By Jon Barry from last night's Daily Dime:


"While watching the Magic clobber the Bulls by 29 points on Thursday for their seventh consecutive victory, I started thinking about the differences between this season's Orlando team and the one that reached the NBA Finals a year ago. What stands out to me is the fact the Magic might struggle in the playoffs without Hedo Turkoglu around to initiate the offense. Yes, he is playing poorly in Toronto, but he was Orlando's top player in the playoffs last year. He was their best playmaker.

In the playoffs when teams crank it up on defense, you need guys who can create on their own. You have to be able to create off the dribble. I don't see many guys on the Magic who can do that.

For example, Vince Carter had 25 points against the Lakers a few days ago, but he only had one assist. Jameer Nelson is healthy, which obviously is a plus, but he is not a high assist guy. Go down their roster, Mickael Pietrus, J.J. Redick, Matt Barnes -- they just don't a lot of creators and that could be a potential problem.

For whatever reason, it just hasn't worked out for Hedo with the Raptors. He is only averaging 12 points per game and he has had nights where he has made only one basket or gone scoreless. That is a big turnaround from last year when he was terrific and could easily have been an All-Star.

Vince basically replaced Hedo in the lineup. While he is getting 16 points a game, he is averaging a little less than three assists. He is much-maligned for settling for too many jumpers and not getting to the free-throw line often enough. He is in a different role than he is accustomed to because he isn't the No. 1 option in Orlando. Vince can play, but he is a different player than Hedo."

Source:
http://espn.go.com/nba/dailydime/_/p...311/daily-dime