Tuesday's Magic Word | Magic Basketball



Jan 25

Tuesday’s Magic Word

  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “It would be tempting to attribute the Orlando Magic‘s 103-96 loss to the Detroit Pistons on Monday night to midseason doldrums. Even the best NBA teams suffer two or three embarrassing losses at home. It happens. But perhaps the loss revealed larger problems that must be addressed before the postseason arrives. What will happen if the defense doesn’t improve? Won’t Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and the Boston Celtics carve up the Magic more easily in the playoffs than Austin Daye, Tracy McGrady and Tayshaun Prince did on Monday? How about LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat? ‘Either we get it together or we’re just going to be a playoff team that doesn’t win a championship,’ Magic center Dwight Howard said. Howard made that statement after the Magic allowed Daye, McGrady and Prince to score 20 points apiece and Ben Gordon and Rodney Stuckey to score 16 points each. Obviously, the Magic’s perimeter defense suffered through an awful night.”
  • Josh Denton of OrlandoMagic.com: “When the Magic made two blockbuster trades on Dec. 18 with Phoenix and Washington, they sacrificed some of their defense for more offensive firepower. Gone is 7-foot shot-blocker/rebounder Marcin Gortat, gritty wing defender Mickael Pietrus and underrated post defender Rashard Lewis. Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson and Gilbert Arenas are a part of the Magic now, but all three have made their marks in the NBA with their offensive exploits. Still, [Stan] Van Gundy feels that the Magic can get back to being an elite defensive team. Since the trades on Dec. 18, Van Gundy said the Magic rank sixth in the NBA in points per possession, a statistic that he said truly explains a defense’s true worth. But, as he stressed, that’s clearly not good enough.”
  • Which team in the NBA gets the most bang out of their buck? Hint: it’s not the Orlando Magic.
  • What DOESN’T make an MVP? Zach Lowe of The Point Forward ponders that question.
  • M. Haubs of The Painted Area: “I rank Howard far, far ahead of Stoudemire, as his presence as the game’s most dominant defensive player has been the most important factor in keeping the Magic strong no matter who his teammates are. And, of course, Howard is displaying an expanded offensive game, to boot. I thought Dwight was the MVP through November, and he’s still a very strong contender to ultimately get my mythical vote.”
  • Trey Kerby of The Basketball Jones: “Dwight being vocal about the Magic falling short in the playoffs isn’t very encouraging for this season’s prospects, and it’s even less so for the coming season. Entering the postseason with a defeatist attitude isn’t going to help win any games and actually losing in the playoffs could make Dwight resigned to his fate with the Magic. And an unhappy Dwight is one that might leave eventually. It’s basically the worst possible scenario for all Magic fans, and hearing the first inklings of it coming from their star player is especially worrisome.”
  • A scout chimes in on the new-look Magic since the blockbuster trades: “I think Gil could make a bigger impact in the playoffs, but he has to learn how to be more aggressive learning the offense and trying to fit in as opposed to what it looks like to me, which is an NBA Finals contender trying to figure out how to fit Gil in. I haven’t seen it yet”
  • Henry Abbott of TrueHoop wonders who’s the title favorite in the NBA right now.
  • John Hollinger of ESPN Insider: “Regardless, Orlando’s play post-trade can no longer be ignored. The Magic are a small-market team and the narrative behind the improvement hasn’t been sound-bite friendly, plus 13-3 doesn’t sound quite as impressive as ripping off a double-digit winning streak. But they’re playing better than any team in the Association, and it’s not clear to me why one would expect them to stop any time soon. At the very least, that should be enough to get the presumed duopoly atop the East reclassified as a triumvirate.”
  • Dwight Howard talks about last night’s loss against the Detroit Pistons: “Either we get it together and learn from games like this or we´re just going to be a playoff team that doesn´t win a championship. I have faith in this team and know what we can do when we are locked in and focused, but we can´t be flipping the switch on and off from game to game. Championship teams bring it every night and we have to get to that point where we play hard no matter the score or the opponent.”

I'm getting a little nervous on Dwight's comments about being upset with our team defensive effort, personally I don't like it either, I'm not sure If all these troubles on D are more about technical execution or despising opponents, what do you think Eddy? Are we getting a message from Dwight? you know with all the talking that has been around in the last weeks about leaving the Magic next year... Is this defense trouble fixable or we need some guys with this particular skill? Thanks.