Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 205

Sep 03

Friday’s Magic Word

  • Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post: “Let us not get it twisted: Miami’s goal this summer was to play catch-up with the [Orlando] Magic, Boston Celtics, L.A. Lakers, and the rest of the league’s elite. Orlando’s core players were already in place. In Dwyane Wade, Miami had but one. That’s a huge distinction. Remember, the Magic made over their roster in 2007 with the addition of Rashard Lewis, using the salary-cap space that freed up once Grant Hill’s contract expired. They further adjusted it last summer by trading for Vince Carter. Given their salary structure, and the constraints the NBA salary cap imposes, there’s no way they could have reasonably expected to land a premiere free agent this summer. Instead, they split the mid-level exception on [Chris] Duhon and [Quentin] Richardson, drafted Daniel Orton, re-signed Jason Williams, and called it a summer. In more abstract terms, they added two rotation players, drafted a project, and retained a third-stringer. Minor tweaks to an already elite roster.”
  • Want to learn more about pace? Click here.
  • Apparently, Chris Duhon is set to earn $1.5 million more than he should.
  • Tom Haberstroh of Hardwood Paroxysm quantifies shot selection by position: “We want to outgrow the conventions of traditional positions but let’s see if we can observe divisions in the first place.  Hoopdata breaks down shot types into 5 buckets: at the rim (layups and dunks), <10 feet, 10-15 feet, 16-23 feet, and 3-point shots.  Here’s how the five positions look, in terms of percentage of shots in each location.  So what does a point guard’s shot makeup look like compared to a shooting guard? Where do we see the biggest disparities between positions?”
  • More Rashard Lewis highlights.

Sep 03

One of Rashard Lewis’ Best Game in an Orlando Magic Uniform

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Lewis was a monster in Game 2 of the 2009 NBA Finals — 34 points, 11 rebounds, and 7 assists.

Sep 03

Fact or Fiction: Rashard Lewis Should Start at Small Forward

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Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Fact or Fiction presents both sides of key issues the Orlando Magic will face in the upcoming season.

Statement
The Orlando Magic need to shift Rashard Lewis to the small forward position and run a “more traditional” scheme if they want to be able to advance to the NBA Finals and win.

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Fact
Want to spark a debate?

Mention the name ‘Rashard Lewis’ to Magic fans and it’s like pouring gasoline on a fire. Aside from Brandon Bass, there’s not another player for the Orlando Magic — maybe Dwight Howard — that brings so much intense discussion to the table than Lewis.

It’s true that Lewis struggled a bit offensively against the Boston Celtics in the 2010 NBA Eastern Conference Finals. The Magic were unable to advance to the NBA Finals for a second consecutive year, partly because Lewis was neutralized by Kevin Garnett — one of the best defenders in league history. And the fact of the matter is that Orlando has yet to win a championship with Lewis at the power forward position. It’s been three seasons, and the Magic have ultimately come up empty-handed in the playoffs. This isn’t to say that it’s impossible for Orlando to win the “gold ball” with Lewis at power forward. It just hasn’t happened.

Those are some of the facts.

If Orlando was able to acquire a premiere power forward then yes, moving Lewis to small forward wouldn’t be such a bad idea. Maybe, then, change can come.

It wouldn’t mean that everyone in the debate would be satisfied, though.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 02

Drano “Royal Flush” Set For September 8

Via the Orlando Magic:

The new Amway Center in downtown Orlando meets another milestone as the traditional “Royal Flush” will be held September 8, 2010 beginning at 10:00 a.m. at the construction site (corner of Church Street and Hughey). Drano is sponsoring the event.

The purpose of the Drano “Royal Flush” event is to observe sanitary sewer flows, water consumption and pressure in and around the arena. Approximately 443 toilets will be flushed simultaneously; there are 18 men’s and 19 women’s restrooms in the new Amway Center, compared to just four of each in the old facility.

Orlando Magic President Alex Martins, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, and more than 150 people will take part in the event, including fourth and fifth grade students from Nap Ford Community School.

The Orlando Magic is the developer of the Amway Center which will compete to host major national events, concerts and family shows and serve as the new home of the Orlando Magic. Opening in the fall of 2010, the facility will be owned and operated by the City of Orlando on behalf of the Central Florida community.

The Amway Center was designed to reflect the character of the community, meet the goals of the users and build on the legacy of sports and entertainment in Orlando.

