A Skip Away From Disney

27 02 2009
Skip to my Lou

Skip to my Lou

Orlando has acquired Rafer Alston, who has been given the keys to the Orlando offense in wake of Jameer Nelson’s season-ending injury.

I like this move for Orlando.  Supposedly, the Magic asked about Pacers guard Jamaal Tinsley prior to the trade deadline.  But pulling the trigger to get Alston was a better move because of his familiarity with the coach.

Alston played for Stan Van Gundy in Miami five years ago.  Plus, Alston was coached by SVG’s brother Jeff.  I’m sure Skip has been invited to more than his fair share of Van Gundy Astro Jump-enchanced barbeques.

The Magic offense is really constructed around dumping the ball into Dwight Howard.  Other than that, the point really just does drive-and-kicks out to Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu.  It can definitely play to the strengths of Alston.

Although Alston’s averaging 2.75 turnovers a game since joining the Magic, I would expect that number to drop to 2 which is right around his career average.  He just needs to get accustomed to the Magic’s sets, calls and what not. 

It seems as though Alston is playing the passing lanes a little more.  You can afford to gamble more on defense with Howard around to erase any mistakes or lapses.  Alston’s stealing the ball 2.25 times a game since joining his new squad compared to his career average of 1.2.

Alston’s game is predicated on him doing some good things but also making a few mistakes along the way.  So while the turnover/steal ratio isn’t too surprising, the rate at which he’s doing it is.  Maybe the trade has made him a little hyperactive.  Only time will tell.

I would have been excited had the Magic acquired Stephon Marbury.  Clearly, losing an All-star in Jameer Nelson is a big loss but I think Orlando would have seen a better reprieve in Starbury.  He would have been custom-made to jump in and contribute on a PG-less team.

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5 responses

1 03 2009
Mike

Just passing by.Btw, your website have great content!

1 03 2009
Dave

I fully agree on Stephon Marbury, that’s exactly who I wanted Orlando to sign.

Steph would be on the perfect team for his abilities, and in particular be playing alongside the perfect best player for him in Dwight Howard — an MVP candidate who doesn’t need to dominate the ball in order to be effective, who allows his perimeter players to spend a huge amount of time on the ball — and a wide open offensive system which gives a huge amount of freedom to it’s players. Add in all those screen and rolls Orlando likes to use …. perfect home for Marbury.

Marbury also has enough individual talent to keep the Magic’s postseason hopes alive, in contrast to every other guard the Magic were linked to including the guy they landed in Rafer Alston. In my view, from a talent situation, Marbury was by far the best equipped to replace Jameer Nelson and Steph would have fitted in very well there in Orlando. There were also enough minutes there for Stephon to play 30-35 minutes a night, which would have been a huge selling point for him.

I also loved the financial side of it for Orlando. They’d get their replacement in on a minimum contract and for one year only. No possible medium-long term detrimental effects …. unlike a Tinsley and his long term deal. Marbury was the perfect stop-gap signing because he didn’t adversely effect anything in Orlando’s future, or force them to do something which they didn’t want to do (pay a backup — Rafer — that sort of coin).

Unfortunately, their GM wouldn’t take on a questionable character so it was never going to happen. It’s too bad because I think it was a great fit for team and player.

2 03 2009
K-man

100% agree, Dave. Good stuff.

3 03 2009
The Rafer Trade « nbaroundtable

[…] was my belief that Stephon Marbury was the best possible choice for the Magic — I wrote this as a comment on Feet In the […]

10 03 2009
Ryan

Magic still can’t solve Detroit though. As a Piston fan, I hope we meet the Magic in the first round, Rafer and all.

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