Tuesday's Magic Word | Magic Basketball

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Apr 12

Tuesday’s Magic Word

  • Josh Cohen of OrlandoMagic.com: “Ignore the regular season series between the [Orlando] Magic and Hawks because every game they played was inconsequential evidence of what to expect in this rematch of last year’s conference semifinals. The first meeting was before Orlando’s blockbuster trades; the second collision was during the Magic’s stomach virus epidemic, the third was the first game following the deals and the final contest was injury-plagued for the blue and white. While Jason Collins was credited for his willingness to body up on Dwight Howard in the regular season, I expect Superman to flourish and dominate against his counterpart in a seven-game series. I also anticipate Jameer Nelson to thrive against Kirk Hinrich, who the Hawks acquired at the trade deadline from the Wizards. One of the more intriguing matchups will be at the shooting guard spot with Joe Johnson and Jason Richardson – two explosive scorers and primetime players. Some of the most glaring curiosities will be injury related as Atlanta’s Josh Smith recently returned from a sprained knee and it remains unspecified whether Orlando’s J.J. Redick will be back after missing more than a dozen games with a lower abdominal strain.”
  • John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com looks back at the top 10 moments for the Orlando Magic in the 2010-2011 NBA regular season. Here’s number one: “A sluggish Magic team given up for dead when it trailed the rival Heat by 18 points at halftime and by as much as 24 points in the second half awoke from its slumber and pulled off a comeback win for the ages. Once down 73-49 early in the third quarter, the Magic used runs of 22-7 (to end the third period) and 18-2 (to start the fourth quarter) – a shocking 40-9 spurt in all – for what very well could be the biggest regular-season victory in franchise history. The 24-point rally just missed equaling the all-time Magic record. Orlando’s comeback from 25 points down on Nov. 8, 1989 in Cleveland is the all-time franchise record. Orlando held LeBron James and Dwyane Wade to just 10 points combined in the second half after the Heat duo had 47 points in the first half. Wade did not have a field goal in the second half and James did not score in the fourth quarter.”
  • Dwight Howard likes being the underdog.
  • Tas Melas of The Basketball Jones makes his case for Howard and the MVP award.
  • Matt Moore of CBSSports.com: “Orlando poneyed up for the new arena critics of small-markets allege the non-top cities never approve. Ownership elected to go above and beyond the cap, deep into the luxury tax. They were smart enough to draft, and develop, a franchise player, acquire a competitive and arguably brilliant head coach, surround the team with competent role players. When the 2009 team failed to get past the last challenge, management did not get complacent, and instead opted for the home-run move you’re supposed to make, according to many. Vince Carter, for all his Vince-Carter-ness, was still a legit star in the summer of 2009. They went for the big move. When that didn’t work out, they once again swung for the fences. You can’t say Otis Smith didn’t try. But here they are. Entering the playoffs as the worst seed they’ve been since 2008, with little to no momentum, and considered nothing more than after-thought in the playoffs. They are a speedbump in the road to the Finals for teams from Miami, Chicago, Boston. They gambled. They lost. And the worst part of all is this season may turn out to be the one that gives Dwight Howard an excuse to leave Orlando; it may be the one reflected on as what turns Howard away; it may be the year Orlando lost their franchise center, again.”
  • Offensive rebounds aided the Orlando Magic’s victory against the Philadelphia 76ers.
  • Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk is skeptical that Jason Collins will make a difference for the Atlanta Hawks in their first round matchup against the Magic in the 2011 NBA Playoffs: “Orlando has dominated this matchup in recent years, but Atlanta is counting on Jason Collins to change that. Sure, that will work.”
  • Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus reveals his awards ballot.
  • Atlanta and Orlando are two teams searching for respect in different ways.
  • Britt Robson of Sports Illustrated: “Based on this regular-season performance, Orlando has to hope Howard remains loyal when he’s eligible to become a free agent after next season. That would enable the Magic — whose salary-cap situation doesn’t look pretty — to go back to square two in rebuilding around the 25-year-old center.”
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