Will Billy Donovan Succeed in the NBA?
And frankly, it has less to do with Donovan and more to do with the situation he's inheriting. He has one of the Top 10 players in the game in Dwight Howard. Howard is only 21 and coming off a season in which he averaged 15 points and 15 rebounds a game. Second, he's coming to one of the premiere free agent destinations in the league that has an extremely desirable cap situation (the team's highest paid player next season will be Hidayet Turkoglu at only $6.3 million). Plus, Orlando plays in the wide open Eastern Conference, which will only get worse as Greg Oden and Kevin Durant head to Western Conference teams.
So Donovan has his all-star, a potential marquee free-agent, a pile of cash to spend on players and one of the NBA's most attractive cities for a free agent. That's more than we can say for Mike Montgomery in Golden State, Lon Krueger in Atlanta, Tim Floyd in Chicago and more of the failed college to NBA coaches.
We think he'll be a bit hit in Orlando. What do you think?
I've been telling people for the past year that the Magic have the pieces to build a potential dynasty with the young players they have now. And Donovan might just be that last piece they need to be a part of the NBA's elite teams.
Can you imagine their starting lineup, five years from now:
PG Jameer Nelson - keeping the pressure off D Howard w/ his scoring abilities and running the show
SG JJ Redick - Lighting it up from deep, stretching defenses (Lee Humphrey, anyone?)
SF Trevor Ariza - Has the potential to be a lockdown NBA defender and provide the highlight reels with acrobatic offensive plays
PF Dwight Howard - I can see him putting up 30 pts & 20 rebs a night if he learns to score more consistently with back to the basket
C Darko Milicic - Perfect complement to Howard, providing shot blocking, rebounding and midrange shooting abilities
And with Donovan at the helm, this team could be nasty.
Donovan is going to win Coach of the Year!
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