Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 194

Jan 06

Dwight Howard leads the East after third returns of 2011 NBA All-Star balloting

AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

Via the Orlando Magic:

Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic leads the Eastern Conference in voting after the third returns of 2011 NBA All-Star Balloting presented by T-Mobile were announced today. Howard ranks second overall in voting for the entire NBA behind only Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant is the overall leader with 1,391,597 votes, while Howard paces the East with 1,205,159 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 1,205,159 votes, paces centers in the East, followed by the Boston Celtics’ Shaquille O’Neal (506,621). LeBron James, a two-time All-Star MVP (2006, 2008), leads all Eastern Conference forwards with 1,194,091 votes, followed by the Celtics’ Kevin Garnett (850,687), MVP of the 2003 All-Star Game. The Heat’s Dwyane Wade, last year’s All-Star Game MVP, paces all guards with 1,167,649 votes; the Celtics’ Rajon Rondo is second among guards in the East (929,781).

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 (724,605). Kevin Durant, a member of last year’s All-NBA First Team, paces forwards in the West (945,944), with the Nuggets’ Carmelo Anthony (742,284) second. The Houston Rockets’ Yao Ming (754,583) is the leading vote-getter among Western Conference centers, with the Lakers’ Andrew Bynum (493,237) placing second.

Jan 06

Jason Richardson can still fly

Jan 06

StubHub Ticket Giveaway: Enter for a chance to watch the Orlando Magic and Houston Rockets at Amway Center on January 7

AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

Magic Basketball will occasionally give away free tickets to upcoming Orlando Magic home games with StubHub serving as the provider. How do you enter for a chance to win Magic tickets?

Easy.

Answer a trivia question.

The rules are simple:

  • If you’re able to attend the game, you’re more than welcome to submit your answer in the comments section.
  • Please do not answer more than once or add irrelevant commentary to your submission.
  • Two tickets will be given away, which means you can bring a second person.
  • In future instances, readers will be given 24 hours to submit their answers before a winner is announced. The winner will be determined by random drawing and contacted by e-mail (please make sure to submit a valid e-mail address).

Due to extenuating circumstances for today’s contest, everyone has until 7:00 PM EST to post a response. That’s 12 hours from now.

Which player for the Oklahoma City Thunder will score the first basket in tonight’s game against the Dallas Mavericks?

Enjoy!

Jan 05

Recap: Orlando Magic 97, Milwaukee Bucks 87

AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

BOX SCORE

In a game that was not pleasing to the eyes, the Orlando Magic were able to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks by the score of 97-87 and come away with their seventh consecutive win of the regular season — a season-high. As has been the case during their winning streak, the Magic were led by a balanced attack as six players scored in double-figures. Dwight Howard paced Orlando with 28 points, 13 rebounds, and two blocks, while dominating Andrew Bogut on both ends of the floor and holding him to six points, seven rebounds, two steals, and four blocks while he fouled out. In the Magic’s previous meeting with the Bucks, Bogut feasted on Marcin Gortat but it was a different story against Howard. Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu chipped in with 13 points each, while Brandon Bass and J.J. Redick each had 10 points. Jameer Nelson flirted with a triple-double, finishing with 10 points, seven rebounds, and nine assists with zero turnovers.

Needless to say, this game was not fun to watch.

Orlando was able to build a double-digit lead in the first half, more so because Milwaukee was so inept offensively. Sure, the Magic had some highlight-worthy moments. Nelson’s connection with Richardson on a spectacular alley-oop feed early in the first quarter was a sight to see. And with the period coming to a close, Turkoglu connecting with Howard for a dunk on a half-court pass was another example of the special chemistry that the two players have.

But that was it for notable plays.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 05

Orlando Magic’s Lucas Boyce announces release of new book

Via the Orlando Magic:

Orlando Magic Director of Community Relations, Multicultural Insights and Government Affairs Lucas Boyce announced today the release of his new book, Living Proof: From Foster Care to the White House and the NBA.

In his role with the Magic, Boyce is responsible for the strategic business planning and direction of the organization’s multicultural initiatives, diverse outreach and government affairs. Additionally, Boyce helps oversee the Magic’s community relations department and is responsible for directing many of the Magic’s community outreach programs.

The 11 chapter, 228-page book, complete with photo-page inserts, is being published by Advantage Media Group and is being released in the U.S. in paper-back, and e-book formats, both for a price of $16.99. The paper-back is currently available on www.BarnesandNoble.com for just $12.23. The book is also available on Amazon.com

“I am an eyewitness to God’s incredible grace and am thankful for the opportunity to share, what I hope will be, a story of encouragement and inspiration,” Boyce said. “It is my hope that everyone who reads this book will come away believing that no matter the circumstance, they can accomplish their goals.”

Jan 05

Preview: Milwaukee Bucks at Orlando Magic

7:00 EST | Fox Sports Florida
13-19 @ 22-12
Pythagorean Record: 13-19 Pythagorean Record: 23-11
Pace: 90.4 (25th) Pace: 92.0 (17th)
Offensive Rating: 99.9 (30th) Offensive Rating: 106.7 (13th)
Defensive Rating: 102.3 (6th) Defensive Rating: 101.2 (4th)
Amway Center | Bucks lead season series 1-0

Jan 05

Hedo Turkoglu aiding the Orlando Magic’s revival

Photo by Fernando Medina

The Orlando Magic are on a six-game winning streak, with notable wins over the San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics, and New York Knicks, and Hedo Turkoglu has been a big reason why order is being restored in the City Beautiful.

