Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 190

Jan 22

Recap: Orlando Magic 112, Toronto Raptors 72

AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack


Facing off against Hedo Turkoglu‘s former team, the Orlando Magic were able to defeat the Toronto Raptors by the score of 112-72. The game was close for a half before the Magic outscored the Raptors by 36 points to turn things into a blowout and allow head coach Stan Van Gundy a chance to rest the starters in the fourth quarter with a game against the Houston Rockets looming later tonight. Dwight Howard led the way for Orlando, finishing with 31 points, 19 rebounds, and getting dunk after dunk throughout the evening. There was little that Toronto’s frontline could do to stop Howard on offense. Ryan Anderson continues his stellar play as of late, contributing with 21 points and 10 rebounds. J.J. Redick chipped in with 12 points, while Brandon Bass had 10 points and nine rebounds.

This game was a blowout for a number of reasons.

First, as mentioned previously, the Raptors did little to prevent Howard from doing whatever he wanted offensively.

Whether it was Howard scoring with ease in 3-out/2-in offensive sets when he posted up on the low block, getting alley-oop feeds from Jameer Nelson for dunks, earning deep post position whenever he was in transition and converting on hook shots, crashing the offensive glass and racking up buckets in that manner, it was one of those nights where everything came easy for the big fella.

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Jan 21

Preview: Toronto Raptors at Orlando Magic

7:00 EDT | Fox Sports Florida
13-29 @ 27-15
Pythagorean Record: 15-27 Pythagorean Record: 28-14
Pace: 94.0 (8th) Pace: 92.1 (17th)
Offensive Rating: 106.5 (16th) Offensive Rating: 107.7 (13th)
Defensive Rating: 111.1 (26th) Defensive Rating: 102.3 (4th)
Amway Center | Raptors lead season series 1-0

Jan 21

The Orlando Magic launch first NBA team-sponsored augmented reality kiosk at the Amway Center

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Via the Orlando Magic:

If you’ve ever wanted to dribble down court dodging NBA greats along the way, now is your chance. Today, the NBA’s Orlando Magic launched a new user-generated, interactive program called “Get in the Game,” to virtually put Orlando Magic fans on the NBA basketball court. Located in the Amway Center’s Nutrilite Magic Fan Experience area, “Get in the Game” puts fans into the game like never before by using 3D VideoStar technology from Oddcast, the leader in participation marketing.

Fans interested in participating in the program are encouraged to visit the Amway Center – home of the Orlando Magic – and have a photo taken at the Nutrilite Magic Fan Experience VideoStar kiosks. Next, fans can add their last names for the back of their virtual basketball jerseys and choose a 30-second clip that will feature them as either Orlando Magic player J.J. Redick or Dwight Howard. The video experience can then be shared through kiosks at Amway Center during the game.

Oddcast’s 3D VideoStar technology is an advanced technology that lets users upload a 2D picture of their face that is automatically mapped onto any video scene. The picture is rendered in full 3D, providing lifelike tracking movement within the videoand also automatically lip-synchs with any dialogue in the scene.

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Jan 21

Video Analysis: A fun fourth quarter between familiar foes

On Monday, the Orlando Magic and Boston Celtics engaged in another one of their memorable battles. In recent years, whenever the Magic and Celtics go toe-to-toe with each other, fans are — more often than not — treated to a great game.

Head coach Stan Van Gundy and Doc Rivers are two of the better coaches in the NBA — master tacticians with their respective teams. Plus, the different personalities and star power make things interesting on and off the court.

General manager Otis Smith has gotten a lot of flack recently, saying that Boston acts tough but isn’t really tough. And Glen Davis made heads turned when he said that Dwight Howard was a finesse player. Needless to say, these are two franchises with people that aren’t afraid to speak their mind. But rather delve deeper in psychological warfare, it makes more sense to revisit an epic fourth quarter that saw two Eastern Conference heavyweights trade haymakers with each other. This time around, Orlando lost the battle but it was surely entertaining to watch.

For the last five minutes of the game, the Magic and Celtics traded jabs, uppercuts, you name it, before Paul Pierce put things to rest with a go-ahead jumper with 38 seconds left in the game. Despite that, one of the encouraging things that Orlando can take away from the loss is the crunch-time abilities of Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu. Richardson, especially, has not been afraid to take — and make — big shots for the Magic since he arrived in late December. For whatever reason, Richardson becomes laser-focused during the clutch. Same with Turkoglu.


