Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 211

Aug 26

Orlando Magic and Fairwinds Credit Union Extend Partnership

Via the Orlando Magic:

The Orlando Magic announced today a new, multi-year relationship with FAIRWINDS Credit Union. The partnership includes presence in the new Amway Center, along with the opportunity for FAIRWINDS Credit Union to offer an Orlando Magic-branded debit card to its members for the third consecutive year.

The Magic and FAIRWINDS Credit Union recently hosted an online contest for the new design of the official Orlando Magic debit card. The new design was chosen on August 13, 2010 (shown below). FAIRWINDS will distribute the new cards beginning in the fall at local branches as the exclusive Magic-branded debit card for Orlando Magic fans.

The partnership with FAIRWINDS Credit Union also extends into the new Amway Center to include digital signage, location sponsorship of the Amway Center’s tower hospitality space, ATMs and on-court promotions. The location sponsorship of the Amway Center’s tower hospitality space, the FAIRWINDS Tower Room, will be located on the Promenade Level inside the signature element of the building.

“We are pleased to continue our partnership with the Orlando Magic,” President/CEO Larry Tobin said. “The Orlando Magic and FAIRWINDS have very similar values with our commitment to community at the forefront. As a leading financial institution serving Central Florida, we are extremely proud to support our hometown team.”

Aug 25

Wednesday’s Magic Word

  • John Krolik of ProBasketballTalk: “Bosh was the starting power forward on the worst defensive team in basketball last season, and that’s not a thrilling bullet point to have on one’s resume. Bosh hasn’t definitively proven that he’s a bad defender, but he sure hasn’t proven that he’s a good one. The best precedent for those hoping Bosh will become an effective defender in Miami is the career of Orlando Magic power forward Rashard Lewis. Like Lewis, Bosh isn’t particularly strong or physical, and doesn’t do much to shut off the paint. And remember that Lewis played for some of the worst defensive teams in the history of basketball during his time with Seattle. But just like the old adage that every quarterback is a system quarterback, to some extent every NBA defender is a system defender. A player can do all the right things and force his man towards where the help is supposed to be and look like he got torched when the helper blows his assignment. Likewise, good help can make anyone with good feet look like a defensive mastermind most of the time. With the Sonics’ interior defense being as horrible as it was, Lewis’ inability to defend the paint made him a liability. When he got traded to Orlando, his ability to get out on the perimeter and force players towards Dwight Howard made him a major asset on the defensive end.”
  • Want to ask general manager Otis Smith a question? You can do so here.
  • Five of the 93 panelists on voted for the Orlando Magic to win the NBA title this season. Here’s what one of the panelists had to say: “It’s not so much that they have better personnel than the Miami Heat, as much as that the South Beach team will implode during the course of the 82-game season. The Heat have too many superstars and egos together on one team. I believe the Magic will play as a more cohesive unit, and have more depth than the Heat. Plus, they have Dwight Howard, a strong center who will give the Heat a lot of problems should they meet in the conference finals. If the Lakers face the Magic in the Finals, I don’t think they’ll have the upper hand like they did two years ago, especially after Orlando beats Miami.”
  • I can almost guarantee that the Miami Heat won’t implode this year.
  • Dan Devine of Ball Don’t Lie: “Get excited, everyone, because this is happening for real and not in a fever dream like last time, when you dreamt you were Big Baby, which was weird for everyone — Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard will “star in a basketball film with an award-winning Chinese director named ‘Amazing,'” the NBA and Shanghai Film Group announced Tuesday.”
  • Art Garcia of has more on Dwight Howard’s budding acting career.

Aug 25

The Art of the Fastbreak by Penny Hardaway

Aug 25

Fact or Fiction Returns to Magic Basketball


Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images

Last year around this time, I introduced a feature at Orlando Pinstriped Post — then known as Third Quarter Collapse — called “Fact or Fiction.”

For those that watch, or have watched, ESPN regularly on television, the premise is very simple — a statement is made about something (ex: the Orlando Magic will win the Eastern Conference this season), arguments and counter-arguments are given, then viewers decide on their own if they agree with one side or the other.

Since it was a popular segment at OPP, I wanted to conduct the same series at Magic Basketball as the beginning of training camp creeps closer.

The focus of the posts will be on the Magic, of course.

For today, I’m going to give the floor to you, the readers, so that y’all can come up with statements that you’d like to see analyzed. I only ask that the comment or e-mail you submit is in the form of a statement, as shown in my example.

Have at it!

Next week on September 1, the festivities begin.

