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Dwight Howard developing a jumper would be best offseason move for Magic

May 29, 2010, 11:38 AM EDT

Thumbnail image for howard_Walk.jpgThe Orlando Magic are close. They went to the NBA finals last season, the Eastern Conference finals this season. You can see a championship from where they stand.

But what is it going to take to get into the Promised Land?

It’s about getting more out of what they have, not bringing in anything new. There are already 10 guys set to be paid on the Magic roster next year and it is all the major contributors — Rashard Lewis, Vince Carter, Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson even JJ Redick will all be back (although they need to work out an extension with Redick, he can test the market but the Magic can match or extend a one-year qualifying offer).

What the Magic need more than anything is Dwight Howard to develop a jump shot. Not a Rashard Lewis bombing from three jumper, but a Kevin Garnett/Pau Gasol deadly midrange jumper. A spot along the baseline and near the free throw line where he becomes a deadly shooter that can’t be left alone.  It would change how teams have to defend him, it would open up the paint for slashers. It would make the Magic much harder to stop on offense.

This season you could count on one Dwight Howard shot outside 10 feet every other game (0.7 per game, to be specific). On those he’d shoot about 38 percent. Basically, if he lined up to take it you let him have it.

But if he had a threat from the outside he would be impossible to defend. It would add a little finesse to go with the power. He’s quick enough off the dribble that he could take centers who came out to challenge him. Help defenses would be pulled away from the basket, opening up room for Carter and Nelson to slash to the rim. The Magic would have more options.

Aside that, don’t expect huge moves from the Magic. They already have about $80 million on the books for next season, they are not going to go a lot higher. However, with the new revenue streams that will flow in when the Amway Center opens its doors, they may be able to take on a little more. Like a nice backup power forward for the midlevel exception (although they will have Brandon Bass back, they may want to give him more burn).

The Magic can get one more piece, or make some moves around the edges. But what it really comes down to is getting more out of core the pieces they have. Which is something Dwight Howard seemed to get in his post game comments.

“Next year we have got to have guys that are willing to give everything they have got to get wins,” Howard said in his televised post game press conference on NBA TV. “(Boston) played like they wanted to win the championship the whole series. That’s why they are in the position that they are in now.”

  1. Brad - May 30, 2010 at 12:14 AM

    The Magic crashed out not because of Dwight’s jump shot, but because of Rashard Lewis’ lack of one. If they get even average production from him, they probably win the series, or push it to game 7 at the very least. Fact is, they still managed to push the Celtics to 6 with him averaging single digits. He was so clutch in last year’s ECF against Cleveland. He was the polar opposite this season. You’d expect more from your highest paid player.
    As for Howard, how about perfecting a consistent go-to post move and FT shooting before going mid-range on everyone?l

  2. Randall - May 30, 2010 at 7:34 AM

    The only shot he needs is a foul shot. Get the man some help. Lewis? Vinpotent? I wasn’t impressed.

  3. planktonDisciple - May 30, 2010 at 11:46 AM

    Dwight is amazing. But his defenders are blind if they don’t think he needs a midrange jumper. A pro basketball player should know how to execute the fundamental task of shooting a basketball. It is not outrageous to expect an NBA player to hit 70-80% of his free throws.
    He has the absolute best inside game, but it could be so much better if he was a decent set/jump shooter from 15ft. Not only does it open the paint for the rest of the team, he could also develop an ability to put it on the floor and drive. Then he could fake a shot and take it to the hole. He has the athleticism to be best ever.
    Will he do the work? A superstars job is partly to make the others on their team better. Yes others did not shoot from the outside as well as they could. But Howard could’ve gotten them easy baskets and easy baskets get people going.

  4. Tex - May 30, 2010 at 4:06 PM

    The Magic are jinxed by their owner’s corrupt business. Rich DeVos needs to shut down the Amway Tool Scam.
    Amway has ripped off millions of people for several decades, to the tune of 10s of billions of dollars. Read about it on this website: http://thenetprofitgroup.yolasite.com and forward the information to everyone you know, so they don’t get scammed.
    Amway is a scam, and here’s why: Amway pays out as little money as they can get away with, so they support the higher level IBOs ripping off their downline via the tool scam.
    As a result, about 99% of IBOs operate at a net loss, while the top 1% make several TIMES more from their Amway tool scam than from the Amway products. This was made illegal in the UK in 2008, but our FTC is unable to pull their heads out of their butts to stop it here.

  5. Tex - May 30, 2010 at 4:08 PM

    The Magic are jinxed by their owner’s corrupt business. Rich DeVos needs to shut down the Amway Tool Scam.
    Amway has ripped off millions of people for several decades, to the tune of 10s of billions of dollars. Read about it on this website: http://thenetprofitgroup.yolasite.com and forward the information to everyone you know, so they don’t get scammed.
    Amway is a scam, and here’s why: Amway pays out as little money as they can get away with, so they support the higher level IBOs ripping off their downline via the tool scam.
    As a result, about 99% of IBOs operate at a net loss, while the top 1% make several TIMES more from their Amway tool scam than from the Amway products. This was made illegal in the UK in 2008, but our FTC is unable to pull their heads out of their butts to stop it here.

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