I don't think the problem is at the point position at all. Two things I read constantly on these boards are that Nelson and Arroyo are not 'Championship calibre' point guards, and that they are not 'pure' point guards - my response is to look back at previous Champions. The Bulls won it from 91-93 with BJ Armstrong and John Paxson. The Rockets won it in 94 and 95 with Sam Cassell and Kenny Smith. The Bulls from 96-98 with Ron Harper and Steve Kerr. The Spurs in 99 with Avery Johnson, Kerr and Antonio Daniels. The Lakers from 2000-02 with the likes of Harper, Derek Fisher, Brian Shaw, Tyronn Lue and Lyndsey Hunter. Look at those guys - a list of defensive specialists and tweeners, and not a single 'great' point guard amongst them, and certainly not one in the Stockton, Kidd or Nash 'pure' mould. Personally I think the trio of Magic PGs is fine.Hey Mitchell UK...
What do you think is causing the Magic to decline?
I enjoy reading your comments.
I'm not sure it's all about the Point position, though it does start there.
To win consistently we need to get Turnovers down to around 13/game. Howard, Lewis, Hedo, Jameer all turn the ball over a bit too much. We did a better job taking care of the ball earlier in the season...and when we did not, we shot out way out of trouble (shots are not falling as well as the were). We seem to have TO's at the worst times! We also need to up our free throws to about 75%. Hitting free throws does more than putting up points...it means your concentration level is high, and making the FT keeps your team on that high. It also makes the opposition play softer (tentative) defense.
My own opinion is that the lack of a genuine 4 is what is starting to hurt the Magic. Teams are taking advantage of us on the inside - as crazy as it sounds, I don't think Dwight Howard is playing as aggressively as he could, or perhaps wants to. When an opponent drives the lane, Howard has to be careful about picking up fouls because if he sits, the Magic are wide open in the interior. What we need is an aggressive power forward who knows how to defend and rebound, and who won't be afraid to give up a couple of hard fouls to send a message opponents who drive the lane. That is simply not Rashard Lewis' nature - it is not his fault, he is being asked to play out of position. If he were a bit younger, I would say go after Kurt Thomas. As it is, a guy like Udonis Haslem (unlikely because he plays for Miami) would be perfect, because he also has a reliable mid range J, or Jeff Foster might fit the bill. Having that guy to work with Howard also allows Dwight to play more freely, aggressively. It's on my wish list for the trade deadline :-)
You are right about free throws and TOs. However looking at it objectively, we have improved from 29th in turnovers last season to 15th this year. If the team continues to grow and improve together, T0s will become less of an issue. And we have to face up to the facts that when Dwight is taking roughly a 3rd of our FT attempts, we are never going to be near the top of the team FT %.