Aug 24

Tuesday’s Magic Word

  • Josh Cohen of “Heart, passion and devotion are just some words that describe international athletic competition. From the Olympics to the World Cup to the Little League World Series, global sporting events reveal an unparalleled spirit in an athlete. Although some are more patriotic than others, it seems athletes unveil more vigor, emotion and commitment than they normally would. We witnessed such fortitude from the Americans during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing when the Redeem Team, featuring NBA stars such as Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, recaptured the gold in an epic final against Spain. [...] Perhaps instead of a customary All-Star Weekend or maybe replacing a portion of the exhibition schedule, I think an NBA “Battle of the States” competition should happen. Basically, the guidelines would permit only active NBA players to participate and teams would be sorted out based on where the player was born. I would, moreover, set up a playoff-style tournament to determine the grand U.S. champion. “
  • Dwight Howard is going to star in a new movie, alongside Carmelo Anthony.
  • At, 17 percent of panelists select the Orlando Magic to win the Eastern Conference. Here’s what J.A. Adande had to say: “They tried playing the “nobody respects us” card for the past two seasons and maybe it will finally take effect now. Dwight Howard was a dark horse MVP candidate last season, but now that LeBron is in South Beach, Dwight can no longer be considered the best player in the state of Florida. Take that, plus the humiliating first three games of the Eastern Conference finals, and if Howard and the Magic don’t enter 2010-11 in vengeance mode, then they never will.”
  • For what it’s worth, I chose the Miami Heat as the champions in the East.
  • Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don’t Lie ranks Rashard Lewis as the 22nd-best power forward in the NBA: “If I’m honest, the only reason Lewis is ranked this high is because the skill he’s best known for contributing (sound shooting from behind the arc) is so hard to find at this position, and he can be a matchup nightmare. Can be. Because, too often, Lewis doesn’t take advantage of his own gifts. And when he passes on being aggressive offensively, his terrible defense and position-worst rebounding tend to bring out the worst in him.”
  • Normally, I agree with Dwyer on just about everything but he’s incorrect in saying that Lewis is terrible on defense because he’s not.

Aug 24

Orlando Magic Single-Game Tickets for the 2010-11 Preseason on Sale Thursday

Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Via the Orlando Magic:

Single-game tickets for the 2010-11 Orlando Magic preseason will go on sale to the general public Thursday, August 26 at 12:00 p.m. The Magic will make its debut in the Amway Center when they host their first preseason game at the brand new facility on Sunday, October 10 against New Orleans. Tip-off is 6:00 p.m. The rest of the Magic’s home preseason slate at the Amway Center includes games October 14 vs. Charlotte, October 16 vs. Chicago and October 20 vs. Dallas.

Tickets are available for purchase:

  • Online at
  • At the Orlando Magic ticket office at the RDV Sportsplex (cash, MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover)
  • At all TicketMaster outlets (cash only)
  • By calling 1-800-4NBA-TIX (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover)

Remaining preseason tickets available range from $5 to $130, with 12 different price points.

Orlando Magic season tickets, partial plans, group and single-game Amway Center suite rental opportunities are on sale now. Ticket highlights in the new Amway Center include: 2,500 seats priced $15 or less and 7,000 seats priced $25 or less. Single-game tickets for the regular season will go on sale in October. A limited number of season tickets are available through the Orlando Magic box office by calling 407-89-MAGIC or visiting

Aug 24

Video Highlights: Marcin Gortat

It’s been a busy off-season for Marcin Gortat, as he’s been hard at work trying to position the Polish national team towards qualification for EuroBasket 2011. After a horrid first game against Georgia on August 2, in which Gortat was “destroyed” by Zaza Pachulia in their head-to-head matchup, the “Polish Machine” has redeemed himself with some excellent performances since then.

One of those games came in a rematch against Georgia on August 17, in which Gortat led Poland to a win with 17 points, eight rebounds, and four blocks in his hometown of Lodz. Let the game be known as Gortat’s revenge, as Pachulia struggled mightily in their matchup against each other — eight points on 10 shots for the Georgian native.

Enjoy the commentary and the vuvuzelas.

