Monday’s Magic Word | Magic Basketball

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Dec 19

Monday’s Magic Word

  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “The Magic entered Sunday’s exhibition tired. After practices and scrimmages on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, the team held a one-hour, 50-minute shootaround Sunday morning at AmericanAirlines Arena. It would be tempting to blame Orlando’s atrocious second-half performance versus Miami on all of that work. But won’t the Magic face even more grueling stretches during the compressed 66-game season? After all, the team will play a total of 19 pairs of back-to-back games and also one set of three games in three consecutive nights. To be sure, all NBA players confronted same conditioning obstacles. The lockout prevented players from using their teams’ training facilities from July 1 through Nov. 30 and from working out with help from assistant coaches, strength-and-conditioning specialists and athletic trainers. Still, the Heat faced the same restrictions, but they seemed to be much quicker than the Magic, at least on Sunday. Magic players insist that it would be a mistake to read too much into the blowout loss.”
  • Players on the Orlando Magic don’t think Dwight Howard’s trade rumors are a distraction.
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel reacts to the Magic’s preseason loss against the Miami Heat on Sunday: “Folks, preseason games are seldom pretty and this was more like a glorified practice, the by-product of the lockout. There would be more alarms going off if the Magic had been routed by the Charlotte Bobcats, frankly. You have to put it in perspective: The Heat played in the Finals last season and have LeBron James, Dwyane Wade an Chris Bosh, who, by the way, all helped torch the Magic in the telltale third quarter. It really wasn’t all that surprising. The Magic were dismantled by the Heat last season in their second regular-season game of the year in Miami — and that was after a full training camp and eight unbeaten preseason games. The Heat have three stars that few teams can match up against. The Magic can’t handle Wade, LeBron or Bosh at the two-guard, small-forward or power-forward positions.”
  • Magic fans are expressing their appreciation for Howard and have made it clear they want him to stay, but are they begging? Depends on who you ask.
  • Orlando looked terrible in their first preseason game.
  • Daniel Orton’s future with the Magic is yet to be determined.
  • In retrospect, Orlando’s decision to acquire Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson, and Gilbert Arenas in two separate trades last year was a bad one.
  • Glen Davis and Justin Harper show some holiday spirit.
  • Several NBA scribes don’t expect to see Howard in a Magic uniform after the trade deadline.
  • Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com: “What exactly Howard’s teammates were thinking as he talked like he was actually interested in being on the same path with them or that he’s in it together with them was not available for public consumption. Just know that Howard has publicly demanded a trade away from these teammates twice since the start of training camp.”
  • Chad Ford of ESPN Insider gives the Magic an ‘F’ for their offseason: “Tthe team re-signed the aging Jason Richardson to a reported four-year, $25 million deal despite the fact he didn’t appear to have any other serious suitors. This, as Magic fans know, is a Smith special. He signs players to big deals without context. The second was trading Bass for Davis. Bass made less money and is a better player. Go figure.”
  • A preview of the Southeast Division.
  • Matt Moore of CBSSports.com: “Giving Jason Richardson and Glen Davis mid-size contracts is not the way to keep Dwight Howard, I don’t care how good a friend he is with them. The Magic sacrificed their future, which is going to become very important to them in the next six months, in order to try and make another run with the same team that didn’t succeed last year, plus Davis who is a big who doesn’t help their issues in rebounding and has conditioning issues. Re-signing Earl Clark doesn’t make a big enough impact to matter.”
  • Has Howard already checked out?
  • J.A. Adande of ESPN.com: “As tumultuous as the process of trading Chris Paul was for the Hornets, at least that’s over. Dwight Howard will be an issue for Orlando every day until he leaves (it still feels more like when than if). It’s already cost the Magic a CEO, who admitted making a wine-infused phone call to Howard at 1 a.m. When will the cap-clogged roster and ill-fitting parts cost them Howard himself? The only positive is this should make for some entertaining Stan Van Gundy news conferences.”
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