Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog

Apr 15

Tuesday’s Magic Word

  • John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com: “As he’s prepared for games late in the season, Vaughn has often popped in video of the Magic playing a similar opponent early in the season to see the level of improvement. He is satisfied that several of the players have made significant strides – even if it hasn’t necessarily translated into winning a bevy of games.”
  • It’s “Fan Appreciation Night” when the Magic host the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday on the final day of the regular season.
  • The Pacers will be resting some of their starters against Orlando.
  • Tyler Lashbrook of Orlando Pinstriped Post: “It’s hard to believe, but the Orlando Magic are one game away from being two full seasons into the rebuilding process. In two years, the roster has transformed from a club full of Otis Smith’s spare parts to Hennigan’s young guns, sans Jameer Nelson. Those shiny, new Corvettes have produced precisely 120 losses, 121 if the Indiana Pacers take care of business like it should on Wednesday.”
  • The Magic are finalizing plans to enter a single-affiliation hybrid relationship with the Erie Bayhawks of the D-League. It’s the same type of partnership that the Houston Rockets have with the Rio Grand Valley Vipers.
  • It’s awards season in the NBA and Zach Lowe of Grantland — who has an actual ballot this year for the first time — reveals his pick for Rookie of the Year.

Apr 15

Highlights: Andrew Nicholson’s resurrection

Apr 15

Grades: Chicago Bulls 108, Orlando Magic 95

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 11.38.17 AM

AP Photo/Jeff Haynes

 

Chicago Bulls 108 Final
Recap | Box Score
95 Orlando Magic

Arron Afflalo
5-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 13 PTS | +3

Afflalo’s best offensive sequence came when he made a fadeaway jumper along the right baseline, a 3-pointer off the dribble from the right wing, and a catch-and-shoot jumper from the left wing during a four-minute stretch in the third quarter. Outside of that, Afflalo was relatively quiet offensively, as coach Jacque Vaughn again — like he did on Sunday — elected to give the bench some extended minutes.

Kyle O’Quinn
9-11 FG | 3-5 FT | 1 BLK | 7 REB | 20 PTS | +9

You’re looking at the best second round draft pick in Magic franchise history. Anderson Varejao doesn’t count, given that he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers (in the Tony Battie trade) a month after he was drafted in 2004. On a day where it snowed in Chicago, O’Quinn brought a little rain with him, as he was raining midrange jumpers all over the court.

Andrew Nicholson
8-9 FG | 3-3 3P | 1 BLK | 4 REB | 19 PTS | -9

After having his best game in months in Sunday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets, Nicholson followed that up with one of his best games of the season. This is the player that Magic fans expected to see on a regular basis before he regressed after the first month of the regular season. Hook shots, midrange jumpers, corner 3s — everything was clicking for Nicholson.

Victor Oladipo
3-8 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 10 PTS | +3

With Orlando’s season winding down, Vaughn has said that he was going to cut Oladipo’s playing time since he’s already amassed nearly 2,500 minutes in his rookie year. To put that number in comparison, Oladipo played just 1,021 minutes in his final college season at Indiana. What’s amazing is that Oladipo never visibly showed he hit the rookie wall.

Chicago Bulls

No Derrick Rose, no Luol Deng, and yet the Bulls are now 48-33 and in line for the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference, as long as they beat the Charlotte Bobcats in their final regular season game on Wednesday. All hail Tom Thibodeau and Joakim Noah. This is a team that no one in the East wants to face in the playoffs.

Apr 14

Preview: Orlando Magic at Chicago Bulls

Essentials

  • Teams: Orlando Magic at Chicago Bulls
  • Date: April 13, 2014
  • Time: 8:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: United Center

Records

  • Magic: 23-57
  • Bulls: 47-33

Probable starters

Magic:

  • Victor Oladipo
  • Arron Afflalo
  • Maurice Harkless
  • Kyle O’Quinn
  • Dewayne Dedmon

Bulls:

  • Kirk Hinrich
  • Jimmy Butler
  • Mike Dunleavy
  • Carlos Boozer
  • Joakim Noah

Advanced stats

Magic:

  • Pace: 93.7 (15th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 101.7 (29th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 107.2 (16th of 30)

Bulls:

  • Pace: 90.2 (28th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 102.5 (28th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 100.5 (2nd of 30)

