Ryan Anderson

In Praise of Orlando’s Ryan Anderson

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Ryan Anderson has been lost in all the Dwight Howard trade drama.

Which is a shame because right now the 6’10” forward is the best stretch-four in the game — 16.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, shooting 43.5 percent from beyond the arc and grabbing 12.6 percent of the offensive rebounds when he is on the floor (and he has to get those away from Howard). Anderson will be in the three-point contest All-Star Weekend in Orlando, but he deserved serious consideration for the big game.

If you read one thing today, you might make it Eddy Rivera’s Anderson manifesto over at the fantastic blog Magicbasketball.net. He digs deep into the numbers and says Anderson is having a Kevin Love-like season.

Look no further than Kevin Love as a comparison. In fact, it’s downright eerie how similar Anderson and Love are as players.

If the numbers hold this season, Anderson and Love will become only the fifth and sixth players in NBA history to average more than three three-point field attempts per game and three offensive rebounds per game in more than 30 minutes played per game.

Like Love, Anderson is an excellent offensive rebounder and three-point shooter (ironically enough, both players will be participating in the Three-Point Shootout during All-Star Weekend in Orlando). Where their games differ, of course, is that Love is the best rebounder in the world not named Howard, and he can create his own shot (which allows him to get to the free-throw line a lot more). On defense, Love and Anderson are a wash more or less.

Go read the whole thing. Then next time you watch Orlando play, keep an eye on Anderson.

Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers dislocated shoulder in preseason game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
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Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:

Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.