The Magic have the look of a championship contender again after losing eight of nine games in the month of December and looking nothing more than a second-tier team in the Eastern Conference. It’s too early to determine whether or not Orlando is good enough to beat the Miami Heat and Celtics in a seven-game series, but it’s clear that they’re in a better position to put up a fight than before. Again, Turkoglu’s return to the Magic is something that can’t be overlooked because of it.

It’s true. Turkoglu is no different than the player that left Orlando in 2009. Back then, it was clear that Turkoglu’s value was inflated by the mainstream media in large part because he was a focal point to the Magic’s trek to the NBA Finals. People remember Turkoglu’s game-winning shot in Game 4 against the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the playoffs or his epic performance in Game 7 against the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, in which he played the game of his life and finished with 25 points (on 9-of-12 shooting), 12 assists, and five rebounds. But when it was all said and done, Turkoglu performed no better than an average player in the postseason that year, despite his bevy of memorable moments.

It’s why general manager Otis Smith chose not to re-sign Turkoglu in the offseason and instead replace him with Vince Carter.

The thinking, at the time, was that Turkoglu was replaceable when looking at the numbers. Carter was just coming off an All-Star caliber season with the New Jersey Nets. Hence, it was logical for Smith to conclude that Carter could easily match or out-produce Turkoglu’s production when analyzing things in a vacuum. Plus, Carter offered Orlando the financial flexibility that Turkoglu could not, given that he was seeking a long-term contract. It all seemed to make sense. Out goes Turkoglu, in comes Carter, and the Magic could proceed to chase a title. Long story short, things didn’t go according to plan for Smith. Orlando, despite finishing first last year in efficiency differential, failed to reach their goal in the playoffs.

The irony?

Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 05

Video Analysis: Highlights of Hedo Turkoglu’s triple-double

It’s been a few weeks since Hedo Turkoglu was traded to the Orlando Magic, and it looks like he hasn’t missed a beat with his old teammates. The Magic have gone 6-2 since Turkoglu’s return and, of course, the highlight of that eight-game stretch was his triple-double which came against the Golden State Warriors on Monday.

Triple-doubles are always hard to come by but the Warriors offered Turkoglu a perfect storm, of sorts, to accomplish the feat for the third time in his career — play at a high pace (which means there’s more possessions for missed shots to turn into potential rebounds) and not defend very well (which means there’s more opportunities for assists and points on offense).

And voila.

Jan 04

Tuesday’s Magic Word

  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “For now, the Orlando Magic will attempt to treat the discomfort in Brandon Bass‘ left knee without surgery. Team physician Craig Mintzer and the surgeon who operated on Bass during his college years at LSU examined the scans of Bass’ knee. According to coach Stan Van Gundy, the two doctors aren’t convinced that Bass’ pain is due to torn meniscus cartilage. […] Team officials say Bass’ knee problem will not accelerate their search for another big man to back-up Dwight Howard at center. The Magic have been reluctant to sign someone just to have another body. Instead, President of Basketball Operations Otis Smith has waited for someone the team really likes to become available. The team should receive some help when Malik Allen returns from a sprained ankle in a couple of days. In addition, Wednesday is the first day that NBA teams can sign players to a 10-day contract. But Smith said Monday night that he has no plans to use that tool in the near future to bring anybody aboard.”
  • Dwight Howard was close to earning a technical foul in last night’s game.
  • John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com: “In the midst of all of the hoopla surrounding Hedo Turkolgu’s third career triple-double Monday night against the Golden State Warriors, Orlando Magic teammate J.J. Redick wants it known that the feat wouldn’t have been possible without his key pass. […] If you can’t tell, the Magic are taking great delight these days in how they are passing the basketball and sharing the wealth. Their six-game winning streak heading into Wednesday’s game against Milwaukee at Amway Center has come in large part because the Magic have had 31, 16, 26, 27, 22 and 26 assists of late. They are moving the ball better than ever and that and led has led to a dramatic increase in scoring from an offense that has been unstoppable at times with its 3-point shooting and hammering the ball inside to Dwight Howard.”
  • Will J.J. Redick get a chance to participate in the Three-Point Shootout?
  • Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk: “Hedo Turkoglu had a triple double in the win — Stan Van Gundy’s offense just utilizes him so much better than he was used in Toronto or Phoenix. He’s not a great player, he’s solid but put in the right circumstance (the ball handler on the high pick-and-roll, not spot up shooter) he has value.”
  • Britt Robson of Sports Illustrated: “Is there really another player more valuable to his team than Dwight Howard has been for the Magic? Shortly after Howard sat down in the second quarter Monday against the Warriors, Golden State had four layups and two foul shots without a miss in less than two minutes before coach Stan Van Gundy hurried him back into the game. No other Magic player makes opponents think twice about dribble penetration besides Howard. And yet, in their six-game winning streak — achieved after GM Otis Smith made two trades that sacrificed defense for offense, betting that Howard alone could hold the fort — the Magic have allowed only one team, the Cavaliers, to shoot a higher percentage than its season average.”
  • Dwight Howard knows the difficulty of getting a triple-double: “Somebody told me that Turk´s triple-double was the first one since I got one two years ago in Oklahoma City against the Thunder. It was the only one of my career, so I know how hard they are to get.”
  • Jason Richardson is a pretty good shooting guard.
  • Austin Burton of Dime Magazine: “You want to see an exercise in frustration? Listen to Hubie Brown call an Orlando game. The fact that Dwight goes several possessions in a row without getting so much as a decent entry pass drives Hubie up the wall. You can’t blame him: Hubie won an ABA championship coaching a team that featured Artis Gilmore and Dan Issel. He was Patrick Ewing’s first NBA coach. He took a Memphis Grizzlies team headlined by Pau Gasol to the playoffs. He knows you have to get the rock to the big guy.”

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.

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