Monday, January 19, 2009

Morton's Fork

A Morton's Fork is when an individual is forced to make a decision between two equally unfavorable options - similar to the expression caught between a rock and a hard place.

It's roots go back to England in 1487, under the rule of Henry VII.

The Morton's Fork principle was based on a tax collection policy devised by John Morton, King Henry's financial minister and adviser.

Morton surmised that if a subject under the rule of King Henry appeared to live economically and within his means, was a good saver and could afford to give generously to the King.

If, however, the subject lived an extravagant lifestyle he, too, could afford to give largely because of his over abundance of wealth.

If you were a subject in England at the time, you clearly had no right way to go.

Fast forward to modern day and you'll see that the Orlando Magic are offering their own version of Morton's Fork to the other 29 teams in the league.

Here's how.

When it comes to inside post play, everything the Magic does begins and ends with Dwight Howard. He's a certifiable monster on the low block and his size and strength make him impossible to keep off of the offensive boards.

He leads the league in rebounding and probably put back jams as well.

The Magic complement Dwight's inside game with some pretty good outside shooters.

Rashard Lewis, Hedo Turkoglu, JJ Reddick and Jameer Nelson all possess the ability to stroke it nicely from downtown and the Magic as a team lead the league in that department also.

So NBA squads must decide whether to play Howard straight up and not send the extra defender or offer the double on the inside and have their potent shooters burn you from 3 point land.

In most instances, the situations, match-ups and the flow of the game will determine the best course of action however, the Magic have shown the ability to exploit opposing squads either way.

Just ask the Sacramento Kings.

The Magic are a top team in the eastern conference and force opposing coaches on a nightly basis to stock up on their headache pills.

All while making John Morton a proud man.

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