Friday's Magic Word | Magic Basketball

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Apr 09

Friday’s Magic Word

  • Great post from Tania Ganguli of the Orlando Sentinel: “After signing a No. 12 jersey, Magic center Dwight Howard helped 21-year-old Brandon Young from Apopka put it on, then invited Young to join his daily post-practice (or post-shootaround) drills. Young has cerebral palsy. He’s blind in his left eye. He has a box implanted in his chest through which his father can remotely help calm his epileptic seizures. He loves the Magic and because he does, his whole family does also. This morning Young’s parents, Michael and Nancy, brought him to shootaround to meet some of the players. ‘It’s unbelievable. All the stuff he goes through on a daily basis. I don’t know how I would do it if I was in his position,’ Howard said. ‘It’s great to see the effect, sometimes we don’t even know it, just saying hey to a kid, smiling how big of a difference that makes to their life. Brandon, he was so excited he was really jumping for joy, just to be out here, making a shot. Me and the rest of the guys, that’s something all of us really enjoy.’ ”
  • Ian Thomsen of Sports Illustrated reveals his official ballot and chooses Dwight Howard as the Defensive Player of the Year:” The Magic are tied for first in field-goal defense because Howard dominates the paint in addition to the defensive boards. Orlando’s commitment to team defense — as well as its spread-the-floor offense — is built entirely around Howard’s overwhelming presence inside.”
  • Tally two more Defensive Player of the Year votes for Howard from Marc Stein of ESPN.com and Lang Whitaker of SLAM ONLINE.
  • Here’s an update on the race for the overall No. 2 seed, courtesy of John Hollinger of ESPN Insider: “There has been some confusion about how a tie would be settled in the event of a Lakers-Magic Finals rematch. The league office confirmed for me this morning that since the two teams split their regular-season series, the tie would be decided by record against the opposite conference. That tiebreaker would favor the Lakers, who are 22-8 against the East, while the Magic are 20-10 versus the West.”
  • Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post takes a look at the Orlando Magic‘s chances of passing the Los Angeles Lakers in the standings in the last four games of the regular season.
  • Wondering if Vince Carter deserves to be in the Hall of Fame when it’s all said and done? Neil Paine of Basketball-Reference breaks down Carter’s chances: “I don’t think he gets in, barring some kind of postseason success with Orlando (and even that may not be enough). It’s much easier to make a case for him never stepping foot in the Hall than it is to argue for his induction, and this simple fact is going to weigh heavily on the minds of the voters. David Thompson was inducted despite never reaching his potential, and his fall from grace was actually less defensible than Carter’s Toronto tankfest (drugs and a knee injury — caused by falling down the stairs at Studio 54 — ruined Skywalker’s career), but Thompson was also a winner/statistical monster in college, and his long-run impact was massive: he helped further legitimize the ABA, leading to the merger; he helped pioneer the high-flying, dunking style we see today; he influenced the Greatest Player Ever™ more than anyone else; his career-ending drug addiction was one of the prime incidents that motivated the league to clean up its image… etc. In other words, Thompson gets a pass where Carter doesn’t because Thompson came first, and people view Thompson’s career arc as tragic, while they see Carter’s career arc as self-inflicted. Is this fair? Probably not. But is Carter as talented as Thompson was? Probably not. Thompson was viewed as arguably the best player in basketball during the 1978 season, and we’ve already established that Carter was never viewed as the NBA’s top player, even at his peak.”
  • Dime Magazine reveals the top 10 dunks … from 1995. Check it out, if only to see a glimpse of vintage Penny Hardaway.
  • Howard explains why he hasn’t gotten any technical fouls lately.
  • Head coach Stan Van Gundy talks about rest.
  • Tracy McGrady reminisces on his time in Orlando: ” ‘I just want to be now where I can win,’ he said. ‘Honestly, I wish I had never left here. I really miss it. It was unfortunate that we couldn’t put together the pieces that make it how it is today. I guess I was just here at the wrong time. It’s not like I wasn’t producing. I just got tired after four years of grinding it out every night, having to do everything. It was wearing out my body.’ McGrady, who grew up in Central Florida, still holds many of the Magic and Amway Arena scoring records. He scored 62 points at Amway Arena against the Wizards in 2004. He scored 40 points or more 25 times for the Magic. Unfortunately, he often was a one-man show on a bad team. His 32.1 point average during the 2002-03 season is the second-highest NBA scoring average in the last 17 years. ‘I think about it (his days in Orlando) all the time. How can I not? It was a fun place to play. I always had so much family here. It was great to look into the stands and see all my people sitting there,’ he said. ‘But you move on.’ ” Here’s more from T-Mac.
  • Art Garcia of NBA.com examines J.J. Redick‘s emergence this season.
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