As the NBA lockout continues to have basketball fans awaiting for the league to start, coach Stan Van Gundy looks to prepare his team for another run at the title. The two time NBA All Star game head coach looks to utilize all the talent that the Magic obtained last year, after their blockbuster trade that sent Jason Richardson, Earl Clark and Hedo Turkoglu to Orlando. They finished second in the Southeast division with 52 wins but they were eliminated right away by the streaky Atlanta Hawks in 6 games. They have never won an NBA championship and fans are hoping that Stan Van Gundy can finally take this team to the next level.
With legendary center Patrick Ewing as one of his assistant coaches, it is not a secret that Stan Van Gundy focuses on his big man Dwight Howard to help lead the team back to the playoffs. The team likes to work in and out, as Jameer Nelson would be the main facilitator as opposing big men clog the middle to help stop Dwight. As teams funnel in to the middle, this leaves shooters like Hedo and JJ Redick to have their way from the three point line. They have been able to build a solid system and it seems like they have all the right pieces. Jason and Quentin Richardson are solid role players, who both play the shooting guard and small forward spots.
At 52 years old, the head coach started as an assistant at the University of Wisconsin under Stu Jackson and he eventually became the head coach. He had a record of 135-92 in 8 years of college coaching.
Though Van Gundy does not have a laundry list of coaching awards in the NBA, he certainly has respect in the league as a legit coach. He started in 1995 as an assistant for the Miami Heat. He stayed as the Heat assistant for 8 years before he became their head coach. After just three years as the Heat’s head coach, he moved to Orlando to take over for Billy Donovan.
Now that the Orlando Magic are revamped with a new look and they have some fresh faces, Van Gundy hopes to implement a few new strategies to help take this team back to the Eastern Finals and hopefully to the Finals. Van Gundy knows that in order to get to the Finals, he will have to ultimately beat the Big Three in Miami. As Orlando seems to be missing a third member, Jameer Nelson, Dwight Howard and Jason Richardson will need their role players to step up during each game. They have some great young talent in Cal big man Ryan Anderson, who is proven to hit the three pointer. The Magic were also able to get one time prominent scorer and All Star Gilbert Arenas. As Van Gundy feels he has enough players, Orlando fans are buying their Magic tickets now in the hope of another great season.