Jan 20

Thursday’s Magic Word

  • Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel: “Orlando Magic guard Gilbert Arenas has been struggling lately, and part of that’s because of coach Stan Van Gundy, says, uh, Van Gundy. ‘The biggest thing that he’s struggling with right now is me,’ Van Gundy said. ‘I don’t think that’s necessarily an easy adjustment for anybody, but for a point guard, I think it’s tough. When Rafer [Alston] came in midseason [in 2008-09], he had played for me before. And, so, he knew I was an [expletive], and he was used to it. I only say that half-jokingly. He knew what it was going to be like.’ Arenas admitted he feels a bit uncomfortable with his adjustment to Orlando, especially as expectations have been heightened with time. When Arenas first joined the Magic in mid-December, he was playing freely and without much pressure of being pulled. Now, after a little bit of time, Van Gundy expects more from Arenas and has given him a shorter hook.”
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “Well, the Magic finally christened new Amway Center with its first memorable moment Wednesday night, and quite fittingly. Just like their $480 million palace, the moment arrived stunningly oversized, unconventional and with an impossible degree of difficulty. Making three-point shots to beat the Philadelphia 76ers wasn’t good enough for the Magic; they upgraded to four-pointers. Twice. Getting an arena built was a near miracle, so it made perfect sense that this signature comeback defied all odds, logic and lousy basketball.”
  • General manager Otis Smith talks about Gilbert Arenas’ adjustment period.
  • Ryan Andersona different stretch four from what the Orlando Magic have been used to.
  • Arenas talks about, who else, Arenas.
  • Anderson is as confident as ever.
  • Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post: “Arenas appeared to have turned a corner three weeks ago, when he authored three consecutive efficient, double-digit scoring performances, combining for 43 points on 17-of-36 shooting, with 8 three-pointers. In the eight games since, however, he’s shot 20-of-61 (32.8 percent) from the floor, and 7-of-26 (26.9 percent) from three-point range. The slump extends beyond merely his shooting. In the same eight games, Arenas has tallied 22 assists to 14 turnovers, which simply isn’t acceptable for a backup point guard, even in an offense like Orlando’s, which doesn’t result in many assists.”
  • What does the future hold for Jason Williams?
  • Eric Freeman of Ball Don’t Lie is wondering why Smith decided to call out the Boston Celtics: “The Magic and Celtics have a rivalry, I suppose, if only because the Magic think they have a rivalry with every good team in the NBA. But the Magic haven’t exactly owned the matchup — Boston has come out on top in important situations, including in last season’s conference finals. Sure, Orlando won in 2009, but that Celtics team was without Kevin Garnett. Clearly, the Celtics are the more feared team around the NBA. Plus, they’ve proven they do what’s necessary to win. If that’s not tough, I don’t know what is. The question here is why Otis Smith would ever decide to pick a fight with a team that probably doesn’t even need extra motivation to beat the Magic.”
  • A look at one of the Magic’s magical four-point plays against the Philadelphia 76ers.
  • Britt Robson of Sports Illustrated gives Orlando a B+ at the midway point of the regular season: “GM Otis Smith should be applauded for having the nerve and instincts to make wholesale changes to a team seemingly destined to take a step backward. Those who clamor for Gilbert Arenas to take time away from Jameer Nelson miss the point: The trade with Washington was perhaps most beneficial for avoiding the awkward scenario of eventually having to bench Rashard Lewis and his enormous contract. As for the deal with Phoenix, I was apparently wrong to doubt the instant rejuvenation of Hedo Turkoglu, but maintain that the real upgrade is swapping out Vince Carter, who shrinks from the occasion, for Jason Richardson, who was part of Golden State’s historic upset of Dallas in the 2007 playoffs and was frequently unstoppable in helping Phoenix get to the conference finals last season. But for all he’s done, shame on Smith if he can’t unearth a quality backup center for Dwight Howard before the spring.”
  • According to SI writers, Dwight Howard is the favorite to win Defensive Player of the Year.
  • Video evidence of Hedo Turkoglu dunking a basketball. Twice.
  • The probability of the Magic being the best team in the NBA is 4.8 percent.
  • A look at Orlando’s peaks and valleys as a franchise.

