongs on an NBA floor.

Preseason Stats: 

13.9 ppg., 6.0 rpg., 5.0 apg. and 1.57 stlpg.

E’Twaun Moore: A

If Oladipo was the most explosive player for the Orlando Magic during the preseason, then E’Twaun Moore was the most consistent player for the Orlando Magic. Moore showcased his 3-point shot, shooting 37 percent from the 3-point line. However, the most impressive part of Moore’s game during the preseason, was his apparent mastery of the floater, which is a must have weapon for an under-sized guard.

Preseason Stats:

 9.9 ppg., 2.1 rpg. and 1.7 apg.

Doron Lamb: N/A

Doron Lamb did not play during the preseason due to a sprained right ankle.

Preseason Stat: N/A

Jameer Nelson: C+

Orlando Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn knows what he has in Jameer Nelson as a veteran player and because of that, Nelson only played in four of the eight preseason games for the Magic. When Nelson did play during the preseason, he was barely a factor and only averaged 21 minutes per game.

Preseason Stats: 

7.0 ppg., 5.3 apg. and 1.8 rpg.

Ronnie Price: D-

Ronnie Price was brought in to be the No. 3 point guard behind Nelson and Oladipo. However,  Price did not portray the venerable veteran during the preseason. The preseason started poorly for Price as he was forced to miss the first six games. Price finished the preseason ranked  No. 2 in turnovers with 2.67 per game and cemented himself firmly behind Nelson and Oladipo. If Price did not have a guaranteed contract, he probably would not have made the Magic regular season roster.

Preseason Stats: 

2.0 ppg., 2.0 apg., 1.5 rpg. and 1.50 stlpg.

Preseason MVP: Victor Oladipo

 

 

 

Topics: Jacque Vaughn, Orlando Magic, Victor Oladipo

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