Aug 23

Monday’s Magic Word

  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “Marcin Gortat had a big game in Poland’s 75-71 victory over Bulgaria on Monday. Gortat scored a game-high 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting. He also collected nine rebounds, blocked three shots and dished out two assists. With the win, Poland improved its record to 4-3 as it attempts to qualify for next year’s European championships. The Poles are second in their group, trailing Belgium (5-1). The [Orlando] Magic center is averaging 18.0 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game.”
  • Ben Q Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post: “Five years, one month, and 26 days have elapsed since the Orlando Magic used the 11th overall pick of the 2005 NBA Draft on Fran Vazquez, then a mere 22 years old. And Vazquez has still yet to play for the Magic, instead plying his trade in high-level leagues in his native Spain. Yesterday, in an exhibition match against Team U.S.A., Vazquez tallied 8 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1 block in 14 minutes off Spain’s bench–yes, he’s good enough to play for Spain’s national team–and looked NBA-ready. Mobile, with good hands, he’d make an excellent pick-and-roll partner for Jameer Nelson in Magic pinstripes.”
  • More from Rock: “Watching Team U.S.A. struggle against a decidedly inferior Lithuanian team in an exhibition game yesterday–Chris Sheridan rather memorably wrote, “[t]o say they looked ordinary would be to give them an undeserved compliment”–I learned a few things: the European conversion rate on veteran savvy is steep, if Chauncey Billups’ miserable play is any indication; a number of second-string NBA point guards could start for Lithuania, which could hardly dribble or pass against the U.S.A.’s press; and Team U.S.A.’s size deficit is as bad as advertised. Coach Mike Krzyzewski elected to bring five point guards and just one center across the Atlantic for these exhibitions leading up to the FIBA World Championships. And as much respect as I have for Tyson Chandler, it’s pretty obvious that rotating him and a trio of forwards (Lamar Odom, Kevin Durant, and Kevin Love) in the pivot is going to present problems for the United States; it’s perfectly reasonable to view them as the underdogs, given their deficiencies in inside scoring as well as perimeter jump-shooting. Which is where Dwight Howard fits in. Or would have, anyway.”
  • J.J. Redick: “I’ll be politically correct about it because that’s the honest answer: I would like to start on an NBA team. But I’d also like to start on a really good NBA team. And for me, there’s no substitute for winning. So, if I have to play my whole career on playoff teams and be a backup, I’m fully cool with that. You know, I just want to be a part of a great organization and a winning team, and I have it with the Magic. Whether Vince [Carter] sticks around for two more years or one more year or four more years, I’m not going to complain. I’m happy with my situation.”
  • Neil Paine of Basketball-Reference takes a look at the players which played for the best defenses in NBA history. Dwight Howard, surprisingly enough, does not make the list.

Aug 23

Playbook: The 2/5 Pick and Roll


Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

In 2009, the 3/5 pick and roll with Hedo Turkoglu and Dwight Howard was one of the centerpieces of the Orlando Magic‘s offense. With Turkoglu’s departure and Vince Carter‘s arrival, the 2/5 pick and roll became the flavor de jure for the Magic.

Carter’s involvement in the pick and roll not only initiated the offense for Orlando but the play was also used for him to score. Carter takes, and is still taking, a lot of heat for his underwhelming performance in the 2010 NBA Playoffs, but there’s no denying that he was an efficient force in pick and rolls. Yes, Carter settled for too many jumpers and didn’t attack the basket as much as he should have offensively, yet he usually got the job done in the 2/5 pick and roll with Howard.


Hopefully the comparisons with Carter and Turkoglu have been put to rest. But if there’s one thing to point out between the two players when they anchored — along with Jameer Nelson — the pick and rolls, Carter took much better care of the basketball than Turkoglu did. And that means something because Carter wasn’t wasting many possessions, even if the end game (a long two-point jumper) wasn’t the result that many Magic fans desired.

With Carter at the helm last season, the Magic were more efficient on offense during the regular season than they were in 2009. This isn’t to state that Carter was the sole reason for this phenomena, though he was one of the reasons.

Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 23

Anheuser-Busch Partners with Orlando Magic and Amway Center

Via the Orlando Magic:

The Orlando Magic announced today a renewed, multi-year relationship with Budweiser for the new Amway Center. As part of the partnership, Budweiser, a 21-year partner of the Magic, will collaborate with the team to institute the Good Sport program, receive arena signage and naming rights to the Budweiser Baseline Bar – a highly visible and entertaining space accessible to all Amway Center ticket buyers 21 years of age and older.

The Good Sport Program, a comprehensive action plan that promotes a positive atmosphere at the arena by encouraging adult fans to drink responsibly and use a designated driver, represents collaboration between Anheuser-Busch and its wholesalers, the Magic and concessionaires. The Good Sport Program will be promoted at the Amway Center through the use of stadium signage, PSAs and an in-arena designated driver sign-up booth.

Budweiser will have permanent signage throughout both the inner bowl of the inner concourse and at the Budweiser Baseline Bar – one of several premium amenities accessible to every level of ticket buyer at the Amway Center. Located on the south end of the Terrace Level and overlooking the inner bowl, the Budweiser Baseline Bar will have the look of a high-end club, including a terrazzo floor, granite bar tops and flat-screen TVs.

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