Thursday’s Magic Word | Magic Basketball

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Feb 02

Thursday’s Magic Word

  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “Smith, 23, signed with the Magic on Thursday as a free agent and is expected to provide immediate help at point guard. Coach Stan Van Gundy said Smith will “definitely” play Friday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Smith is by no means ready, but Van Gundy has little choice. Starting point guard Jameer Nelson will miss the game against the Cavs because of concussion symptoms. Nelson is not expected to play until Monday at the earliest. The Magic released veteran combo guard Larry Hughes after Wednesday night’s win against the Washington Wizards to make room for Smith, a true guard. Van Gundy hopes Smith, 6-foot, 175 pounds, can help the Magic advance the ball up the floor. Teams have been pressuring the ball lately, forcing turnovers and causing the Magic to get into their offense late.”
  • More from Robbins: “As tipoff approached Wednesday night, Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said he had no doubt his players would begin their game against the Washington Wizards with plenty of energy. Something concerned him, though. He worried what would happen if the Wizards went on a run. Would the Magic’s fragile confidence shatter? Would everything snowball out of control, just as it had several times within the last week? Would the Magic lose a fifth consecutive game for the first time in Van Gundy’s tenure? The Magic wound up passing the test. But not without a struggle. Fueled by their 3-point shooting, Orlando overcame a turnover-filled first half to beat Washington 109-103 at Amway Center.”
  • Jameer Nelson is recovering well from a concussion.
  • Head coach Stan Van Gundy is trying to persevere as the Orlando Magic try to snap out of their losing ways. To say it’s been a struggle for Van Gundy is putting it kindly.
  • Ish Smith is eager to make an impact with the Magic.
  • Tom Ziller of SB Nation states that Dwight Howard is a volatile scorer: “Howard, surprisingly, is right behind ‘Melo. Seeing a big man so high on the list fights conventional wisdom, which is that since big men tend to have higher shooting percentages, their production is more reliable. While Kevin Love, Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge all seem to bolster that hypothesis with relatively low volatility marks, Howard — a regular near the top of field goal percentage rankings — is a blinking signal of doubt. One possible explanation: Dwight earns so many free throw attempts and shoots them so poorly that if he has a bad day at the stripe, he’s likely to have a bad day in the scoring column. (That the season has been short and that he had a monster scoring game against Golden State could affect things too, though the game didn’t throw his average too far away from expectations.)”
  • Orlando is a roster filled with volatile scorers.
  • Noam Schiller of Hardwood Paroxysm blames the Magic’s slow descent into irrelevance due to the decline of aging veterans like Jameer Nelson and Jason Richardson: “If you add these two and a half improving youngsters to what used to be a solid array of role players and semi-stars, this should be a far better Magic team than last season. Maybe not Chicago or Miami level, but as close as it gets out East. Of course, that’s contingent on the non-youngsters as well. And that’s where, umm, sad.”
  • Recapping Orlando’s win last night.
  • Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk: “After four straight losses Magic will take the win, even if they let the team with the worst offense in the NBA put up 103 on them. The Magic’s defense was bad (except on John Wall who hit just 1-of-12 shots but did have 10 assists). Their offense was good enough to counter it — Dwight Howard and Ryan Anderson each had 23, J.J. Redick had 21.”

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

8 comments
Pegleg1144
Pegleg1144

This is my favorite Magic site, I just wish more people would comment.

HoopsJunkie
HoopsJunkie

I'm afraid Magic basketball is getting ready to take a nosedive in terms of popularity.....If the players don't care, which they've exhibited then why should we as fans ?

Did you see all the empty seats at the Washington game ????...Look for it to get worse.

erivera7
erivera7 moderator

@HoopsJunkie I have to imagine once Dwight leaves, the Amway Center is going to be an empty place.

Voecklen
Voecklen

A really simple comment. Your site would be more attractive if you (all of you here) would actually interact. It's like you can't be bothered to respond to people who are your audience. This is supposed to be social. Just sayin.

erivera7
erivera7 moderator

@Voecklen Haha. What? I respond. It's tough for Danny, Matt, and Nate because they're either working or busy with school during the day. I'm in front of a computer all day so it's a little easier for me to comment with everyone.