Monday's Magic Word | Magic Basketball

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Apr 26

Monday’s Magic Word

  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard refused to comment on reports that he is leaving his agent, Aaron Goodwin, but he didn’t deny them, either. “I’ll talk about it after the playoffs,” Howard said after Monday’s shootaround. “My main job is Bobcats right now.” Reached by the Sentinel on Monday, Goodwin said he would not comment on the split. [...] Magic small forward Matt Barnes told the Sentinel that he was aware of Howard’s exit from the Goodwin camp. Barnes is also represented by Goodwin and said he would not change his affiliation with Goodwin because Howard left him.”
  • The Orlando Magic put up a good television rating for Game 3 against the Charlotte Bobcats.
  • John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com: “Possessing killer instinct hasn’t been a problem all season for the Orlando Magic, so they don’t expect it to be an issue now that they are on the verge of the first four-game playoff sweep in franchise history. The Magic could have coasted in down the stretch of the regular season, but instead won 20 of 23 games to claim the NBA’s second seed for the playoffs. And no team in the NBA was better at blowing foes away as the Magic, winners of a league-best 26 games by 15 points or more. So with the Charlotte Bobcats down 3-0 in this best-of-seven first-round series, the Magic are poised to deliver the knockout punch that would send them onto the second round and likely provide some days of much-needed rest.”
  • Dwight Howard has a new nickname — “Foul on You.”
  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel provides an update for Magic fans interested in purchasing tickets for the 2010 NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals.
  • Want to see the best elimination-game performances in the league since 1991? Neil Paine of Basketball-Reference has got you covered. Penny Hardaway’s infamous back-to-back 40-plus point performances against the Miami Heat in 1997 make an appearance in the list.
  • Benson Taylor of The Baseline states what to look out for tonight: “The first postseason appearance in Bobcats history hasn’t gone the way the team envisioned: Down 3-0 to the Magic, they’re in danger of becoming the first team eliminated from the 2010 playoffs. They’ve kept Dwight Howard in foul trouble, and Vince Carter has shot 32.5 percent. The big problem (other than containing Jameer Nelson) has been on the offensive end, where the Bobcats have struggled to find any rhythm.”
  • Britt Robson of Sports Illustrated thinks Vince Carter needs to have a breakout game in the postseason, preferably sooner rather than later: “Not to close out the Bobcats, but to quell the whispers of the “haters” and the worries of Magic fans who wonder if Carter will ever warm up under the spotlight this spring. He is shooting just 32.5 percent and has missed all 13 of his three-point attempts while doling out only four assists (against six turnovers) in three games. Just as the Lakers’ Ron Artest will have to cope with fans’ fond crunch-time memories of the man he “replaced,” Trevor Ariza, Carter has the specter of Hedo Turkoglu for comparison as Orlando seeks to return to the NBA Finals. And this is one of his last, best chances to rebut the notion that he is a supremely talented underachiever. Sooner or later, the Magic will have to tap those skills in this postseason.”
  • Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post provides some commentary on head coach Stan Van Gundy‘s edict to Howard to study film of the fouls he’s committed against the Bobcats and analyzes what the Magic need to do to complete the sweep: “The first round of the NBA playoffs has been fairly kind to the Orlando Magic so far, as they hold a 3-0 series lead against the Charlotte Bobcats, a worthy opponent that’s tested them in each game so far. But if the Magic are to complete the sweep tonight in Charlotte, they’ll have to curb their turnovers, which have gotten worse in each game: turnovers ended Magic possessions 10.8% of the time in Game 1, 17.7% in Game 2, and a whopping 24% in Game 3.”
  • Henry Abbott of TrueHoop has a challenge for you — “tell the story of an NBA playoff game without talking about scoring. [...] If you’re interested, the process is simple: Publish it online somewhere, in whatever format — the written word, podcast, video, whatever. And then e-mail me a link with the subject line “defensive writing challenge” — my address is the name of this blog at gmail.com.”
  • Ken Berger of CBSSports.com: “Whether the Magic put the Bobcats out of their misery Monday night or need another game, it hardly matters. What matters is, nobody wants to embrace the Magic. Nobody wants to acknowledge how good they are. It’s a thankless job, but somebody has to do it. And that somebody might as well be me. I can understand the hesitation. Orlando has a muscle-bound superhero as its franchise cornerstone, one who can’t shoot free throws and who doesn’t even average 20 points per game (11.0 in three playoff games so far). So what if Dwight Howard is the most impactful defensive player in the NBA? So what if he’s 24 years old and still learning how to play offense? So what if he smiles and is nice to people? But Howard isn’t all everybody dislikes about the Magic. Orlando has a whiny, irascible coach who loves to kvetch about his team not getting respect. That makes people want to disrespect his team more. So what if Stan Van Gundy is a great tactician who understands his team’s strengths and weaknesses and gives good quotes?”
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