Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 11

Jan 05

Power Rankings Roundup: Week 10

 
Matt Moore, CBS Sports: No. 24 (Last week: No. 19)

Three straight losses to Pistons, Nets, and Hornets — not exactly a murderer’s row. Orlando tried making a leap this season, but it won’t happen unless it gets a significant talent injection.

Marc Stein, ESPN: No. 26 (Last week: No. 23)

A home defeat to Detroit to close out the calendar year, followed by two more losses at home to Brooklyn and Charlotte to launch 2015, is the last thing Orlando’s bid to hang around the top eight needed. Next up is a four-game trip … followed (ugh) by a Houston/Memphis/Oklahoma City homestand.

John Schuhmann, NBA.com: No. 27 (Last week: No. 24)

They Magic got a win in Miami and a near triple-double from Elfrid Payton in a near comeback against Brooklyn last week. But if they wanted to compete for a playoff spot, they needed more from their last 10 games, with seven of them at home and nine of them against teams that are below .500. They went 3-7, scoring less than a point per possession.

Drew Garrison, SB Nation: No. 22 (Last week: No. 21)

The Magic lost to Detroit and Charlotte in the same week, and are embarking on four-game road trip that includes three West teams and ends in Chicago. Then, they come home to face the Rockets, Grizzlies and Thunder. They’ll need some Magic to move up the power rankings over the next few weeks.

Matt Dollinger, Sports Illustrated: No. 24 (Last week: No. 21)

After a scintillating start to the season, Evan Fournier is currently mired in an ugly spell. Since being demoted from the starting lineup eight games ago, Fournier is shooting just 34.9 percent.

Marc J. Spears, Yahoo! Sports: No. 21 (Last week: No. 21)

Rookie Elfrid Payton has been picking up his game recently, averaging 9.2 points, 7.8 assists and 4.6 assists over his past five games.

Jan 04

Grades: Charlotte Hornets 98, Orlando Magic 90

Screen Shot 2015-01-04 at 2.26.58 PM

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

 

Charlotte Hornets 98 Final
Recap | Box Score
90 Orlando Magic

Nikola Vucevic
8-16 FG | 4-4 FT | 2 BLK | 10 REB | 20 PTS | +3

Late in the first quarter, Vucevic scored eight consecutive points for the Magic (two free-throws, a right hook in the paint, a jumper from the right corner, and another jumper from the left elbow). It was his best stretch of the game. Outside of that, Vucevic — despite getting a double-double — played with little energy and got outworked on the boards.

Victor Oladipo
6-14 FG | 8-8 FT | 4 STL | 5 REB | 21 PTS | +7

After a lackluster first half (4 points on 0-for-2 shooting), Oladipo stepped up and scored 10 points in the third quarter as the Magic tried to erase a 23-point halftime deficit. With Bismack Biyombo in foul trouble, Orlando did a smart job of running 1-5 pick-and-rolls with Vucevic to take advantage of the ground-bound Maxiell at the rim.

Tobias Harris
8-15 FG | 2-3 FT | 1 BLK | 11 REB | 18 PTS | -3

Harris had the play of the game when he went right through Michael Kidd-Gilchrist for a dunk late in the first quarter. And that was it for noteworthy plays from Harris. He got a double-double, but it didn’t matter because the Magic were getting blown out for a majority of the time before making the final score look respectable.

Evan Fournier
4-15 FG | 1-7 3P | 1 STL | 5 REB | 9 PTS | -2

The struggle is real for Fournier, who has been in the middle of a slump for the past few weeks and he didn’t snap out of it against the Hornets. He tried attacking the rim. That didn’t work. He tried shooting 3-pointers. That didn’t work either. One of the best remedies is to get to the line, but Fournier didn’t attempt a single free-throw.

Charlotte Hornets

Kemba Walker’s eyes light up when he sees a Magic uniform. He didn’t set a new career-high in points on Saturday night, but he did have another big game (30 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals). This time around, Walker got help from his teammates — unlike on December 27). Stat of the night: the Hornets held Orlando scoreless over the last 6:59 in the second quarter.

Jan 04

Video: Tobias Harris posterizes MKG

Jan 03

Preview: Charlotte Hornets at Orlando Magic

Essentials

  • Teams: Charlotte Hornets at Orlando Magic
  • Date: January 3, 2015
  • Time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Amway Center

Records

  • Hornets: 10-24
  • Magic: 13-23

Probable starters

Hornets:

  • Kemba Walker
  • Gerald Henderson
  • Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
  • Cody Zeller
  • Bismack Biyombo

Magic:

  • Elfrid Payton
  • Victor Oladipo
  • Tobias Harris
  • Kyle O’Quinn
  • Nikola Vucevic

Advanced stats

Hornets:

  • Pace: 92.5 (24th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 100.8 (29th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 106.2 (16th of 30)

Magic:

  • Pace: 92.7 (22nd of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 101.1 (28th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 106.8 (18th of 30)

Read about the Hornets

Queen City Hoops

Jan 03

Highlights: Elfrid Payton’s near triple-double

Jan 03

Grades: Brooklyn Nets 100, Orlando Magic 98

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AP Photo/John Raoux

 

Brooklyn Nets 100 Final
Recap | Box Score
98 Orlando Magic

Nikola Vucevic
4-10 FG | 2-4 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 10 PTS | -12

For a second straight game, Vucevic was dreadful. Mason Plumlee (18 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks) was literally flying everywhere on the floor, while the slow-footed Brook Lopez (16 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks) looked spry himself. Vucevic, on the other hand, played with little energy and effort after the opening frame, along with the majority of his teammates.

