Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 11

Mar 23

Grades: Utah Jazz 89, Orlando Magic 88

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Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

 

Utah Jazz 89 Final
Recap | Box Score
88 Orlando Magic

Arron Afflalo
4-9 FG | 7-9 FT | 2 REB | 6 AST | 18 PTS | +3

Nikola Vucevic
8-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 13 REB | 5 AST | 16 PTS | +4

Victor Oladipo
5-14 FG | 8-10 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 19 PTS | -2

Maurice Harkless
7-13 FG | 1-3 3P | 2 BLK | 4 REB | 15 PTS | -5

Utah Jazz

Mar 23

Video: Trey Burke hits game-winning 3-pointer

Mar 22

Preview: Orlando Magic at Utah Jazz

Essentials

  • Teams: Orlando Magic at Utah Jazz
  • Date: March 20, 2014
  • Time: 9:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: EnergySolutions Arena

Records

  • Magic: 19-50
  • Jazz: 22-47

Probable starters

Magic:

  • Victor Oladipo
  • Arron Afflalo
  • Maurice Harkless
  • Kyle O’Quinn
  • Nikola Vucevic

Jazz:

  • Trey Burke
  • Gordon Hayward
  • Richard Jefferson
  • Derrick Favors
  • Enes Kanter

Advanced stats

Magic:

  • Pace: 94.0 (16th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 101.5 (29th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 107.3 (18th of 30)

Jazz:

  • Pace: 91.4 (27th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 103.2 (23rd of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 110.5 (29th of 30)

Read about the Jazz

Salt City Hoops

Mar 21

A closer look at Victor Oladipo’s defense

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AP Photo/Matt York

The players that we consider the NBA’s best defenders — at perimeter positions, at least — are usually those who guard the ballhandler well: the Tony Allens, the Paul Georges, and the Andre Iguodalas of the league.

Perhaps players feel particularly pressured to guard the ball well, since everyone is always watching what the ballhandler is doing, therefore if you get beaten and scored on, everybody will notice.

Naturally, this notion of giving so much praise to the elite one-on-one defenders means that the best defenders off the ball will often fly under the radar.

Not that the players mentioned above don’t play great defense off the ball, but with fans putting so much emphasis on the ability to shut down a player in isolation, the players doing the work off the ball will often go unnoticed — the guys who are willing to fight through the hard contact of a screen while chasing a shooter, the guys who know whether to go over or under the player making the dribble handoff: the Victor Oladipos.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 21

Magic to honor Grant Hill on March 25

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Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Via Orlando Magic press release:

In continuation of the Orlando Magic’s 25th anniversary season-long celebration the team will honor former Magic legend and seven-time NBA All-Star, Grant Hill, at the Magic’s March 25 matchup vs. the Portland Trail Blazers, tip-off set for 7 p.m. The night will feature a center court presentation at the end of the first quarter. Hill will join FOX Sports Florida’s broadcasts including Magic Live pregame show with hosts Paul Kennedy and Nick Anderson and join broadcasters David Steele and Jeff Turner for a portion of the game broadcast. He will also be featured live from Amway Center on Magic Drive Time radio show with host Dante Marchitelli on March 25 at 5:30 p.m. on 740 The Game. In addition, the first 2,500 fans will receive a collectible 8×10 photo featuring Hill and Andrew Nicholson. Hill will be available to the media at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 25 in the Amway Center interview room.

“Legends Nights” is an on-going program which will honor former players/legends throughout the Magic’s Silver Season. Past honorees include Tracy McGrady, Nick Anderson, Pat Williams, Jimmy Hewitt, Dennis Scott, Pat Garrity, Jeff Turner, Sam Vincent, John Gabriel, Bo Outlaw, Horace Grant, Penny Hardaway and Darrell Armstrong. In addition to the Magic’s “Legends Nights,” the 2013-14 season will feature the Silver Ticket Sweepstakes and Scratch Off Promotion, special appearances, game entertainment and other events throughout the season.

Hill was drafted in the first round (third overall) of the 1994 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons out of Duke University. He left the Pistons in a sign and trade in 2000 to join the Magic, and was with the Magic for six seasons from 2000-07. Hill appeared in 200 regular season games for the Magic. While with the Magic, he averaged 16.4 ppg., 5.0 rpg., 3.1 apg. and 1.1 spg. in 32.2 mpg., and was twice selected as an NBA All-Star (2001 and 2005).

Mar 20

Grades: Phoenix Suns 109, Orlando Magic 93

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Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

 

Phoenix Suns 109 Final
Recap | Box Score
93 Orlando Magic

Arron Afflalo
6-10 FG | 5-5 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 20 PTS | -15

After a horrendous performance (four points on 2-for-7 shooting) against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday, Afflalo bounced back with a solid showing versus the Suns. He had an economical 20 points (on 10 shots), and he did it by making his 3-pointers and getting to foul line. Afflalo’s four-point play in the third quarter ended up being his sequence of the night.

