Ryan Anderson was considered a throw-in in the Vince Carter deal for the Magic last summer. A promising power forward with some range that would make a nice end-of-the bench guy. But those in the know recognized that Anderson wasn’t only tall with promising rebounding numbers (19% rebounding rate- percentage of all available rebounds obtained), but he had range, and heading into a system like Orlando’s, he could really get going.
Young guys have a hard time earning minutes under Van Gundy. but under the limited minutes he got in Orlando last season, he produced. Specifically, he averaged 19 points and 8 rebounds per 36 minutes last season, and was a big part of Orlando’s regular season success.
In the playoffs? Back to the dungeon, young guy! Anderson never really got a chance to shine, and you have to wonder if it might have been worth it for SVG to take a chance on him. But just as J.J. Redick elected not to pout about his minutes under SVG and instead work hard to become the player Van Gundy wanted to be, Anderson is taking a similar approach.
Magic Basketball brings us this story from the team’s official site, outlining the work Anderson has done to improve. He’s worked on his strength and conditioning most specifically, including three-a-days that have involved heavy lifting. He actually worked so hard he slipped a weight and was bleeding from the head. He kept working.
Working on the body to add NBA weight is a huge part of a power forward’s development. If Anderson can add that physical ability and keep his perimeter range (37% from the arc last season), he could become a real asset for the Magic. And with Rashard Lewis struggling last season and his contract becoming heavier and heavier, that’s going to be a situation to keep an eye on.
One way or another, Anderson’s putting in the work.