Thursday's Magic Word | Magic Basketball

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Feb 24

Thursday’s Magic Word

  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “All 13 players on the Magic roster attended the team meeting. Point guard Jameer Nelson, who was not the subject of any trade rumors, was asked if it would be a relief if no one was traded before the deadline arrived. ‘It probably would be a relief for a lot of guys,’ Nelson said. ‘I mean, you see crazy things happen in this league. Guys get traded and not even know about it. So nothing surprises me. Hopefully, I’ll be here at 3:01.’ Nelson was half-joking, of course, but he is indeed still with the [Orlando] Magic. Orlando’s most obvious roster need still is at center, where the team has relied on power forwards Brandon Bass and Ryan Anderson to serve as Dwight Howard‘s backups. The Magic have been linked in news reports to 6-foot-11 veteran Troy Murphy, who has been traded to the Golden State Warriors and most likely will receive a buyout from Golden State. But there’s no guarantee that Murphy would sign with the Magic, even though he and [Otis] Smith go back to their days with the Warriors back in the early 2000s.”
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “Howard and the Magic have to feel like they are standing outside a great party without an invitation. When somebody like Williams — a member of Howard’s 2012 free-agent draft class — is dealt by Utah this early, it’s another option that could elude the Magic. Williams still needs to sign an extension with New Jersey. Paul could be the lone ’12 free-agent star left for Howard to recruit, though. Derrick Rose is a lock to re-sign with his hometown Chicago Bulls. Howard was shocked that Williams was dealt. More shocking was that Smith conceded he was caught off guard by the trade and did not make an offer. Williams was disgruntled long before Jerry Sloan quit the Jazz. Howard sounded disgruntled Wednesday night, one of those nights he can circle as evidence the Magic aren’t matching him, stride for stride.”
  • Dwight Howard is not happy right now.
  • John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com: “A day after superstar center Dwight Howard said the Orlando Magic had done enough talking and needed to do more executing, the team didn’t practice so that it could have a team-wide discussion about everything that ills it. Basically, there was plenty of talking by coaches and players. It will be determined if actions back up those words to avoid another disastrous loss like the one the Magic suffered Wednesday night to the woeful Sacramento Kings.”
  • More on Howard’s unhappiness with his teammates.
  • Zach Lowe of The Point Forward: “Over All-Star weekend in Los Angeles, Dwight Howard told me – rather emphatically — that the Magic did not have to make any trades in order to win the title. Last night, after a shocking Sacramento win in Orlando, Howard called out unnamed teammates for failing to play hard.”
  • Eric Freeman of Ball Don’t Lie speaks the truth about Howard’s frustration.
  • Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk isn’t a believer in the Magic’s talent pool: “Howard is wrong about something though — he thinks this team has the talent to win an NBA title if they just played hard. No, they really don’t. They are good, but not elite. Stan Van Gundy uses Hedo Turkoglu better than any coach in the league, he puts him in good positions as a pick-and-roll ball handler, but Turkoglu is average. Gilbert Arenas is average at best. Those are two guys the Magic gave up a lot for, two guys with massive contracts that limit what the Magic can do for years to come, and they are not guys who make your team elite.”
  • Howard shares his thoughts: “I´m not singling or calling anybody out, but as a team if we don´t play hard then we are going to lose every night. If guys don´t want to play then they need to sit down. We just can´t have guys out there not playing hard. We´re professional athletes and this is what we do for a living. If we can´t get out there and go hard for two hours, then we shouldn´t be playing.”
  • Matt Moore of CBSSports.com: “The timing is particularly poor for the Magic, as Howard, a free agent in 2012, watched Deron Williams be sent to New Jersey and Carmelo Anthony win in his debut in New York. Even though the Magic are the better team of those three, it’s another step in the direction of the door, providing Howard another excuse for leaving the Magic high and dry. Howard did everything he should and could last night to help the Magic win. It wasn’t enough.”
21 comments
Youngtreekdk
Youngtreekdk