Jan 20

The Orlando Magic Youth Fund, a McCormick Foundation Fund, distributes $1 million to the Central Florida community

Photo taken by Gary Bassing

Via the Orlando Magic:

The Orlando Magic Youth Fund, a McCormick Foundation Fund (OMYF-MFF), in a surprise ceremony presented checks totaling $1 million to 19 grantee organizations from three counties in Central Florida (Orange, Seminole and Osceola). The presentation of the OMYF All-Star Team was held on Wednesday, January 19 at the Amway Center. The presentation was done in the spirit of the NBA Draft as each non-profit organization was announced and came up on stage to be presented with an OMYF jersey or specialty basketball. Representatives were greeted by Orlando Magic CEO/Vice Chair Bob Vander Weide, Magic President Alex Martins, Magic Community Ambassador Bo Outlaw, Magic Vice President of Community Relations and Government Affairs Linda Landman-Gonzalez and the OMYF team.

With funds raised through OMYF, and the match provided by the McCormick Foundation, a total of $1 million in grants was distributed to these charities. In addition to the OMYF All-Star team announcement, the organizations were recognized at halftime of the Wednesday, January 19 Magic versus Sixers matchup.

After an extensive five-phase process, which began in July of 2010, the beneficiaries were recommended by the OMYF “VIP” Committee and the Advisory Council and then approved by the McCormick Foundation’s Board of Directors.

“We are proud to be able to assist organizations who are in need during these tough economic times,” said Orlando Magic President Alex Martins. “It is only possible through a collaborative effort of the DeVos family, this community, our players, coaches, staff, corporate partners and season ticket holders that we are capable of distributing $1 million this year. Most importantly we want to recognize and thank those who work every day with the youth of our community…they are the true heroes.”

Jan 20

Art of the shot examined on next “Inside the Magic” TV show

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Via Fox Sports Florida:

FOX Sports Florida’s fourth 2010-11 episode of “Inside the Magic” delves into the logistics of shooting. In a departure from the show’s usual format, this episode features a lively roundtable panel discussion with Ryan Anderson, the Magic’s sharpshooting forward; Matt Guokas, Sun Sports & FOX Sports Florida’s analyst and the franchise’s first coach; Pat Garrity, a former Magic forward who spent 10 years in the NBA accumulating a nearly 40 percent 3-point shooting record; and Richie Adubato, the Magic’s radio analyst, former Magic head coach and a 25-year veteran in pro basketball coaching.

“Inside the Magic: The Art of the Shot” premieres this Friday, January 21 at 10:00 pm ET immediately following the Orlando Magic vs. Toronto Raptors game on FOX Sports Florida.


The panel attempts to define what it means to be a ‘pure shooter’ as they discuss the physical and mentalaspects of shooting. Viewers will hear what it’s like to have the ‘shooter’s role’ and the different challenges of being a starter vs. a bench player.

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Jan 20

Recap: Orlando Magic 99, Philadelphia 76ers 98 (OT)

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images


In a crazy game that went down to the wire, the Orlando Magic were able to defeat the Philadelphia 76ers by the score of 99-98 in overtime. When Andre Iguodala knocked down two free-throws to give the Sixers an 89-84 lead with 28 seconds left in the fourth quarter, it appeared as if the Magic were going to lose. But J.J. Redick was able to make a quick layup to cut the deficit to three points, then Lou Williams made one of two free-throws to give Philadelphia a four-point lead. At this point, it’s a two-possession game for the Sixers — by the book. Only a miracle would give the Magic a chance at stealing the game, and they got it. Jason Richardson got the basketball on a handoff pass from Ryan Anderson, then proceeded to attempt a three-pointer at the top of the key. Iguodala, then, did the unthinkable and fouled Richardson on the three. The shot went in, Richardson was able to make the free-throw to convert the four-point play, and Orlando — just like that — got themselves a second chance at a win that seemed improbable merely seconds earlier. Williams missed a game-winning try at the end of regulation, and the Magic were able to hold on in overtime for a victory. Orlando was led by a balanced attack, as six players scored in double-figures. Anderson was a bright spot coming off the bench, finishing with 20 points. Dwight Howard contributed with 18 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks, but shot a dreadful 10-of-22 from the free-throw line and leaving a lot of points out there on the court because of it. Jameer Nelson played well, putting up 16 points, seven assists, and six rebounds. Hedo Turkoglu had 12 points, including two monster dunks that surprised everyone in attendance at the Amway Center. Redick also had 12 points, while Brandon Bass chipped in with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

