Each Team’s All-NBA First Team- A 30 Part Series: Part 20- The Orlando Magic
With the hype of the offseason coming to an end, I have decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to examine…medium.com
With the hype of the offseason coming to an end, I have decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to examine each team’s specific All-NBA First Team. What I mean by this is- following the criteria set by the NBA for the All-NBA Team rules, I will examine and elaborate on my picks for each team’s specific All-NBA First Team.
G- Jameer Nelson: 2004–2014
Although not the most glamorous player, Jameer Nelson’s time with the Orlando Magic was highly efficient. Nelson never produced eye-popping statistics, but what he did do was provide a consistent level of play and he displayed leadership on and off the court.
In his 10 seasons with the team, Nelson led the team in assists and was second in total points, behind only Dwight Howard. The team made six playoff appearances, with Nelson being the second best player on a majority of those teams. His 3,501 assists are the most in franchise history.
His best season came during the 2008–2009 campaign, a season in which he was named to his only All-Star game. Nelson finished that season averaging a career high 16.7 points, 5.4 assists, and 3.5 rebounds per game. The team also had tremendous success, finishing the regular season with the third best record in the Eastern Conference- ultimately reaching the NBA finals.
G- Tracy McGrady: 2000–2004
Tracy McGrady’s time in Orlando was short, but calling it anything other than electrifying would be an understatement. In his four seasons with the team, McGrady established himself as one of the best pure scorers in the NBA, leading the NBA in points per game twice. His 28.1 points per game is the highest single game average for any Magic player.
The team made three playoff appearances during McGrady’s tenure, losing in the first round all three times.
McGrady was a three-time All-Star in Orlando and was named to four All-NBA Teams (2x First Team, 2x Second Team). During his four years, nobody scored more points than McGrady did in the entire NBA.
McGrady holds the single-season franchise record for points per game (32.1 in 2003) and PER (30.3 in 2003).
F- Nick Anderson: 1989–1999
For the majority of the early years of the Orlando Magic franchise, Nick Anderson was among the faces of the franchise. He may not have ever been the best player on the team, but what he brought to the table cannot go unnoticed. He was a consistent, efficient player, who in a limited role was capable of producing borderline All-Star numbers.
During his 10 years in Orlando, Anderson played alongside the likes of Shaquille O’Neal, Penny Hardaway, and Horace Grant. Their talent combined with Anderson’s prolific shooting helped the Magic sustain early success in the franchise’s first decade. The team appeared in the playoffs five times, reaching the NBA finals in 1995.
Anderson is the franchise’s all-time leader in made three point field goals, games played, and steals.
His best season came during the aforementioned 1994–1995 season, in which he averaged 15.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.6 steals per game. He also shot a career high 42 percent from beyond the arc.
F- Hedo Turkoglu: 2004–2009, 2011–2013
Like Anderson, Hedo Turkoglu was never the most talented player on the Magic nor did he ever produce eye-catching numbers, but nonetheless, Turkoglu’s longevity and accumulation of statistics cannot be overlooked.
Of course accumulating numbers is by no means the only reason Turkoglu is on here. During the Magic’s run to the finals in 2009, Turkoglu was outstanding. In the 2009 playoffs, Turkoglu averaged 15, 5, and 5, and shot 39 percent from three. He delivered when it mattered most, and without him the Magic surely would not have made the NBA finals that season.
C- Dwight Howard: 2004–2012
Dwight Howard’s tenure with the Orlando Magic may have ended poorly, but that doesn’t mean we should discount his outstanding eight season’s in Orlando. During those eight years, Howard was an absolute stud- he established himself as both the best offensive and defensive center in the league. From 2008 until 2011, he won three consecutive defensive player of the year awards. He made the Eastern Conference All-Star Team six times and was named to an All-NBA Team six times (5x First Team, 1x Third Team). He led the NBA in rebounding six times and blocks twice.
Not only did Howard produce on an individual basis, but his play also contributed to the Magic’s success during the 2000’s. In his eight seasons, the Magic made the playoffs six times, reaching the NBA finals in 2009. Howard rejuvenated the Magic franchise, transforming the team from mediocrity into a perennial championship contender.
Howard is the franchise’s all-time leader in points scored, free throws made, total rebounds, and blocked shots. His 13.0 rebounds per game is the highest single game average for any Magic player.
His best season came during the 2010–2011 season, in which he finished second in the MVP voting. That year, Howard finished the season averaging a career high 22.9 points, 14.2 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game.