Monday’s Magic Word | Magic Basketball

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Jan 23

Monday’s Magic Word

  • John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com: “Before Sunday, it had been months, maybe even years since Glen “Big Baby’’ Davis took his gaudy 2008 NBA championship ring out of the safe. Heck, he even thought he had lost the oversized bauble at one time when he mistakenly left it in a safe that he had given away. But on Sunday, with his Orlando Magic rolling along at an impressive 11-4 and on the verge of him returning to Boston, Davis brought the ring with him to practice to serve as motivation and a reminder. [...] Davis returns to Boston on Monday for the first time since leaving the Celtics for the Magic back in November. Technically, the Magic acquired the 6-foot-9, 290-pound Davis and reserve shooting guard Von Wafer in a sign-and-trade deal for Brandon Bass, but he wanted to play for the Magic in order for a larger role on the team. The Magic sought Davis because of his toughness, emotional nature and willingness to do some of the dirty work that the team sorely needed. Those two wants – the Magic wanting Davis to do dirty work and Davis wanting more of a primary role – have clashed at times, but Orlando has been delighted by his play of late as the Magic have won six of the past seven games.”
  • Dwight Howard has been named the Eastern Conference Player of the week for January 16-22.
  • There was no shootaround for the Orlando Magic before tonight’s game with the Boston Celtics.
  • A must-read interview by Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel with NBA commissioner David Stern.
  • John Schuhmann of NBA.com: “There’s talk that the Magic might play out the season without trading Dwight Howard. They’re playing well, but do they have any chance of knocking off the Bulls or Heat to get to the conference finals? Health will be a factor, but they’re 1-4 against Chicago and 2-2 against Miami over the last two seasons.”
  • Amin Vafa of Hardwood Paroxysm: “In recent years, this matchup would be touted as a defensive slugfest and an Eastern Conference Finals preview. Today? The most notable part of the matchup is comparing Glen Davis to Brandon Bass after they switched roles. Boston is injury-hobbled and slipping on defense. Orlando is drama-hobbled, and also slipping on defense. Let’s hope it’s a good game regardless.”
  • Glen Davis might cry before playing against the Celtics.
  • Marc Stein of ESPN.com: “It’s not just Ryan Anderson shooting lights out: Hedo’s doin’ it under the radar, too. And as noted in the Weekend Dime, Dwight has debunked any notion of trade uncertainty impacting his production, on course to be just the NBA’s second 20-and-15 man since Moses in 1982-83.”
  • A new Howard trade rumor involving Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler.
  • Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston: “So the book on Bass when he arrived was that he was an upgrade offensively, but was a step backwards on defense. That’s been somewhat true, though Bass has been both far better as both a rebounder and a man-on-man defender than we originally imagined. He’s still learning the team’s help defense philosophies and has been late on rotations, but his consistent offensive contributions afford him more patience on the defensive side (where his one-on-one numbers remain spectacular).”
  • The Magic’s schedule gets a little bit tougher this week.
  • Would Orlando be better off with Stoudemire and Chandler instead of Howard? Probably not.
  • Zach Lowe of The Point Forward opines whether or not the Magic are slowly becoming a contender again in the league: “I wrote two weeks ago that we’d learn a lot about Orlando’s legitimacy when we saw whether its offense — its undoing last season — could hold up against better competition. So far, so good. With the exception of a stinker against the Spurs on the third night of a back-to-back-to-back, Orlando’s motion-heavy system functioned well in tough games over the last 10 days against Portland, New York and the Lakers — each among the league’s top 10 in points allowed per possession. The Magic’s offense has jumped from sixth in points per possession to second over the last two weeks, and their defense, an early season problem, is creeping back toward the overall top 10. If the Magic can keep up this kind of two-way play, they are a legitimate threat — if an underdog, still — to the Bulls and Heat in the Eastern Conference. We’ll learn even more in the five-games-in-seven-days stretch that starts Monday and includes two games apiece against Boston and Indiana.”
  • Marcin Gortat, formerly a back-up center to Howard for Orlando, is having a career year with the Phoenix Suns. Jared Dubin of Hardwood Paroxysm pens an excellent article explaining the reasons that Gortat is fulfilling his potential.
  • The Magic are bringing in a lot of traffic to their official website.
  • Gilbert Arenas, currently a free agent, still hasn’t found a home yet in the NBA.
  • Beckley Mason of HoopSpeak: “Anderson, just 23 and starting for the first time in his career, came to the Magic to be Rashard Lewis’s understudy and is making a name for himself reprising and expanding Lewis’s famous role—the stretch four marksmen. Van Gundy’s offense, like so many in the NBA, seeks to spread the floor around a rotating pick-and-roll attack designed to punish defenses for deploying extra defenders to address the primary pick-and-roll action. It fixes the defense on the torturer’s rack, pulling it apart until it eventually breaks and surrenders an open shot. [...] It is at this moment, when the defense rushes to the paint like so many white blood cells to the Howard’s infecting presence, that Ryan Anderson shines. Most teams can surround a pick-and-roll attack with a couple competent shooters, but few can boast a big man with the consistent deep stroke that has made Anderson an early season sensation. Even Glen Davis, for all his flaws, is a reliable catch-and-shoot threat from 18 feet. Every time Howard rolls with his hands high, defenses facing the Magic must triage the threat, and Anderson has responded by killing those that leave him untreated.”

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

2 comments
CarloSimone
CarloSimone

Would the Orlando Magic be better off with Stoudemire and Chandler. In the immortal words of Lana from the show "Archer", Nooooooooope!