Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 189

Jan 04

Orlando Magic make their mark

Photo by Fernando Medina

Via the Orlando Magic:

On Tuesday, January 4, at the Amway Center, Orlando Magic players and coaches participated in an internal autograph session for items to be distributed to non-profit organizations, schools and charity events throughout Central Florida. Each year the autographed items impact more than 1,000 local organizations and raises an estimated $100,000 for area charitable activities.

Jan 03

Recap: Orlando Magic 110, Golden State Warriors 90

Photo by Fernando Medina


The Orlando Magic were able to defeat the Golden State Warriors by the score of 110-90 and extend their winning streak to six games. The highlight of the evening was Hedo Turkoglu‘s triple-double — 10 points, 14 rebounds, 10 assists, and five steals (for good measure). If there was any doubt before that Turkoglu could regain his playing form from 2009 when he helped guide the Magic to the NBA Finals, all of the doubts are out the window after his recent performance. Yes, the Warriors entered the game ranked 28th in defensive efficiency, but a triple-double is still impressive and there’s no question that Turkoglu has been playing in a similar manner since he was traded to Orlando. All in all, the Magic were led by a balanced attack as eight players scored in double-figures. Dwight Howard had 22 points, 17 rebounds, and two steals. Jason Richardson continues to find his groove with Orlando, finishing with 20 points and five rebounds. J.J. Redick and Ryan Anderson each had 13 points, while Jameer Nelson and Gilbert Arenas each had 11 points, and Brandon Bass chipped in with 10 points. The first half was an abomination for the Magic, as their effort and energy wasn’t there. However, in the second half, Orlando was able to kick things up a notch and turn a double-digit deficit into a 20-point victory. The irony is that the Miami Heat, Golden State’s previous opponent, accomplished a similar feat on Saturday.

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Jan 03

Monday’s Magic Word

  • Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel: “If Brandon Bass misses any action because of a possible knee injury — and it’s still possible he’ll miss no time — the Magic will possess just two true big men: Dwight Howard and Ryan AndersonMalik Allen is still injured, and Earl Clark is more of a combo forward than a big man. Obviously, Bass’ injury would mean Anderson backs up Howard. Anderson, admittedly, has played very little center in his professional career and is more comfortable as a power forward. But he thinks he’ll be OK playing the position for the short-term. Coach Stan Van Gundy called him the team’s second-best rebounder in the preseason, and that was when Marcin Gortat called Orlando home.”
  • Dwight Howard is going to start learning sign language.
  • Howard has gotten one of his technical fouls rescinded — the number is 11.
  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “Coach Stan Van Gundy said team physician Craig Mintzer and another doctor have reviewed the scans of Bass’ knee, and the doctors aren’t convinced that the burly power forward has a torn meniscus. So, for the time being, the team will attempt to treat the discomfort in Bass’ knee without surgery.”
  • Brandon Bass is likely to play in tonight’s game against the Golden State Warriors.
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “[J.J.] Redick hasn’t done much wrong lately. He has been on a roll the past six games, averaging 15.3 points per outing while shooting 54.2 percent, including a scorching 62 percent from 3-point range. What impresses Van Gundy, though, is that Redick has become more of a “complete player” in this, his fifth season, in Orlando. He is a deft passer, an underrated playmaker and an irritating, if not gifted, defender who at least knows where he should be on the floor. Redick knew he wouldn’t last in the league long strictly on his shooting prowess. So he built his body and toughened up. He opened his mind to the game, learning its nuances, discovering how to overcome his physical shortcomings.”
  • Jason Richardson on being a team player: “But I’m just not a numbers guy and I just want to win games. I’ve averaged 20 points in this league before and if my numbers take a dive here in Orlando I don’t have a problem with that. As long as I’m producing on both ends of the floor, I’m fine.’’
  • Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post on the possibility that Bass may need surgery on his left knee: “Losing Bass for a prolonged period would deal another blow to the Magic’s thin frontcourt rotation. Since trading Marcin Gortat to the Phoenix Suns in mid-December, coach Stan Van Gundy has relied upon Bass, Ryan Anderson, and Dwight Howard as his only everyday big-men, with Bass serving as both the team’s starting power forward and its backup center. Van Gundy said Friday he’s happy with this arrangement for now. It’s easy to understand why. During the Magic’s five-game winning streak, Anderson and Bass have combined to average 23 points and 11.8 rebounds.”
  • Gilbert Arenas is making a positive impact with the Magic.
  • Marc Stein of “Five straight W’s by an average of 14 points catch the eye, but the following development has to hearten Orlando even more: Hedo is already looking more like 2009 Hedo, averaging nearly 15, 5 and 5 during the 5-0 run.”
  • John Hollinger of ESPN Insider breaks down the race for the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference: “Chicago has the upper hand in the race for No. 3 right now, as the Bulls are two games ahead in the loss column and project to finish exactly two ahead. One item to file away: As a division winner, the Bulls automatically would own the tiebreaker with Orlando, presuming the Magic finish behind the Heat in the Southeast Division. As a result, that 107-78 beatdown the Magic put on Chicago in the Windy City five weeks ago would have no bearing on the tiebreaker.”
  • According to Rob Mahoney of the New York Times’ Off the Dribble blog, despite returning to Orlando, Hedo Turkoglu is the same player that he always was: “Those skills didn’t fade as Turkoglu made his North American tour, the Magic just use him differently than the Suns and the Raptors did. Both of those teams’ point guards excel when setting up the offense, and a spot-up shooter Turkoglu is not. He needs control of the ball to be even an average N.B.A. player, and though both of those teams would use Turkoglu in a playmaking role situationally, neither was willing to cede control of the offense (and wisely so) because of the effectiveness and style of their point guards.”
  • Is Howard insane?
  • Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk: “Five wins in a row because the offense is a little better. And so is the defense — didn’t see that coming. We still question the trades and taking on all that extra salary long term, but in the short term we’re starting to believe.”
  • Sebastian Pruiti of NBA Playbook breaks down Turkoglu’s chemistry with Howard.
  • For what it’s worth, the Magic were the best team in the NBA in the calendar year of 2010.

