Ah, Orlando, two periods of "really good" to "semi-great" with long stretches of mediocre to awful in between.
1. Dwight Howard (175.3 rating) - #12, Center
Resume: 2005-2010; 489 Games, 17.5 PPG, 12.7 RPG, 1.5 APG, 65.4 Win Shares, 0.707 MVP Award Shares, 3 All-NBA 1st Teams, 1 All-NBA 3rd Team, 4 All-Star Selections, 4.5 Finals Win Shares, 1.9 Conference Finals Win Shares, 2 Defensive Player of the Years ('09, '10), 2 All-Defensive 1st Teams, 1 All-Defensive 2nd Team
It's hard to know what to say about Dwight Howard. He should be the most dominant big man in basketball by far. But, he's not. At least not consistently. Sometimes I get the feeling he just plays basketball because he's 7'0 and, hey, why not?
2. Tracy McGrady (136.2) - #1, Forward
Resume: 2001-2004; 295 Games, 28.1 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 5.2 APG, 48.2 Win Shares, 0.721 MVP Award Shares, 2 All-NBA 1st Teams, 2 All-NBA 2nd Teams, 4 All-Star Selections, 2001 Most Improved Player
It's sort of eerie how much McGrady and Shaq were alike for the Magic. They both played for 4 years, put up ridiculous numbers (their PPG and win shares are almost identical), won a lot of games but couldn't put it all together, and then left with everyone in Orlando hating/loathing them. (Obviously a lot of differences, too, though - draft/free agent, money payed, position played, Shaq had significantly more playoff success.)
3. Anfernee Hardaway (121.6) - #1, Guard-Forward
Resume: 1994-1999; 369 Games, 19.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 6.3 APG, 46.3 Win Shares, 0.341 MVP Award Shares, 2 All-NBA 1st Teams, 1 All-NBA 3rd Team, 4 All-Star Selections, 2.4 Finals Win Shares, 1.9 Conference Finals Win Shares
Has anyone ever started so strong and faded so fast and so completely as Penny Hardaway? Is that why he was nicknamed Penny? Because you used to be able to take you places and get things but now he's virtually worthless? I'm going with yes. (Also, I like how Orlando had absolutely no intentions of retiring this guy's number, giving it almost immediately to McGrady.)
*4. Shaquille O'Neal (120.8) - #32, Center
Resume: 1993-1996; 295 Games, 27.2 PPG, 12.5 RPG, 2.4 APG, 48.2 Win Shares, 0.949 MVP Award Shares, 1 All-NBA 2nd Team, 2 All-NBA 3rd Teams, 4 All-Star Selections, 3 Finals Win Shares, 1.5 Conference Finals Win Shares, 1993 Rookie of the Year
Shaq will be suiting up for the Lakers, but man, those were a really impressive first four years to start a career in Orlando. (The Magic waited a bit longer, until 2009, before they started letting people wear Shaq's number again. Although it was worn by someone named "Jeremy Richardson" who probably isn't quite the caliber player that McGrady is/was.)
*5. Rashard Lewis (32.2) - #9, Forward
Resume: 2008-2010; 232 Games, 16.8 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 2.2 APG, 25.8 Win Shares, 1 All-Star Selection, 2.7 Finals Win Shares, 1.6 Conference Finals Win Shares
Lewis made the roster for the Oklahoma Seattle City ThunderSonics, but he's right on the fringe there (he's their 12th man), so a few more years should either give him a higher score with the Magic or else someone on the Thunder may surpass him.
6. Nick Anderson (31.5) - #25, Forward-Guard
Resume: 1990-1999; 692 Games, 15.4 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 2.8 APG, 52.9 Win Shares, 1.7 Finals Win Shares, 0.6 Conference Finals Win Shares
To hear some people tell it, Nick Anderson was on his way to stardom until he bricked those four free throws in the playoffs that one time. 1996, I believe, but I could be wrong. But I have my doubts. Even if he makes those free throws, he was still going to be Nick Anderson.