Read about the Bulls

Blog a Bull

Apr 14

Grades: Brooklyn Nets 97, Orlando Magic 88

Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 12.48.15 PM

Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

 

Brooklyn Nets 97 Final
Recap | Box Score
88 Orlando Magic

Arron Afflalo
2-7 FG | 1-2 3P | 0 REB | 5 AST | 5 PTS | +2

Another game, another single-digit scoring performance from Afflalo, who’s been piling those up in the past two weeks. Passivity on offense, which has been a recurring trend from Afflalo in these last two weeks, was partly to blame. Another factor was coach Jacque Vaughn’s decision to give extended playing time to the Magic’s second unit, which meant not as many minutes and not as many touches for Afflalo.

Tobias Harris
7-11 FG | 3-5 FT | 3 STL | 7 REB | 18 PTS | -2

People like to call Harris a poor man’s Carmelo Anthony and it’s easy to see why. They love to shoot midrange jumpers. They use their strength to bully their way to the rim. They have a quick first step when snaring offensive rebounds for putbacks. All of those attributes were on display from Harris against the Nets and it was tantalizing to watch.

Victor Oladipo
5-8 FG | 3-3 3P | 2 STL | 2 REB | 14 PTS | -13

It’s no secret that Oladipo needs to improve as a jump shooter during the offseason if he wants to continue to get better as a player. If Sunday’s game in Brooklyn was any indication, the ability is there for Oladipo to have a consistent jumper. It was looking pure. Deron Williams dared Oladipo to beat him with his jump shot and the rookie obliged.

Andrew Nicholson
5-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 STL | 7 REB | 12 PTS | -13

Before Sunday, the last time Nicholson finished in double figures was on January 2 versus the Cleveland Cavaliers. That was a span of 42 games. Needless to say, Nicholson’s 12-point, 7-rebound game against the Nets was his best performance in months. The right hook was falling. So was his midrange jumper. Nicholson even threw down some sledgehammer dunks for good measure.

Brooklyn Nets

It was a sloppy performance from Brooklyn, as exhibited by the 23 turnovers. The Nets really didn’t take this game seriously until the third quarter. That’s when they went on a 15-0 run midway through the period to open up a double-digit lead on the Magic before cruising to an easy victory. Mason Plumlee (17 points, 11 rebounds) was the star of the game.

Apr 14

Video: Ronnie Price with the alley-oop dunk

Apr 13

Preview: Orlando Magic at Brooklyn Nets

Essentials

  • Teams: Orlando Magic at Brooklyn Nets
  • Date: April 13, 2014
  • Time: 6:00 p.m.
  • Television: NBA TV
  • Arena: Barclays Center

Records

  • Magic: 23-56
  • Nets: 43-36

Probable starters

Magic:

  • Victor Oladipo
  • Arron Afflalo
  • Maurice Harkless
  • Kyle O’Quinn
  • Dewayne Dedmon

Nets:

  • Deron Williams
  • Joe Johnson
  • Andrei Kirilenko
  • Paul Pierce
  • Kevin Garnett

Advanced stats

Magic:

  • Pace: 93.8 (15th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 101.7 (29th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 107.2 (16th of 30)

Nets:

  • Pace: 91.4 (25th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 106.9 (14th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 107.6 (19th of 30)

Read about the Nets

Brooklyn’s Finest

Apr 12

Grades: Washington Wizards 96, Orlando Magic 86

Screen Shot 2014-04-12 at 12.07.50 PM

AP Photo/Reinhold Matay

 

Washington Wizards 96 Final
Recap | Box Score
86 Orlando Magic

Arron Afflalo
6-14 FG | 6-6 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 19 PTS | -1

At halftime, it seemed like Afflalo was well on his way to another big scoring night. He had 14 points in the first half, mostly on midrange jumpers and layups. Then the Wizards — a top 10 defensive team — clamped down defensively on Afflalo, who finished with “only” 19 points, and the rest of the Magic players in the second half.

Jameer Nelson
5-16 FG | 0-5 3P | 7 REB | 11 AST | 12 PTS | +1

He struggled to finish at the rim and his jump shot was off, but Nelson had an excellent game regardless. Excellent because he nearly had a triple-double — a feat he’s never accomplished in his NBA career. Nelson’s passing is what stood out the most. He did a beautiful job of distributing the basketball in pick-and-pops and pick-and-rolls, and making it easy on his teammates to score.