Jan 03

Preview: Golden State Warriors at Orlando Magic

7:00 EST | Sun Sports
13-20 @ 21-12
Pythagorean Record: 12-21 Pythagorean Record: 22-11
Pace: 95.1 (5th) Pace: 91.8 (18th)
Offensive Rating: 106.6 (14th) Offensive Rating: 106.4 (15th)
Defensive Rating: 111.2 (28th) Defensive Rating: 101.5 (4th)
Amway Center | First meeting this season

Jan 03

A new year offers hope for the Orlando Magic

Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The picture about says it all.

Jan 03

Brandon Bass and Ryan Anderson emerging at power forward

AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

Via Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel:

The [Orlando] Magic‘s power-forward position, which has leaned toward the unconventional, is currently being manned by two young players with contrasting styles who weren’t certain about their futures in Orlando.

It took a trade to convince Brandon Bass and Ryan Anderson that they had a place.

And maybe the surprising thing for both Bass and Anderson was that it wound up being veteran Rashard Lewis — not either of them — who was dealt.

The Magic sent Lewis to the Washington Wizards for guard Gilbert Arenas in a stunning blockbuster.

The transaction meant that Bass, 25, was assured of starting at power forward as Lewis’ replacement. Anderson, 22, then inherited minutes as Bass’ back-up — or even playing alongside Bass at times.

They have blossomed in their new roles since the deal after finally earning Van Gundy’s trust. […]

Neither Bass nor Anderson could have imagined bigger roles or consistent minutes before the season started.

Bass was so frustrated over his lack of playing time last season that his agent, Tony Dutt, had openly talked about asking the Magic for a trade.

Like Anderson, Bass was told he had a chance to become a factor if he improved his defense and rebounding, especially with [Stan] Van Gundy envisioning Lewis playing more at small forward.

When general manager Otis Smith pulled the trigger — finally — and traded Rashard Lewis for Gilbert Arenas, almost all of the attention surrounded the two players involved in the deal. And that’s understandable, given that Arenas and Lewis are two high-profile NBA players for different reasons, to say the least. But there were other individuals that were impacted by the swap.

Brandon Bass and Ryan Anderson.

