Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 209

Aug 17

Tuesday’s Magic Word

  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “If the speculation that Chris Paul wanted to join the Orlando Magic made Magic fans salivate, just wait until the Carmelo Anthony-to-the-Magic rumors gain momentum. Actually, the process already has begun. [...] Anthony obviously would be a huge upgrade for Orlando offensively at small forward. And he’d be a more reliable go-to guy in the fourth quarter than Vince Carter was last season. Orlando could be an attractive landing spot for Anthony. The Magic already are a title contender and have the game’s best center. And, oh yeah, the fact that Florida doesn’t have a state income tax can’t hurt either. Leon Rose, Anthony’s agent, did not immediately return a phone call from the Orlando Sentinel for comment. Anthony has some leverage to force a trade. He can become a free agent next summer, and he has not accepted the three-year, $65 million extension the Nuggets have offered.”
  • Jameer Nelson is conducting his “Building Magic” program in Philadelphia.
  • George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel thinks the Orlando Magic shouldn’t let Adonal Foyle go after he announced his retirement: “So how do you miss a guy who has played only played 62 minutes over the last two seasons? The Orlando Magic will no longer have Adonal Foyle on the bench, sitting there in a stylish sports coat and offering tidbits of advice to Dwight Howard. Most people assumed he was a glorified cheerleader, waving imaginary pom-poms for a cool $1.3 million a year. But his value to the team was measured in other ways.”
  • Josh Cohen of OrlandoMagic.com: “[...] unlike the past at this time of year, it’s the NBA that is on the minds of most sports fanatics. There is a profound curiosity that we all have about this upcoming NBA season. People in Orlando are ecstatic about the newly-established and rapidly evolving Sunshine State rivalry. Everywhere I go around Central Florida, it’s all people want to talk about. I recently went to SeaWorld with family and while standing around a bunch of sea lions at the Pacific Point Preserve, the crowd around me starting talking about the Heat-Magic rivalry. Even the seals seemed to be intrigued by the conversation. Everywhere you go, the NBA is at the forefront of discussions.”
  • Dwight Howard likes to block shots.
  • Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post: “Denver Nuggets small forward Carmelo Anthony is but the latest NBA megastar to reportedly wish for a trade to the Orlando Magic. [...] If this line sounds familiar, it should, given the multitude of reports earlier this summer about New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul wanting to force a trade to Orlando. Berger reported parts of that narrative as well. The difference in the two situations, as Josh Robbins points out, is that Anthony has leverage, while Paul does not. Anthony will be a free agent next summer and the Nuggets risk losing him for nothing if they do not deal him before February. Further, the Nuggets are believed to be exploring trade possibilities for Anthony.”
  • Ken Berger of CBSSports.com: “Anthony’s hesitation to sign a three-year, $65 million extension with the Nuggets goes beyond his desire to enjoy the major-market exposure and pressure that LeBron James and Dwyane Wade turned down this summer. Melo would accept other destinations as well, and the Magic are believed to be at the top of his list along with the Knicks, according to a person familiar with his strategy.”
  • Why does Carmelo Anthony want to leave the Denver Nuggets?
  • Rob Mahoney of ProBasketballTalk takes a look at Foyle’s impact off the court: “Foyle has long been an important part of the NBPA’s operations, and with negotiations over the terms of a new CBA ongoing, losing an asset like Foyle is a pretty big deal. There are still plenty of ways he can be involved in that process, but losing a direct avenue for Foyle’s knowledge, perspective, and charisma is a loss for the players.”
  • Jameer Nelson is the 11th-best point guard in the NBA, according to Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don’t Lie: “Nelson is entering his ostensible prime, and if last season’s too-early Eastern Conference finals proved anything, it’s that Nelson needs to put this Magic team on his surgically reconstructed shoulders. He’s never going to be this team’s best player, but a squad’s most important player doesn’t have to be its best player, and you’d think that Nelson can’t help but understand that by now. Maybe I’m being too optimistic for my hopes with him, especially rating him over Kidd, but this is how we roll in summer, before the dyspepsia sets in.”

Aug 17

Longtime Basketball Player and Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame Inductee Adonal Foyle Announces Retirement from NBA

Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

Via the Orlando Magic:

Adonal Foyle, an NBA basketball player with a total of 13 seasons under his belt, announced his retirement from basketball this week. From humble island beginnings, Adonal’s basketball talent was discovered by two Colgate University professors who brought him to the United States and laid the foundation for Foyle’s NBA basketball career spanning both coasts with the Golden State Warriors and the Orlando Magic.

