C - Dwight Howard, Marcin Gortat, Daniel Orton
PF - Ryan Anderson, Brandon Bass, Malik Allen
SF - Rashard Lewis, Mickael Pietrus, Quentin Richardson
SG - Vince Carter, JJ Redick,
PG - Jameer Nelson, Chris Duhon, Jason Williams
Brad: As you'll see in my final "predictions" column, I'm high on Howard this year... he looks more polished in the post in the preseason, and I think this is the year he cracks the 20 ppg ceiling... the big question for this squad is whether they elect to go "traditional" with Rashard Lewis at the 3, or whether they continue to go with the charade that he can play the 4 with Pietrus at the 3... In losing Hedo before last season, they gave away their chief non-Howard advantage, which was the ability to play with those 2 6'10 versatile forwards and out-matchup everyone... without Hedo, Lewis got exposed regularly at the 4 on defense, and there wasn't another option at the 3 that could make up for it... my question was: Why go out and get Brandon Bass if you were going to try and play non-traditional still?... I think, judging from the preseason and what SVG has said, that Anderson and Bass will get minute bumps, and they'll play Lewis more at the 3... anyway... the ceiling with this team stems from Vince Carter as the #2 option... I've stated (and it played out last year) that no one with Vince as this significant a part will ever win the title.. I just can't see it... especially without a dominant #1 offensive option... Jameer took a step back in 2009-10 too, and they need him to be as good as he was pre-injury two years ago...
Ryan: Hm...I think in my mind if Dwight is poised to breakout then you can't really have someone like Bass there to clog up the post..having Pietrus and Lewis at the 3 and 4 works for the philosophy that they have been doing the last few years.I'd feel more comfortable with Bass being a non-starter personally. Also Lewis got used in vs Boston partly because he didn't make shots..he had opportunities to make them pay and pull KG away from the basket but he didn't convert.I think if he hits those people wouldn't be so hard on him (although it wasn't the only reason they lost)... and of course Wince Carter is the real key to how far Orlando will go..but with that said...its Wince..I think the best part of his whole game is hearing all the media types on TV dance around calling him soft..which he is...
Brad: Yeah, my original idea for breaking down Orlando's title chances was to simply state "Vince Carter is their crunch-time scorer"... lol... says it all, huh? It's gotta be a frustrating ideal for that fan base considering the stockpiling of talent, and the best big in the game, but having that glass ceiling b/c they've somehow done it all without acquiring a go-to-scorer (partially due to paying Lewis the league's biggest contract, yikes)... I think it's the same old story... fantastic regular season team that gets bounced by Boston in Round 2... seems simple enough? Prediction: 2nd in the East
Ryan: Yeah I think that was the best summary of any team either of us has done..unless Wince acquires something he hasn't had ever(go-to mentality) the team will get bounced in round two by either or Boston... sad really because I'm favorable towards everyone else on the team except him...ah well... Prediction: 2nd in the East