- Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “You don’t have to watch hours of game tape or pore over pages of statistics to produce a scouting report on Jameer Nelson. The book on the diminutive Orlando Magic co-captain is simple: He’s a scoring point guard who looks for his own shot as often as he looks to pass. Wednesday night didn’t change that perception, but it showed that Nelson can help the Magic even when his own shot doesn’t fall. Nelson bedeviled the Dallas Mavericks by dishing out 10 assists in the 101-76 exhibition victory. [...] Nelson, who made just one of his eight shot attempts, impacted the game immediately. Six of his assists came in the game’s first six minutes. He fed Quentin Richardson for a 3-pointer for Orlando’s first basket. Twice, his passes set Dwight Howard up for easy dunks. His ability to drive — and force defenses to account for his shot — helped lead to a pair of treys from Vince Carter and a midrange jumper from Rashard Lewis.”
- More from Robbins: “The Magic waived Robinson after their 101-76 win Wednesday night over the Dallas Mavericks. The team already has an abundance of wing players, and with Quentin Richardson, Mickael Pietrus, Vince Carter and J.J. Redick in the fold, the team didn’t need to keep the small forward out of UConn. With the team well into luxury tax territory, finances might have played a role in the decision. Robinson signed a non-guaranteed contract worth $473,604, but the dollar-for-dollar tax meant the team would have had to pay another $473,604 if Robinson had stuck with the team and his contract became guaranteed.”
- Vince Carter needs to continue to be aggressive.
- Head coach Rick Carlisle is impressed with the Orlando Magic.
- Right now, the Magic are hitting on all cylinders.
- Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post: “We may not have seen the last of Robinson in a Magic uniform, however, though this much is purely speculation on my part. A new NBA D-League rule stipulates that the last three players cut from NBA training-camp rosters prior to the D-League Draft on November 1st will be allocated to that NBA team’s D-League affiliate. This rule means that Robinson’s D-League rights will belong to the New Mexico Thunderbirds, the Magic’s affiliate.”
- According to Scott Carefoot of The Basketball Jones, Orlando is the best team in the NBA that no one is talking about: “Orlando started out slow this preseason with single-digit wins over Houston and Indiana, but then they kicked into high gear with a 54-point win over the Hornets, a 13-point win over the Bobcats, a 38-point win over the Bulls, a 29-point win over the Hawks, and last night’s 25-point win over the Mavericks. Those are monster wins over quality competition. This raises that question: What the hell is going on down in Orlando? Defense is happening, my friends. The Magic are shooting 49.8 percent from the field after seven preseason games while they’ve held their opponents to 35 percent shooting. Thirty-five percent! That’s like playing against an entire team of Rafer Alstons every game! It’s common knowledge that two-time Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard is the backbone of the team that finished third in Defensive Rating (points allowed per 100 possessions) last season and first in that category the season before. But this season, it looks like the entire team has bought in to the importance of playing hard on D. Yes, even Vince Carter.?
- Want to hear Dwight Howard sing?
- Check out USA Today’s excellent infographic about the Amway Center.
- Mike Prada of SB Nation: “The watchability issue with Howard is that you always find yourself wishing his post moves were more defined. It’s unfair to say he has no post moves, because it’s much harder to be a post player in 2010 than 1995, but good teams certainly figured out how to limit his impact. Since we all love great post players, it’s frustrating. If his offseason work with Hakeem Olajuwon pays off in any way, it eliminates the most frustrating thing about watching the Magic.”
- The Magic are not in the business to trade anyone on the roster right now.
- John Schuhmann of NBA.com: “Orlando has been incredibly dominant in the preseason, winning its seven games by an average of 25 points. Using a standard statistical formula for expected wins, Orlando’s preseason point differential translates to 81-1 record over an 82-game season. So which game will they lose? OK. So the Magic probably won’t break the ’95-96 Bulls’ record of 72 wins. But Orlando’s dominant preseason is a reminder that they were statistically the best team last season, outscoring their opponents by 9.3 points per 100 possessions (Cleveland ranked second at +7.3). The playoffs were — and are — a different story, but this team is primed to be a regular-season juggernaut again.”
- Rashard Lewis thinks that Howard has a good chance to win the MVP award this season.
- Zach Lowe of The Point Forward: “The easy choice for the deepest team, and the Magic should be deep — their payroll is hovering around $95 million, right there with the Lakers for the league’s highest salary. The Magic have 11 legit rotation players, and one of Stan Van Gundy‘s biggest challenges will be sorting out minutes between a quality of group of forwards while deciding how often he wants to play Rashard Lewis at small forward. With Brandon Bass giving Orlando quality preseason minutes, it looks as if all 11 guys have bought into the system.”
- Many NBA scouts think it’ll be the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals.
- Britt Robson of Sports Illustrated says Orlando is nothing “more than a fabulous regular-season team.” Okay, so we’re going to base that comment off ONE playoff series last season against a team that matched up extremely well with the Magic?
- Should the Magic trade for Gilbert Arenas? Ric Bucher of ESPN Insider thinks so: “I don’t know if Arenas can be the difference-maker. But I do know the Magic need to make a move and take their best shot at a title right now. If Arenas shows he’s the ol’ Gil in a couple of months, then the market opens up more and maybe they don’t get him, because the Wizards assuredly would prefer to move him out West. And then the Magic are toast as far as title hopes this year. Let’s face it, Vince for Hedo (and Courtney Lee) turned out to be a bad deal. They needed Carter to be Vinsane and he just played like one of the guys.”
- Please read the Gilbert Arenas conundrum.
Thursday’s Magic Word
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Nail on the head. They seriously, seriously must want Orlando to make a very poor decision and become a laughing stock.
I'm no being sarcastic. They seriously must want Orlando to do something dumb. Even if Vince doesn't do well this year, we already have J.J. who is more than capable of at least wearing the uniform.
I live in the Washington, DC area, and am constantly reading about the idiotic and weird things Gilbert Arenas does. Not to mention that Arenas plays absolutely zero defense and is not very coachable. Do Broussard and Bucher like the Magic? My guess is no if they think Arenas would help this team.
Good teams have figured out how to defend Dwight? I think he means one team? And even that one team, Dwight averaged 21 pts/gm... The only legit way to guard Dwight consistently is getting him in foul trouble, with either real fouls or BS fouls.
And Ric Bucher does not know what he's talking about. Arenas? No. God no. And I don't care if we lose in the first round this year with Vince somehow scoring 30 points a game for the *other* team, that trade was still a good deal. I would've traded Hedo for Anderson straight up if we could've, let alone including Vince and Lee. And Vince's deal is pretty much done after this year. Good grief.