Monday's Magic Word | Magic Basketball



Jan 10

Monday’s Magic Word

  • Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel: “The good news? The Orlando Magic have now won nine consecutive games, one win away from the first double-digit winning streak in franchise history. The better news? This team can get a whole lot better. Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, always a difficult man to please, spoke highly of the team’s ball movement, pace and efficiency on offense since the trades. He also noted the team’s defensive numbers are slightly better after the trade. But he still sees all sorts of holes on defense. […] Van Gundy also wants his players to keep opponents out of the paint, as the newcomers may be relying on Dwight Howard to clean up the mess a bit too often. Additionally, the Magic are allowing opponents to shoot 36.8 percent from three-point range since the trade, giving up 7.2 three-pointers per game. Both of those numbers are higher than pre-trade.”
  • The Orlando Magic are not thinking about the winning streak.
  • Jason Richardson on Gilbert Arenas‘ rejuvenation: “I’ve known him for 10 years. I saw him when he was with Washington and he came out to Phoenix, and he just didn’t look like the same person out there. He just looked miserable. There was a lot of pressure on him and you could just tell he just wanted out. Now, when you look at him, he’s doing interviews and he’s smiling. So, I’m just glad he’s just happy to be a part of this.”
  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “A mischievous smile crossed Gilbert Arenas’ face as the American Airlines Center public-address announcer introduced the Dallas Mavericks’ starting lineup Saturday night. In Gil’s world, the guy on the PA was calling out the names of the Orlando Magic’s reserve point guards, not the home-team Mavericks. Arenas sprung up from the Magic bench, ran onto the court and — with his teammates laughing — ripped off his warm-up pants in a grand gesture. Arenas’ trade last month from the Washington Wizards has rejuvenated the eccentric sense of humor that once made him one of the NBA’s most charismatic players. Some observers initially questioned whether Arenas would fit in with the Magic, but it seems like he meshes perfectly in a locker room policed by Dwight Howard.”
  • General manager Otis Smith is not looking for another big man.
  • Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk: “Nine consecutive wins. What the trade has done is made them a much more balanced offensive team, and Hedo Turkoglu is back to being effective.”
  • Marc Stein of “Most interesting element of the Magic’s nine straight wins by eight points or more? They’ve averaged 16.1 fast-break points in those wins. In its first 28 games, Orlando was the league’s worst running team at 7.9 ppg.”
  • Rohan Cruyff of Hardwood Paroxysm: “Stan Van Gundy’s lack of patience with the national media’s insistence on attributing every Dwight Howard shot ever to a few hours spent with Hakeem Olajuwon is understandable. And Van Gundy’s “outburst” is another reminder as to why he’s one of the league’s most entertaining coaches. How many coaches go on the record like that on an issue that doesn’t really matter? Van Gundy wanted to get that off his mind and so he did.”
  • The Magic’s blockbuster trades was one of the top NBA stories in 2010.
  • Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don’t Lie spreads some knowledge on Hedo Turkoglu’s return to Orlando: “Raw talent, and comfort with a system, is the reason Turkoglu is playing so well in Orlando. And sometimes unorthodoxy (like paying an eight-figure yearly salary to a 29-year-old who shot 41 percent that year) helps, but I’m not going to kill Otis Smith for this. There are so many other things to criticize Smith for, but not this. He made the right move, it didn’t work, and somehow (as has been the case quite a few times in Smith’s Orlando tenure), he’s backed into the right move gone wrong and working out. Or the wrong move, gone right, and working out. Like Billy Donovan turning Orlando down and Stan Van Gundy stepping in. Or Rashard Lewis’ ridiculous contract that still allows him to run circles around the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2009 Conference finals. Where Hedo fits in all this remains to be seen, but the early returns are encouraging, to say the absolute least.”
  • Kevin Pelton of ESPN Insider breaks down the Magic’s nine-game winning streak.
  • Dwight Howard is happy to have Turkoglu back.

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