Friday's Magic Word | Magic Basketball

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May 21

Friday’s Magic Word

  • Tania Ganguli of the Orlando Sentinel: “The Orlando Magic are well aware of how important this weekend. Center Marcin Gortat called it the most important weekend of the season. After practice on Friday, Magic coach Stan Van Gundy acknowledged that the season would be judged based on how the team performed in the playoffs. He said the expectations surrounding the Magic are a good thing and right where the franchise wants to be.”
  • John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com: “For two days since the Orlando Magic plummeted into a shocking 0-2 hole, Rashard Lewis has had plenty on his mind. He’s thought repeatedly about ways to get himself more involved in the offense, he’s steamed over the trash talk from the Boston Celtics and he’s listened to the noise about how the Magic are done. All of it, combined with the frustration of losing the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals, has raised the dander of the mild-mannered, soft-spoken Lewis. He vowed on Thursday that the Magic might be overlooked now and little expected of them, but by Saturday’s Game 3 people will see there is still plenty of life left in this team.”
  • Dan Savage of OrlandoMagic.com thinks there’s still hope for the Orlando Magic in the 2010 NBA Eastern Conference Finals: “With each step taking me closer to the Magic’s locker room, I feared I’d see a room with heads held low and the look of utter defeat. But upon my arrival, I witnessed the near antithesis of my worries. The team’s facial expressions and body language still reflected determination and a complete belief that they could turn this series around. And that’s the moment that initiated my metamorphosis from a sullen disbeliever to an all-biases-aside-writer who sincerely thinks that Orlando’s Finals run is far from over. “
  • Rob Mahoney of ProBasketballTalk responds to Matt Barnes‘ comments about Paul Pierce being a flopper: “Paul Pierce is a fantastic player, but the infuriating thing about him is that he stands (or falls?) amongst the most egregious floppers. It’s one thing for Paul to exaggerate a bump on the way to the rim, but the way he collapses on the floor after minimal incidental contact or pretends to be hit in the head while shooting seems like it should be beneath him. He’s honestly too good of a player to be compensating like that. […] Barnes’ quote applies more to a singular incident of Pierce’s flopping than a general trend, but his point stands. However, that doesn’t mean I’m here on a holy crusade to rid the world of the flopping abomination. That’s the problem, actually. No matter how much we rant and rave, there isn’t a convenient solution to get rid of this kind of play. Pierce will continue to go on rewarded for what he does, and there’s really not much the NBA can do about it.”
  • Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post: “A lot of things need to happen for the Magic to make this series interesting again. Three-point shooting is just one aspect. But it’s an important aspect. Getting to the foul line more–[Dwight] Howard and [J.J.] Redick are the only two players do to it consistently–can offset the lack of three-point chances, but it’s clear that the Magic need to rediscover what they did against the Celtics in the regular season. In those 4 games, Orlando got 27 of its 78 three-pointers from the corners, or 34.6%. Before the Conference Finals, the Celtics adjusted. Now, the Magic need to counter. Otherwise, they’ll be vacationing sooner rather than later.”
  • Mickael Pietrus speaks!
  • Assistant coach Patrick Ewing could play some basketball in his heyday.
  • Austin Burton of Dime Magazine: “I think Vince Carter can shake his reputation as a crunch-time choker and overall soft player. All he has to do is play the game of his life tomorrow.”
  • The top 10 players of the 2010 NBA Playoffs, featuring Jameer Nelson and Dwight Howard … in that order.
  • Bradford Doolittle of Basketball Prospectus: “It’s apparent that the Celtics are not going to allow Rashard Lewis to become a big factor in this series. If that trend seems to be continuing in Game 3, I’d like to see Stan Van Gundy give more time to Marcin Gortat, who has been a spark whenever he’s stepped on the floor in the first two games. I don’t always love a Gortat/Dwight Howard pairing on the Magic frontline, but I do like it against the Celtics’ starting unit. Orlando can dominate the glass and as long as Kevin Garnett is struggling with his jump shot, Gortat should be able to contend with him on the defensive end. So far, it’s felt like Van Gundy has struggled to adjust to what Doc Rivers (or Tom Thibodeau, as the case may be) has thrown at him defensively. Going really big may force Doc to make some unwanted adjustments.”
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