Nikola Vucevic
4-7 FG | 0-1 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | -1

For the first time in his NBA career, Vucevic got ejected from a game. In the first quarter, no less. The first technical came when he argued with an official as Markieff Morris shot free throws. The second technical occurred about a minute later after Channing Frye drew an offensive foul on Vucevic. The big fella didn’t like the call, threw the ball at Frye’s feet, and got tossed.

Tobias Harris
7-13 FG | 8-11 FT | 9 REB | 3 AST | 23 PTS | -8

Even though the Magic got blown out on the road, again, the silver lining is that Harris had another excellent outing offensively. Against Phoenix, Orlando ran a lot of 1-4 pick-and-rolls with Oladipo and Harris, and that set proved to be wildly successful. Harris did a great job of taking what the defense gave him, and either shooting a jump shot or attacking the rim.

Victor Oladipo
6-18 FG | 1-6 3P | 2 REB | 9 AST | 14 PTS | -4

With Jameer Nelson out with a sore left knee, Oladipo got the start at point guard and did okay. He played the typical type of topsy-turvy game (how’s that for alliteration?) that’s been the norm for him this season. He was inefficient (6-for-18 shooting) and he had six turnovers, but he also ran the pick-and-roll well and tallied up nine assists.

Phoenix Suns

Late in the third quarter, the Suns were trailing the Magic by the score of 75-74. And then, all of a sudden, Phoenix caught fire. The Suns went on a 27-5 run, in large part because they were torching Orlando behind the 3-point line, and built up a 101-80 lead midway through the fourth quarter before coasting to an easy victory after a competitive three quarters.

Mar 20

Video: Nikola Vucevic gets ejected in Phoenix

Mar 19

Preview: Orlando Magic at Phoenix Suns

Essentials

  • Teams: Orlando Magic at Phoenix Suns
  • Date: March 19, 2014
  • Time: 10:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: US Airways Center

Records

  • Magic: 19-49
  • Suns: 38-29

Probable starters

Magic:

  • Victor Oladipo
  • Arron Afflalo
  • Maurice Harkless
  • Kyle O’Quinn
  • Nikola Vucevic

Suns:

  • Eric Bledsoe
  • Goran Dragic
  • P.J. Tucker
  • Channing Frye
  • Miles Plumlee

Advanced stats

Magic:

  • Pace: 94.0 (15th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 101.6 (29th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 107.2 (18th of 30)

Suns:

  • Pace: 95.8 (7th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 109.3 (8th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 107.0 (17th of 30)

Read about the Suns

Valley of the Suns

Mar 19

Grades: Golden State Warriors 103, Orlando Magic 89

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Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

 

Golden State Warriors 103 Final
Recap | Box Score
89 Orlando Magic

Arron Afflalo
2-7 FG | 0-0 3P | 1 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | -18

This was Afflalo’s worst performance of the season. Matched up against one half of the Splash Brothers (Klay Thompson), Afflalo flat out played like hot garbage — the type that makes New York City smell bad during the summer. While Thompson was raining down 3s all over the perimeter and constantly looking to score, Afflalo was unusually passive with his own offense.

Nikola Vucevic
7-14 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 15 PTS | -14

It was all Vucevic in the first quarter for the Magic. He scored 10 of his 15 points in the game’s opening stanza (but with zero rebounds) and he did it in a variety of ways. Dunks, midrange jumpers, and even a lefty hook for good measure. But after the opening stanza, Vucevic was quiet. Especially with his rebounding, where he managed to corral only five boards despite no Andrew Bogut.

Tobias Harris
5-11 FG | 3-3 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 14 PTS | -2

Harris has continued to come off the bench for Orlando as the proverbial sixth man (with Kyle O’Quinn starting at the power forward position) and he continues to produce. With Bogut out, Harris’ strategy was simple: attack the rim. Time and again, he drove to the basket and either made layups or got to the free throw line.

Maurice Harkless
3-5 FG | 4-4 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 12 PTS | -17

Say hello to one of the Magic players that actually played well against the Warriors in a blowout loss. In fact, Harkless had the play of the game for Orlando. Late in the second quarter, after a Golden State miss, Harkless dribbled up the floor, spun around Draymond Green on the right block, and finished with a dunk over David Lee. Impressive sequence.

Golden State Warriors

With no Andre Iguodala (knee) and Bogut (ankle), the Warriors relied heavily on Stephen Curry, Thompson, and Lee to get the job done against the Magic. And they did. The Splash Brothers made it rain behind the 3-point line, while Lee got his customary double-double. It was an 18-0 run in the third quarter that turned the game into a blowout.

Mar 19

Video: Maurice Harkless spins and slams

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