Monday’s Magic Word | Magic Basketball



Jan 30

Monday’s Magic Word

  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “Something ails the Orlando Magic. Is it fatigue created by a brutal schedule? Or is something deeper at work? Whatever the case, the team looks awful right now. The Magic lost for the fourth time in five games Sunday, falling 106-85 on their home floor to the Indiana Pacers. Even Orlando’s normally placid fans rained boos down on the Magic during the final period, and the crowd had plenty of reasons to feel frustrated. The defense looked uninterested at times. The offense struggled to protect the ball. And, worst of all, the Pacers flat-out outhustled the Magic. […] His team looks to be in freefall right now. In the last four losses, the Magic were clobbered by 31 points by the Boston Celtics, relinquished a 27-point lead to Boston, were routed by 26 by the hapless New Orleans Hornets and were annihilated by 21 by the Pacers. Tough to believe the Magic held an 11-4 record on Jan. 20.”
  • For whatever reason, the Orlando Magic struggle to bring the ball up the court.
  • Ryan Anderson agrees with Dwight Howard’s criticisms with regards to players for the Magic playing with a lack of effort when they’re on the floor.
  • The Super Bowl is having an affect on Orlando’s ability to travel.
  • Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don’t Lie has more on the Magic’s traveling snafu: “The compromise? The Magic will fly from Cincinnati on Sunday. Which sounds about right, until you consider the fact that the same sort of weather issues that would be preventing a flight from placid Florida on Sunday into potentially-snowy Indianapolis are still going to be in place flying from Cincinnati to Indianapolis. Perhaps worse, even. Planes have mechanical hiccups in Orlando just as often as they do in Cincinnati, but it snows way, way more in Cincinnati than it does in Orlando.”
  • Orlando is about ready to implode.
  • Howard is open to playing for the Chicago Bulls.
  • John Hollinger of ESPN Insider: “Yes, we’re evaluating the team after a particularly ugly five-game stretch, and I suspect this is about as badly as the Magic can play. But that doesn’t raise the water level enough to wash away the inescapable conclusion: These Magic, even with Howard, aren’t good enough to contend for anything important. And if that’s the case, it follows that Orlando’s hopes of persuading Howard to stay by fielding a contending team around him are similarly kaput. This has been suspected for some time, of course, but the optimism spawned by those first 15 games left openings for doubt. The last five games have crushed those hopes like a grape, with Howard’s comments questioning his teammates’ effort after the New Orleans debacle providing the hammer.”
  • Marc Stein of “Wasn’t it just one Monday ago that the Magic were actually feeling sneaky good about their chances of making one last run in an East with D-Rose ailing and only six teams above .500? Must feel like a year ago after what SVG aptly described as Orlando’s worst week since he started coaching there in 2007.”
  • Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk: “As we have talked about before, Howard is stealing a page from the Carmelo Anthony/LeBron James “force a trade out of town playbook.” Part of that is saying you are open to playing anywhere for any team, just being vague and saying that your agent or God or someone else is in charge but not you. Which is a load of crap. If Howard wanted to force his way to Chicago he could (or at least could try), but that city was not on the list presented to the Magic. (Those teams were the Lakers, Mavericks, Nets and later the Clippers were added.)”
  • The Magic are freefalling.
  • Matt Moore of thinks Howard is smart to consider the Bulls as his new team: “But Howard would be wise to consider Chicago — both for himself and the franchise he’s likely dumping. A trade with the Bulls would be easiest to facilitate because they have quality veteran players to package in exchange for Howard, which the Magic are said to covet. With a full stock of draft picks, young players and sub-stars like Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah, the Bulls could take on Howard’s salary and one of the Magic’s overpaid contracts. For Chicago, putting Howard next to Rose would be phenomenal — and giving Tom Thibodeau the best defensive player in the league could create the best defense in league history, depending on whether Luol Deng were sent away in such a trade.”
  • Orlando is stirring up plenty of drama that’s worthy of reality television.
  • A list of teams that Howard would be willing to play for.
  • Could Chris Kaman be a player the Magic could trade for to serve as a back-up center?
  • Orlando isn’t very good right now and that’s not Howard’s fault.

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