In addition to a noteworthy NBA career, Adonal Foyle’s passion to make a difference has fueled the founding of the Kerosene Lamp Foundation (KLF). Since 2005, KLF has built/refurbished basketball courts in urban areas to provide safe places to play for more than 3,000 youth. KLF’s most recent mentorship program, All-Star Student Athletes, is designed to turn promising young basketball players from Adonal’s native country of St. Vincent & the Grenadines, into successful student-athletes. Foyle was inducted into the Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame for his work with KLF.

“I have loved every minute of the game,” said Foyle. “Retiring is bittersweet as my happiest memories are with the game. I’m looking forward to spending more time on humanitarian issues and mentoring the young basketball players who may need a voice of experience as they embark on their NBA careers.”

Foyle recently completed his third and final season with the Orlando Magic. Prior to that, he spent a decade with the Golden State Warriors, where he began his career as the NBA’s eighth overall draft pick. Foyle holds the Warriors’ all-time record in blocked shots (1,140) and is fifth on their all-time list for offensive rebounds and sixth for defensive rebounds.

Adonal’s education continues beyond the NBA. In addition to plans to support his Kerosene Lamp Foundation, he is finishing up his Masters Degree in Sports Psychology from John F. Kennedy University. Foyle has written a poem to commemorate his love affair with basketball.

It’s official.

Aug 17

Playbook: The Orlando Magic’s 4-Out/1-In Offensive Scheme

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Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The 4-out/1-in offensive scheme.

For three years and counting, head coach Stan Van Gundy has used an alignment (which features Dwight Howard in the post surrounded by four shooters on the perimeter) on offense that has vaulted the Orlando Magic to the elite in the NBA.

The system works, as best exemplified by a regular season winning percentage of .691 (170-76), a trip to the NBA Finals in 2009, three consecutive Southeast Division championships, back-to-back Eastern Conference Finals appearances (one conference title), and more.

Yes, the Magic are still in pursuit of the Larry O’Brien Trophy and the 4-out/1-in schemes have come under fire after the Boston Celtics shut them down in the 2010 NBA Eastern Conference Finals but it is what it is. The playoffs are about matchups and things can go either way. For example, even though the Miami Heat have the potential to be a very good team this season, their personnel might be vulnerable to Orlando’s philosophy on offense. It happens.

Some people may be asking, what does the 4-out/1-in scheme look like?

There’s an answer to that question.

Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 17

Adonal Foyle Retires From the NBA After 13 Seasons

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Fernando Medina/NBAE/Getty Images

Via Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel:

Adonal Foyle has decided to end his NBA playing career after 13 years.

The 35-year-old center chose to retire after a right-knee injury often prevented him from practicing with the Magic during the 2009-10 season.

“It just never really quite got back to where I could feel like I could keep pushing it and do what I wanted to,” Foyle told the Orlando Sentinel on Monday night. “Basically, I never really got back to that place where I felt like I could make a contribution. My thing has always been that the game has really been too good to me to really be around it if I can’t give anything to it.”

Foyle appeared in 733 regular-season games during his career, which he spent with the Golden State Warriors, the [Orlando] Magic and the Memphis Grizzlies. He averaged 4.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game.

Best of luck to Adonal Foyle’s next stage of his life. A class act and great human being.

Make sure to read Foyle’s poem bidding farewell to the game of basketball. Here’s a snippet:

How should I tell thee goodbye?

What can you say about a love affair to rival that of Romeo & Juliet? This is not just some melancholy ode to a hackneyed love of mortals.

I found our love deep in the entrails of the Caribbean Sea. Love that swept me to a land where our embrace became mythical.

You showed me a world that few have dreamt of.

