Tuesday’s Magic Word | Magic Basketball



Jan 31

Tuesday’s Magic Word

  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “It’s not a new tradition, but some teams’ fans start games standing on their feet, only sitting after the home team scores. Now I realize Magic fans might risk suffering from corns and bunions by the time the cold-shooting Magic find the basket during this slump. But why not pump up the struggling Magic right out of the box Wednesday night against the Wizards? Give them a standing ovation at tip-off. Let loose. Occupy Amway Center. Go crazy. Treat it as a playoff game. The Magic are having troubling summoning energy, so provide some for them in this marathon schedule. Leave the wine bar and get to your seat before tip-off. Act like Duke fans, the Cameron Crazies. Yell, stomp your feet, applaud, razz the Wizards, impact the game. Bring back the wave.”
  • General manager Otis Smith doesn’t plan on making any moves right now.
  • Andrew Lynch of Hardwood Paroxysm: “Two things here, Orlando. First, the league was a lot more fun when it seemed like you were a good team capable of challenging the Heat and Bulls in the playoffs if everything went your way. I don’t want to overreact to a handful of games, so I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt for now, but knock it off. Immediately. Second, your little quarter-season swoon made it a lot harder to defend the Sixers as a legitimate team (whatever that phrase means; it’s the question people ask all the time). Getting a win against the Magic meant something two weeks ago. Now? Not so much.”
  • Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports: “The Magic will never respond to Howard again, and that’s on him. They’re lost in a brutal five-out-of-six-games debacle, and Howard’s public proclamation calling out Magic teammates last week has compounded issues. Despite his inability to separate the get-me-out-of-town Dwight and the I’m-your-leader Dwight, the organization knows one thing for sure: They’re the same guy.”
  • What should the Orlando Magic do with Dwight Howard?
  • John Hollinger of ESPN Insider proposes the Magic trade Howard to the New Jersey Nets: “Because of Kris Humphries’ involvement it couldn’t be consummated until March 1 and can’t be done on the Trade Machine, but the deal is Dwight Howard, Chris Duhon and Hedo Turkoglu to New Jersey for Brooks, Humphries, Brook Lopez and Mehmet Okur. The Nets could actually get a $3.1 million trade exception for Lopez as well, while the Magic would get one worth $3.2 million for Duhon. In addition, New Jersey can include four first-round picks: Its own picks in 2012, 2014 and 2016, and a pick owed to it by Houston from the Terrence Williams trade. It’s the best way to get Orlando out of its salary-cap mess and give it the pieces to rebuild, and obviously it puts New Jersey in great shape with a Howard-Williams core.”
  • The losses are piling up for Orlando.
  • Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk tries to examine the Magic’s woes: “The bigger problem is leadership — someone needs to step up and hold people accountable in the locker room. But can Howard, with one foot out the door and flirting with other cities, really be that guy? Teammates seemed to have tuned his rants out. Someone else will need to fill that role. Don’t expect a sudden Dwight Howard trade move either. The scenarios are out there, but as we have been saying the feeling around the league is the Magic are not going to trade him this season, but if they do it will be after the All-Star break the last weekend of February.”
  • Would the Chicago Bulls be wise in going all-in for Howard?
  • A look back at Orlando’s loss against the Philadelphia 76ers.
  • Ken Berger of CBSSports.com: “As bad as it looks, I caution you to look at the calendar before you try to pinpoint what has sickened the Magic. Six games in eight nights is no time for a sweeping diagnosis, and it doesn’t get much better from here. On Wednesday, the good news is that the Magic get the Wizards at home. The bad news is, it’s the start of a stretch of five more games in eight nights. Onward they all go, in the dementia-inducing, post-lockout NBA. The only thing we know for sure is that more losses, whatever the culprit, will spawn more Dwight drama, more headlines and the kind of pressure that would splinter any locker room. Given the circumstances, the relentless schedule that is taxing everyone, this long free-agent good-bye has the potential to end even uglier than the last two we’ve endured.”
  • The Magic are getting exponentially worse by the week.
  • Apparently, Stephen Jackson may be the ticket for a team to trade for (and keep) Howard.
  • A Fran Vazquez update.
  • Derrick Rose is indifferent with Howard joining the Bulls.
  • The trust between Howard and his teammates is gone for the Magic.
  • Zach Lowe of The Point Forward: “Here’s how bad the Magic’s offense has been: In four of those eight games, they scored at a per-possession rate lower than the Wizards, the league’s least efficient offensive team. (They managed this in one other game before this stretch — against Chicago on Jan. 6.) In two others of those eight games, they barely edged out Washington’s average scoring rate, according to Hoopdata. Six recent games, six performances on par with the very worst scoring team in the league. But some of those performances were really bad, beyond just Wizards bad. In four of those recent games, the Magic failed to crack 87.5 points per 100 possessions — a barrier that sits a full 12.5 points per 100 possession below the league’s average, and well below the Wizards. Those truly awful performances, including three that are just completely off the scoring map, are where Orlando’s season begins to separate itself from the run-of-the-mill struggles every good team goes through.”

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