Kyle O’Quinn
6-9 FG | 1-4 FT | 3 BLK | 9 REB | 13 PTS | +6

If O’Quinn played more than 25 minutes a night, you could probably pencil him in for a double-double. Case in point: O’Quinn was a rebound shy of a double-double against Washington in nearly 25 minutes of playing time. That’s how good he’s been since becoming a full-time starter. It’ll be interesting to see how coach Jacque Vaughn juggles O’Quinn’s PT next season.

Doron Lamb
4-5 FG | 3-4 3P | 1 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | -6

When Lamb is making his 3-pointers, as he did against the Wizards, he can be a useful player. Orlando doesn’t have enough 3-point shooting on the roster and that’s a skill that Lamb can provide (he’s a career 39.8 percent 3-point shooter). The problem is that it’s Lamb’s only NBA skill. And even then, Lamb is a spot-up shooter. He needs to be more than that.

Washington Wizards

After losing to the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday, Washington fell to the No. 7 seed in the East. But the Wizards didn’t stay there long. With a win over the Magic on Friday, combined with a Bobcats’ loss (to the Boston Celtics), Washington is the No. 6 seed again. That’s where the Wizards have been in the standings for most of the second half of the season.

Apr 11

Preview: Washington Wizards at Orlando Magic

Essentials

  • Teams: Washington Wizards at Orlando Magic
  • Date: April 11, 2014
  • Time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Amway Center

Records

  • Wizards: 40-38
  • Magic: 23-55

Probable starters

Wizards:

  • John Wall
  • Bradley Beal
  • Trevor Ariza
  • Trevor Booker
  • Marcin Gortat

Magic:

  • Jameer Nelson
  • Arron Afflalo
  • Maurice Harkless
  • Kyle O’Quinn
  • Dewayne Dedmon

Advanced stats

Wizards:

  • Pace: 93.2 (17th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 105.5 (20th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 104.9 (9th of 30)

Magic:

  • Pace: 93.8 (15th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 101.8 (29th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 107.2 (16th of 30)

Read about the Wizards

Truth About It

Apr 10

Grades: Orlando Magic 115, Brooklyn Nets 111

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 11.23.28 AM

AP Photo/John Raoux

 

Orlando Magic 115 Final
Recap | Box Score
111 Brooklyn Nets

Arron Afflalo
9-16 FG | 5-8 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 25 PTS | -14

This was Afflalo’s best game in about a month and it could have been even better. He missed a few free throws and a couple of open jumpers that would have given him his first 30-point game since February 21, which came against the New York Knicks. Alas, Afflalo settled with 25-5-4 — the type of performance that got him All-Star considerations in the first half of the season.

E’Twaun Moore
6-6 FG | 5-5 3P | 1 STL | 1 AST | 17 PTS | +17

Moore only played 18 minutes, coming off the bench in his usual role as the Magic’s back-up shooting guard, but he made every minute count. Literally. Moore scored nearly a point per minute. A vast majority of his points came in the second quarter when he scored 14 straight for Orlando. Moore was out there drilling heat check 3s like he was T-Mac.

Tobias Harris
6-10 FG | 3-5 FT | 2 STL | 8 REB | 16 PTS | +1

It was a tale of two halves for Harris. He had zero points in the first half and 16 points in the second half (10 in the fourth quarter). What was the difference? In the first half, Harris settled for midrange jump shots. In the second half, Harris attacked the rim, converting layups and getting to the free throw line.

Kyle O’Quinn
6-9 FG | 2-3 FT | 2 BLK | 8 REB | 13 PTS | +9

Kyle O’Quinn had the play of the night when he blocked Joe Johnson’s game-tying 3-point attempt with Orlando leading Brooklyn by the score 112-109 in the game’s closing seconds. It’s almost as if Johnson underestimated O’Quinn’s length before he got his shot off. O’Quinn’s wingspan and timing is what makes him a great shot blocker — a skill the Magic sorely need with Dwight Howard gone.

Brooklyn Nets

People joke about Johnson, given that he’s someone that received a lot of (justified) criticism for being named an All-Star this season despite there being more deserving players in the East. But tonight, Johnson played like an All-Star. The Nets turned to him in crunch time when the game was close and Iso-Joe was nearly automatic, except on that last 3-point shot.

Page 1 of 24512345...102030...Last »