*7. Horace Grant (29.0) - #54, Forward-Center
Resume: 1995-1999, 2002-2003; 411 Games, 11.3 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 2.1 APG, 42.2 Win Shares, 2.4 Finals Win Shares, 1.5 Conference Finals Win Shares, 2 All-Defensive 2nd Teams
Grant will be on the Bulls roster in this tournament. These weren't his best years anyway.
8. Jameer Nelson (25.3) - #14, Guard
Resume: 2005-2010; 394 Games, 12.4 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 4.6 APG, 28.0 Win Shares, 1 All-Star Selection, -0.1 Finals Win Shares, 2.2 Conference Finals Win Shares
Yes, that's right, Nelson had negative win shares in the 2009 NBA Finals. Maybe Stan Van Gundy shouldn't have played him just for those five games... Good player, otherwise, though.
*9. Grant Hill (20.6) - #33, Forward
Resume: 2001-2007; 200 Games, 16.4 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 3.1 APG, 17.5 Win Shares, 2 All-Star Selections
Hill's obviously going to be on the Pistons. And like Horace Grant, these definitely weren't his best years anyway. (His first All-Star selection in Orlando was a vote-in where he played four games all season.)
10. Hedo Turkoglu (20.4) - #15, Forward
Resume: 2005-2009; 377 Games, 15.8 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 3.7 APG, 32.3 Win Shares, 1.7 Finals Win Shares, 2008 Most Improved Player
Look, I will always think Hedo sucks. You're just never going to convince me otherwise.
11. Darrell Armstrong (20.1) - #10, Guard
Resume: 1995-2003; 502 Games, 11.7 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 5.1 APG, 40.2 Win Shares, 0.003 MVP Award Shares, 1999 Most Improved Player, 1999 Sixth Man of the Year
I have no idea where those MVP Award Shares came from, but kudos to Darrell Armstrong for swaying at least one person into thinking he was the most valuable player in the NBA. Apparently somebody saw he already won MIP and 6th Man and apparently wanted to go for the historic trifecta. (Also, Orlando leads the league in "Most Improved Players" ... One more coming up!)
12. Dennis Scott (17.0) - #3, Forward
Resume: 1991-1997; 446 Games, 14.8 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 2.3 APG, 28.3 Win Shares, 0.9 Finals Win Shares, 0.5 Conference Finals Win Shares
I always get him confused with #14 on this list.
13. Bo Outlaw (13.2) - #45, Forward
Resume: 1998-2008; 360 Games, 6.3 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 2.2 APG, 26.3 Win Shares
Bo Outlaw? Yep, we're getting into the replacement players here with him and the next three guys.
14. Scott Skiles (12.3) - #4, Guard
Resume: 1990-1994; 384 Games, 12.9 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 7.2 APG, 24.6 Win Shares, 1991 Most Improved Player
He's the guy I think of whenever I hear "Dennis Scott." Of course, he's also who I think of whenever I hear "Scott Skiles," so... sorry Dennis Scott. Also, Orlando's 4th and final MIP. Amazing that many guys from a single franchise can win won award that's so meaningless.
15. Pat Garrity (8.8) - #8, Forward
Resume: 2000-2008; 513 Games, 7.4 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 0.8 APG, 17.6 Win Shares
Okay, we're almost done...
16. J.J. Redick (8.3)
Resume: 2007-2010; 222 Games, 7.0 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 1.3 APG, 11.0 Win Shares, 0.7 Finals Win Shares, 0.8 Conference Finals Win Shares
And we close out with the team with two white guys from Notre Dame and Duke, respectively... Neeeeeeerds!
Just missed the cut:
17. Donald Royal (7.1)
18. Marcin Gortat (7.1)
*19. Mike Miller (6.4)
20. Anthony Bowie (6.2)
21. Tony Battie (5.9)
*22. Vince Carter (5.2)
23. Derek Strong (5.2)
Outlook: I kinda like this team. Oh, wait, they don't get Shaq, Rashard Lewis, Horace Grant, or Grant Hill? Okay, never mind.