Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 12

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.

Dec 30

Grades: Detroit Pistons 109, Orlando Magic 86

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 11.25.26 AM

AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

 

Detroit Pistons 109 Final
Recap | Box Score
86 Orlando Magic

Nikola Vucevic
5-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | -3

This was Vucevic’s worst game of the season. Part of that had to do with a lack of energy, given the Magic were playing their fourth game in five nights (which affected nearly the entire team). Part of that had to do with Andre Drummond going on a rampage (17 points, 22 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 3 blocks) and destroying everything in his path.

Victor Oladipo
6-14 FG | 1-5 3P | 3 REB | 3 AST | 16 PTS | -30

Out of (literally) everybody that played for Orlando, Oladipo looked the liveliest of them all. Despite the interior presence of Drummond, Oladipo was not afraid to attack the big fella and meet him at the summit. Though that wasn’t always the case, as coach Jacque Vaughn had to prod his players in the first quarter to not be afraid of Drummond.

Tobias Harris
6-11 FG | 1-2 3P | 8 REB | 2 AST | 15 PTS | -11

Harris was one of the few Magic players that played well, even though it was in a blowout loss to the Pistons. This was one of those rare games where Harris did not attempt a single midrange jump shot. Instead, nearly all of his field goal attempts were at the rim (5-for-8), with one of them coming on a flex cut to start the game.

Dewayne Dedmon
4-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 STL | 10 REB | 8 PTS | -12

In 18 minutes of playing time, Dedmon nearly finished with a double-double and also nearly fouled out. That’s the Dewayne Dedmon Experience™ in a nutshell. He’s an energy big that has emerged as the Magic’s backup center, given how productive he’s been this season — despite the fact that he fouls way too much (5.9 personal fouls per 36 minutes).

Detroit Pistons

With the departure of Josh Smith, who was shockingly waived on December 23, the Pistons have gone on a 3-game winning streak and look a lot like a Stan Van Gundy-coached team. Detroit blitzed a tired Orlando roster with Drummond in the middle and 3-point shooters on the perimeter, with Jodie Meeks catching fire and scoring 34 points off the bench (9-for-11 from 3-point range).

Dec 30

Preview: Detroit Pistons at Orlando Magic

Essentials

  • Teams: Detroit Pistons at Orlando Magic
  • Date: December 30, 2014
  • Time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Amway Center

Records

  • Pistons: 7-23
  • Magic: 13-21

Probable starters

Pistons:

  • Brandon Jennings
  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
  • Kyle Singler
  • Greg Monroe
  • Andre Drummond

Magic:

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

Advanced stats

Pistons:

  • Pace: 92.9 (21st of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 101.8 (25th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 107.3 (20th of 30)

Magic:

  • Pace: 92.5 (23rd of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 101.5 (27th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 106.7 (17th of 30)

Read about the Pistons

Piston Powered

Dec 29

Grades: Orlando Magic 102, Miami Heat 101

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 11.43.48 AM

Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

 

Orlando Magic 102 Final
Recap | Box Score
101 Miami Heat

Nikola Vucevic
12-17 FG | 2-3 FT | 9 REB | 3 AST | 26 PTS | -5

It was another excellent performance for Vucevic against the Heat. Vucevic scored many of his points in flurries — 6 points here, 5 points there, etc. His most impressive scoring flurry came in the second quarter when he made four consecutive jump shots from various locations on the court (free-throw line extended, left block, right corner, and left corner).

Victor Oladipo
7-12 FG | 3-4 3P | 3 STL | 4 REB | 22 PTS | -8

Oladipo had a rough start to the night, as he committed five turnovers in the first quarter. But he eventually calmed down and ended up engaging in a fourth quarter duel with Dwyane Wade. Oladipo scored 7 of his 22 points in the final period, including a layup that tied things up at 101 apiece and a free throw that proved to be the game-winner.

Tobias Harris
8-14 FG | 2-4 3P | 4 REB | 1 AST | 18 PTS | +4

With Vucevic and Oladipo carrying the load offensively for the Magic, Harris provided support when needed. His biggest contribution came in crunch time when he sank a floater — immediately after Danny Granger made his sixth 3-pointer of the night that momentarily felt like the dagger — that made the score 101-99 with 1:27 left, keeping Orlando within striking distance of Miami.

Channing Frye
5-11 FG | 3-9 3P | 2 REB | 0 AST | 13 PTS | +1

Coming off the bench for the fifth straight game, Frye accounted for a quarter of the Magic’s 11 made 3-pointers. That’s no surprise. What was a surprise was when Frye made a jumper from the right elbow off the dribble. Normally Frye is a spot-up shooter and nothing more. Rarely does he put the ball on the floor.

Miami Heat

This game had all the makings of a Heat win. They had a 40-13 advantage on free-throw attempts (including 11 attempts for Hassan Whiteside). They got a vintage performance from Granger, who scored 21 points on 10 shots (6-for-7 from 3-point range). And Wade, the ultimate Magic killer, scored 15 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, but he somehow missed the potential game-winning jumper.

