Via the Orlando Magic:
Orlando Magic guard Chris Duhon will host the Stand Tall Against Hunger Kick-Off event on Thursday, November 4. The event includes Duhon, Magic players, STUFF the Magic mascot, Magic Dancers and will commence a 12 day food drive to take place at Magic home games and all Central Florida FAIRWINDS Credit Union locations.
Fans are encouraged to donate non-perishable food items for Central Florida families in need at the kick-off event on November 4, all Orlando Magic home games at Fan Fest (located on Church Street next to Amway Center) and Central Florida FAIRWINDS locations. For every item donated at the kick-off event and Fan Fest, fans will have a chance to be Duhon’s personal guest at a Magic home game and also eligible to win autographed Duhon & Magic items. The food drive will last through November 15.
All food collected will be distributed to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida on November 16.
For more information or to donate to Chris Duhon’s Stand Tall Against Hunger Food Drive, please visit www.chrisduhonstandtall.org.
- Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “Stan Van Gundy didn’t have any time to relax once he learned about the postponement of Tuesday night’s game against the New York Knicks. Van Gundy had to start preparing for tonight’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. He planned to review T-Wolves video on the plane flight from Newark, N.J., back to Central Florida. Still, Van Gundy doesn’t operate in a vacuum. He already knows that the Timberwolves employ a front line of Michael Beasley, Kevin Love and Darko Milicic, and those players are listed at 6 feet 10 or taller. [...] Love hurt Orlando last season, averaging 15.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in the T-Wolves’ two losses to the Magic. Van Gundy acknowledged that C Marcin Gortat might receive some playing time at power forward.”
- Head coach Stan Van Gundy: “It’s crazy. I’ve never been through it ever — ever — in 26 or 27 years of coaching, going back to college. I had never had a game canceled. And now two in two weeks? It’s crazy.”
- Get to know more about asbestos.
- Zach McCann has an update on the back-up point forward situation.
- John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com: “Rashard Lewis turned on his cell phone following an afternoon nap, saw a text message that the Orlando Magic’s Tuesday night game against the New York Knicks had been cancelled and chuckled, thinking it was some sort of weird joke. After all, it was just 12 days ago that the Magic had their final preseason game against the Miami Heat cancelled because of a slick floor at Tampa’s St. Pete Times Forum. Thinking there’s no way the team would ever have two games cancelled in two weeks time, Lewis though he was being duped.”
- Proposed nickname for the Orlando Magic bench? The Scorceror’s Apprentices.
- Scott Horlbeck of the Dime Magazine thinks the Magic will win the Eastern Conference this year: “Marcin Gortat could be the best back up center in the NBA. He’s long, athletic, and according to Mark Cuban, he’s worth a five-year, $34 million contract. Brandon Bass was born to play in the playoffs. Who doesn’t want a guy with a nonstop motor. Someone who enjoys crashing the boards and playing through contact. Then there’s Superman. The two-time defensive MVP took his talents to Hakeem this summer and enrolled in his prestigious “Post Move Academy.” (Kobe enrolled last offseason and came away with some jewelry.) If Dwight can develop a couple go-to moves down at the block, which we’ve seen so far, he may be the most dominant post player we’ve seen since Shaq. His athleticism, defense prowess and new found offensive skills could make him a nightmare for teams who are small upfront. Combine that with the Magic’s ability to spread the floor and shoot the three, I’m not sure how you would defend them. You double Dwight [Howard], they hit a three, you don’t double Dwight, he dunks on your center. With the Magic’s playoff experience, offensive fire power, and ability to control the paint, I like them to win the East this year.”
In conjunction with the grand opening of the MetroPCS Digital Loft in the Amway Center, the Orlando Magic announced today a multi-year partnership with Metro PCS Communications, Inc. as the Official Prepaid Wireless Telecommunications Provider of the Orlando Magic. On Wednesday, November 3, the Digital Loft will be open to the public from 4:00-5:30, and then will remain open for all ticketed patrons attending the Minnesota Timberwolves game throughout the end of the contest. Bo Outlaw and Magic Dancers will also be available from 5:45-6:15 to take pictures and sign autographs.
