Thursday’s Magic Word | Magic Basketball



Feb 16

Thursday’s Magic Word

  • John Denton of “Were it not for a certain sensation out of New York sweeping the basketball world right now, Orlando Magic power forward Ryan Anderson might be the runaway favorite for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award with the way he’s dramatically boosted his scoring average and become the game’s most impressive 3-point shooter. But since we’re talking about Jeremy Lin – and who isn’t these days after the way he’s taken the NBA by storm – there’s a connection between the New York Knicks’ guard and Anderson. With both hailing from Northern California – Anderson from El Dorado Hills and Lin from Palo Alto – and being born just three months apart, they regularly played against one another in junior circuit leagues and AAU ball. And even though they both led their respective high schools to state titles as high school seniors, Anderson and Lin were told along the way they’d never be very good college players, much less make it to the NBA. So when Anderson and Lin met back when Lin was still a member of the Golden State Warriors, they relived memories of their younger days and how they had defied the odds to get to the NBA.”
  • Is there someone on the roster for the Orlando Magic that can surprise like Jeremy Lin?
  • Dwight Howard will coach in the 2012 Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game.
  • The field for NBA All-Star Slam Dunk has been set.
  • Who will win the dunk contest?
  • Linsanity may hit Orlando during All-Star Weekend.
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “It’s unclear whether Smith was being serious, but Magic General Manager Otis Smith indicated to the Orlando Sentinel that his team is not considering the 6-foot-6 guard. The Magic could use their midlevel exception of up to $5 million to sign J.R. Smith, but that would have a drawback. The team’s current salary-cap total for this season is $68.7 million, according to HoopsWorld, and the league’s luxury-tax threshold is set at $70.3 million. The Magic would pay an extra dollar for every dollar they are over the threshold at the end of the season.”
  • Tom Haberstroh of ESPN Insider with a must-read piece on Howard’s worth as an elite two-way player in the NBA: “Acquiring a two-way talent such as Howard or James is like using a two-for-one deal at the grocery store. Instead of eating up $30 million of cap space by handcuffing a dominant offensive force (say, Anthony) with a dominant defensive force (say, Tyson Chandler), you can pay James or Howard to do both things for you at half the price. Since you can only play five players on the court, having a two-way player to fulfill both jobs (two NBA stars for the price of one!) is among the biggest market inefficiencies a GM can exploit. That’s why every owner was willing to bend over backward and fly to Ohio to make a sales pitch to James. If Howard finishes the season in Orlando, we’ll see GMs do the same for him.”
  • The Magic have one of the best transition defenses in the league.
  • Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk: “This game followed the old axiom “you can’t win a game in the first quarter but you can lose it.” Orlando raced out to a 23-6 lead and never trailed. The Sixers tried, they made some rallies — like when they made push to cut it to nine inside of four minutes. But back-to-back threes by Ryan Anderson and Jason Richardson pushed the lead to 15 and all but sealed it. Anderson finished with a game high 27, Dwight Howard had 17. Lou Williams led Philly with 21. This game was a far cry from the meeting a couple weeks ago where the 76ers held the Magic to 69 points total.”
  • Peter Walsh of SLAM ONLINE raves about Ryan Anderson: “Ryan Anderson has been shooting the lights out this season. The third year pro has hit 80 three’s this year, 19 more than anyone else in the league; he is also one of the few (only?) players to hit more three-point field goals than two-point field goals. The guy is an assassin and in my opinion, for what it’s worth, he should have been an All-Star. Last night Anderson continued his hot shooting with 7 three-pointers (on 10 attempts) against one of the best defensive teams in the L.”
  • Rodger Bohn of SLAM ONLINE conducts a Q/A with Penny Hardaway.
  • Anderson gets an “E” for effort for his performance against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, in which he scored 27 points and made seven three-pointers.
  • Anderson is proving to be more bang for the buck than Rashard Lewis was for Orlando.

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