Aug 16

Monday’s Magic Word

  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “The Orlando Magic announced Monday that they have signed second-round draft pick Stanley Robinson. Team officials would not disclose terms of the contract, but the small forward said he signed a non-guaranteed deal. [...] Robinson’s contract is believed to be worth $473,604 for the 2010-11 season, but for him to start earning that salary, he would have to make the regular-season roster. Non-guaranteed contracts will become guaranteed for the remainder of the season on Jan. 10. Orlando already has 13 players on its roster with guaranteed contracts. Magic President of Basketball Operations Otis Smith has said Robinson will have an opportunity to make the team if he plays well during the preseason.”
  • The Orlando Magic have a new head athletic trainer.
  • Josh Cohen of OrlandoMagic.com: “Some words that describe Marcin Gortat on Saturday: Outstanding, brilliant, dominant and menacing. The Polish Machine erupted for 29 points on 12-of-14 shooting from the field and added seven rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots to catapult Poland (2-2) to a demolishing 93-73 triumph over previously unbeaten Belgium in EuroBasket qualifying action. Even more dazzling for the Orlando Magic’s backup center, he carried out this effort in front of his hometown fans in Lodz, Poland.”
  • General manager Otis Smith speaks out on whether or not Magic rookies Daniel Orton and Stanley Robinson will spend any time in the D-League. Dan Savage of OrlandoMagic.com has the report: “The Magic have used their D-League affiliate the past two seasons as much as I’ve used my winter wardrobe since moving down to Orlando. They haven’t touched it at all. In fact, the last time the Magic made a D-League transaction was when they recalled Marcin Gortat from the Anaheim Arsenal on Dec. 2, 2007. Since that time they’ve been affiliated with three different squads – the Bakersfield Jam, Reno BigHorns and New Mexico Thunderbirds – and haven’t made a single move. But that trend could change this season. With two raw rookies on its current roster – Daniel Orton and Stanley Robinson – Orlando could opt to give its young players some court time with the T-Birds. [...] While Orton, the team’s first round pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, would clearly see more game action down in the minors, the organization believes he might be better served battling Dwight Howard and Gortat on a day-to-day basis in practice. Not only would Orton face a higher level of competition, but the sessions would also aid him in picking up Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy’s system.”
  • Learn more about True Shooting Percentage.
  • Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post chimes in on a rumor involving Courtney Lee: “I believe that the Magic are at least intrigued with the idea of bringing Lee, whom coach Stan Van Gundy trusted as the team’s top perimeter defender in 2009, back. I don’t believe even for a second that they’d consider losing Vince Carter or Rashard Lewis to get him, though. Sending Carter to the Rockets in a salary dump makes sense to a degree, but the shooting guard the Magic would want in return is the hyper-efficient Kevin Martin, not Lee, and it’s doubtful that Houston would part with Martin at such a low cost. And as for the Magic trading Lewis? He’s too valuable to this team, though if Ingram’s right, you can count the Rockets among the teams willing to take on the $63 million left on his deal. Remember, they pursued him heavily in 2007 before he ultimately signed with the Magic.”
  • Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated gives Orlando a C for their off-season.
  • Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk: “Stanley Robinson is the kind of guy teams should take a shot at in the second round — no doubt this guy is an NBA-level athlete. He needs more skills and more polish — he needs some coaching and time in the gym — but the foundation is there. The Orlando Magic took him with the next-to-last pick in the draft (N0. 59) and now have signed him to a deal. While the team has not officially disclosed that deal, this is certainly a make-good contract. Meaning he has to make the team in camp, this is not a guarantee.”
  • Dwight Howard talks about India.
  • Despite a disappointing series against the Boston Celtics in the 2010 NBA Eastern Conference Finals, the Magic performed well against playoff-caliber teams during the regular season.
  • Creative financing in the NBA, brought to you by Sham Sports: “Orlando has a $92 million payroll because the father of creative financing, Otis Smith, can’t creative finance to save his life. The Magic’s ownership just keep cutting him bigger and bigger checks, letting him sign and retain whoever he wants and whatever the cost is. It’s kind of ludicrous, yet such generosity has allowed the Magic to assemble a competitive team, more with financial muscle than craft. (If you’re a Magic fan who doesn’t thank ownership every day for this, there’s something wrong with you. Organisations win championships.) However, is there a limit to this spending? By matching Chicago’s offer sheet to J.J. Redick, Orlando will be CTCing for $15 million this year just on Redick, after the luxury tax and signing bonus are taken into account; all that for a backup shooting guard. Was that the final straw? If it wasn’t, perhaps it should have been.”

Aug 16

23 Made Three-Pointers In a Game is a Lot, And Still a Record

Aug 16

Magic Sign Stanley Robinson

Gary W. Green, Orlando Sentinel

Via the Orlando Magic:

The Orlando Magic have signed forward Stanley Robinson, President of Basketball Operations Otis Smith announced today.

Robinson was originally selected by Orlando during the second round (59th overall) of the 2010 NBA Draft. Per team policy, terms of the deal are not disclosed.

Robinson played on the Magic’s summer league team in the 2010 AirTran Airways Pro Summer League, where he averaged 5.4 points and 5.2 rebounds and shot 50 percent from the floor.

Robinson (6’9”, 210, 7/14/88) appeared in 126 career games (103 starts) at the University of Connecticut, averaging 9.8 ppg., 6.2 rpg., 1.0 apg. and 1.03 blkpg. during his four-year collegiate career. As a senior (2009-10), he averaged 14.5 ppg., a team-high 7.6 rpg., 1.0 apg. and 1.21 blkpg. for the Huskies. Robinson helped UConn reach the NCAA Final Four in 2009.

It’s official.

Aug 16

For J.J. Redick, It’s All About Efficiency

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Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

One of the major storylines in a rather uneventful off-season (aside from the Chris Paul rumors) for the Orlando Magic was when general manager Otis Smith elected to match the Chicago Bulls’ offer sheet and re-sign J.J. Redick to a three year, $20 million contract. Not too long ago, Redick was seen as a bust after being selected No. 11 in the 2006 NBA Draft and struggling to crack head coach Stan Van Gundy‘s rotation for nearly two seasons. But after hard work and perseverance, Redick has developed a niche with the Magic.