One of the main reasons that Smith acquired Arenas at the cost of Lewis was not only because the Magic needed a playmaker on the perimeter, but also because it became harder justifying not playing Bass and Anderson. When Lewis was around, Orlando had a logjam at power forward and unfortunately for Bass and Anderson, one of them was relegated to sitting on the bench.

This season, as Lewis continued to struggle offensively, it was increasingly clear that it made little sense for the Magic to sit one of their most productive players on the bench and hope he snapped out of his funk on offense. As tough of a decision as it was, given the laundry list of positive things that Lewis did for Orlando, there’s no question that Smith made the right choice.

There are a number of reasons why the Magic have been able to right the ship and currently enjoy a five-game winning streak.

Jettisoning Lewis and relying more on Bass and Anderson is a big reason.

Dec 31

Recap: Orlando Magic 112, New York Knicks 103

AP Photo/John Raoux


With the year 2010 coming to a close, the Orlando Magic were able to defeat the New York Knicks by the score of 112-103 in front of a nationally televised audience and a record sell-out crowd (19,090) at the Amway Center. The win extends the Magic’s winning streak to five games. Orlando was led by a balanced attack, as seven players scored in double-figures. Dwight Howard paved the way for Orlando with 24 points, 18 rebounds, and four blocks. Hedo Turkoglu had 17 points, nine rebounds, and four assists. J.J. Redick, Brandon Bass, and Ryan Anderson each finished with 14 points, while Jameer Nelson and Gilbert Arenas each chipped in with 10 points. Unfortunately for Howard during the game, he picked up his league-leading 12th technical foul of the season. Once Howard reaches 16 techs, he’ll be suspended one game. That’s a storyline to keep an eye on in the next few weeks, given the high propensity for Howard to earn technical fouls.

Although the Knicks won three of the four quarters against the Magic, it was a 40-point second quarter by the latter that was the difference. In that period, Orlando outscored New York by 19 points. What happened in that quarter?

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Dec 30

Dwight Howard leads the Eastern Conference in voting after second returns of 2011 NBA All-Star balloting

AP Photo/Mark Duncan

Via the Orlando Magic:

Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic continues to lead the Eastern Conference in voting after the second returns of 2011 NBA All-Star Balloting presented by T-Mobile. Howard ranks second overall in voting for the entire NBA behind only Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant, The Finals MVP last season, is the overall leader with 1,153,694 votes, while Howard paces the East with 988,572 votes.

The 2011 NBA All-Star Game, which will air live on TNT and ESPN Radio in the U.S., and reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages, will be played at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles – on Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011.

Howard, the leading vote-getter in the Eastern Conference with 988,572 votes, paces centers in the East, followed by the Boston Celtics’ Shaquille O’Neal (410,663). LeBron James, a two-time All-Star MVP (2006, 2008), leads all Eastern Conference forwards with 969,459 votes, followed by the Celtics’ Kevin Garnett (712,555), MVP of the 2003 All-Star Game. The Heat’s Dwyane Wade paces all guards with 938,402 votes; the Celtics’ Rajon Rondo is second among guards in the East (777,310).

In the Western Conference, Bryant, a three-time All-Star MVP, who garnered the honor in 2002, 2007 and 2009, is followed at guard by the New Orleans Hornets’ Chris Paul (585,690). Kevin Durant, a member of last year’s All-NBA First Team, paces forwards in the West (735,521), with the Nuggets’ Carmelo Anthony (602,516) second. The Houston Rockets’ Yao Ming (637,527) is the leading vote-getter among Western Conference centers, with the Lakers’ Andrew Bynum (376,283) placing second.

Dec 30

Preview: New York Knicks at Orlando Magic

7:00 EST | TNT
18-13 @ 20-12
Pythagorean Record: 17-14 Pythagorean Record: 21-11
Pace: 96.6 (2nd) Pace: 91.7 (18th)
Offensive Rating: 110.2 (7th) Offensive Rating: 106.2 (16th)
Defensive Rating: 109.2 (24th) Defensive Rating: 101.3 (4th)
Amway Center | First meeting this season

Dec 30

A little flair from Gilbert Arenas

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