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.