Courtney Lee, an up and coming guard with a decent upside, Rafer Alston, a veteran point guard who filled in admirably chemistry-wise in the absence of Jameer Nelson and 6-10 point forward Hedo Turkoglu who is a a double threat on offense(a nightmare to guard because of his size, shooting ability, playmaking abilities) are gone from the Orlando Magic. The first two via the Vince Carter trade and Hedo will leave as a free agent.
They have been ostensibly replaced by the venerable Vince Carter, who at 32 is an overpriced addition to the Magic and on his last legs. Why do I say this? Vince Carter's game revolved around his athleticism. I say that in the past tense because he can no longer rely on his quickness and leaping ability to dominate his opponents or get his shot off. I've seen him in person playing in Madison Square Garden, and all he has left is a 3-point shot, which is what the Magic had with Turkoglu, only two years younger, 4 inches taller and with arguably better offensive skills.
Their weak point isn't Turkoglu but Rashard Lewis, who at 6-10 is about as one-dimensional as they come. He is limited in what he brings to the court offensively, cannot play defense or rebound and was exposed during the Finals as a guy who shrinks under pressure.
The Orlando Magic have eliminated themselves from championship consideration because of these stupid moves. Not that it would of mattered, thanks to coach Stan Van Gundy(a.k.a. Ron Jeremy without the sword).
This guy can find more ways to lose than any coach I've ever seen.
Case in point-in the Magic's overtime loss to the Lakers during the Finals, when they were leading deep into the fourth quarter, Van Gundy made two stupid moves-benching Rafer Alston for the whole quarter and into overtime in place of a monumentally rusty Jameer Nelson, and not attacking the Lakers' big men, who were all in big time foul trouble.
As a point guard who can slash to the basket, Alston was key at this point. And where was he? On the bench. And where was Jameer Nelson? Watching Derek Fisher hit the game-winning 3-pointer right in his face.
Game over, series over. And to think that with a better coach the Magic at this point could of been up 3-1 in the series...