Tuesday’s Magic Word | Magic Basketball

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Jan 17

Tuesday’s Magic Word

  • Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel: “Hey, Magic fans, you might want to show up at the Amway Center tonight just to say a potential goodbye to the Big Fella. Chances are he’s not going to be around much longer. When they announce his name, give him a standing ovation. Show him how much he is appreciated for what he has done. Thank him for loading a small-market team and a devoted town onto his broad shoulders and uplifting them and making them feel good about themselves and showing them that love and loyalty really do mean something in today’s self-indulgent sports world. I wish I were talking about Dwight Howard, but I’m not. I’m talking about Tim Duncan, who will be in town tonight with his San Antonio Spurs — a non-glitzy, unglamorous team he elevated into a champion. He is what Magic fans always hoped Dwight would be — the rock-solid foundation of a franchise and the enduring cornerstone of a community. That’s apparently not going to happen now. You know the story. Dwight told the Magic long ago he wants outta here. Wants a bigger market, a more glamorous lifestyle. Wants to make movies and records and reality TV shows.”
  • General manager Otis Smith has not been informed by Dwight Howard about his interest in the Los Angeles Clippers.
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “The Dwight Howard trade-me saga is playing out exactly as expected. Another day, another report. This time, it’s Chris Sheridan, a former ESPN NBA writer who reported on his website that that Howard is adding the L.A. Clippers to his list of teams he’d agree to join, along with the Nets, Mavs and Lakers. Hours later, ESPN.com came back with a rebuttal, saying that there have been no “serious” discussions between the Magic and Clips. And so it goes.”
  • Will a player for the Orlando Magic compete in the Three-Point Shootout on NBA All-Star Weekend?
  • A look at Ryan Anderson’s career-high 30-point performance against the New York Knicks.
  • Teams should probably stop leaving Ryan Anderson open behind the three-point line.
  • Orlando is enjoying a relatively clean bill of health in the early stages of the regular season.
  • Howard has added the Clippers to his wish list.
  • The Magic used a zone to beat the Knicks in yesterday’s game.
  • With the trade rumors swirling, Howard is keeping his cool — for now.
  • Another recap of Orlando’s win against New York.
  • Royce Young of CBSSports.com: “Orlando might’ve picked up its best win of the season Monday in New York and the Magic did it behind Ryan Anderson’s scoring barrage. Anderson has emerged as a legit option for the Magic and with Dwight Howard inside, Anderson, a finesse power forward, can afford to play on the perimeter. It’s really a pretty perfect pairing, much in the way Rashard Lewis worked well playing alongside Howard. Anderson went for 30 against the Knicks and did it with seven 3-pointers.”
  • The Magic are handling the uncertainty surrounding Howard’s future about as good as they can.
  • Britt Robson of Sports Illustrated: “Neil Paine had an excellent post at Basketball Prospectus on Friday comparing stretch power forward Ryan Anderson’s season to those of the great outside shooter Peja Stojakovic in his prime. Even before he erupted for a career-high 30 points and went 7-of-13 from three-point range in Monday’s victory at New York, Anderson was improving the Magic offense by more than 17 points per 100 possessions when he was on the court compared to when he sat, according to Basketball Value. He is also spearheading the NBA’s most efficient offense and prolific long-range game, with Hedo Turkoglu likewise shooting better than 44 percent and J.J. Redick hitting 38.6 percent from beyond the arc.”
  • Is Howard putting forth a full effort defensively? John Hollinger of ESPN Insider isn’t so sure: “Orlando has historically been a top-five defensive team with just OK offensive output, but not this year: The Magic lead the NBA in offensive efficiency thus far. To an extent, roster moves have aided that push — Orlando began to play more offensively when it traded Rashard Lewis a year ago, and moving The Grenade Launcher into the starting lineup this year doubled down on that decision. The concern in Orlando, however, is that its previous success was built mostly on the defensive dominance of Dwight Howard, and he hasn’t been as impactful this season. He’s also been noticeably more reticent to contest shots when he has fouls, which may be a tactical decision. However, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to connect the other dots — at times he looks like a guy who is playing just hard enough to avoid being compared to Vince Carter. Howard is so good that he can get away with it most of the time, but the stat sheet shows he’s not impacting the game defensively as he did a year ago.”
  • Howard is sour on joining the New Jersey Nets.
  • Is it possible that Howard’s trade demand is affecting Orlando from an emotional standpoint?

Eddy Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of Magic Basketball. Follow him on Twitter.

1 comments
EricFarrell
EricFarrell

I often criticize Otis Smith for his many dumb moves. But Otis insisting on Ryan Anderson when he traded for Vince Carter was a brilliant decision by him. It's also interesting that John Hollinger stats point out that Dwight Howard hasn't been as effective as a defender as he has in the past. Although the sample size is too small to definitely say that Dwight best defensive days are behind him, they might be. Whether this is due to disinterest or perceived necessity is impossible to say for certain. The Magic might actually be better served if Dwight does reign back his defensive intensity and stay on the court longer because of the utter lack of legit 5's on the team. There might be a correlation between how good Dwight is defensively and how long he stays on the court. I remember when the Magic where playing the Bobcats in the first round a couple years back and Dwight was an absolute terror on defensive but seemed to have trouble staying off the pine because of foul trouble. Of course back then Magic had Gortat as a safety net, so Dwight had the luxury of only playing 20 something minutes and having the Magic win. A luxury they don't have now.