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Jan 19

Preview: Philadelphia 76ers at Orlando Magic

7:00 EDT | Sun Sports
17-23 @ 26-15
Pythagorean Record: 19-21 Pythagorean Record: 28-13
Pace: 91.3 (19th) Pace: 92.0 (17th)
Offensive Rating: 105.2 (21st) Offensive Rating: 108.1 (11th)
Defensive Rating: 105.7 (14th) Defensive Rating: 102.6 (5th)
Amway Center | Sixers lead season series 1-0

Jan 18

Tuesday’s Magic Word

  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “Dwight Howard has been the team’s most valuable player. He’s also staked a claim to league MVP honors. The 25-year-old center brought a more serious demeanor to practice this season and — as much as he dislikes talking about it — a more diversified, more patient offensive repertoire. He’s averaging a career-high 22.0 points per game and 13.3 rebounds per game. His defense may have dropped off a bit this season because he’s trying to avoid foul trouble and, consequently, is contesting fewer shots. There are two other concerns: He’s averaging 36.1 minutes per game and has 12 technical fouls. Jameer Nelson receives plenty of criticism from Magic fans, but the diminutive point guard has played an outsized role this season. Nelson is averaging a career-best 6.7 assists per game, and he’s shooting 41.0 percent from 3-point range. He made crucial late-game shots against the New Jersey Nets on Nov. 5, against the Indiana Pacers on Nov. 20 and against the Celtics on Christmas. Yes, Nelson still has significant room to improve as a defender, but this team would have been in trouble without him.”
  • It’s been a crazy first half of the regular season for the Orlando Magic.
  • Charles Barkley on the new-look Magic: “They got more weapons offensively, I think, than any team in the NBA. They got a bunch of guys who can score. You have to take your hat off to Otis Smith, they have a chance now.”
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “The difference between the Magic and the Celtics — be it 2009, 2010 or, most recently, Monday night — is Kevin Garnett. Garnett made the play of the game with 16 seconds left and the Magic trailing 107-104. He swarmed Jameer Nelson and stole the ball before Nelson could throw a bounce pass to Jason Richardson, ending Orlando’s chances. Garnett was playing for the first time since Dec. 29, having missed nine games because of a calf injury. Too bad for the Magic he didn’t take off a tenth game. Garnett has haunted them. With Garnett nursing a knee injury and missing the East Finals in 2009, the Magic won the series to advance to the NBA Finals. But with Garnett back to smother Rashard Lewis in the East rematch, the Celtics dominated the Magic. That stuff is not a coincidence.”
  • According to head coach Stan Van Gundy, the defense needs to improve.
  • Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don’t Lie recaps Orlando’s loss in yesterday’s game.
  • Britt Robson of Sports Illustrated: “With two Defensive Player of the Year awards already under his belt at the age of 25, Dwight Howard is in excellent position to break the record of four shared by Ben Wallace and Dikembe Mutombo, and someday be regarded as second to Bill Russell as the greatest NBA defender of all time. (Russell, of course, retired years before the award was initiated.) Consider that Howard was the youngest to win it two years ago at age 23 (before that it was 24-year-old Michael Jordan in 1988), and that Orlando is structured to maximize his ability to protect the rim, otherwise playing offensive-minded small-ball with prolific scorers. Already Howard’s combination of quickness, strength, instincts and durability put him in select company — Russell, Wallace, Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson and Kevin Garnett would be my list — of players who can comprehensively defend a foot or two beyond the paint in all directions. Everyone but Wallace among that quintet has also won an MVP award. As he continues honing his offensive game, Howard, too, should clear a spot on his mantle.”
  • Last night’s matchup between the Magic and Celtics was fun to watch.
  • Orlando’s best lineup, according to adjusted plus/minus, has dissolved due to the blockbuster trades. Rob Mahoney of the New York Times’ Off the Dribble blog wonders if the newcomers can maintain the status quo: “The Magic shook up their roster in December, leaving just two members of their most effective lineup on the team in the process. Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson seem to be doing just fine without their running mates, but it’s curious that Orlando broke up such an effective unit. That said, what’s interesting about the nature of the Magic’s offense is that almost every player -– save Howard -– is replaceable. Carter, Pietrus, and Lewis are effective players, but eventually Orlando should reach a similar level of statistical effectiveness with some combination of Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, Brandon Bass, J.J. Redick, and Ryan Anderson filling in alongside Howard and Nelson.”
  • Game notes on the Magic-Celtics instant classic.
  • Does Boston respect Orlando? Matt Moore of doesn’t think they do.
  • Glen Davis has words for Dwight Howard.
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