Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 210

Sep 20

2010-2011 NBA Blog Previews: Atlantic Division

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Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Enjoy.

Celtics: CelticsBlog Celtics 24/7Celtics CentralCeltics HubCelticsLife | Gino’s JungleRedsArmy.comSBNation BostonSBN Recap

Knicks: Posting and ToastingBandwagon KnickKnickerBlogger.NetSBN Recap

Nets: NetsDaily NetsAreScorching FanwaySBN Recap

Raptors: Raptors HQHoops AddictHip Hoop JunkiesSBN Recap

Sixers: Liberty Ballers

Recaps: All Previews

Sep 20

Orlando Magic’s Daniel Orton Helps Plant a Garden

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Gary Bassing/Orlando Magic

Via the Orlando Magic:

As part of the Amway ‘Positive Sprouts’ program, Amway, the Orlando Magic and rookie Daniel Orton joined together to build an edible garden at the Universal Orlando Foundation Boys and Girls Club on Saturday, September 18. The garden, benefiting the Boys and Girls Club of Orlando, also runs in conjunction with the NBA Cares Week of Service activities. The Amway ‘Positive Sprouts’ project teaches youth how to start and maintain their own edible gardens. An accompanying curriculum will educate youngsters about nutrition, organic gardening practices, and cooking from the garden.

Orlando Magic center Daniel Orton assists the youth of the Boys and Girls Club of Orlando with the garden. The garden is part of the Amway ‘Positive Sprouts’ program and teaches youth how to start and maintain their own edible gardens. The garden project also runs in conjunction with the NBA Cares Week of Service activities which was created to increase fan awareness about the importance of service.

Sep 17

Are the Orlando Magic Still Title Contenders?

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Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Via Matt Moore of CBSSports.com:

As Courtney Lee hung in the air, anticipating the incoming lob for a last second shot in the NBA Finals, he likely didn’t know anything of what would happen as a result in the next 1.5 seconds. He would miss the alley-oop, a nearly impossible shot that he deserves credit for simply for managing to execute. He would wind up traded to New Jersey which would go on to be one of the worst teams in NBA history, then be traded to Houston. The [Orlando] Magic would swap out Hedo Turkoglu for an upgrade at shooting guard in Vince Carter. And the Magic’s best chance at an NBA championship would be snuffed out.

So the question has to be: Does Orlando still have a window open to win an NBA championship? […]

Think of what they need in order to return to the championship if they don’t make a major trade this season. They need Carter to play better than he did last season, have everyone stay healthy, repeat last year’s performance, then overcome Boston’s defense and Miami’s starpower… just to make the Finals where barring a gigantic upset they’ll then face the same Lakers team that overwhelmed them two years ago. Orlando’s ownership group has commendably committed money to the team as it enters a new arena with a contending team. But unless it takes a major step back up the ladder, it may just be spinning its expensive wheels as the rest of the league continues to stay one step ahead of them.

Rest assured, I’m going to answer this question next week.

Sep 17

Friday’s Magic Word

  • John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com: “I have it on good authority that Vince [Carter] has been one of the regulars at the Magic’s headquarters this offseason, working out daily with teammates and strength and conditioning coaches. Vince took it particularly hard last spring when the [Orlando] Magic were beaten by Boston because he didn’t play well in that series at all. He has to know deep down that the Magic can’t win a championship without him playing near his peak level. No, he’s not the player that he was five years ago, but Carter still has some pop left. He was relieved not to be traded away from Orlando, his hometown team, over the summer and knows the season ahead could very well be his last legitimate shot at winning a championship.”
  • Want to know why Malik Allen is with the Orlando Magic? Look no further than his relationship with head coach Stan Van Gundy.
  • Ben Osborne of SLAM ONLINE: “Forget the Heat for a second; the Magic haven’t even gotten the same hype this offseason as the Celtics (or respect; I was a bit surprised by the voting in yesterday’s Polladaday). But that doesn’t mean they won’t be a worthy challenger. Orlando is coming off a 59-win season and is just 15 months removed from playing in the Finals. While LeBron is the one who famously said he wants to be a “global icon,” Magic leader [Dwight] Howard is the one who spent this offseason traveling the world, spending time in China and India and readying for a trip to Haiti as we went to press, as well as working on commericals and a movie. Dwight has been so busy, in fact, that some fans wonder if he’s doing all he can to get better as a player. Well, in a great interview by our man Aggrey Sam, Dwight says that he can indeed do it all.”
  • Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post asks “[w]hat are Howard’s chances of repeating as the league’s rebounder and shot-blocker? Who are his biggest competitors for those honors?” Click here for an answer.
  • More from Rock: “The rumors surrounding the apparently unhappy Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony, a three-time All-Star and one of the league’s most dynamic scorers, won’t cease until he agrees to an extension with the Nuggets, or until they trade him. And the latest word is that the Orlando Magic are among the four teams to which he’d agree to be dealt. Kate Fagan, on the 76ers beat for the Philadelphia Inquirer, did some digging in the wake of Ken Berger’s report earlier this week that Philadelphia had entered the bidding for Anthony. While she shot that part of the rumor down, she did learn the Magic, Chicago Bulls, New Jersey Nets, and New York Knicks have made Anthony’s shortlist of destinations.”
  • “E” is for energy guys like Bo Outlaw!

