Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 16

Mar 05

Dwight Howard’s impact still being felt in Orlando

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Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Tonight, Dwight Howard returns to the house he built, Amway Center, for a second time as an opposing player.

In his first go-around as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, Howard put up a dominant 39-point, 16-rebound, three-block performance against the Orlando Magic while being showered by boos all night long. It was Howard’s best game in his lone season with the Lakers. During the offseason, Howard walked away from L.A. after a nightmare season and signed with the Houston Rockets as an unrestricted free agent.

Even though he’s now with the Rockets, the reception Howard will receive from Magic fans likely won’t change. He’ll still get booed, though he may get peppered with a few cheers when the Magic honor him with a video tribute during a timeout in the first quarter.

What has changed is the perception surrounding the Howard mega-deal. When the Magic made the trade in August 2012, they were widely criticized for not receiving enough assets (namely a star) in return. Then Howard left the Lakers, Andre Iguodala left the Denver Nuggets, Andrew Bynum left the Philadelphia Sixers (after not playing a single game due to injuries), and the Magic won the trade by default.

Even though it’s been over a year and a half since Howard was dealt, the impact of the four-team blockbuster trade is still reverberating in Orlando. In fact, the Magic’s haul is looking better with each passing day.

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Mar 04

Tuesday’s Mini-Magic Word

  • The Magic have made a 3-pointer in 554 consecutive games. Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post takes a look at some key facts and figures from the 3-point streak.
  • Tyler Lashbrook of Orlando Pinstriped Post: “Tobias Harris has relished the spotlight in the six games since Davis’ departure. He’s averaging 20.8 points, six rebounds, and 6.2 free-throw attempts per game on 64.2 percent True Shooting. He’s also sporting a 1.2 assist-to-turnover ratio, a perfectly acceptable number for a starting power forward. That he’s maintaining incredible efficiency while using up 23.1 percent of Orlando’s possessions speaks to the groove that the former Tennessee Volunteer is currently enjoying.”
  • Dwight Howard will receive a tribute video when Orlando plays the Houston Rockets at Amway Center on Wednesday.
  • The Magic have re-signed Dewayne Dedmon and Adonis Thomas to their second 10-day contracts.
  • Howard is battling a sore back and that could impact his availability when the Rockets play the Magic on Wednesday.

Mar 03

Monday’s Magic Word

  • The Rookie of the Year race is heating up between Michael Carter-Williams and Victor Oladipo as the regular season winds down, but don’t expect the Magic to campaign for Oladipo’s candidacy.
  • John Schuhmann of NBA.com: “Two games against the Sixers helped the Magic get within one of last season’s win total. They outscored Philly 60-35 in the two fourth quarters and are a plus-50 in the fourth over their last 11 games. For the season, only the Pacers have improved more from the first half to the second half of games than the Magic, who have been outscored 9.4 points in the first half and just 0.6 in the second half.”
  • Oladipo’s goal is to play all 82 games this season.
  • Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports: “Orlando hasn’t had much of an opportunity to evaluate center Dewayne Dedmon, but he is expected to land a second 10-day contract.”
  • Matt Dollinger of Sports Illustrated: “Following the Thunder blueprint, the Magic are doing a terrific job developing their young talent and giving them minutes to grow. Orlando could be one of the most fun teams to watch next season, depending on the lottery results. The Magic already have four promising talents in Nikola Vucevic (23 years old), Victor Oladipo (21), Tobias Harris (21) and Moe Harkless (20).”
  • Tobias Harris, who scored a career-high 31 points against the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday, gets an “A” for his performance.
  • Harris has been on an offensive surge lately.
  • Get to know more about Adonis Thomas, who joined Orlando on a 10-day contract recently.
  • Tyler Lashbrook and Sam Vecenie trade e-mails and chat about Zach LaVine, an NBA prospect from UCLA.
  • Oladipo, who takes a lot of hard falls in games, said that he plans to work on landing better onto the floor during the offseason to help preserve his body.
  • The odds of the Magic finishing with the worst record in the league are slim-to-none.
  • Marc Stein of ESPN.com: “The good news: Orlando has legitimately been better than advertised at home of late and finally found a way to halt that stubborn 16-game road losing streak as part of a two-win week. Now for the bad news: Celebrations were naturally muted because both wins came at the expense of the 76ers.”
  • Harris is reminding everyone — with his career night against the Sixers — that he was the steal of last season’s deadline.
  • Kyle O’Quinn has become Orlando’s go-to inbounder.
  • What record will the Magic end up with as the season comes to a close for them? A closer look at their schedule in March may provide a clue.

