Times are changing in Orlando

Updated: January 17, 2005, 2:35 PM ET
By Chad Ford | ESPN Insider

The Upside

Orlando Magic: Steve Francis is getting some tough love for the second time in his career. Once again, it's a good thing. Magic GM John Weisbrod could care less what Francis wants to call himself or what his stats say.

He's watched Francis long enough to know this – Francis is a two guard masquerading as a point. If that wasn't evident last year when Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy tried to turn Francis into a real point guard and failed, then it became more obvious midway through this season when Magic head coach Johnny Davis started using Grant Hill and Jameer Nelson to play the point.

Steve Francis

With Francis' best friend Cuttino Mobley out of the way and Doug Christie aboard, the change should become more apparent. The Magic would prefer that Christie handle the ball, thus moving Francis to off guard. Christie has a rep as a great defender, but he's also a good distributor with an unselfish streak – something the Magic backcourt badly needs.

Chad Ford

ESPN Senior Writer