That's baloney. Nelson is not an effective playmaker and THAT's why they brought back Turk. He is trusted with making the right decisions the crucial situations and sets. Watch Magic games and its clear to see who's the best passer on the court. It's Turkoglu and that's a problem for us because he's mediocre. We have a bunch of specialists and role players and no-one to set the table. Dwight knows that. That's why he's been trying to recruit CP3. That's why he and Williams have discussed playing together. No we didn't have what the Nets could offer for Williams, but he's still slated for free agency as is CP3 and if not one of those top tier point guards we're going to have a table setter for all these specialists. Even Dwight is a specialist. He's not leading the league in rebounding because of Kevin Love?! What's the argument? Love isn't 7 feet and the most dominant big man in the game. For all his manuvering to stay out of foul trouble, the team has not improved. I never said Dwight isn't playing well on the court, I just said that is where true leadership is exhibited. And complaining to refs is not a quality I associate with leadership, nor is public humiliation. Since we've built the team around an inside-out philosophy, we need someone who can into the lane, score effectively AND PASS to set up the specialists on the team. Rondo would average 20 assists with this team. I don't think Jameer is a bad player, he's just more of a scoring guard than a point guard and we'd benefit from having a better distributor with the way the team is arranged. Say what you want about Rondo, he led the team to 2 finals appearances and a ring.

Brad Zeiler
Brad Zeiler

Watching Agent 1 (?) playing he just doesn't seem 100% healthy to me, and until he's healthy he won't be able to improve. The offense just doesn't flow no matter what PG we have in, because our shots aren't falling. Consistency has been a real problem with us, we beat the champs handily last week and then embarrassed ourselves against the one of the worst teams in the league without 2 of their best players.

I'll have to say I was very disappointed we didn't get some deal done, as I feel we need more just not sure what "that" is. Otis has done quite a bit since the Finals appearance, but more than anything seems like he's trying to make up for blowing up the Finals roster. I thought losing Turk, Lee and Alston were devastating and not sure we've recovered. Anthony Johnson was just plain thrown to the wolves once the Hamster (Nelson) returned for the series against the Lakers. Those players has a lot to do with the chemistry that got us that far 2 years ago.

Now that 24 hours have passed and I've digested Otis staying pat, I agree with his decision. Let's see if Dwight rattling the cage and all the odds being stacked against them can fire this team up. I'm the biggest critic of the Magic I know, a huge pessimist almost to the point of being nauseating and I'm hoping this week they mop the floor with their opponents. Starting tonight we need a huge game from someone other than Dwight. Go Magic.

Burn1e
Burn1e

Van Gundy is a like a soldier standing next to a 50 cal on top of a Hummer while insisting on shooting at the enemy with a handgun. Nuff said

Burn1e
Burn1e

Yeah I said he's doing worse than Lewis SO FAR. He's a shooter and shooters need minutes to get into a rhythm. I'd take Arenas over Nelson anyday, but he doesn't get the minutes to find his shot. I agree SVG is the problem. I don't believe it is a coincedence that high scoring players come into his system and slump.

Paul
Paul

I feel like I'm in limbo. I can't bring myself to write this team off, but I'm having a really hard time maintaining the belief that they're true contenders at the same time. They handle LA and look pretty damn good in doing so and then fall flat to start the second half. Jekyll and Hyde.

One thing is clear: Dwight Howard is playing the best basketball of his career...and all around him there's inconsistency. How can you blame him for lashing out? Look at the numbers he's been putting up. Don't give me the "keep it in-house", PC-garbage line...the man backs up his talk on the court. Personally, I prefer the passion and the stones to speak up over some apathetic cheerleader BS.

And blaming Stan Van Gundy? Are you kidding me? The guy coaches his ass off. He's second to none in his tenacity to get the best out of his players. Is he always successful at doing so? Of course not. But what I see is a bunch of professional basketball players not earning their paychecks. I'm a little more iffy on Otis Smith, more so for Orlando's salary situation than the trades, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt for being proactive...hindsight's 20/20 all you couch GMs.

You're blind if you can't see the potential with this team. Whether it's enough or not is the real question. I just don't see a lot of teams out there that can wholeheartedly say "this is our year". It's up for grabs. Let's not forget what 59-23 regular seasons have gotten us the last 2 seasons: nothing. Here's to hoping some stumbles along the way and playing the underdog "contender"/flying under the radar changes our fortunes come playoff time. Knee-jerk, apocalypse fans need not apply. And if we can't do it, I sure hope it's the Bulls or Spurs and not the GD Celtics, Heat, or Lakers!

