- Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers compares the Andrew Bynum situation in Philadelphia to the Grant Hill saga when he coached the Orlando Magic (2000-2004): “I had Grant Hill for three years and we made the playoffs every year with that group, but it was hard. [The 76ers] are doing that same thing we did. You go into the year with your offense and defensive schemes for Grant and for Bynum, and then you’re running half of it but you don’t want to change too much because if he comes back, then you’re going to have to change back. You just felt like you were caught in flux the entire season. In our case, Grant would play, like, three games and sit out 30 more. It was really hard.”
- Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don’t Lie also looks back at the Hill era: “The pairing of Hill and McGrady, who averaged 32.1 points, 12 combined rebounds/assists, and 2.5 blocks/steals in his third season with Orlando, should have been devastating. It was all shot to hell when Hill, a free agent to-be with a nice guy image to uphold, decided to come back way too early from an ankle injury late in 1999-00. Sound familiar? He then, as Orlando’s new showy centerpiece, came back far too early in 2000-01. In trying to play the nice guy, Hill overreached, and his health and career never recovered.”
- Jared Wade of TrueHoop: “In 2013, teams use analytics to increase their bottom lines as much as they do to boost their win totals. The Orlando Magic, for example, knew that ticket demand would nose-dive after they traded Dwight Howard. But Orlando’s gate revenue is down just 3.3 percent this season compared to 2010-11, according to team vice president of business strategy Anthony Perez, who spoke on a ticketing panel during the 2013 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston. Compared to the related fall in the secondary resale market for tickets, which Perez said has dropped 28 percent, the sales team seems to be doing well. Although fewer people are coming to games (1,322 fewer fans per game from a franchise-high average of 18,972 two years ago), Orlando has gotten better at squeezing money out of its building.”
- After snagging a Magic franchise record and career-high 29 rebounds against the Miami Heat on December 31, Nikola Vucevic is on the Heat’s radar this time around as they get ready to face off against Orlando in tonight’s game.
- Today is Shaquille O’Neal’s birthday (he’s 41). Here are some highlights from his rookie season with the Magic in 1993.
- Jameer Nelson reacts to Dwight Howard’s comments from his now-infamous interview with Kristine Leahy of KCAL9 and CBS2 in Los Angeles, in which he threw his former Magic teammates under the bus.