The Metro PCS Digital Loft is located near the northeast corner of the Amway Center, and consists of 1,000 square feet of retail space with a boutique look and feel. Fans can experience the affordability, flexibility and predictability of MetroPCS’ Wireless for AllSM unlimited nationwide talk, text and web service plans and try out the wide range of phones, from basic models to full-featured touchscreen devices and smartphones. To add to the fan experience, the Metro PCS Digital Loft provides patrons with phone charging stations and an interactive iPop display that allows fans to have their photo superimposed on Amway Center images, which then can be e-mailed from the Digital Loft to family and friends.
“We are excited to partner with Metro PCS to bring another legendary experience to our fans as they enter the Amway Center,” Orlando Magic President Alex Martins said. “The Metro PCS Store will be a great interactive area for every patron and is a great way to showcase the dynamic partnership that Metro PCS has created with the Orlando Magic and the Amway Center.”
MetroPCS offers Wireless For All service plans ranging from $40 to $60 a month including taxes and regulatory fees, as well as a full spectrum of phones for every budget and lifestyle, including smartphones, messaging devices and feature handsets. No matter which plan they choose, consumers have the flexibility to add or change services without worrying about long-term contracts, termination fees or other costs.
“The demand for convenient, accessible wireless service continues to grow, with more mobile subscribers choosing pay-in-advance services than ever before,” said Tom Gawronski, vice president and general manager of MetroPCS Orlando. “MetroPCS is committed to providing Orlando residents with the best value in service, and our new store in the Amway Center will bring us closer to our customers in the community, allowing fans to experience firsthand MetroPCS quality and affordability.”
Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images
Via the New York Knicks:
Following last night’s Rangers game, during overnight maintenance of Madison Square Garden, which included cleaning asbestos-related materials in the attic above the ceiling, some debris fell into the Arena.
Out of an abundance of caution, and after consulting with the NBA, we are postponing tonight’s Knicks v. [Orlando] Magic game. We will be working with the city and independent experts, ATC Associates and GCI Environmental Advisory, to evaluate and determine the most appropriate course of action. As the safety of our customers and employees are our top priority, we will not reopen the Garden until we are absolutely assured the Arena is safe.
Ticketholders are advised to retain their tickets, and to go to nyknicks.com for rescheduling information. We will announce information about future events as soon as they have been determined.
Madison Square Garden apologizes for any inconvenience.
In this morning’s Orlando Sentinel, columnist George Diaz expressed a sentiment I know a lot of Orlando Magic fans share: the team is fatally flawed against teams like the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, which can single-cover Dwight Howard in the low post with a minimum of fuss. [...]
What the Magic do have is [Vince] Carter, who was coming off a season in which he averaged 20.8 points, 5.1 boards, and 4.7 assists–All-Star-caliber production, to be honest–when they acquired him in 2009. And, rather significantly, he got a plurality of his offense that year in isolation–that is, in one-on-one–situations, at 21.3 percent. But that season, with the New Jersey Nets, may indeed represent his final campaign of such sustained productivity. To call Carter’s first campaign with Orlando “uneven” is to be charitable, although he at least impressed me with his performance from February to April. And, when called upon, he did show flashes of his former self in getting big baskets at key junctures, even outside that timeframe. [...]
Carter played 13 games last season against the Celtics, Lakers, Charlotte Bobcats, and Milwaukee Bucks, who, along with the Magic, ranked in the top five in Defensive Efficiency last year. Against those teams, Carter averaged 19.5 points per game on a reasonably efficient–given the competition–54.3 percent True Shooting mark, crossing the 20-point barrier 8 times. Further, he was roughly as aggressive in those games as he was on the year, earning 0.294 free-throw attempts per field-goal attempt against the defensive elite, versus a 0.301 ratio overall. I know the playoffs left most everyone with a sour opinion of Carter, but it’s hard to refute the idea that he didn’t bring it against tough competition last year.