Youngtreekdk
Youngtreekdk

And the assist may not mean much as an individual statistic, but it says a whole lot about the team. You're defending the way the offense is structured, but it is unsuccessful. And if Jameer was such a great passer, a true pick-n-roll point guard, a playmaker as you'd have me believe, than why did we give up half the roster to get Turk back in the first place? What is he doing handling the ball in meaningful possessions down the stretch of close games? I'm no SVG apologist, but even I can understand the thought process.

Youngtreekdk
Youngtreekdk

You know nothing about basketball if you think Nelson is a true pick-n-roll point guard. Leaders don't cry the way up and down the floor. And being a leader does NOT entail blasting teammates every other week in the media. You're supposed to PROTECT them in the media and blast them in the locker room, then prove it on the court. Howard's isn't leading the league in rebounds or blocks. 2 things he should ALWAYS lead the league in. & if we had a true point guard and maybe a hi-lo big man than he wouldn't have to take all these back-to-the-basket shots from outside the paint. You're saying these players weren't available. Who the hell are you? Are you Chris Broussard's source? How can you know this? We don't have picks? We didn't have valuable assets like Jameer, like Reddick, Pietrus, Gortat? And by the way, Derrick Rose, Steph Curry, John Wall and a whole host of other young point guards have defensive problems. Most teams have a defensive specialist at that position so who cares about defense. Obviously we didn't when we gave up Peitrus and Gortat for Richardson and Turk, that argument makes NO sense. And just because Jameer makes a play now and then does not mean he can set the table as a true point guard. He sucks at it! HE's more of a scoring point guard which you don't need with shooters all around, check Boston. Kidd shoots the 3 well and is a FLOOR GENERAL, a concept lost to the Magic franchise.

Billy (slickw143)
Billy (slickw143)

This is so chock full o' fail. Nelson is a pick and roll point guard, since that's the set he predominately runs out of, and it's also the set he used to shred Boston's vaunted D in the Magic's two victories in the playoffs last year.

Howard isn't leading the league in blocks or rebounds because A.) Kevin Love is beasting in Minnesota, and B.) Dwight has had to be less aggressive on D due to the fact he *has* to stay out of foul trouble. If you think Dwight isn't "proving it on the court", then you're not watching the games. I want to see Dwight light up his teammates, because they are playing exceedingly disappointing basketball right now. They deserve to be embarrassed publicly for a lazy performance.

Kidd is overall a worse offensive player than Jameer, and is certainly not as good defensively as Jameer either. Kidd cannot guard fast PG's anymore, which is more of a problem than Jameer's inability to guard big PG's. And Boston? Do you have any idea how difficult it is for Boston's late game offense with Rondo since opposing teams just back off and let him shoot? If not for Pierce's ISO ability, that team would struggle to win any close game.

Fscrhader
Fscrhader

All I can say is that if the Magic don't keep Howard they are going to lose fan base forever... and I mean forever

Burn1e
Burn1e

Speak for yourself maybe you could be a Clipper fan next year

Wundervogel
Wundervogel

I was going over Dwight's numbers earlier today. Man, he is having a season. Rebounding higher than career avg. Blocks are right at avg. Scoring is higher than avg. We need to do something to keep him. Otherwise it might be Durant, Westbrook, and Howard (Which would actually be really good). Or Kobe, Pau, and Howard. I am sad. Today, I just became a Thunder fan (not really). But how could you not?

cbear
cbear

The biggest "PROBLEM" with the Magic is Van Gundy. He's a control freak and, as Shaq pointed out, panics whenever the team suffers the slightest setback in games. There's no flow to the offense and he's so concerned about his rotations that he seldom makes adjustments even when a player is on a hot streak. How many times have we watched J-Rich or Andersen score 15+ in the first half and then disappear in the second half.
He's also 100% predictable late in games---if the team falls 2-4 points behind in the final 1:30 you can guarantee that he will burn a timeout to call a play rather than let the players play in the flow of the game.

