Monday, January 16, 2012

Ryan Anderson is Playing Like an NBA All-Star

Whether he's voted in as one is another issue. It's been 12 games now into this 2011-2012 Orlando Magic season, which means we are just a tad over one-third of the games through until All-Star Weekend dominates the Orlando area. There's only 15 days remaining until all ballots are tallied up. Ryan Anderson is assisting himself a lot by just scoring a career-high 30 points in the Magic's 102-93 victory at Madison Square Garden. Orlando currently sits at a Southeast division leading 9-3. With 4 games in five days this week against the likes of the Spurs and Lakers, I consider this Ryan's 'showcase week' to anyone considering to vote for him in the write-in section. So far so good. Dwight Howard may not be the only Magic man representing the City Beautiful come the Sunday February 26th exhibition game. 18.25 ppg, 7.25 rpg, 46.9% field goal shooting, 44.8% from 3-point range, and 90% from the free throw stripe is mighty tough to ignore. 

Ryan is leading the NBA in 3-point makes and attempts. Mr. Anderson is the 5th highest scoring forward in the East, and the 3rd highest scoring Eastern Conference power forward behind Andrea Bargnani and Chris Bosh. Ryan is also 8th in rebounding among all East forwards. Ryno, since Otis Smith acquired him from that Vince Carter-Courtney Lee trade, has been groomed to be the starting power forward next to Dwight. Things seem to be clicking for Mr. Anderson finally in SVG's system. He appears to have the starting PF spot all to his own with Big Baby appearing content to come off the bench as the backup center and power forward. Ryan may indeed also get an invite to participate in the 3-point shooting contest with the above stats I've posted, which would be as exciting a chance for Ryan as it would if 'Snoggle' became an official All-Star event. It's also important to not ignore the fact that Ryno is a serious Most Improved Player contender as well. 

Stan Van Gundy is quite the sneaky motivator. Unfortunately, since Mr. Anderson is relegated to just a write-in option, it'll probably have to come down to a coaching selection. Your generic fans definitely care more about guys like Amar'e Stoudemire, Bosh, and Kevin Garnett participating. But if Magic fans definitely tried, a dent could definitely be made in the voting results. After all, Hedo Turkoglu is the 10th highest in Eastern Conference forwards votes. Worse comes to worse, Ryno continues to prove as a solid sidekick alongside Dwight and that maybe Mr. Anderson gets rewarded with a 3-point shootout invitation. A little song and dance video campaign couldn't hurt. Ryan is charismatic and funny enough to where he can be a viable marketing tool in the Central Florida area if given a chance. He's a young talent on the verge of being much more. There's a reason why Otis and the Magic front office want Ryno and Redick to be a part of this franchise's core going ahead. 

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