The Magic have been hard at work gaining insights about their roster this preseason and have already come up with a five-man group that they’re fond of. John Denton of the Magic’s official site writes that Frank Vogel particularly enjoyed playing Elfrid Payton alongside Jonathon Simmons at the two with Jonathan Isaac and Aaron Gordon at the three and four, respectively, with Bismack Biyombo at center.
“That’s scary for other teams because there is a lot of athleticism out there and a lot of guys who can guard point guard through power forward,” Payton, entering his fourth year with the Magic, said. “There’s so much speed and athleticism there. Even though we’d be seen as a small unit, Jonathon [Simmons] is athletic, Isaac is athletic, A.G. is athletic and I don’t think we’d lose anything on the rebounding end. I look forward to seeing that [lineup] more.”
The scribe also notes that Isaac, while famously raw as a 20-year-old, 210-pound forward, could still be utilized as a defensive specialist for the Magic in his first year in the pros. “He’s NBA-ready to come in and impact our team on the defensive end right now,” Vogel said.
There’s more from the Southeast Division:
- The Wizards will need to come up with a suitable temporary power forward until Markieff Morris is ready to step back in, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington writes. Head coach Scott Brooks will have several options, including sliding small forward Otto Porter Jr. up to the four.
- The Magic have made a concerted effort to play a modernized style of basketball and Frank Vogel, synonymous with gritty, hard-nosed basketball from his days at the helm of the Pacers, is leading the operation. John Denton of Orlando’s official team site discusses how Vogel has handled the transition.
- The Heat have been starting Rodney McGruder at small forward but don’t be surprised if Josh Richardson gets some looks as well considering the results thus far from preseason, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes.