- Tania Ganguli of the Orlando Sentinel: “Vince Carter said he watched film of Game 1 to review his shot selection. He said he liked almost all of the looks he got and will take the same shots if he gets them again. There were a couple times when he said he forced a fadeaway, but otherwise he’s confident he can make all of those shots.”
- Carter’s personal assessment jives with my analysis of his shot selection in Game 1.
- John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com: “The closeness of the Magic, Carter said, has relieved the stress he always felt in the past to carry a franchise. It was always good to be, The Man, but sometimes it’s good to not have to be The Man, every night. ‘Matt [Barnes] and I have done it, Jameer [Nelson] and Dwight [Howard] and I have done it,’ Carter said of text-messaging with teammates before big games. ‘It’s not something you see that often in this league.’ ‘It’s rare that a group of guys know that they have each other’s back and we’re always making sure we’re on the same page. You can be watching TV, look down at your phone and see that it’s Dwight and then an hour or two later we’ve got everything out and understood.’ ‘None of the teams that I have ever played on have been like this one,’ Carter continued. ‘It’s a very unique team because we have a lot of guys with a lot of ability and have accomplished the same thing. But we also just want to win, we look out for one another and we want the best for one another. You don’t get that a lot in the NBA. You’ve seen great teams in the NBA that doesn’t get along, but this is an easy bunch to be around. We laugh and joke and our free time is spent together. It’s helped us jell even better on the court.’ ”
- Austin Burton of Dime Magazine states that Carter needs a big game tonight.
- Brad Graham of SLAM ONLINE explains why he listed Dwight Howard on his All-NBA First Team: “This season was further proof that the paint monster, Dwight Howard, has no equal. Past greats like Moses Malone, Shawn Kemp, Ben Wallace, Alonzo Mourning and others are referenced when talking about Dwight Hoard in hope of making sense of his beastly play. Truth is, he’s part Centaur, part Mr. Universe, part force of nature, part double-double machine, part dunkoholic and part future of the game, who only seems to have 20/20 vision, pun intended.”
- Award voters are idiots, according to head coach Stan Van Gundy.
- One writer predicts a double-digit victory for the Magic in Game 2.
- How can the Bobcats move Howard away from the basket? Sebastian Pruiti of NBA Playbook offers some suggestions.
- Neil Paine of Basketball-Reference wonders whether or not having momentum heading into the playoffs matters: “As you can see, there isn’t a great deal of a relationship between performance down the stretch of the regular season and playoff rounds won. Although eventual champions did tend to play at their best from February on, the teams that performed even better down the stretch were the ones who lost the earliest in the playoffs, and conference champions who lost the Finals tended to play worse throughout the 2nd half of the season! Perhaps this is because strong teams who have nothing to play for after locking up their seed (the kinds of teams who tend to make, and win in, the Finals) ease off the gas pedal down the stretch, while teams fighting to get into the playoffs scrap and claw for every win in the final stages of the regular season. But whatever the reason, it doesn’t appear that you have to necessarily be at your best at the end of the regular season to be successful in the playoffs, just as long as you bring your “A” game once the postseason begins.”