Sunday's Magic Word | Magic Basketball

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May 23

Sunday’s Magic Word

  • Tania Ganguli of the Orlando Sentinel: “In 1989 after sweeping through the first three rounds of the NBA playoffs, the Los Angeles Lakers met the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Finals. But with Los Angeles’ Byron Scott and Magic Johnson out with hamstring injuries, the Bad Boy Pistons won the championship in a four-game sweep. That win avenged a Pistons Finals loss to the Lakers in 1988 — the last of the Showtime Laker championships. The Pistons’ sweep was the only time since the current 16-team format, that a team that was previously playoff perfect was swept. In fact, no team since has been swept after coming off a sweep. But that could very well change this week. […] If the Celtics sweep the Magic, Orlando will become the first team since the first round went from five games to seven games, to get swept after starting the playoffs 8-0.”
  • The Boston Celtics aren’t worried about not being able to finish off the Orlando Magic in Game 4 of the 2010 NBA Eastern Conference Finals.
  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “The Orlando Magic aren’t just searching for answers after their humiliating 94-71 loss to the Boston Celtics last night. Right now, the Magic’s problems extend far beyond X’s and O’s. The team is searching for heart. The team is searching for composure. The team is searching for anything that will help it avoid being swept out of the Eastern Conference finals.”
  • Head coach Stan Van Gundy (via John Schuhmann of NBA.com): “I think we have not been a team that’s been a soft team. We have not been a mentally weak team. We have not been a team who hasn’t competed. Now, last night, we were. But that doesn’t need to define us. And we need to make sure tomorrow night that does not define who we are.”
  • Shaun Powell of NBA.com — surprise, surprise — criticizes Rashard Lewis‘ contract.
  • Sean Deveney of The Baseline believes the Magic need to restore pride in tomorrow’s game: “Game 4 has to be looked at as an important game. This group, with Dwight Howard in the middle surrounded primarily by Jameer Nelson, Vince Carter and Rashard Lewis, is going to be together again next year, with just a handful of meaningful free agents (J.J. Redick and Jason Williams, plus Matt Barnes can opt out of his contract) and probably the year after that, too. What we saw last year from the Magic in the conference finals win over Cleveland was a resiliency that got them through difficult moments. What we’ve seen from the Magic this year in the conference finals has been a disappointing willingness to tuck tail and hide. And that’s not just bad in terms of this series. That’s bad for the franchise as a whole.”
  • Courtney Lee was at the Game 3 watch party at Wall Street Plaza.
  • Words of wisdom from Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post: “After the loss, I started thinking about all the people whom the Magic let down last night. I thought about the fans, primarily. The loyal customers who spend big bucks on seats and, ahem, helped pay for a brand-new building that will open this October. But until now, I hadn’t considered Van Gundy and GM Otis Smith. Maybe that’s selfish on my part, sure. But those guys have done everything they can to put this team in position to win. Smith, with owner Rich DeVos‘ blessing, spent big last summer to upgrade the Magic. And Van Gundy, with the help of his staff, has worked tirelessly for this team. They deserve better. The fans do as well. Ire toward Van Gundy and Smith is misguided. They did, and are doing, their part to bring this city a championship. The players now have to hold up their end of the bargain.”
8 comments
Eddy Rivera
Eddy Rivera

@Mikeyho

I think it's a little absurd to not call Howard a superstar, simply because the Magic ran into a team that is perfectly suited to defend all their strengths offensively. I do agree that, ultimately, Howard needs to continue to improve on offense if Orlando wants to win a title but that's a wait-and-see proposition. We'll see what happens in the off-season.

As for Redick, I would expect Otis Smith to match anything up to the mid-level exception if I had to guess. Redick has proven this year that he's a starting-caliber player, so he'll net a few million.

@hulKK

Want to know where Lewis has been? Ask Kevin Garnett ... he's blanketed him the entire series. Lewis is partly to blame for his struggles, but have to give Garnett and the Celtics credit for not allowing him to do anything offensively. It's amazing how a series can change people's perceptions of Lewis but it is what it is.

hulKK
hulKK

Otis is smart and I'm sure he was has a plan just in case this would happen( magic NOT winning it all) First I wana saythis isn't Stan's fault at ALL! I don't think there's a smarter/hardworking coach out there. There really is no direct blame. Except maybe, WHERE THE HELL IS RASHARD WITH OUR(the fans) 110million DOLLARS??? We were only 2 baskets away from winning the 1st 2 games. As for the butt kicking in game 3, well we were due for one. We had been playing EXCELLENT ball for all most 2 months straight. It was bound to happen. We(fans) shouldn't panic. We have players on our roster that are good with small contracts(Bass, Gortat, etc.) And if JJ is smart he'll resign with us. As long as Dwight is on the team, JJ should follow. They just didn't play with heart this series and that has nothing to do with Stan or Otis. The players have to realize who they're letting down right now. Nobody can save them from themselves but THEMSELVES. AND Rashard MUST make shots!

Mikeyho
Mikeyho

Hey Eddy, you really think the Magic will match for Redick? How much is Redick going for?

Mikeyho
Mikeyho

If we are exposed like this... it has to be on Dwight. He's not a superstar if he can't win with all the talent built around him specifically.

We just can't have shooters around Dwight. We need a real offensive threat we can build around. Dwight can dominate on defense. Inside out is fun to watch but the right team (any team that can single Dwight) can take it away.

I suppose that's what Vince was for (to build our offense around) but I don't think it's his fault. I think Lewis doesn't move enough. It's nice to see J.J. run around and I feel we need more of that.

Our offense works great against a lot of teams... but only one team that it doesn't work against can crush our hopes.

So it's also Stan's fault but I think he realizes that now. Dwight can't deliver on offense, and Stan needs to change that part of their game.

This post is all one big question for anyone to answer cause I'm not a basketball expert.. I'm just venting.

Eddy Rivera
Eddy Rivera

@Billy (slickw143)

The Nets will be fine, as will C-Lee.

@Adolfo

We'll see if the Magic show some pride in Game 4.

@Ferric

Otis Smith and company won't lose perspective, even if the Magic are swept tomorrow. There will be changes in the off-season, but some of them were going to be inevitable anyway.

Ferric
Ferric

I think the Magic really need to win this coming game and avoid a sweep. They need to do this for the fans and for managment. The Magic have some key role players that are coming up in free agency. And if the Magic just roll over and die tomorrow, what is the incentive for management to shell out money to keep this group intact?

Adolfo
Adolfo

"That’s bad for the franchise as a whole", totally agree, we need to save our good name, what I hate about this lost is that all our "haters" think that they were right about us not being a good team, I just hate that...!!! Dwight is a good guy but, c'mon!!! sometimes you need to raise your voice to your teammates wake'em up...!!! VC needs to show some leadership too...!!!

Billy (slickw143)
Billy (slickw143)

I even feel bad for Courtney for having to see that. I still hope his team has a much better year next year (and of course that the Magic have a better year next year...).