Sep 17

Orlando Magic’s Daniel Orton and Amway Sprout Garden for Boys and Girls Club of Orlando

Gary W. Green/Orlando Sentinel

Via the Orlando Magic:

As part of Amway’s ‘Positive Sprouts’ program, Amway, the Orlando Magic and Magic rookie Daniel Orton will build an edible garden at the Universal Orlando Foundation Boys & Girls Club (5055 Raleigh St., Orlando, 32811) on September 18, 2010. Orton will be joined by Orlando Magic representatives, Amway executives and employees, Boys & Girls Club staff and community volunteers to help build the edible garden that will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Orlando. The garden project also runs in conjunction with the NBA Cares Week of Service activities.

Amway has built gardens in six other cities around the country this summer with the Orlando Magic joining the partnership to build the Orlando garden. The build will serve as the final location for the Positive Sprouts program in 2010.

The Amway Positive Sprouts project mobilizes volunteers and incorporates the gardening expertise of the Green Education Foundation (GEF) to teach youth how to start and maintain their own edible gardens. An accompanying curriculum will educate youngsters about nutrition, organic gardening practices, and cooking from the garden.

With the start of the NBA season just weeks away, every NBA team will host a variety of hands-on service events through Oct. 25 in a collaborative effort to give back to children, families, and the community and to increase fan awareness about the importance of service.

The NBA Cares Week of Service aligns with President Obama’s recent launch of the United We Serve initiative (serve.gov), which seeks to expand the impact of volunteer work in existing organizations and encourage individuals to make a difference in their communities. Fans can find out about volunteer opportunities and learn more about the NBA’s community partners by going to NBA.com/nbacares.

Sep 16

Thursday’s Magic Word

  • Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel: “The Orlando Magic announced the signing of power forward Malik Allen on Thursday, rounding out the Magic’s current roster at 15 players. Terms of Allen’s deal aren’t disclosed, but the contract certainly won’t be guaranteed past training camp. Allen is most likely just a training camp body. Allen, a 6-foot-10 journeyman who has played with seven teams over his nine-year NBA career, appeared in 51 games with Denver last season. He traditionally plays power forward — a position the Magic are overloaded at — so it’s safe to assume he’ll need some help (injury, trade, etc.) to make Orlando’s regular-season roster.”
  • Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post: “Allen is primarily a jump-shooter; Synergy Sports Technology classifies two-thirds of his shot attempts as jumpers, converting them at a 40.8 percent clip. Due to his lack of lift and poor touch, he is well below par as a finisher at the basket, converting just 11 of his 25 shots at point-blank range, according to HoopData. As I wrote this morning, whomever the Magic invite to camp will face long odds to actually make the team. That seems especially true for Allen, who would clearly be the team’s seventh big man to use only in case of emergency. But he is regarded as a hard worker and a good locker-room presence, which works in his favor. In case you’re curious, Allen will wear uniform no. 35.”
  • Royce Young of CBSSports.com talks about flopping in the NBA.
  • Dwight Howard is, apparently, dealing with a little domestic trouble.
  • Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk sets the record straight on newly-acquired Malik Allen: “Allen was not particularly impressive in Denver, so it is a little interesting that the Magic went with the veteran rather than a youngster they could bring along and develop. Then again, this is a veteran team who wants a ring, so Allen may be a better locker room fit. Either way, he’s in.”
  • If there was a new expansion team in the NBA, which Magic players would they take?
  • Tom Haberstroh of ESPN Insider takes a look at the worst five players for every NBA franchise. The criteria was that “a player needed to have played at least 10 minutes per contest over the course of at least 100 career games with the franchise.” The lucky winners for Orlando were Greg Kite, Jeff Turner, Anthony Avent, Gerald Wilkins, and Mark Acres.
  • More positional analysis from Haberstroh at Hardwood Paroxysm: “Pretty much all point guards feature a long two game.  The most long-two resistant point guard last year was Chris Duhon and even he took more than the typical center did. Gotta have that pull-up jumper to keep the defender honest off the dribble.”
  • Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don’t Lie with a must-read article about blogs: “The idea behind a blog, as vague a term as it is in September of 2010 is still valid. Still brilliant. Still worth getting giddy over. It’s the idea that writers can put things into the machine, and have their work pop out without much editorial stank in the way. This isn’t always a good thing. This isn’t often a good thing. But it’s changed things. It’s the idea that writers can speak in a voice that wasn’t handed down to them by Medill or Mizzou or ages of journalistic how-tos muddling and mixing and creating an unremarkable beast out of what was once a talented and of-him/herself writer. The idea that I can toss out a 43-word sentence like the one you just struggled through, and not have it be covered in red ink a day and a half later.”

