- Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “With the Magic leading the Toronto Raptors 117-98 in the closing seconds of a game Monday night, a seemingly insignificant basket by Toronto’s Ed Davis prompted the crowd inside Air Canada Centre to erupt in cheers. The moment flummoxed Stan Van Gundy and some Magic players until they were told that ticket-holders would receive free pizza since Davis’ basket gave the Raptors 100 points.”
- Aside from pulling that hilarious quote from head coach Stan Van Gundy, Robbins conducts an interview with general manager Otis Smith and asks him a variety of questions about the Orlando Magic. In it, Smith notes that he wants to see Jameer Nelson and Hedo Turkoglu play better than they have this season. Rob Mahoney of CourtVision agrees.
- Improving their defense and ball-handling are two areas in which the Magic must improve before the start of the playoffs.
- Head coach Dwane Casey has high praise for Ryan Anderson. This after Anderson torched the Toronto Raptors to the tune of 28 points, making a career-high eight three-pointers in the process.
- Don’t look now but the Boston Celtics are surging in the Atlantic Division. As of today, the Celtics are tied with the Philadelphia 76ers atop the division (both teams are 27-22). Why does that matter? It matters because if the Celtics win another divisional title, they would — at minimum — earn the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference. Which means Orlando would avoid Boston in the first round of the 2012 NBA Playoffs.
- Much has changed since the Magic last faced the New York Knicks on January 16.
- Van Gundy is admired by many writers in the blogosphere. Like Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don’t Lie. Or Zach Lowe of The Point Forward. Or Holly MacKenzie of CourtVision. Van Gundy’s rants on anything and everything have become legendary in NBA circles.
- Orlando took advantage of the Raptors’ inconsistency on defense.
- Against Toronto, Anderson proved why he’s one of the best three-point shooters in the NBA.
- Jeff Van Gundy on Dwight Howard’s decision to stay with the Magic beyond this season: “That decision wasn’t about loyalty, it had nothing to do with loyalty, it had to do with he stays in power, control, and generates attention over the next year and a half until it comes back around again.”
- According to Britt Robson of Sports Illustrated, Turkoglu must regain his 2009 form if Orlando wants to advance deep into the postseason this year.
- The Magic punished the Raptors by running a number of staggered screens to create open looks on offense for players like Anderson.
- What are the odds Orlando makes it to the Eastern Conference Finals? Not bad, actually. John Hollinger of ESPN Insider explains: “Chicago-Miami seems like such a slam dunk in the Eastern Conference finals that it’s barely worth talking about the conference’s other teams. Not so fast, perhaps. AccuScore gives Orlando a 32 percent chance of upsetting Miami and Boston a 19 percent chance.”
Stan, never change. You bring joy to my heart.
Avoiding Boston is probably a good thing. But it would be nice to avoid Boston and Atlanta since we've been completely inept against both of them. I don't think that's mathematically possible though.
@CarloSimone Yeah, I noted that in one of my recaps recently. The odds are pretty high that the Magic will draw Atlanta or Boston in the first round.