The niche?

An efficient shooter.

There’s no question that Redick had a breakout season with Orlando, but it seems like some people are overlooking how efficient he was offensively. Redick was one of the most efficient players on offense in the NBA last year. Yes, there are those that are aware that Redick posted career-high numbers across the board. Yet it seems like there are those that are missing the grand scheme of things when it comes to what Redick was able to accomplish with a defined role and consistent minutes. Though it needs to be stated that Redick earned his playing time.

Efficiency is the name of the game in basketball and there weren’t many players in the league that were as efficient as Redick on offense in 2010.

Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 13

Friday’s Magic Word

  • Justin Verrier of ESPN.com: “Defense wins championships. But MVPs? Not often. Such is the plight of [Dwight] Howard, who has won consecutive defensive player of the year trophies and compiled more blocks than a Lego warehouse the past two seasons but has been shut out from a top-three spot in the official MVP voting. The big culprit: his offensive game. To be fair, D-12’s repertoire of post moves has grown, but his points-per-game average actually dipped last season (from 20.6 to 18.3) as he battled foul trouble and hack-a-Howard tactics. Howard is so dominant on D that he’ll be a perennial MVP candidate, but he will never get the votes if he can’t stay on the court or make free throws.”
  • Kyle Weidie of Truth About It makes the case for the Orlando Magic as the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference: “After the Miami Heat, obviously, it will be the Orlando Magic battling for Eastern Conference supremacy … in front of the Celtics, and definitely in front of the Bulls, Hawks and Bucks. Why you ask? Well, let’s start with the depth. There’s not much turnover from last season’s 59-win team — they added a more solid backup guard in Chris Duhon, along with veteran Quentin Richardson and rookie Daniel Orton, and really only lost Matt Barnes. Jameer Nelson continues to be a leader by hosting his teammates for workouts in Philadelphia. And don’t forget that coach Stan Van Gundy signed a contract extension through 2012-13 (that constancy thing). Did I mention that Dwight Howard has been working with Hakeem Olajuwon this summer? The East has been warned. As Orlando continues to grow as a unit, while Miami tries to Frankenstein a three-headed monster and surrounding parts and Boston hires extra trainers to keep loose ligaments intact, best believe that the Magic will be in the picture to make the NBA Finals.”
  • Marcin Gortat and Brandon Bass as goons? Austin Burton of Dime Magazine explains: “Another pick for the future. Now that the Magic have first-round pick Daniel Orton to develop as a legit backup for Dwight Howard, Bass and Gortat can become the NBA’s Acolyte Protection Agency. They should even go all-out and wear black gloves when they check into a game. Dwight has needed an enforcer (or two) for a while now.”
  • The last person that needs an “enforcer” is Dwight Howard.
  • Remember the 1996 Summer Olympic team?
  • What would happen if the Boston Celtics had each player in the prime of their careers? Marc Normandin of Basketball Prospectus takes a look: “Just picture the options on offense each play—you have Allen or Pierce setting up the play, and either of them is a threat from range. Pierce was the best in the league at penetrating and drawing a foul, and both players are excellent free throw shooters. The 2007-08 Celtics were a force and champions with those two and Garnett shooting in close—now picture Shaq up the middle alongside Garnett, all four players younger and on fresher legs, and you wonder how anyone would have been able to defend them consistently.”

Aug 13

AmwayCenter.com Re-Launches

Via the Orlando Magic:

AmwayCenter.com, the official one-stop shop for information regarding the new Amway Center, has been officially re-launched, the Orlando Magic announced today. The new website includes everything Central Florida residents and beyond need to know about the new facility, which is scheduled to open in October and will compete to host major national events, concerts and family shows.

New features found on Amway Center.com will include:

  • Comprehensive information regarding everything from the facility’s upcoming acts to an A-to-Z guide that will provide fans with everything they need to know about the building.
  • The opportunity for patrons to purchase tickets to upcoming events right on the website.
  • A level-by-level description of each concourse, including a detailed description of all the restaurants, bars, concessions and entertainment areas.
  • An interactive events calendar and updates on all of the upcoming concerts, shows and events taking place at the building that provides detailed visuals for visitors.
  • Videos and a live on-location web cam that provides the latest construction updates on the building, along with photo galleries and social media updates on the Amway Center.
  • Detailed information on directions to the Amway Center and parking information for events.
  • A full section on how to book your event at the Amway Center along with detailed hospitality information; In addition, AmwayCenter.com also provides promoters information they need to book concerts and shows in the building.
  • Information regarding the Amway Center’s LEED Certification and ADA accessibility information.
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