Tuesday's Magic Word | Magic Basketball

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Oct 19

Tuesday’s Magic Word

  • Head coach Stan Van Gundy: “I haven’t talked to Pat in a long time, certainly not since any of that. I didn’t take it as big of a deal as what everybody else did. He was upset about some of the things said about some of the players that he now has. I honestly did not mind his criticism of my comments as I said when he mentioned that I was out of line on my comments about Chris Bosh, he had every right to say something about that. I took offense to it and came back at some of the things that he said about Otis [Smith] primarily and his comments. Then just in general just accusing other people of moralizing and things and I had just heard too many things from Pat moralizing things over the years to not be able to laugh at that, that he was taking others to task at that. I didn’t take it as a big deal. He had his say, I had mine, people disagree in these kinds of situations all the time, and it’s no big deal. It didn’t change the way I thought about anybody that’s for sure.”
  • For Jameer Nelson, there’s always room for improvement defensively.
  • Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel is skeptical that Brandon Bass and Ryan Anderson will earn enough playing time in Van Gundy’s rotation once the regular season starts.
  • What will Malik Allen‘s role be with the Orlando Magic?
  • Friday’s pre-season game between the Magic and the Miami Heat will be like …
  • Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post: “Anderson and Bass entered this preseason needing to accomplish separate goals. For Anderson, it was strengthening his body and becoming a more sound individual defender. Bass had to hit the boards harder and improve his grasp on the team’s defensive rotations. And both have succeeded so far. There are still concerns, though. Bass still needs to become more efficient offensively, as he’s used an estimated 59 possessions to score his 63 points this preseason. But he’s managed to harness his seemingly boundless energy and tenacity, turning it into a much-improved showing in the rebounding area.”
  • Check out Dwight Howard‘s new shoes for the NBA year.
  • According to SLAM ONLINE, Howard is the fifth-best player in the league. Hard to quibble with that ranking when looking at the numbers, but it is hard to quibble with this critique: “We’ve seen the clip of him working out with Hakeem, but he’s had Ewing as his mentor and his jump shot is still broke. It’s also easy to spin baseline and jam when nobody’s guarding you. Yet, there’s no doubt over time, with focus and confidence, we’ll see the low-post game we crave from Dwight. And when that happens, the Magic will be on their way to a championship parade. […] Dwight has always averaged more turnovers than assists, even more troubling when you consider all of his damn teammates are capable of knocking down threes, save for [Marcin] Gortat, the perfect Dwight backup. Add passing out of the post as a bullet point in his lack of low-post confidence list.”
  • First, Howard has low post moves. The author thinks otherwise, however. Second, Howard can pass out of the post and does so very well. The reason why Howard has more turnovers than assists is because many of the “assists” he does get are of the Gretzkyian variety. Meaning, in other words, that Howard accumulates a lot of hockey assists that are not quantified. Look, Howard isn’t a perfect player but critique him for what’s relevant now, not three years ago.
  • Zach Lowe of The Point Forward explains why he thinks the Magic are the forgotten contender: “Record aside, the Magic were the best team in the league during the 2009-10 regular season. They had the largest point differential, and they were the only team to rank in the top five in both points per possession and points allowed per possession. They obliterated the league during the second half of the season, posting a 33-8 record, and they swept the Bobcats and Hawks before falling in six games to the Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals. And yet, that series defeat, combined with the emergence of the new-look Heat and some shrewd signings in Boston this summer, has moved the Magic to the fringes of the championship conversation.”
  • The Basketball Jones preview Orlando’s season!
  • Not sure how a matchup between the Magic and the Washington Wizards is more must-see than a face-off against that other team in the state of Florida on their regular season home opener, but whatever.
4 comments
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Aaron H.
Aaron H.

You said it, hulKK. It really is kind of amazing. Of course, the problem is two-fold.

The first is that ESPN is in Hartford and their home team is the Boston Celtics. So, if there is any chance of Boston doing well they will definitely get the benefit of the doubt and many of their commentators and writers follow that team when "off the clock."

The other is that ESPN is also about page views and money. They (and the NBA) have turned the game into a star's league (more specifically wing playing stars). They hitched their wagon to Lebron James as the next Jordan since before he came out of high school. While he undoubtably is a great player, it is in their best interest to keep the hype on him as much as possible if only to prove they weren't wrong for choosing him. I mean, they have an ENTIRE SECTION just for covering the Heat now.

Essentially it is confirmation bias at the professional level. People tend to remember things that favor their preconceptions and forget those that don't. I honestly think this is why the highlights for Magic (this preseason and before) invariably show a few dunks or blocks for Howard and almost none of the post-moves they say that he doesn't have.

Speaking of the preseason, do you think if the Heat or Celtics had won all of their pre-season games by an average 25ppg it might get a mention somewhere on ESPN?

Looks like another year of "flying under the radar." It's hard to believe the Magic keep doing that.

hulKK
hulKK

Does anybody have anything good to say about this team? Does anybody take them seriously and think they are a REAL threat? I've some talk where some "experts" say that OKC is better team then the Magic. Guess we won't be respected until we get a GREAT offensive player like a Wade, James, Anthony or Kobe. My team is finally an elite team and I can't even turn on ESPN/talk radio or read blogs without having the Magic being bashed and talked down about 98% of the time. It's disheartening.

magicworld
magicworld

Honestly, I stopped following the Slam Online ranking once it appears that none of the others Magic players would be on the list (We are talking Top 50).