Thursday's Magic Word | Magic Basketball



Apr 01

Thursday’s Magic Word

  • Marc Berman of the New York Post: “Tracy McGrady said he would love to sign next season with Orlando, where he hails from, and ripped the former Magic president who traded him. ‘Of course because it’s home, that’s home,’ McGrady said yesterday before the Knicks’ 118-90 loss to the Blazers at Rose Garden. ‘I hated it that I left. I hated I left because I established myself there and made a name for myself. It was a situation where the GM [John Weisbrod] that was there made a huge mistake.’ ”
  • Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk chimes in on the possibility of McGrady joining the Orlando Magic next year.
  • The phrase ‘peaking at the right time’ seems cliche but there’s no doubt that the Magic are playing their basketball right now, as Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post explains: “Yup, the defense has improved, little by little, each month this season. And the offense had never been better than it was last month, which is remarkable because in January it was pretty hideous, posting a pedestrian offensive rating of 109.4. But since then, both Jameer Nelson and Vince Carter have played more to their ability–and Carter, who shot 28.4% in January, could hardly have gotten worse–and Dwight Howard has asserted himself on offense. Matt Barnes seems to have found his three-point stroke as well, connecting on 46.2% of his treys since the calendar turned to February. As a result of those gradual improvements, Orlando cruised through March, with an average margin of +13.1 points per game and an efficiency differential of +14.8.”
  • presents, in hopes of helping Dwight Howard garner MVP votes. Let the campaigning begin.
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “Even with the season winding down into a playoff push, Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said after Thursday’s shootaround in Dallas that he might be increasing the playing time for some of his players instead of cutting back. Van Gundy said there will be “some games where we play them big minutes.” Van Gundy said that none of the Magic players rank in the top 40 in minutes played.”
  • John Schuhmann of places Howard on his All-Defensive First Team: “For the second straight season, Howard is the anchor of the No. 1 defense in the NBA. The Magic lead the league by allowing just 99.7 points per 100 possessions. They’re also the best team at defending low-post bigs, allowing just a .492 true shooting percentage from the other five big men on the list. With Howard patrolling the middle, the Magic allow the fewest points in the paint in the league. They also rank sixth in keeping their opponents off the free-throw line. Howard is a center who has learned how best to apply his size and athleticism, making it much easier for the rest of the team to defend the perimeter. Simply, Howard is the most important defensive presence in the league.”