Mar 03

Highlights: Tobias Harris scores career-high 31

Mar 03

Grades: Orlando Magic 92, Philadelphia 76ers 81

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AP Photo/John Raoux

 

Orlando Magic 92 Final
Recap | Box Score
81 Philadelphia 76ers

Nikola Vucevic
7-14 FG | 4-7 FT | 17 REB | 3 AST | 18 PTS | +5

If it seems like Vucevic always plays well versus his former team, it’s because he does. Entering tonight’s contest, Vucevic was averaging 15.4 points and 15.8 rebounds per game against the Sixers for his career (in five games). Those are gaudy numbers. So it should come as no surprise that Vucevic nearly dropped a 20-20 game on Philadelphia.

Tobias Harris
11-20 FG | 9-9 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 31 PTS | +11

Harris scored a career-high 31 points, and he did it by attacking the rim and making layups or getting to the free throw line. That’s a big reason why he’s such a matchup nightmare at the power forward position. He can blow by opposing fours off the dribble. Even a fellow small-ball power forward like Thaddeus Young, who struggled to contain Harris at times.

E’Twaun Moore
4-10 FG | 3-4 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | +21

It’s not every day that you see Moore dunk, but that’s what happened early in the fourth quarter when he was briefly isolated on the perimeter against Byron Mullens in a mismatch. Moore channeled his inner-Allen Iverson, crossing up Mullens and finishing the sequence off with a two-handed slam. It was a rare display of ballhandling guile and athleticism from Moore.

Maurice Harkless
4-9 FG | 1-4 3P | 3 BLK | 6 REB | 10 PTS | +12

Harkless had one of the plays of the game when he blocked Hollis Thompson’s 3-point shot midway through the third quarter. Thompson caught a pass from James Anderson and had a clean look from the left corner for a split-second. But Harkless recovered in time, using his speed and length to close out on Anderson and block the shot out of bounds.

Philadelphia 76ers

When Tony Wroten made a 3-pointer from the left corner to give the Sixers a 67-58 lead with 2:51 left in the third quarter, it started to feel like Philadelphia was actually going to win. Then the Magic — led by their second unit — went on a 21-4 run that started in the third and carried over to the fourth, and the Sixers ended up losing. Again.

Mar 03

Video: E’Twaun Moore with a killer crossover

Mar 02

Preview: Philadelphia 76ers at Orlando Magic

Essentials

  • Teams: Philadelphia 76ers at Orlando Magic
  • Date: March 2, 2014
  • Time: 6:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Amway Center

Records

  • Sixers: 15-44
  • Magic: 18-43

Probable starters

Sixers:

  • Michael Carter-Williams
  • James Anderson
  • Hollis Thompson
  • Thaddeus Young
  • Henry Sims

Magic:

  • Ronnie Price
  • Victor Oladipo
  • Maurice Harkless
  • Tobias Harris
  • Nikola Vucevic

Advanced stats

Sixers:

  • Pace: 100.1 (1st of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 98.9 (30th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 109.6 (28th of 30)

Magic:

  • Pace: 93.7 (16th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 101.6 (26th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 107.1 (17th of 30)

Read about the Sixers

Hoop76

Mar 01

Grades: Miami Heat 112, Orlando Magic 98

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AP Photo/Alan Diaz

 

Miami Heat 112 Final
Recap | Box Score
98 Orlando Magic

Nikola Vucevic
9-14 FG | 3-4 FT | 2 STL | 10 REB | 18 PTS | -15

Tobias Harris
6-11 FG | 7-7 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 20 PTS | -9

Kyle O’Quinn
6-10 FG | 2-6 3P | 15 REB | 2 AST | 14 PTS | -2

Maurice Harkless
5-11 FG | 1-3 3P | 3 STL | 4 REB | 14 PTS | -14

Miami Heat

Mar 01

Video: Maurice Harkless with the steal and slam

Mar 01

Preview: Orlando Magic at Miami Heat

Essentials

  • Teams: Orlando Magic at Miami Heat
  • Date: March 1, 2014
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: AmericanAirlines Arena

Records

  • Magic: 18-42
  • Heat: 41-14

Probable starters

Magic:

  • Jameer Nelson
  • Victor Oladipo
  • Maurice Harkless
  • Tobias Harris
  • Nikola Vucevic

Heat:

  • Mario Chalmers
  • Dwyane Wade
  • LeBron James
  • Shane Battier
  • Chris Bosh

Advanced stats

Magic:

  • Pace: 93.8 (16th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 101.5 (26th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 106.9 (17th of 30)

Heat:

  • Pace: 92.4 (22nd of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 111.8 (2nd of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 105.3 (12th of 30)

Read about the Heat

Heat Index

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