Finally a Point Guard... or Two or Three

Philip Maymin
Basketball News Services 

By the end of today, the Magic will have introduced at least one new point guard onto their roster. Jameer Nelson is scheduled for a press conference this morning, and the Steve Francis hostage situation may soon be over. "I was mad," Francis said, "but now I'm cool about everything."

If Francis does make the leap to Disney World in exchange for Tracy McGrady, with lots of extra parts thrown in by both teams, then the Magic will have one of the smallest and quickest back courts in the league. If Nelson and Francis play side-by-side as many great point guard tandems often do (e.g. Gary Payton and Sam Cassell when they were both Bucks), and Grant Hill is healthy enough to play a little three, that's a nice backcourt. With Dwight Howard and Drew Gooden at the four, that means the only spot on the floor the Magic are not fielding a name-brand player is at center.

Perhaps Howard and Gooden can play as a tandem of power forwards, flanked by essentially three point guards (remember that Hill was being planned to run the point next year). That would be a very interesting, very fast, and very athletic roster. They wouldn't be able to defend a traditional team with a big center very well, but then again who can? And on the other hand, opposing teams would have at least as much difficulty matching up with the Magic.

Johnny Davis could have himself a field day running an up-tempo and athletic team of Nelson, Francis, Hill, Howard, and Gooden. It sure would be fun to watch.

Jameer Nelson will be introduced to the media at 10:30am today by the Orlando Magic. Is there another announcement in store for today as well?


Our own Steve "BskBALL" Kyler writes inHoopsworld.com: As the stories of the Draft filter down about the who’s and the why’s, no single story will get more play than the Orlando Magic’s decision to draft high school stud Dwight Howard over proven collegiate big man Emeka Okafor... The focus in Orlando has not been on what was wrong with Emeka, rather how many things Dwight did better than Emeka.At the end of the day Emeka simply was not the player the Magic wanted and not by any flaw of his own, only the perception in Orlando was that Howard was a better fit.

Paul Angilly ofThe Bristol Presswrites: The Orlando Magic may have actually done UConn card and memorabilia collectors a favor by selecting high school star Dwight Howard over former Husky Emeka Okafor with the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday's 2004 NBA draft... Being the top overall pick would have made Okafor's upcoming rookie cards even more costly than they will now be.

John Denton ofFlorida Todaywrites: One way or another, the Orlando Magic are set to introduce their new point guard today.Jameer Nelson, the player Orlando traded for on draft night, will meet the media today at 10:30 a.m. at the team's headquarters. And apparently there's a chance he could be joined by fellow point guard Steve Francis.

Brian Schmitz ofThe Orlando Sentinelwrites: In the race to become the Orlando Magic's No. 1 draft choice, Emeka Okafor broke to a big lead. Then Dwight Howard left the gate, riding hard and closing fast. Howard passed Okafor and comfortably pulled ahead down the homestretch to Commissioner David Stern's podium. The only way Okafor could have won is if Howard, the young colt, threw a shoe or a fit and acted like a 3-year-old.So say the Magic.