E-mailing with the Enemy: The Orlando Magic

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Lashbrook of Orlando Pinstriped Post took a minute to answer a few questions about tonight's Nets-Magic game.

Dennis Velasco: Hi, Tyler. Thanks for the time to get down with E-Mailing with the Enemy. It's been a tough start for the Orlando Magic, beginning the season with two losses on the road to the Indiana Pacers (no shame in that) and Minnesota Timberwolves (in overtime). However, the team is coming off a home-opening victory over the New Orleans Pelicans that wasn't even close and had a fairly-balanced offensive attack with Arron Afflalo standing above everyone else with 30 points.

I'm sure most Magic fans are happy that Afflalo did well since he was the main player coming back in the Dwight Howard trade, but the team did draft Victor Oladipo this year, a player that mans the same position as Afflalo. What are the plans to utilize Oladipo. Will he come off the bench? Does the franchise continue the point guard experiment? What do you think they should do? What's going on with the power forward position where the team has a lot of depth and potential? What are three or five things that Nets fans should know going into this evening's game?

See: Orlando Pinstriped Post

Tyler Lashbrook: Right now the plan is for Oladipo to come off the bench as a reserve for either guard spot. He's averaging 30 minutes a night through three games and I imagine that time is pretty evenly split between the point and the shooting guard. As long as Jameer Nelson and Afflalo are healthy and in a Magic uniform, Oladipo will find his playing time as a reserve. As a point guard, Oladipo has been surprisingly good. He's turnover prone, yes, but he's crafty in running a pick and roll. He excels in hitting pocket passes to the popping big man and he's aggressive to the rim if the defensive big fails to step up.

I don't know that he's the point guard of the future, but playing him there allows him to develop his ball handling and playmaking for teammates. If the Magic choose to select a point guard in next year's draft, Oladipo will simply slide back to his more natural shooting guard spot. If Orlando chooses another route, Oladipo will have developed point guard skills. Win-win situation there. Personally, I'd like to see Orlando get some sort of return for either Nelson, Afflalo or Glen Davis.

Orlando's front court is banged up right now with Davis out and Tobias Harris still nursing an ankle sprain. Jason Maxiell will get the call as the starter but the real gem here is Andrew Nicholson. Nicholson's been on a groove to start the season. He scored 18 points in the first half in the season opener against the Pacers and his 62.5 percent True Shooting through three games is really something to marvel at. He's one to keep an eye on in tonight's match up.

The Nets should expect to win this game. Brooklyn is much more experienced and insurmountably more fine-tuned but the Magic should at least put on a show. Orlando is chock full of young talent -- in Nicholson, Oladipo, Maurice Harkless, Nikola Vucevic -- and though it won't equate to a lot of wins, it will be entertaining to watch. I know you'll take a blow out if you can get one, and you might get one tonight, but Orlando probably won't bore Brooklyn fans.

DV: Thanks for your time, Tyler and I hope your sentiments of a Nets win come to fruition! But, I do agree, the Magic have a young and exciting team to keep an eye on. Either way, it should be entertaining and as Maximus said, "Are you not entertained?" Down in the Magic Kingdom, it's almost all that matters.

 

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