Good stuff in response to Diaz’s article. Worth the read.
The Orlando Magic are going to win a bunch of games this season.
My guesstimate is that the bar starts at 50 and shoots up from there. Expect lots of good times in the fabulously-plush Amway Center.
But the celebratory spirit may come crashing down in the playoff crunch, when the creampuffs disappear and the Magic are forced-fed peas and broccoli.
The Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics are not yummy-yummy for the Magic. Perhaps it’s a bit premature to make that call so early in the season. It was just a few days ago that NBA Commissioner David Stern was in town commemorating the start of the season in a new arena and the Magic were carving up the Washington Wizards.
But some things never change.
The Magic don’t have any players who can break down a defense by going one-on-one, unless Vince Carter steps into a Hot Tub Time Machine and it’s 1997 all over again.
Without one, they won’t have a prayer of beating the Celtics or the Heat in a playoff series. [...]
It is not too early in the season to break out the gloom-and-doom scenario. Listen to Stan Van Gundy‘s analysis, breaking down his team’s strengths and weaknesses, after Friday’s loss.
“Against a good defensive team we have trouble a little bit,” he said. “We don’t have — and this isn’t to put down anybody in our locker room — but we don’t have the great one-on-one players. We don’t have Wade and James and Paul Pierce and Kobe Bryant.”
What they do have are bad matchups against the Heat and the Celtics. And matchups are what this league is all about.
And so here we are.
Two games into the regular season, and all the goodwill that’s been built up with the Orlando Magic has been wiped away.
That being said, it’s fair to question whether or not the Magic have the roster to usurp the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference. When head coach Stan Van Gundy readily admits that Orlando doesn’t have a great individual scorer, that speaks volumes. It really does. It makes people wonder whether or not general manager Otis Smith will pull the trigger on someone like Carmelo Anthony, a player that’s readily available on the open market and is the type of shot creator the Magic desperately need right now. Still, it’s too early to speculate on that possibility because there’s too many variables involved.
Now is not the time for hasty action.
Orlando had a bad game against a rival. At the very least, the Magic deserve the opportunity to right the wrongs and fix the problem internally. That being said, if this continues to be a problem with the Heat and Celtics in the next few months, let alone the Los Angeles Lakers, then the organization for Orlando is going to have to take a hard, long look at themselves. Ownership has invested millions of dollars in allowing the Magic to compete for a championship but if the roster isn’t calibrated to beat the teams ahead of them, changes need to be made.
Or else the money spent is a waste.
Before the February 24 trade deadline, Orlando faces off against Miami and Boston a total of five times. If the Magic can prove that they can beat the Heat and Celtics in a manner that’s sustainable for a seven-game series in the playoffs, great.
If not, Magic fans will be clamoring for a trade.
The clock is ticking.
- Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “The loss to the Miami Heat, as embarrassing and as complete as it was, will provide one beneficial by-product for the Orlando Magic. It will allow the players to measure their character less than a week into the 2010-11 regular season. How do they recover from a loss to a rival? How quickly do they make needed changes to their offense? How do they approach a grueling week of games? Those questions will be answered when the Magic play the New York Knicks at 7:30 Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. [...] Responding well to defeats has been a hallmark of the Stan Van Gundy era in Orlando. The Magic have compiled a 57-19 record after losing the previous game during his tenure as head coach.”
- Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel: “Brandon Bass has been the first player off the bench in the Orlando Magic’s first two games, giving the appearance that Bass had beaten out Ryan Anderson for the backup power forward position. But that’s not the case. “Not at all,” Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. In fact, Anderson almost played instead of Bass in the first half of the season opener. Van Gundy said that if Yi Jianlian had been on the floor when the Magic did their substitutions in the first quarter, Anderson – not Bass – would have played the backup minutes at power forward. Against the Heat, Van Gundy thought Bass would be a better matchup against Chris Bosh, although he admitted Anderson did a nice job on Bosh in the second half. The two player’s position battle is far from over. There’s no clear-cut backup power forward at this point, and it doesn’t appear if the situation will shake itself out anytime soon. For now, the team will continue to play the matchups.”
