- Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “The [Orlando] Magic haven’t taken part in a competitive game since camp began, all their games lopsided one way or the other, speaking of the Miami Heat. [...] Strangely, [Otis] Smith said he could see it coming, given the Magic were on a back-to-back, had rolled through the preseason and were the Heat’s guest on an emotional opening night. [...] After the Magic were trounced in Miami, I wrote that they will not be fine, not at playoff time against Miami or Boston. I believed before the game that this team — this season or next — needs to trade for more star power to beat the Heat and Celtics. More than a few e-mailers agreed. Writers and fans are one thing. Then there’s coach Stan Van Gundy. Van Gundy said after the loss to the Heat that his team does not have a player who can routinely create his own shot. It was not a new observation from Stan, just a recent reminder. Smith told me Stan’s comment didn’t bother him. He didn’t totally disagree with the analysis, either.”
- Head coach Stan Van Gundy was pleased with the ball movement in last night’s game.
- Dwight Howard likes to send blocks out-of-bounds, unlike Bill Russell.
- Trey Kerby of The Basketball Jones has more on Howard’s ‘philosophy’: “We’ve all heard the stories about how Bill Russell would block shots. He’d do his best to get a hand on every shot he could. When he did, he’d try to tip it to a teammate or himself in order to start a fast break. Those shot-blocking techniques are just a part of the huge legacy that Russell built as one of the NBA’s most prominent winners. The guy was so unselfish that even his blocks were part of a team concept. Dwight Howard goes about blocking shots in a very similar manner, except for the exact opposite. Dwight’s content to toss a weak shot attempt in to the stands, even if that means the other team still gets the ball back. That’s his way of not showboating.”
- Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk chimes in on Howard’s decision to play in the 2012 Summer Olympics: “I guess we’re doing this now. It’s not like we are 19 months and basically two full NBA seasons away from the USA Basketball camps where the team for the London Olympics will be chosen. We’re asking now who wants to go.”
- Jack Jensen of Dime Magazine with a must-read article on Howard: “With so many expectations and the weight of an entire fan base and team counting on Dwight each game to produce, Orlando can only hope the pressure to succeed doesn’t wear on their young star. He does have a mean streak – any one of his flailing elbow’s victims will agree – but maybe Dwight really is too nice to get it done by himself. Maybe Superman 2.0 needs a dominant Justice League co-pilot to lead him through the playoffs and into the Promised Land. Shaq had Kobe and Dwyane. Garnett had Pierce. Duncan had Parker. Orlando has … balance. The Magic have surrounded Dwight with arguably the best collection of all-around talent in the League, but a consistently dominant go-to star has yet to emerge. Hedo Turkoglu looked like he might have become that guy during Orlando’s 2009 run to the Finals, but he bolted out of Central Florida that summer, and 33-year-old Vince Carter is coming off the worst season of his career. Still, Howard whole-heartedly believes he can lead Orlando’s current squad to a ring, despite the growing concern that he often downplays his toughness. Is Dwight too forgiving to get it done riding solo? It’s something that he’s ready to put firmly to rest once and for all.”
Via the Orlando Magic:
For the first time in team history, the Orlando Magic will broadcast 17 home games and two road games in Spanish. The home games will be produced by Sun Sports and Fox Sports Florida, while the road contests will be produced by the local Fox Sports regional network.
The broadcasts will be seen in both Orlando and Tampa via Bright House Networks. News 13 En Espanol, Channel 613 and 130, will televise games in Orlando, while Bay News 9 En Espanol, Channel 900 and 154, will broadcast games in Tampa. The first of 19 games televised in Spanish will be Friday, November 5 vs. New Jersey.
The home games will be called by familiar voices as Joey Colon, entering his 13th season with the Magic’s Spanish radio broadcasts, will continue with his play-by-play duties for television. Colon’s partner, Ramon Rivas will serve as the color analyst in his sixth year with the broadcast team.
The Magic also continue with their Spanish radio broadcasts announcing their partnership in mid-October with Radio Luz 1270 AM (WRLZ) as the new flagship station for all radio broadcasts. Every preseason, regular season and postseason Magic game will be broadcast on the WRLZ network. VIVA 1160 AM will also return for its second season as part of the Magic Spanish Radio Network.
