Friday's Magic Word | Magic Basketball



Dec 24

Friday’s Magic Word

  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “The Orlando Magic‘s recent blockbuster trades shocked many NBA observers, but in hindsight, those bold moves should not have surprised anyone. Last May’s Eastern Conference finals loss to the Boston Celtics exposed fundamental flaws with the Magic’s personnel on offense — defects that haunted the Magic intermittently during the first month and a half of this season. In a sport that’s all about matchups, Orlando did not have enough players who could create their own shot consistently. That shortcoming gave the Magic problems against superior defensive teams such as the Celtics and the Miami Heat. The additions of Gilbert ArenasJason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu create a fascinating subplot to this afternoon’s nationally televised game between the Magic and the Celtics at Amway Center. Will Arenas, Richardson and Turkoglu give Orlando the firepower it would need in a potential playoff rematch against Boston?”
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “With their season going South, the Magic opened a big ol’ package of hope, wrapping up their first win since the blockbuster deals with a stunner against the San Antonio Spurs. And it came just in time for the holiday season, with another decent team, the Celtics, in town today. After falling off the NBA’s elite-team radar, the Magic’s new cast showed what is possible despite just one practice together. (Maybe Allen Iverson was right. Maybe practice is overrated. Or as Stan Van Gundy joked, perhaps the Magic are better off without so much coaching.) Whatever, the Magic ran and scored and brought all the energy of a two-year-old bounding down the stairs this morning, making a beeline for the tree. There were few times this season in which we had seen so much electricity and firepower. The new Magic made the old Magic look tired and stale. Gilbert Arenas and Jason Richardson formally introduced themselves with big games. Hedo Turkoglu gave us flashbacks. And they all knew that the one basketball out there had to wind up mostly in Dwight Howard‘s hands. The Magic assembled at least an outline of the jigsaw puzzle.”
  • Dwight Howard has nine technicals this season.
  • Head coach Doc Rivers thinks the Orlando Magic are a better team now.
  • Gilbert Arenas is rejuvenated. John Denton of explains why: “Arenas, more so than anyone, loves being loved again. He played to the fans outside the Magic’s practice court two nights ago, making shot after shot when they cheered for him and chanted his name. And he took it to heart when head coach Stan Van Gundy penned him a hand-written note before Thursday’s game, responding with 14 points, nine assists and six rebounds off the bench in the Magic’s biggest win yet.”
  • Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post poses a question: “[J.J.] Redick estimated last night the team ran just five different plays against the Spurs, meaning it will have to thrive in fastbreak situations in order to score on most nights, at least until the team develops better halfcourt chemistry. If they’re doing all this with an incomplete playbook, what might they do in two or three months from now, when everyone’s more comfortable within the offense and the team has developed more chemistry?”
  • For the first time in a long while, the Magic had fun playing basketball.
  • Quentin Richardon‘s role is up in the air.
  • Marc Stein of wonders if Orlando is going to miss Rashard Lewis: “Lewis has undeniably dropped off in a big and scary way since helping Orlando go all the way to the NBA Finals in 2009, but Hedo Turkoglu’s reluctance to embrace playing time at the 4-spot for Alvin Gentry was one of the main reasons Phoenix was so eager to trade him. Playing Turkoglu at power forward against Boston for long stretches, furthermore, just doesn’t sound feasible defensively. So you can make the case the Magic will miss Lewis against the Celts … even this Lewis.”
  • Ian Thomsen of Sports Illustrated has a few suggestions for general manager Otis Smith as he searches for a big man. This is a storyline worth keeping an eye on.
  • Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk likes the Celtics to win in tomorrow’s Christmas Day game.
  • Howard has something to say: “As for playing on Christmas Day, I know that some people in the NBA have had some negative things to say about it, but I consider it an honor. It feels good to play on Christmas because that’s a big-time game. I’m just happy to be a part of it. Families all around the world will be opening their gifts and watching us play, so I think that’s great.”
  • The Magic have new options on offense, and they intend to use them.
  • Orlando got the gifts they wanted for Christmas — new and better players.
  • Bradford Doolittle of Basketball Prospectus: “The new-look Magic were scary good in sending San Antonio’s 10-game winning streak. Orlando posted season highs in Offensive Rating and eFG% and did it against the league’s 10th-ranked defense. Gilbert Arenas had an excellent game off the bench, the starting bigs (Dwight Howard and Brandon Bass) combined to shoot 19-of-24 and Ryan Anderson resumed his status as a productive member of a really promising eight-man rotation. We’re only three games into this new version of the Magic, but I’m loving the mix so far and did even as Stan Van Gundy worked out the kinks in two previous losses. Orlando outscored San Antonio 30-2 in fastbreak points.”

whatever offense the Magic are is what they should be/should have been runnin all along hopefully they keep it up....Go Magic!!!!!