Sep 16

Orlando Magic Sign Malik Allen; Prepare for Training Camp

Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Via the Orlando Magic:

The Orlando Magic will hold their 2010-11 training camp at the new Amway Center in Orlando, beginning Tuesday, September 28. In addition, the Magic have signed free agent forward Malik Allen (#35, 6-10, 255, 6/27/78, Villanova). The roster currently stands at 15 players (roster to follow).

Practices will be held on the Magic practice court at the new Amway Center twice per day from September 28-October 3 from 9:30 a.m. until approximately noon, then and again from 4 p.m. until approximately 6 p.m. All sessions are closed to the public. […]

On October 4, the Magic will practice from 9:30 a.m. until approximately 11:30 a.m., then depart for their preseason opener against Houston. Orlando begins the preseason against the Rockets in Hidalgo, Texas on Tuesday, October 5 (8:30 p.m., Sun Sports). After playing at Indiana on Friday, October 8, the Magic will host their first preseason game at the new Amway Center on Sunday, October 10 against New Orleans. Tip-off is 6 p.m. The Magic open the 2010-11 regular season at home on Thursday, October 28 against the Washington Wizards. The complete schedule is available through the team’s official website: orlandomagic.com.

Sep 16

Stanley Robinson Has an Uphill Battle in Front of Him

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Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Via Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post:

Stanley Robinson, whom the Orlando Magic selected with the 59th pick in this year’s NBA Draft, didn’t exactly distinguish himself in his four years at Connecticut, doesn’t have much of a jump shot, and is, to quote one team source, “deficient” in any facet of basketball which doesn’t involve the use of athleticism. He’s also the sixth forward on a fourteen-man team with championship aspirations. These factors are all working against his chances of making an impact in his rookie season. But Magic GM Otis Smith wouldn’t have drafted Robinson if he didn’t think he was at least worth a look, and by signinghim to a non-guaranteed contract well before the beginning of training camp, Smith signaled that Robinson will have an opportunity to prove himself. And John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com wrote earlier this summer that Robinson is indeed thrilled to have that chance.

The rotation for the Orlando Magic is, more or less, set in stone, aside from a possible battle at the back-up power forward position between Ryan Anderson and Brandon Bass. And apart from the grand opening of the Amway Center on October 10 as well as a meeting with the Miami Heat on October 22 in Tampa, the Magic’s pre-season won’t be very eventful. But if there’s someone to keep an eye on as training camp is set to begin for Orlando in a few weeks, it’s Stanley Robinson. The only player for the Magic that will be literally fighting for his job is Robinson, given that he has an unguaranteed contract. There’s a lot of things Robinson will need to work on in order to have a successful career in the NBA, but he’ll get his chance to prove his worth soon enough.

Best of luck to him.

Sep 15

Orlando Magic Championship for Charity Golf Tournament

Via the Orlando Magic:

The Magic will host the 20th Annual Orlando Magic Championship for Charity Golf Tournament. The event is expected to have more than 200 golf participants, along with one-of-a-kind Magic auction items and an awards luncheon.

Ten children ages 8-16 representing organizations who received grants from the Orlando Magic Youth Fund (Orlando Magic Youth Foundation- McCormick Foundation Fund) will be on-site from 7-8:30 a.m. They will assist the golfers in registration and with the Wyndham Vacation Ownership’s Warm-up Contest. OMYF beneficiaries represented at the course will include: A Gift for Music, Florida Hospital for Children, The Gift of Swimming, The Salvation Army, AMI Kids, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Florida, Jewish Family Services and Orlando Repertory Theatre.

Over the last 21 years nearly $16 million has been distributed to local non-profit community organizations via the Orlando Magic Youth Fund (OMYF-MFF), a McCormick Foundation Fund since 1994, which serves at-risk youth. Earlier this year, the OMYF, in a surprise ceremony, presented checks totaling nearly $700,000 to 23 grantee organizations from three counties in Central Florida (Orange, Seminole and Osceola).

Sep 15

Jameer Nelson’s Transformation to an All-Star Began in 2009

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Needless to say, Jameer Nelson made Kenny Smith eat his words after the game was over.

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