In an effort to further connect to the growing Hispanic fan base in Central Florida, the Orlando Magic launched ElOrlandoMagic.com in early October. The new and improved Spanish website serves as the official source for the Hispanic community. The site features original content and coverage of the Magic including in-depth game coverage, breaking news, features, video clips, photo galleries, podcasts, press releases and team information in Spanish.
That was easy.
In a game that was over practically from the start, the Orlando Magic were able to defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves by the score of 128-86. In the process, the Magic were able to set a franchise record by scoring 78 points in the first half. For Orlando, it was a balanced attack as seven players scored in double-figures. And despite playing 23 minutes, Dwight Howard was able to lead the way for the Magic by putting up 18 points, 16 rebounds, and eight blocks. Vince Carter finished with 20 points, seven assists, four rebounds, and two steals. Ryan Anderson, earning his first start of the regular season at power forward, had a strong performance with 19 points and three blocks. Not to be outdone by his positional counterpart, Brandon Bass had 19 points and eight rebounds.
To be frank, there’s not much to say.
The Timberwolves were playing on a back-to-back after losing to the Miami Heat the previous night. Add the fact that Minnesota continues to be a work-in-progress trying to execute the triangle offense in addition to sporting one of the worst defenses in the NBA, and it’s easy to see why this was a blowout victory in Orlando’s favor.
- Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel: “Dwight Howard is 6-for-10 on mid-range jumpers this season, a promising statistic for the future of his offensive game. After making more than half of his jumpers during the preseason, it’s looking more and more like it’s a real part of his game. Howard himself is tired of talking about the jumpers. When a reporter asked Howard about his newfound jump-shot today, Howard responded, ‘Can we talk about something else, please?’ Howard’s been hearing about the jumpers since training camp, and he’s grown tired of the same questions. But that doesn’t mean others aren’t willing to talk about the exciting portion of Howard’s expanding offensive repertoire. Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said the jumper’s an evolution of Howard’s game that will continue for years, the same way other great players saw their game move away from the basket later in their careers.”
- Dwight Howard will play in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
- Dan Savage of the OrlandoMagic.com: “There are few superstars in any sport that are as media friendly as Dwight Howard. He’s engaging, humorous and will answer just about any question thrown at him. But there’s one question that’s becoming a little redundant for the All-NBA center this season: ‘How’s your jumper coming along?’ As someone who covers Orlando’s Superman day-in and day-out, I must admit, even I’m sick of hearing the question. At nearly every media session it comes up, usually with someone completely shocked that he now has this weapon in his arsenal. Howard is a talented basketball player, who has been able to accomplish nearly anything he’s set his mind to during his NBA career. So why is it a surprise to everyone that he’s starting to develop a mid-range game?”
- Michael Beasley is expected to play later tonight.
- Tim Povtak of NBA FanHouse: “The Orlando Magic were both a little surprised and amused Wednesday to hear LeBron James already being touted in Miami for Defensive Player of The Year. Magic center Dwight Howard has won the award the last two seasons, but the Heat crushed the Magic last week in Miami with an impressive performance. [...] The mini-debate stemmed from comments made Tuesday by Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, who mentioned the award when discussing the defensive prowess of James. [...] Both James and Howard have been first-team All Defense each of the last two seasons. Howard has led the league in both blocked shots and rebounding those two season. James is considered one of the league’s premier perimeter defenders, capable of smothering opponents in the open court.”
- Tom Haberstroh of ESPN Insider defends the Magic as title contenders: “So, if the Magic are dominant on both ends on the floor, what’s holding them back from winning it all? When it comes down to it, they’ve picked some pretty awful times to turn ice cold. The Magic shot just 30 percent from downtown in Games 1 and 2 against the Boston Celtics and lost by a combined seven points. As trivial as it sounds, the fate of the Magic has been decided by some missed free throws here and a rimmed out 3-pointer there. That’s how narrow the margin for error is in the playoffs. When great regular season teams come up short in the postseason, we tend to attribute non-random factors for their demise — lack of toughness, lack of heart, lack of leadership. But more often than not, these intangible indictments are nothing more than journalistic shortcuts that intentionally gloss over the inherent randomness of sport. Randomness is equally boring as it is real. And the reality is that if luck were on Orlando’s side, they’d have been just a series away from a Finals rematch with the Lakers.”
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.