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ENEMY LINE an opposing team's scout sizes up the Magic
Chris Ballard
October 28, 2002
"This is a feast-or-famine team. If Orlando can keep Grant Hill healthy and Darrell Armstrong fresh, then it could really make a move, because how many teams have the talent of Hill, Armstrong and Tracy McGrady? But if any one of those three is unavailable, the Magic is in trouble. The supporting cast is the team's weakest in three years....
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October 28, 2002

Enemy Line An Opposing Team's Scout Sizes Up The Magic

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"This is a feast-or-famine team. If Orlando can keep Grant Hill healthy and Darrell Armstrong fresh, then it could really make a move, because how many teams have the talent of Hill, Armstrong and Tracy McGrady? But if any one of those three is unavailable, the Magic is in trouble. The supporting cast is the team's weakest in three years....

You have to wonder how much they can count on Hill, a high-flying guy who has played only 18 games in the last two seasons because of operations on his left ankle....

They want to start Jacque Vaughn at the point to take some pressure off Armstrong, who's 34. Every year they talk about asking less of Armstrong, but he's one of the best high-energy guys in the league. As one of the few point guards who picks you up full-court, he sets their tempo and never lets you get comfortable....

I like that Doc Rivers lets his guys go out and play. Other coaches are so controlling, but he lets them attack and take quick shots—and Armstrong is crucial to that style....

Pat Garrity is strictly a perimeter shooter, the pop guy on the pick-and-roll. If you're double-teaming and you have to pick your poison, you'd rather leave Mike Miller open, because Garrity is their purest shooter....

Orlando is not so good elsewhere. Shawn Kemp looked overweight in the preseason, and Horace Grant was recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. Even though Grant's a 37-year-old power forward, he'll probably wind up starting at center. He can still rebound, block shots and score when Armstrong penetrates and dishes....

The upside with Hill in the lineup all year could be terrific. He and McGrady are go-to guys who are going to get calls at the end of the game. You need to mix your defensive looks so they can't get comfortable, and when the clock's running down, you don't want to bail them out with a foul."

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