- Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “Stan Van Gundy has conducted countless practices during his coaching career, but he rarely has held a team workout quite like the one that unfolded Sunday afternoon inside Amway Center. An announced crowd of 8,516 people streamed into the new building and watch the Orlando Magic run a 5-on-4 transition drill and scrimmage for about 50 minutes. The scene resembled a Midnight Madness event that major college basketball programs put on this time of year. Music blared over the arena loudspeakers as Van Gundy and his players stepped onto the main court. Orlando Magic Dancers waved pompoms. Fans cheered when a player unleashed a dunk or blocked a shot. [...] Van Gundy wore a portable microphone, and even people who sat in the upper deck of the cavernous new building could hear his every word.”
- Marcin Gortat likes when the Orlando Magic play tall ball: “I believe we can be really dangerous. Physically, I think we are one of the best in the league. I think the most important thing right now is just I’ve got to work on my game and just be consistent with everything I do.”
- Maybe Vince Carter should pace himself during the regular season.
- The Atlanta Hawks know that the Magic are their kryptonite.
- More from Robbins: “Van Gundy said he’ll employ a starting lineup tonight of Jameer Nelson at point guard, Vince Carter at shooting guard, Quentin Richardson at small forward, Rashard Lewis at power forward and Dwight Howard at center. Lewis will also play some at the three, while both Ryan Anderson and Brandon Bass will play at the four. Marcin Gortat will play primarily at center, especially during the first half. Point guard Chris Duhon and shooting guard J.J. Redick also are expected to receive playing time.”
- Matt Moore of ProBasketballTalk wonders how long Brandon Bass will last in Orlando: “Bass has produced well. His defense is lacking but his real problem is that he’s in a system which doesn’t speak to his talents at all. He’s not a stretch-the-floor guy, he’s a post-player with a slight midrange. Another spot and he could wind up with the minutes he’s been chasing for years. The question is exactly when Orlando will call it quits on the Bass experiment and get some assets that they can use.”
- A scout breaks down the Magic roster for ESPN Insider: “They could use a flat-out scorer off the bench, a Jamal Crawford-type to give them 16-18 points a night. They miss that punch. Vince Carter is not in the killer category. He gives you numbers but won’t buy into really being a good defender. And while he’s not a selfish guy, he’s a selfish scorer, a guy who dominates the ball when he gets it going. Because of Vince, I thought Rashard Lewis didn’t get enough touches last year. In the playoffs, Jameer Nelson’s lack of height and inability to bother opponents defensively hurts them. And then I’ve been told by players in that locker room that Stan Van Gundy’s act has worn thin. He’s a blatant yeller and screamer who’ll throw you under the bus in the press conference after a game. They’ve got too much pride to take the key out of the ignition, but there comes a time when a team completely stops listening to a coach, and I don’t think he’s far from that.”
- Take that quote for whatever it’s worth.
- John Schuhmann of NBA.com attempts to figure out if Orlando is capable of making even more threes this season: “The Magic set a record for 3-pointers made in a season last year, connecting on 841 (10.3 per game). They then went and signed 3-point specialist Quentin Richardson to replace Matt Barnes. [...] Still, the addition of Richardson, who was only outdone by James Posey (70.1 percent) and Keith Bogans (65.8 percent) when it comes to taking shots from beyond the arc, should have the Magic challenging their own record. In the preseason, the Magic have attempted 29.3 and made 11.3 threes per game, both increases over last season.”
- According to one NBA scribe, the Magic are projected to finish second in the Southeast Division.
- Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus recaps the Northern California Symposium on Statistics and Operations Research in Sports (NCSSORS for short): “To me, the more practical takeaway is the reminder that individual player ratings are a reflection of many things beside talent. Roles, coaching, motivation and noise all complicate the relationship between ability and performance. As a result, we have to assume a degree of variability in player ratings. Basically, player A has to rate a fair amount better than player B for us to be confident he is truly the superior player–to the extent such a judgment really exists.”
- Is Bass increasing his trade value?
- Ken Berger of CBSSports.com: “Howard has to back up his preseason promises and be more assertive and dominant. Basically, if Miami loading up in free agency doesn’t put Howard on a mission of total destruction, then nothing ever will. But the Magic have issues other than the Heat. First, they have to prove that they’ve recovered from — and have learned from — the thorough beating inflicted on them by the Celtics in the playoffs last spring. They can’t even begin to worry about Wade and LeBron until they put that disappointment behind them. If the Magic are going to take the next step and get back to the NBA Finals, they’re going to need more toughness on the floor. That has to start with Howard.”
There's plenty of people that have positive things to say about the Magic. It just seems like there's more negative voices out there.
It'd definitely be an educational experience, that's for sure.
Yeah, a lot of inaccuracies to say the least.