The building’s exterior features a modern blend of glass and metal materials, along with ever-changing graphics via a monumental wall along one façade. A 180-foot tall tower will serve as a beacon amid the downtown skyline.

At 875,000 square feet, the new arena is almost triple the size of the current Amway Arena (367,000 square feet). The building features a sustainable, environmentally-friendly design, unmatched technology, featuring 1,100 digital monitors and the largest, high-definition scoreboard in an NBA venue, and multiple premium amenities available to all patrons in the building. Every level of ticket buyer will have access to: the Budweiser Bar and Food Court, Club Restaurant, Nutrilite Magic Fan Experience and Orlando on Demand, Kid’s Zone and multiple indoor-outdoor spaces which celebrate Florida’s climate.

Sep 02

The Future Appears Bright for Chris Duhon

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Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images

Via Marc Normandin of Basketball Prospectus:

Chris Duhon was a replacement-level player last season with the New York Knicks, but there is reason to believe he can improve on that. He will be the backup point guard behind Jameer Nelson in Orlando, and is projected to see improvements to both his Offensive Rating (from 106.3 to 107.2) and his Defensive Rating (down to 106.8 from 107.2). Duhon is projected for 3.3 WARP—using Tom Haberstroh’s reference point of $2M per win in this offseason’s market, Duhon is making about half as much money as he could be worth this season. [...]

SCHOENE sees increased usage in Orlando and shooting that more closely resembles Duhon’s 2008-09 than his previous campaign—it’s easy to see why he will improve. The roster around him is significantly different than what he was playing with in New York thanks to Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis, and Vince Carter, three scorers whom Duhon can feed. There will be less pressure on Duhon from the opposing team’s defense because of the presence of this trio, and having someone who can stretch the defense like J.J. Redick on the second unit also bodes well for his game. Context is important when projecting performance, and moving from a team that didn’t win 30 games to one that reached the conference finals is a significant contextual leap.

That’s good news for Chris Duhon.

Last season, Jason Williams pumped out a WARP of 2.1 so if Duhon can come close or exceed that number, it bodes well for the Orlando Magic. Granted, Williams was good value because he was (and still is) signed to the veteran’s minimum but the point remains.

Relative to his contract, the Magic may have found another bargain in Duhon.

Sep 02

Grading the Orlando Magic’s D-League Usage

Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

I’m a little late on this one.

Recently, I was asked by Matt Hubert of D-League Digest — as well as other writers in the TrueHoop Network — to grade the usage of the D-League for the team I cover as part of the collective. In my particular case, I chimed in on the Orlando Magic.

Here what I wrote:

Orlando Magic: F

The reasoning is simple — the Orlando Magic have little use for the D-League, given that they are one of the elite teams in the NBA. Some might say that the cupboard of talent for the Magic is overflowing, since head coach Stan Van Gundy could go 12-deep with the roster if he wanted to. Right now, rookie Daniel Orton is the 13th man for Orlando and there’s no guarantee that his peer, Stanley Robinson, will make the team after training camp is completed. Essentially, there’s no room for call-ups and things of that ilk. These aren’t your Golden State Warriors.

The Magic have been affiliated with three D-League teams in the past couple of years and have made a whopping total of zero moves during that timeframe. The last D-League transaction took place in December 2007, when Marcin Gortat was called up from the Anaheim Arsenal. That’s it. For general manager Otis Smith, he sees little use in the D-League because he feels that players like Orton and Robinson benefit more from a higher level of competition in practices, while learning various schemes directly from Van Gundy. All in all, it’s an organizational philosophy.

It’s harsh but honest criticism.

