Monday's Magic Word | Magic Basketball



Sep 20

Monday’s Magic Word

  • Shaquille O’Neal: “I know what I have to say and what I have to do to get the game popping. So if people don’t think I like [Dwight Howard], then come watch the game and it will be a sold out game and my marketing techniques works like it’s always been working, then I know what I’m doing. But in real life, he’s cool, a great young player, represents the big men very well and when I’m done, I don’t really see anybody in his way. Hopefully he can win a couple of championships for the city because it’s a beautiful city, I’ve been living here 20 years and I’ll be living here for the next 20 years so hopefully he’ll get them there and take them over the top. Because if he doesn’t get them over the top, he’s going to get the blame.”
  • John Denton of “It’s after 10 o’clock on a weekday night and while the rest of the NBA is likely home on the couch or partying in the nightclubs, Dwight Howard is hard at work and oozing sweat out of every pore in a tucked-away, nondescript gym. Rap lyrics fill the air, thumping bass rattles the walls and the Orlando Magic’s superstar center joins right in grunting as he pulls his chiseled, 275-pound body up for those 10th, 11th and 12th pull-ups. Howard’s nighttime workout sessions come as most are heading to bed and after he’s already drilled on the basketball court with his Magic teammates for two hours earlier in the day. And these drills – ones that leave Howard’s adidas tank top drenched in sweat and his body needing three Gatorades to replenish the fluids lost – certainly aren’t for the faint of heart. They are the kind of explosive, quick-rep drills that make casual observers sore by just watching. And at times even Howard, arguably the NBA’s strongest and best-conditioned athlete, is left physically exhausted by a workout that looks as though it belongs in a Marines boot camp. But there’s a method to this madness for Howard, a consensus All-NBA selection last season. The push is there for Howard to climb to even greater heights and launch his star into grander stratospheres. He knows deep down that it’s his leap as a low-post threat that will help the Magic vanquish the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers. Do that, Howard said, and the gold ball will be his someday and a championship banner will hang from the sparkling new Amway Center.”
  • Click here to see video of Dwight Howard doin’ work.
  • If LeBron James or Dwyane Wade play at the point guard position for the Miami Heat, who guards them for the Orlando Magic?
  • The Magic’s starter at small forward is still yet to be determined. Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel chimes in: “While the starter will flip-flop throughout the season — both [Mickael] Pietrus and Barnes started last season before Barnes took hold of the position midway through the year — I’d bet on [Quentin] Richardson being the long-term starter. Pietrus said last year he likes to come off the bench, and the five-man unit numbers say the Magic are better off that way, as the Nelson-Carter-Pietrus-Lewis-Howard group performed far less efficiently than Nelson-Carter-Barnes-Lewis-Howard last season. Additionally, Richardson’s a better shooter than Pietrus and no slouch on defense.”
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel with a must-read article on Richardson.
  • Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post thinks Orlando can win more than 60 games this season, and maybe 65: “So does this Magic team have the talent to reach 60? Maybe the answer is obvious. It won 59 last year with its first- and third- most trigger-happy shooters–that’s the starting backcourt of Vince Carter and Jameer Nelson, respectively–placing 10th and 12th on the team, respectively, in True Shooting percentage. It won 59 the year before that with its All-Star point guard, Nelson, missing 40 games due to injury. Well, Nelson’s healthy now. Vanishing act in the Eastern Conference Finals aside, Carter adapted to the Magic’s offense as the year wore on. Quentin Richardson gives the Magic a true fourth three-point shooter around Howard, replacing Matt Barnes’ iffy outside stroke. Essentially, it’s hard to argue the team got worse, and it was on the cusp of 60 wins in each of the last two seasons. So yes, 60 wins ought to be in the cards for this Magic team, and if Nelson regains the off-the-dribble shooting touch that made him an All-Star in 2009, 65 isn’t out of the question, either.”
  • It’s a myth that Howard has no post game.
  • Allen Powell of SLAM ONLINE marvels back at Penny Hardaway’s point guard abilities: “Is it better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all? Is it better to have a career that rises like booming fireworks and ends with a disappointing fizzle, or to have a career that shines steadily like a dependable streetlight? When considering where to rank Penny a decision had to be made. Should tantalizing potential or tangible productivity be rewarded? Potential won. Penny Hardaway was The Man in the 1990s. His combination of size, strength, speed, court vision and hops was sickening. What he lacked in killer instinct, he made up for in pure, unadulterated talent.”
  • Howard and Adonal Foyle did their part to help the country of Haiti. Howard writes on his blog: “I´ve got to say that this was an eye-opening trip for me. I´m so glad that I went there because what you see on TV just doesn´t do justice to how much devastation and poverty that there is in Haiti. These people still need our help and I´ve got a feeling it will be that way for a couple of years because the country is in such bad shape. I just hope that me going there will help remind people that they still need our help. I know some people have forgotten about the massive earthquake there in Haiti, but those people still need us to help them survive. If I could, I´d like to round up all the people interested in helping and fly them down to Haiti with me for another mission trip. That won´t be my last trip down there because I want to do everything in my power to assist the people there. God has blessed me with so much in my life, and I want to help as many people in need as I possibly can.”
  • Mickael Pietrus has four words about the Magic: “Don’t sleep on us.”
Eddy Rivera
Eddy Rivera

@magicfan inTN

Not surprised at all, to be honest.

magicfan inTN
magicfan inTN

smh at some of the comments in the Pruiti piece. Someone needs to write a piece on the psychology of how and why fans hold onto their preconceived notions...even when presented with evidence to the contrary. Maybe it's already out there somewhere.