- Hey, at least Marcin Gortat is an honest person.
- The Magic have been working on passing and screening (in pick and rolls) lately.
- Dwight Howard dressed up for Halloween.
- More from Robbins on Howard’s leadership: “Howard’s growth as a vocal leader could pay dividends for Orlando. For all of their talent and depth, the Magic in recent years seem to have lacked players who could snap the roster out of a funk with impassioned words. The maturation of their all-star center might have changed the overall dynamic. Howard attempted to spur on his teammates on at least three different occasions during and after the Magic’s 96-70 loss to the Miami Heat on Friday night. He spoke loudly in a team huddle on the sideline after the Heat opened the third quarter on a 9-0 run. He tried to inspire his teammates in the visitors’ locker room shortly after the final buzzer. And during his postgame press availability, he said the Magic “got shell-shocked” when they faced adversity.”
- John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com: “Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said that his team watched film of the Miami loss for more than an hour on Sunday morning. Van Gundy wanted to show the team the many instances when it could have set screens better, made more on-target passes and swung the ball from side to side quicker. While he said losing in the manner in which his did was never a good thing, he hoped the lopsided score and embarrassment would cause his team to take heed of the areas in which it needs to improve. [...] In the minutes after Friday’s loss, Van Gundy admitted that the Miami loss felt similar to the defeat to Boston in the Eastern Conference Finals last spring. Not in the magnitude of the game, but with the manner in which the Magic lost. When Miami’s defense took away the Magic first and second options offensively, Orlando didn’t work hard enough to get good shots with extra passes, better screens and poise. With a starting lineup of all-stars and the NBA’s deepest bench, the Magic can often score with ease against bad and middle-of-the-road teams. But against the best defenses there has to be a more determined commitment to doing the little things, Van Gundy said.”
- Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post chats with Quentin Richardson about positionality.
- Howard is not a fan of his dunk rating on NBA Jam.
- Sebastian Pruiti of NBA Playbook breaks down the Magic’s loss to the Heat.
- According to Casey Mack of Dime Magazine, Howard needs an archenemy.
While the Orlando Magic lick their wounds from the beatdown they suffered at the hands of the Miami Heat on Friday, it’s worth revisiting one of the few bright spots from that game. Dwight Howard‘s performance against the Heat, in which he looked more dominant than ever — as he should have been — against the likes of Joel Anthony, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and Jamaal Magloire, is a development that’s worth keeping tabs on before the two rivals meet again in late November.
Want to see true growth on offense for Howard? Watch.
In the Orlando Magic‘s loss against the Miami Heat on Friday, a six-point halftime deficit ballooned to 20 points in the span of roughly three minutes during the third quarter. It was a haymaker that served as a knockout blow for the Magic, and it had to everything to do with the Heat’s defense which was devastating in its own right. Everyone marvel’s at the offensive firepower of James, Wade, and Bosh, but sometimes people forget that they’re pretty good defenders too. Bosh gets pegged, unfairly, as a bad defender but watch him in the 2008 Summer Olympics and it becomes clear that in the right defensive scheme, he can be a net positive on defense. As for James and Wade, they love to roam defensively and wreak havoc whenever possible.
During Miami’s 14-0 run, there was little Orlando could to do create on offense. One of the main things that stands out from the Heat is not only their pick and roll coverage, which was superb, but just their swarming team defense. Miami has a lot of athletic players on the roster and that makes for a stingy set of defenders. The Magic learned that the hard way as they had to take difficult shot after difficult shot and dig themselves deep in a hole they couldn’t get out of. It’s easy to criticize Orlando for not running enough pick and rolls, for example, but they were having little success when they tried. The Heat’s defensive rotations were fantastic.
And watch James on defense — he was everywhere.