Tuesday's Magic Word | Magic Basketball

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Jan 18

Tuesday’s Magic Word

  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “Dwight Howard has been the team’s most valuable player. He’s also staked a claim to league MVP honors. The 25-year-old center brought a more serious demeanor to practice this season and — as much as he dislikes talking about it — a more diversified, more patient offensive repertoire. He’s averaging a career-high 22.0 points per game and 13.3 rebounds per game. His defense may have dropped off a bit this season because he’s trying to avoid foul trouble and, consequently, is contesting fewer shots. There are two other concerns: He’s averaging 36.1 minutes per game and has 12 technical fouls. Jameer Nelson receives plenty of criticism from Magic fans, but the diminutive point guard has played an outsized role this season. Nelson is averaging a career-best 6.7 assists per game, and he’s shooting 41.0 percent from 3-point range. He made crucial late-game shots against the New Jersey Nets on Nov. 5, against the Indiana Pacers on Nov. 20 and against the Celtics on Christmas. Yes, Nelson still has significant room to improve as a defender, but this team would have been in trouble without him.”
  • It’s been a crazy first half of the regular season for the Orlando Magic.
  • Charles Barkley on the new-look Magic: “They got more weapons offensively, I think, than any team in the NBA. They got a bunch of guys who can score. You have to take your hat off to Otis Smith, they have a chance now.”
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “The difference between the Magic and the Celtics — be it 2009, 2010 or, most recently, Monday night — is Kevin Garnett. Garnett made the play of the game with 16 seconds left and the Magic trailing 107-104. He swarmed Jameer Nelson and stole the ball before Nelson could throw a bounce pass to Jason Richardson, ending Orlando’s chances. Garnett was playing for the first time since Dec. 29, having missed nine games because of a calf injury. Too bad for the Magic he didn’t take off a tenth game. Garnett has haunted them. With Garnett nursing a knee injury and missing the East Finals in 2009, the Magic won the series to advance to the NBA Finals. But with Garnett back to smother Rashard Lewis in the East rematch, the Celtics dominated the Magic. That stuff is not a coincidence.”
  • According to head coach Stan Van Gundy, the defense needs to improve.
  • Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don’t Lie recaps Orlando’s loss in yesterday’s game.
  • Britt Robson of Sports Illustrated: “With two Defensive Player of the Year awards already under his belt at the age of 25, Dwight Howard is in excellent position to break the record of four shared by Ben Wallace and Dikembe Mutombo, and someday be regarded as second to Bill Russell as the greatest NBA defender of all time. (Russell, of course, retired years before the award was initiated.) Consider that Howard was the youngest to win it two years ago at age 23 (before that it was 24-year-old Michael Jordan in 1988), and that Orlando is structured to maximize his ability to protect the rim, otherwise playing offensive-minded small-ball with prolific scorers. Already Howard’s combination of quickness, strength, instincts and durability put him in select company — Russell, Wallace, Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson and Kevin Garnett would be my list — of players who can comprehensively defend a foot or two beyond the paint in all directions. Everyone but Wallace among that quintet has also won an MVP award. As he continues honing his offensive game, Howard, too, should clear a spot on his mantle.”
  • Last night’s matchup between the Magic and Celtics was fun to watch.
  • Orlando’s best lineup, according to adjusted plus/minus, has dissolved due to the blockbuster trades. Rob Mahoney of the New York Times’ Off the Dribble blog wonders if the newcomers can maintain the status quo: “The Magic shook up their roster in December, leaving just two members of their most effective lineup on the team in the process. Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson seem to be doing just fine without their running mates, but it’s curious that Orlando broke up such an effective unit. That said, what’s interesting about the nature of the Magic’s offense is that almost every player -– save Howard -– is replaceable. Carter, Pietrus, and Lewis are effective players, but eventually Orlando should reach a similar level of statistical effectiveness with some combination of Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, Brandon Bass, J.J. Redick, and Ryan Anderson filling in alongside Howard and Nelson.”
  • Game notes on the Magic-Celtics instant classic.
  • Does Boston respect Orlando? Matt Moore of CBSSports.com doesn’t think they do.
  • Glen Davis has words for Dwight Howard.
2 comments
Steve
Steve

So this game could've went either way... it wasnt the massacre people were claiming because we are "too small" . We lost by 3 AT BOSTON. We only beat them the LAST time we play them. Before we start bashing Gilbert Arenas take a deep breath and just think of when we would cringe Chris Duhon would NEVER SHOOT THE BALL... never be part of the offense as to only bring the ball half court? It was a difficult rode trip... there is still time we are still in it. The only thing that kills me is that we didnt capitalize on the Miami Heat struggles... but we will be alright!

Adolfo
Adolfo

It's fun to read how we are so "easy" to defeat, they got the win by 3 lousy points! Some guys from our second unit had a low night, If only JJ would have a regular night... tough loss but I think the Magic played well... GO MAGIC!