- Tania Ganguli of the Orlando Sentinel: “You could sense Magic coach Stan Van Gundy was going to say something typically and hilariously Stan when asked about his thoughts on Amway Arena’s impending demolition. Was he sad? Was he reliving his three years calling the building home? Not quite. “It’s a building,” Van Gundy said. “It doesn’t have feelings, it’s a building.” He later added, “Sorry guys, I’m not going to shed a tear when a building comes down. Unless it’s my house.” There wasn’t much nostalgia about the Orlando Magic’s final regular season game at Amway Arena among players, either. That will be tonight against the Philadelphia 76ers.”
- This is, arguably, the greatest thing invented. Ever. You have the opportunity to give head coach Stan Van Gundy a makeover. Life is now complete.
- Neil Paine of Basketball-Reference reveals his 2009-2010 APBRmetrics awards. Unfortunately for Rashard Lewis, he ends up with the dubious distinction of winning an award for finishing with the lowest total rebound percentage out of any player in the NBA that is 6’10” or taller.
- Help Dwight Howard‘s cause by making a donation to his fund to help the kids of Haiti affected by the earthquake that struck the island in January.
- Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus: “My colleague Bradford Doolittle did find the importance of balance in a recent study, however, and it’s these kind of subtle effects I annually hope to tease out by comparing playoff teams to their most similar predecessors. My method compares the 16 playoff squads to the most similar playoff teams of the last 14 years (from the 1996 through 2009 postseasons) based on their Offensive and Defensive Ratings and pace of play (half weighted), all adjusted for league average. Each of the past teams has had their playoff performance rated, getting a point for each playoff win, losing a point for each loss and getting four points for making the playoffs (three prior to 2003, when the first round was extended to seven games) and four points for winning a series. [...] Statistically, Orlando has emerged as the league’s best team, ranking second in Defensive Rating and atop the NBA on the offensive end. That kind of balance should translate very well in the postseason, and while the Magic’s comparables are not overwhelming, they are very solid. The 2000 L.A. Lakers were the lone similar team to break through and win a championship.”
- J.J. Redick, an unsung player? Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post explains: “How can he be unsung? I’m not sure many people realize just how much he’s improved this year. He’s assisted on just 62.9% of his field goals, including a remarkably low 50.9% at the rim, which means he’s learned to create for himself off the dribble, something many NBA observers doubted he’d be able to do at this level, given his lack of size (6’04”) as an NBA two-guard. Additionally, he’s second on the Magic in foul-drawing rate; only Dwight Howard, whom many teams foul strategically, earns more trips to the foul line relative to his shot attempts. In short, Redick’s much more than a spot-up shooter or three-point specialist. He’s refined his game and is playing a key role, backing up a potential Hall-of-Famer in Vince Carter, on a championship-caliber team. And if you didn’t know that by now, well, now you do.”
- George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel states the Lakers have directly motivated the Magic as the playoffs loom.