Dec 29

Preview: Orlando Magic at Miami Heat

Essentials

  • Teams: Orlando Magic at Miami Heat
  • Date: December 29, 2014
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: AmericanAirlines Arena

Records

  • Magic: 12-21
  • Heat: 14-17

Probable starters

Magic:

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

Heat:

  • Mario Chalmers
  • Dwyane Wade
  • Luol Deng
  • Chris Bosh
  • Chris Andersen

Advanced stats

Magic:

  • Pace: 92.7 (23rd of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 101.1 (29th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 106.5 (15th of 30)

Heat:

  • Pace: 89.5 (30th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 105.5 (17th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 109.2 (25th of 30)

Read about the Heat

Heat Index

Dec 28

Grades: Orlando Magic 102, Charlotte Hornets 94

Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 12.08.36 PM

Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images

 

Orlando Magic 102 Final
Recap | Box Score
94 Charlotte Hornets

Nikola Vucevic
9-19 FG | 4-4 FT | 11 REB | 3 AST | 21 PTS | +2

After being outplayed by Al Jefferson in their first meeting in Charlotte, Vucevic got the better of him this time around. Not only did he do a majority of his damage from midrange, but he didn’t miss a single jump shot from the perimeter. And Vucevic finished with his league-leading 18th double-double of the season, per ESPN Stats & Info.

Tobias Harris
7-16 FG | 2-4 3P | 2 BLK | 6 REB | 21 PTS | +2

With the Hornets trying to make a comeback late in the game, Harris made a catch-and-shoot 3-pointer from the left wing, giving the Magic a 97-86 lead with 1:35 left in the fourth quarter, that served as the dagger. Harris used to not have that shot in his offensive repertoire, but he does now, and it’s changed him completely — he’s become a legitimate small forward.

Victor Oladipo
6-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 13 PTS | +1

It was a modest performance from Oladipo. He couldn’t get his jumper to fall, but he was aggressive in attacking the rim (5-for-5), especially in 2-5 pick-and-rolls with Vucevic. What’s interesting is that, in those pick-and-roll sets, Orlando started them unusually high at the top of the key to take advantage of Oladipo’s explosiveness off the dribble.

Elfrid Payton
4-13 FG | 3-4 FT | 7 REB | 8 AST | 11 PTS | +6

The box score can be deceiving. Even though Walker scored a career-high 42 points, the vast majority of his points came against other Magic players, not Payton. Charlotte did a smart job of creating mismatches for Walker by constantly running pick-and-rolls, given that Orlando were switching them defensively. So even though Walker had a career night, it wasn’t because Payton failed miserably on defense.

Charlotte Hornets

It was the Kemba Walker show, as he was making every shot from everywhere on the floor (including a 3-pointer from Raleigh). The problem for the Hornets is that, outside of Walker and Jefferson (14 points and 9 rebounds), they got very little contributions from everyone else. There was no Lance Stephenson (strained pelvis) to rely on either.

Dec 27

Preview: Orlando Magic at Charlotte Hornets

Essentials

  • Teams: Orlando Magic at Charlotte Hornets
  • Date: December 27, 2014
  • Time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Time Warner Cable Arena

Records

  • Magic: 11-21
  • Hornets: 10-20

Probable starters

Magic:

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

Hornets:

  • Kemba Walker
  • Gerald Henderson
  • Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
  • Cody Zeller
  • Al Jefferson

Advanced stats

Magic:

  • Pace: 92.7 (23rd of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 101.1 (29th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 106.5 (15th of 30)

Hornets:

  • Pace: 92.2 (25th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 102.1 (25th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 106.9 (18th of 30)

Read about the Hornets

Queen City Hoops

Dec 27

Grades: Cleveland Cavaliers 98, Orlando Magic 89

Screen Shot 2014-12-27 at 5.07.38 PM

Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

 

Cleveland Cavaliers 98 Final
Recap | Box Score
89 Orlando Magic

Nikola Vucevic
6-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 7 AST | 12 PTS | -8

Without Anderson Varejao (torn Achilles), the Cavaliers quickly double-teamed Vucevic most of the evening. Vucevic frequently made smart, effective passes in these situations, but he didn’t impact the game with his physicality. It’s almost inexcusable for someone with his skill-set to finish with zero free-throw attempts. Vucevic struggled to defend Kevin Love on the perimeter during the first quarter, and put forth a pedestrian performance overall.

Tobias Harris
7-16 FG | 2-6 3P | 1 BLK | 4 REB | 16 PTS | -5

The Magic needed everyone to step up if they were going to defeat the Cavs. Tasked with guarding LeBron James, Harris spent most of his energy on the defensive end. In that regard, he helped Orlando keep things close until the last quarter. However, Harris did little to pressure Cleveland offensively, mostly settling for jump shots and rarely attacking the rim.

Evan Fournier
5-10 FG | 2-3 3P | 2 STL | 4 REB | 15 PTS | -5

Fournier got a lot of minutes despite coming off the bench, and was somewhat efficient on the offensive side of the ball. A caveat to this is that he offers little resistance defensively. Ergo, Fournier could do little to prevent the Cavaliers’ Mike Miller and Dion Waiters from having productive games. Orlando really needs Fournier to develop into a better perimeter defender.

Victor Oladipo
5-14 FG | 3-4 FT | 4 REB | 8 AST | 13 PTS | -13

Oladipo can only learn and move forward after a disappointing outing against a marquee opponent. He fouled out, committed five turnovers, and overcompensated at both ends of the floor — simply trying to do too much. Despite finishing with a team-high 8 assists, it looked as though Oladipo spent most of the night frustrated and out-of-sync.

Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavs clamped down defensively when it mattered most, outscoring the Magic 27-14 in the final frame. Orlando faltered in the fourth quarter despite Cleveland’s decision to bench Kevin Love, which became a major storyline afterwards, and simply failed to execute enough to win. The consistently inconsistent play from Orlando these previous few weeks is both concerning and alarming.

Dec 26

Video: Victor Oladipo dunks over LeBron

Page 12 of 277« First...1011121314...203040...Last »