Monday's Magic Word | Magic Basketball

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Feb 07

Monday’s Magic Word

  • John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com: “Delighted to be off losing teams and vaulted into the chase for a championship, Hedo Turkoglu and Gilbert Arenas initially played well in the afterglow of the Orlando Magic’s blockbuster trades back on Dec. 18. But in the weeks since, that glow has faded, the NBA’s dog days have hit and the two centerpiece players in the Magic’s midseason makeover have struggled mightily. That was never more evident than Sunday in Boston when Turkoglu and Arenas endured forgettable afternoons in Orlando’s 91-80 loss to the Celtics. Turkoglu missed nine of his 10 shots, while Arenas didn’t make any of his seven shots and went scoreless for the first time in his career since 2004.  And when the frustrating Boston loss was over, Arenas not only racked his brain as to when the last time he played without scoring, but as to why all of his work in practice isn’t translating over to games.”
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said that injured starting power forward Brandon Bass, who missed his third consecutive game Sunday because of a severely sprained left ankle, is making strides in his recovery. The club said that Bass still might be out until after the Feb. 17-19 NBA all-star break. Van Gundy said that the swelling in Bass’ ankle has decreased considerably. Bass, who was injured Jan. 31 against the Memphis Grizzlies, has been back in Orlando performing non-weight-bearing exercises in a swimming pool.”
  • The Orlando Magic, simply put, are a team in disarray.
  • Bradford Doolittle of Basketball Prospectus recaps the Magic’s loss yesterday.
  • Dwight Howard was Jekyll and Hyde against the Boston Celtics.
  • Is there a hitch in Howard’s free-throw shooting form?
  • Marc Stein of ESPN.com: “The Magic were a wobbly 16-9 when they swung their big trades … and they’ve slumped to 16-11 since. They’re so out of sorts that Dwight, for the first time since December 2006, hasn’t blocked a shot for three games.”
  • Howard is keeping the faith that the Magic can turn things around: “I look at the Packers in the Super Bowl and I know it can be done. Green Bay wasn´t great all the time during the season, but they got hot at the right time and crushed folks in the playoffs. Aaron Rodgers got it going and those dudes followed him, so I´m keeping the faith and hoping that I can do the same thing here with the Magic. We know we have so much talent on this team, but for us it´s about being more consistent on a night-to-night basis and bringing it defensively. We´ve struggled getting stops defensively and too often when our offense is struggling we let it affect our defense. We have to be tougher mentally and not let that happen.”
  • Ken Berger of CBSSports.com: “Howard evidently is willing to be patient. A free agent in 2012 along with the Hornets’ Chris Paul, Howard has yet to form a strong opinion one way or the other, according to a person with knowledge of his thinking. Stay or go? To paraphrase LeBron, what should he do? If he does leave, Howard has his eyes on two teams — the Lakers and Knicks — as the big-market destinations where he’ll chase down his championships and marketing opportunities if things don’t work out in the Sunshine State. The Nets, who are supposed to be in Brooklyn by then, also are in the mix, the person said. So the Magic are on the clock — the way the Cavs were with LeBron and the Raptors with Chris Bosh, and the way the bill has come due for the Nuggets and Carmelo Anthony. But if you ask Magic GM Otis Smith — and I did — there isn’t some knee-jerk plan to deal with Howard’s future. Smith has been planning for the next year and a half for the past seven years.”
  • Gilbert Arenas’ inability to produce in cold weather is not a hoax.
  • Is Orlando still an elite team and championship contender?
  • Zach Lowe of The Point Forward: “There are so many questions, and Van Gundy is still trying to answer them to find the right mix and the right sets on offense. The Magic will have only 25 games or so to work this out before Bass’ return. That’s not an ideal situation; the Cavaliers last season lamented how little time they had to prepare for the playoffs with their core lineup, and though Shaquille O’Neal’s late-season injury made that situation more troubling that Orlando’s current state, the fact remains that more preparation time is better.”
  • Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports doesn’t mince words about Arenas’ struggles.