Elfrid Payton
6-13 FG | 3-5 FT | 9 REB | 10 AST | 16 PTS | +12

Payton is a fighter. There’s no quit in him. With the Magic trailing by 25 entering the fourth quarter, Payton kept playing. Eventually, his persistence paid off, as he led Orlando on a 34-12 run that cut the Nets’ lead to three with 1:04 remaining. Even though the Magic’s comeback fell short, Payton deserves kudos for his performance (1 rebound shy of his first career triple-double).

Victor Oladipo
7-13 FG | 2-2 3P | 3 REB | 3 AST | 17 PTS | -21

Through three quarters, Oladipo was Orlando’s most effective player (he was 7-for-13 while the rest of the team was 16-for-52) before only playing one second in the fourth. His best sequence came late in the second quarter when he made back-to-back 3s from the left corner. Those are the type of shots that Oladipo has to make if he wants to continue improving as a perimeter shooter.

Ben Gordon
5-9 FG | 1-3 3P | 1 STL | 4 REB | 14 PTS | +13

Out of all the Magic’s free agent signings, who would have thought that Gordon — not Channing Frye, as presumed — would be making the biggest impact? Gordon turned back the clock and scored 14 points in the final period in a vintage shooting display. It was Gordon, along with Payton, that led the comeback charge for Orlando in the fourth.

Brooklyn Nets

Brooklyn played brilliantly for 36 minutes. The ball was moving offensively. The defense was playing on a string. Then everything changed in the fourth quarter. After sleepwalking through a majority of the game, the Magic woke up and nearly erased a 26-point deficit (trying to outdo their 23-point comeback in a win against the Hornets in November) before the Nets held on for the two-point victory.

Jan 02

Video: Dewayne Dedmon’s chase-down block

Jan 02

Preview: Brooklyn Nets at Orlando Magic

Essentials

  • Teams: Brooklyn Nets at Orlando Magic
  • Date: January 2, 2015
  • Time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Amway Center

Records

  • Nets: 15-16
  • Magic: 13-22

Probable starters

Nets:

  • Jarrett Jack
  • Sergey Karasev
  • Joe Johnson
  • Mason Plumlee
  • Kevin Garnett

Magic:

  • Elfrid Payton
  • Victor Oladipo
  • Tobias Harris
  • Kyle O’Quinn
  • Nikola Vucevic

Advanced stats

Nets:

  • Pace: 92.3 (25th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 103.5 (24th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 105.4 (13th of 30)

Magic:

  • Pace: 92.6 (23rd of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 101.2 (28th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 107.0 (19th of 30)

Read about the Nets

Brooklyn’s Finest

Jan 02

Magic Basketball is looking for writers

First and foremost, if you’re interested in contributing, please send multiple writing samples (two or three will suffice).

To get a clue on my philosophy as a writer, I strive for objectivity every step of the way while at the same time use evidence — I work with numbers a lot — to support my opinions and arguments. I’m looking for someone that is familiar with advanced statistics and comfortable using them, objective in their approach, and willing to be open-minded on whichever topics crop up.

If you’re more the creative, esoteric type, someone that likes to think of ideas and narratives outside the box (in other words, the type of writing you’ll see at Grantland), that’s also fine. I’m hoping to inject a different voice and style of prose at MBN, but I do have my preferences for what I seek.

No matter your writing style, I’m looking for a good writer. If you fit the criteria I’m looking for, you’ll have the opportunity to have your articles featured on ESPN.com and be part of the TrueHoop Network.

I will not rush to make my decision until I feel fully comfortable that I’ve found someone that I’m willing to bring aboard, so just a heads up.

Thanks!

Please e-mail me at mbnhoops[at]gmail[dot]com

Jan 02

Devyn Marble recalled from Erie BayHawks

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 10.44.31 AM

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Via Orlando Magic press release:

The Orlando Magic have recalled guard Devyn Marble from the Erie BayHawks of the NBA Development League, general manager Rob Hennigan announced today.

Marble (6’6”, 200, 9/21/92) was assigned to Erie on Dec. 26. In two games with the BayHawks, he averaged 20.0 ppg., 4.5 rpg., 4.0 apg. and 1.50 spg. in 37.5 mpg. Marble has appeared in five games during his rookie season with Orlando, averaging 0.8 ppg. in 1.0 mpg. Originally selected in the second round (56th overall) by Denver, his draft rights, along with Evan Fournier, were acquired by Orlando in exchange for Arron Afflalo on June 26.

Marble played in 136 career games during four years at the University of Iowa, averaging 12.5 ppg., 3.4 rpg., 2.9 apg. and 1.29 spg. in 27.6 mpg. He ranks second on the school’s all-time games played list with 136. Marble also ranks in Hawkeyes’ history in scoring (fifth, 1,694 points), assists (sixth, 397) and steals (seventh, 176).

The Orlando Magic and the Erie BayHawks have a three-year single affiliation partnership beginning this season. Orlando became the 16th NBA team to have a one-to-one affiliation with an NBA D-League team. The partnership, also referred to as a “hybrid affiliation,” is the eighth of its kind in the NBA D-League and allows an NBA team to control the NBA D-League team’s basketball operations, while the existing local ownership maintains primary responsibility for the team’s off-the-court business operations and community initiatives.

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