Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 13

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 13

All eyes on Rob Hennigan

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Photo by Fernando Medina/Getty Images

If there is a rock star for the Magic, it’s not Jacque Vaughn, Jameer Nelson, or even Victor Oladipo. It’s GM Rob Hennigan.

The Mark Cuban’s and Jim Irsay’s of the world have taught us that a higher-up can often get more coverage than the actual players on the team. But we’re not watching Hennigan because of his antics. We’re watching him because he is the architect holding the blueprints. Until you actually build a house, you can’t install air conditioning or organize furniture or fill the room with pine-scented candles. We can’t assess the players or coaches until Hennigan whips up a roster that is expected to win.

His background has been documented. He shot up the positional ladders in San Antonio and Oklahoma City for eight years, two cities who have had winning filtered into their drinking water for quite some time. He’s shares a hauntingly similar background with the Thunder’s Sam Presti. And he’s the youngest GM in the league at 32.

Funny how age 30 for a GM is equivalent to about 18 for a player, and 30 for a player is somewhat at or beyond his prime.

Regardless, there wasn’t a lot of questioning about the hire when it happened. Magic fans seemed to want a fresh start in every way, so a young, vibrant triggerman appeared to be much needed.

But this is neither a defense nor an attack on the man. With the end of the season finally here and our eyes glazed over with the prospects of the future, we must make a logical assessment of the Magic’s rock star. And always keep in mind the question, “Could anyone else have made more out of the same variables?”

Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 12

Grades: Washington Wizards 96, Orlando Magic 86

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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

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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.

Apr 10

Video: E’Twaun Moore scores 14 straight points

Apr 09

Preview: Brooklyn Nets at Orlando Magic

Essentials

  • Teams: Brooklyn Nets at Orlando Magic
  • Date: April 9, 2014
  • Time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Amway Center

Records

  • Nets: 43-34
  • Magic: 22-55

Probable starters

Nets:

  • Deron Williams
  • Alan Anderson
  • Joe Johnson
  • Mirza Teletovic
  • Kevin Garnett

Magic:

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

Advanced stats

Nets:

  • Pace: 91.4 (25th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 106.8 (14th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 107.4 (19th of 30)

Magic:

  • Pace: 93.8 (15th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 101.6 (29th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 107.1 (16th of 30)

Read about the Nets

Brooklyn’s Finest

Apr 09

Williams, Anderson named to Magic Hall of Fame

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Photo by Fernando Medina/Orlando Magic

Via Orlando Magic press release:

The Magic unveiled its inaugural Hall of Fame class on April 9 naming the first two inductees, Magic co-founder and Senior Vice President Pat Williams and the team’s first-ever draft pick and current Community Ambassador Nick Anderson. The Magic Hall of Fame will honor and celebrate the great players, coaches and executives who have had a major impact during the team’s illustrious 25-year history.

The Magic’s first-ever NBA Draft selection out of the University of Illinois (11th overall, 1989 NBA Draft), Anderson played 10 seasons for Orlando from 1989-99. In 692 career regular season games with the Magic, he averaged 15.4 ppg., 5.3 rpg., 2.8 apg. and 1.45 spg. Anderson ranks as the franchise’s all-time leader in games played (692), field goals made (4,075), steals (1,004), field goals attempted (8,976), three-point field goals attempted (2,480). He also stands second on the Magic’s all-time list with 10,650 points and 22,440 minutes played. Off the court, Anderson was also the inaugural winner of the Rich and Helen DeVos Community Enrichment Award in 1995-96 for his contributions to the Central Florida community. He currently serves as the team’s community ambassador, a position he has held since 2006.

Williams, who has more than 50 years of professional sports experience to his credit, turned a dream into the Orlando Magic more than 25 years ago. Williams, along with Jimmy Hewitt, began the process of bringing an NBA team to Orlando in 1986. On April 22, 1987, the NBA Board of Governors granted an expansion franchise to Orlando, and on December 22, 1988, the Magic sell their 10,000th season ticket, thus fulfilling their commitment to the NBA and the Magic was born. In addition, Williams was honored with the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He currently serves as the team’s senior vice president.

“We are so thrilled to unveil to our fans our first two inductees into the Magic Hall of Fame,” said Magic CEO Alex Martins. “Both Pat and Nick are Magic basketball, really laying the foundation for our franchise. They are the perfect pair to begin this great legacy of remembrance and recognition in the rich history of the Orlando Magic.”