Sep 01

Wednesday’s Magic Word

  • Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post: “The [Orlando] Magic/Heat rivalry has proven fairly one-sided in Orlando’s favor since 2007, but the Heat’s appearance has more to do with their future roster than the one that’s struggled against Orlando in the recent past. Indeed, among the 18 players the Heat have under contract, only Joel Anthony, Mario Chalmers, Udonis Haslem, Jamaal Magloire, and Dwyane Wade have suited up as members of the Heat against Orlando. But in adding LeBron James this summer, Miami has certainly vaulted itself into championship contention, and made its relationship with the Magic more interesting. James’ incredible showing in the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals wasn’t enough to get his Cavaliers over the hump against the Magic, but it did establish him as an individual rival of Orlando’s. And it’s valid to compare him to [Dwight] Howard, insofar as they’re both among the best players in the league who entered it just one year apart.”
  • Dan Savage and Josh Cohen of OrlandoMagic.com review Vince Carter‘s restaurant in Daytona Beach. Two thumbs up.
  • Grade the Orlando Magic’s off-season.
  • Dwight Howard: “How’s ya’ll’s summer going? Mine has been crazy traveling all over the world. I just got back last week from going to India for the NBA and China to shoot a new movie with my man, Carmelo Anthony. I know there has been a lot of talk about Melo getting traded this summer, but trust me ya’ll, we were just shooting a movie together and didn’t even talk ball that much. The movie is called, “Amazing” and will be out next summer, so I hope you guys can check it out!!!”
  • Howard is also raising money for the earthquake relief efforts in Haiti.

Sep 01

Gentleman Jack Rare Tennessee Whiskey to Sponsor Terrace Patio Bar at Amway Center

Via the Orlando Magic:

The Orlando Magic announced today a new, multi-year relationship with Gentleman Jack Rare Tennessee Whiskey as the official sponsor for the Terrace Level patio bar in the new Amway Center. The brand will sponsor the Gentleman Jack Terrace, one of the premier outdoor spaces in the Amway Center that celebrates Florida’s climate and is accessible to every level of ticket buyer.

The Gentleman Jack Terrace will be located on the Terrace Level of the Amway Center off the escalators from the main atrium. Overlooking Church Street, the Gentleman Jack Terrace will become the destination of choice for fans to enjoy a drink before, during and after events. The sleek layout also allows fans to enjoy the Florida weather outside on the “patio” of Downtown Orlando, while also providing a covered bar space, giving fans the best of both worlds.

In addition to the entitlement of the Gentleman Jack Terrace, the Gentleman Jack brand will also have the designation as the Official North American Whiskey of the Orlando Magic and will receive digital signage in the Amway Center.

The Gentleman Jack Terrace will be one of the premium amenities that will be available to all levels of ticket buyers in the Amway Center. Other spaces with full accessibility to all patrons include a Club Restaurant, the Nutrilite Magic Fan Experience and Orlando on Demand. In addition, the Magic have taken measures to ensure affordability for home games, including 2,500 seats priced $15 or less, 7,000 seats priced $25 or less and 10,000 seats priced $50 or under per game, while supplies last. For the first time ever, the Magic have also introduced a $5 per game ticket, while supplies last, and offer flexible payment plans to its season ticket holders.

Sep 01

Video Highlights: Marcin Gortat

Poland didn’t earn an automatic bid to EuroBasket 2011, which is also known as the 37th FIBA European Basketball Championship, but they’ll have one more chance to qualify for the 16-team tournament next year. Marcin Gortat played in eight games and fared well, averaging 18 points, roughly nine rebounds, and a little over two blocks per game in 34 minutes of action. Statistically speaking, Gortat ranked in the top five in a lot of categories during the qualifiers.

Gortat had one of his better performances against Bulgaria on August 23, where he finished with 23 points, nine rebounds, and three blocks.

Enjoy the highlights.

Sep 01

Fact or Fiction: J.J. Redick Will Become a Starter This Season

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Fact or Fiction presents both sides of key issues the Orlando Magic will face in the upcoming season.

Statement
J.J. Redick will be the starting shooting guard by the beginning of the playoffs.

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Fact
If J.J. Redick is starting for the Orlando Magic at the shooting guard position on the eve of the 2011 NBA Playoffs, then one of three things probably occurred: Vince Carter a.) slid over to the small forward position, b.) was traded, or c.) was benched.

There are other possibilities, as well, but there’s no point getting bogged down in semantics.

It’s highly unlikely that any of those scenarios occur for the Magic but if one of them is somewhat plausible, it’s Carter switching to small forward to allow Redick to start at shooting guard (he also could be traded during the season, but it’s difficult to speculate).

In the 2010 NBA Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics, head coach Stan Van Gundy did not hesitate to put Redick and Carter on the court together at the same time to improve an offense that was struggling to score points on a consistent basis. When Redick was in the game playing alongside the starters, he made a positive impact as opposed to Matt Barnes.

If Van Gundy wasn’t afraid to play Redick and Carter at the wings in high-pressure situations against the Celtics, then what’s preventing him from making a permanent change this season?

A lot of things, actually.

Read the rest of this entry »

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