Monday's Magic Word | Magic Basketball



May 03

Monday’s Magic Word

  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “Center Jason Collins played a total of only 3 minutes, 39 seconds in the Atlanta Hawks’ first-round series against the Milwaukee Bucks. But to hear Hawks coach Mike Woodson tell it, that could change when the Hawks face the Orlando Magic in the teams’ upcoming Eastern Conference semifinal series. In fact, the Hawks could take a page from the Charlotte Bobcats’ game plan. In the first round, the Bobcats employed three different centers — and those centers’ 18 available personal fouls – and forced Howard to the bench because of foul trouble in each game. Woodson said Collins will see some playing time backing up Al Horford and Zaza Pachulia.”
  • Tania Ganguli of the Orlando Sentinel shares the news that Mickael Pietrus will suit up and play in Game 1.
  • ESPN’s Jalen Rose calls the Orlando Magic the best team in the playoffs but with a caveat.
  • John Denton of “Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said that nothing that the Hawks do in the series will surprise Orlando, but he fully expects Atlanta to use 6-foot-7 guard Joe Johnson on Jameer Nelson at times in the series. Nelson was Orlando’s most consistent player against Charlotte, averaging 23.8 points and 4.5 assists while carving up Raymond Felton and the Bobcats. The Magic expect that Atlanta will use point guards Mike Bibby and Jamal Crawford on Matt Barnes and [Mickael] Pietrus, while small forward Marvin Williams will check Carter. The matchup that favors Orlando the most is the one that involves Howard against Atlanta big men Al Horford and Zaza Pachulia. [Dwight] Howard averaged 21 points, 16.8 rebounds and 3.5 blocks in four games this season against the Hawks this season while shooting 55.1 percent.”
  • The Magic’s #1 target on defense is going to be Joe Johnson.
  • Dwight Howard and head coach Stan Van Gundy chime in on the MVP voting.
  • Neil Paine of Basketball-Reference likes Orlando to win their series against the Atlanta Hawks in 5 games.
  • George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel thinks that the Magic will make quick work of the Hawks in the 2010 NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals. The stat geeks agree.

  • John Hollinger of ESPN Insider: “I’m trying to come up with a statistical indicator to favor Atlanta, and I’m drawing a blank. Orlando has home-court advantage, led the NBA in point differential and crushed Charlotte in four games in the first round despite having “Foul On You” nailed to the bench for all but 26.5 minutes a game. Meanwhile, the Hawks did little to encourage supporters by struggling past an injury-depleted Milwaukee squad in Round 1. Moreover, the head-to-head history over the past two years is pretty one-sided. Atlanta won at Orlando on opening day of the 2008-09 season by 14 points, but since then it has been all Orlando. The Magic have won six of the past seven games, including wins by 17, 18, 32 and 34. Atlanta’s only win in that span was by two points at the buzzer.”
  • Vince Carter reminisces on his dunk on 7’2” Frederic Weis in the 2000 Summer Olympics: “That was probably one of the proudest moments of my life when I did that. It’s something that you just can’t duplicate. I tell you once it happened, like a month after the Olympics, having a conversation with my buddies, I tried to jump over a guy who is 6′5″. Now Frederic Weis is 7′1″, or something like that – who’s counting? He’ might of been 7′2″, but whatever. My buddy is 6′5″. I tried to jump over him. I almost hurt him and myself at the same time. So the moon and stars must have been aligned correctly at the same time for me to do that. But, hey, whatever.”
  • Zach Lowe of Off the Dribble tackles the adjusted plus/minus issue in the NBA: “The Massachusetts Institute of Technology IT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference is regarded as a gathering of like-minded sports dorks pushing basketball statistics away from traditional measures, such as points and assists, and toward more advanced measures, including hockey-style plus/minus. But at this year’s conference in March a debate continued over whether plus/minus is relevant when evaluating individual players in basketball. Some critics contend it might work better in measuring the effectiveness of five-man lineups.”