The Hall of Fame will bridge the past with the future of Magic basketball, and the design will provide Magic fans an opportunity to enjoy the exhibits on game nights at the Amway Center. The exhibit is located in the Amway Center on the Terrace Level near Nutrilite Magic Fan Experience. The inductees will be determined based on their overall on and off the court contributions to the team and organization, years of service, impact in the community and general character of the individual.

Apr 07

Monday’s Magic Word

  • Victor Oladipo inadvertently helped Kemba Walker get a triple-double during the Magic’s loss to the Charlotte Bobcats on Thursday.
  • Several members of the Magic franchise talk about their baseball ties.
  • Is Arron Afflalo snapping out of his funk offensively?
  • John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com conducts a Q&A with Jameer Nelson.
  • Matt Dollinger of Sports Illustrated: “One night after shooting only 5-of-20 in 30 minutes in a loss to Charlotte, Kyle O’Quinn bounced back with 14 points (on 6-of-7 shooting), 13 rebounds and four blocks in a victory over Minnesota. The second-year power forward has played more in the second half of the season, with averages of 8.3 points and 7.1 rebounds in 22.1 minutes since the All-Star break.”
  • Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk: “The team is not for sale, the DeVos family wants you to know. That’s swell. But this is still a massive rebuilding project in its early stages, this is a team that needs a little lottery luck this year.”
  • It’s worth repeating. Despite rumors to the contrary, the DeVos family — owners of the Magic — have no plans of selling the team.
  • Chad Ford of ESPN Insider reveals Orlando’s draft board: “The Magic want a point guard and will likely have three good options — Exum, Marcus Smart and Tyler Ennis. However, none of them are in serious consideration for the No. 1 pick. But Exum is close, and I’m told he is No. 2 on Orlando’s board; Wiggins is first and Parker is third. The Magic remain quite high on Smart as well and have him at No. 4.”

Apr 06

Grades: Orlando Magic 100, Minnesota Timberwolves 92

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AP Photo/John Raoux

 

Orlando Magic 100 Final
Recap | Box Score
92 Minnesota Timberwolves

Arron Afflalo
8-15 FG | 1-4 3P | 3 REB | 2 AST | 18 PTS | -5

After a poor performance against the Charlotte Bobcats on Thursday, in which Afflalo seemed to disappear at times, the Magic made a concerted effort to get him involved early and often offensively versus the Timberwolves. And it worked. Afflalo settled into a nice groove on offense in the first quarter and scored 10 points in the period, which jumpstarted his night.

Maurice Harkless
7-9 FG | 3-3 3P | 4 REB | 2 AST | 17 PTS | -15

Comfortable. That’s the first word that comes to mind when Harkless had the ball in his hands against Minnesota. He knew what he wanted to do offensively, and he went out there and did it. There was no second-guessing involved. That has almost everything to do with Harkless’ confidence. He’s confident in his ability to score, especially from beyond the arc.

Tobias Harris
7-12 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 STL | 6 REB | 17 PTS | +26

Just when it seemed like the Timberwolves was going to run away with the game in the third quarter, thanks to a 17-6 run that ballooned their lead to 13, the Magic responded by going on runs of 11-1, 14-4, and 10-1 in the third and fourth quarters. Harris was a big part of those scoring surges (and Victor Oladipo too for that matter).

Kyle O’Quinn
6-7 FG | 2-3 FT | 4 BLK | 13 REB | 14 PTS | -6

With Nikola Vucevic sitting out his second straight game with a strained left achilles, Kyle O’Quinn took over his duties as the double-double guy. The points and rebounds were nice, but what was more impressive was O’Quinn’s four blocks. He’s by far the Magic’s best shot blocker and it’s easy to see why. He has great timing and he uses his length effectively.

Minnesota Timberwolves

Minnesota was without Kevin Love (back), Nikola Pekovic (ankle), Kevin Martin (foot), and Shabazz Muhammad (knee). To add insult to injury, Chase Budinger sprained his right ankle in the game’s opening minutes. It’s a minor miracle that the Timberwolves, playing on a road back-to-back no less, were able to lead for most of the night until the Magic finally got their act together in the second half.

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