Burn1e
Burn1e

They losing cause every shot they take is Dwight in the post or a heave up 3 with 19 on the shot clock. Arenas is doing worse than Lewis was that trade is a bust so far. I'm a die hard Magic fan since I was a kid, but I agree if they don't get it together fast goodbye Dwight thanks for almost winning the Finals. The poor way that SVG uses the fire power he has will be the cause for all of this. Giving players more minutes just because of senority is a horrible mistake. Arenas needs minutes to be effective let him be him not the off the bench three point guy, Van Gundy plays the way the Shaq Magic and the Rockets did in the 90s but yall ain't making your threes. For this team to be what they can quit shooting so many freaking threes. Everyone at home sees you bricking, your not the same team that went to the finals. Give Earl Clark more minutes and attack the hoop, with Perkins gone to the West the only man who can guard Dwight is Stoudemire. Yeah they're in a slump but fans downing them don't help. They can win the title quit listening to Berry on ESPN. They just have to get it together, and this next week will tell the tale. Knicks, Heat, and Bulls in a week time to man up I got faith their gonna go hard this week. GO MAGIC!!!!!!!!!!!! If Dwight does end up leaving don't hate the man thank him for the good memories, but for now we're in the middle of a season rep your team and quit having panic attacks about next year.

Magic Fan in NYC
Magic Fan in NYC

"the only man who can guard Dwight is Stoudemire"
*facepalm*
I like the enthusiasm, but not the most insightful ideas.

Burn1e
Burn1e

Well then please enlighten me as to who you think can go one on one with Dwight in the East?...........................................Don't worry I'll give you the rest of the season to post.

hulk
hulk

I don't know why EVERYBODY want Otis fired???? He's made the BEST moves he could make to make Dwight happy. There wasn't another "better move" to make ten the ones he made. It's not Otis' fault. he's doing ALL he can. Blame the 3some down in Miami who started ALL this "buddy basketball" if Dwight wants to leave then let him go. You can't blame him when he wants to win a championship & he has to go through ALL these "buddy basketball" teams and Orlando doesn't have the market to lure the top free-agents. Dwight can either leave like LeBrick & Carmelo OR he can recruit Derrin Williams or Chris Paul like Dwayne Wade did Bosh & LeBrick. Either way the problem here is DEF NOT Otis, SVG or Gilbert Arenas. As of right now its the whole teams fault for not working hard enough. Plain & simple. I see talent when I look at the Magic but I don't see a sense of urgency. Especially on defense! If I had to point fingers tho I'd say Dwight cry's WAAAAY too much, Turkoglu looks uninterested during %80 of the game; JJ, Ryan, Jameer, Bass and Gilbert need to be more consistent making shots AND on defense. They can't suck at BOTH. Something has got to get better. But for the main cancer, I'd say it's Turkoglu.

Youngtreekdk
Youngtreekdk

Otis doesn't need to be fired, but he did not make the best moves. Trading for Gilbert was a huge mistake. Why do we need a non-passing, ball dominating, chucker like Arenas. Jameer can't pass, we are 22nd in assists per game and the only reason why we're not last is because if you throw the ball near the rim Dwight can go get it. We had plenty of pieces to go out and try to acquire a Deron Williams or to wait out New Orleans until they HAVE to make a move or lose Chris Paul. A pick annd role point guard makes Howard championship approved. That said, the boy does cry WAY too much. He needs to man up and stop bitching to the media and the refs. Turk, agreed he is uninterested a lot of the time, but why would you trade so much value for him? Pietrus could hit the 3 AND defend. No one on the team could say that and HE's the one traded? Gortat has proven irreplacable. Turkoglu is a specialist, he can make plays. He can be your Toni Kukoc. But if the team only goes as far as he takes us than we are in trouble! We've always needed a passing point guard that can lift Dwight's game to new heights. Look what Paul did with Tyson Chandler and even Okafor. The MAgic have a sincerely flawed approach to the game. We'll go inside-outside with Dwight and 3-point shooters. But you need someone to get the ball INSIDE. You need a real floor general, sorry Jameer and a real leader sorry Dwight. With all the pieces the Magic have/had, you can't get an aging Nash or Kidd or something like a table setter for any combination of anybody on your roster not named Howard? Come on Otis......Gilbert?!

Adolfohc
Adolfohc

What do you think is the problem? Laziness? Lack of focus? The system? The players? An unfortunate mix of everything? What are your thoughts Eddy, do we have a chance?

Adolfohc
Adolfohc

The ship is sinking... I'm sad...

Sbaez6
Sbaez6

Orlando just did not do anything to improve in the areas that they need the most.They are a good team, but not good enough to win it all this year,so the story repeat again.Howard is not going to hang around in a team that does not have a chance to win a championship.Thats what happened to Patrick Ewing in New York,and Howard wont do the same.