Originally posted on Stepien Rules  |  Last updated 9/25/12

Over the next couple weeks, we will be projecting who finishes where in the Eastern Conference this season. From last place to first, yesterday was the Charlotte Bobcats, today the Orlando Magic.

#14: Orlando Magic

The Orlando Magic have officially gone from one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference, to one of the worst. All because of one player: Dwight Howard. Unlike Lebron James, Howard allowed the Magic time to trade him because he eventually said he was not going to re-sign with them. Because of this, the Magic received a couple players and some first round picks as compensation for Howard in a multi-team trade. Unfortunately, the Magic will be in rebuilding mode for many seasons to come.


Although Orlando may have their core group of players back outside of Howard, losing the best big man in the game will make it a very long season for the Magic and their fans. Howard not only averaged a double-double, but he was also always one of the top defensive players in the game for the past few years.

But onto the current team, Jameer Nelson and Hedo Turkoglu will have to carry this team in order for them to win some games this year. Although they are capable of doing so, the rest of the supporting cast is not the greatest.

According to ESPN, the Magic projected starting lineup is:

PG: Jameer Nelson
SG: Arron Afflalo
SF: Hedo Turkoglu
PF: Glen Davis
C: Gustavo Ayon

Honestly, I do not see where they can score enough points with this starting lineup to compete with most teams in the NBA. Also, now that they do not have the big man in the middle of the paint, teams will now be able to score against them a lot easier than before. I do not see this team winning more than 16-17 games this season.

For the Magic, trading Howard because he was not going to re-sign with the team at the end of the season was a very smart decision because it allowed them to receive something in return. Unfortunately, they still will not be a playoff team for many years to come. With Nelson, they have a solid point guard that they can start building around with all of their first round draft picks they have in the coming years. In Turkoglu they have a veteran leader who can teach the young guys that they draft how to play the game at the top level. It is amazing how a team can go from top to bottom during one off-season, but that is exactly what has happened to the Orlando Magic.

Josh Poloha is a Senior at The Ohio State University and our newest contributor here at StepienRules.com. Per Josh: I love my Cleveland sports teams and Ohio State! It would be my dream to be involved with and work in sports for the rest of my life! Follow me on Twitter: @JorshP! You can also contact me at poloha.1 [at] osu.edu. 

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Panthers owner Jerry Richardson being investigated for workplace misconduct

WATCH: Gronkowski refuses to discuss suspension, walks out of presser

Cousins complains refs unfairly target him on technicals

FIFA threatens to expel Spain from World Cup

Muhammad Wilkerson not traveling with Jets due to ‘coach’s decision’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Floyd Mayweather says UFC offered him $1 billion

Porzingis: Knicks fans should show Carmelo ‘love’ in return

Pete Carroll, Sean Payton fined for going onto field

Hot mic catches what LeBron James said to Lonzo Ball

Carlos Santana reportedly signs three-year deal with Phillies

Browns GM: Anything short of competing for division title in 2018 'unacceptable'

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mr. Jones goes to Washington

The 'It's the most wonderful bowl of the year' quiz

NHL Weekender: Bolts keep striking, Preds on the hunt

Chargers are the AFC team no one wants to play in January

Donald Trump's quotes vs. the sports world in 2017

Five MLB teams that should trade for Manny Machado

The 'It's always chilly in Indiana' quiz

NFL puts safety entirely on players, again

Eight NFL teams who simply need to start over

Most important player on every team in each bowl matchup

NFL Week 15 Predictions

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Boogie, Z-Bo reach out and punch someone

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mr. Jones goes to Washington

NHL Weekender: Bolts keep striking, Preds on the hunt

The 'It's the most wonderful bowl of the year' quiz

Donald Trump's quotes vs. the sports world in 2017

Chargers are the AFC team no one wants to play in January

The 'It's always chilly in Indiana' quiz

NFL puts safety entirely on players, again

Most important player on every team in each bowl matchup

NFL Week 15 Predictions

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Boogie, Z-Bo reach out and punch someone

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker