Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 213

Aug 17

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


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


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 “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 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


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 “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 Re-Launches

Via the Orlando Magic:, 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 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, 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.

Aug 13

Dwight Howard Still Hard at Work


Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Via Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel:

[Dwight] Howard traveled to India to help promote the NBA and the game of basketball. League officials regard India’s population of nearly 1.2 billion people as a vast untapped market, and they hope Howard’s star power and megawatt smile will help generate interest in the sport.

Two summers ago, the NBA held its first event in India, a Basketball Without Borders instructional camp. Last December, the league launched, a website with some content in Hindi. In April, the NBA started its first community basketball league in the country. [...]

Howard will spend a few more days in India, then travel to China for the second time this summer.

Bryan Meyer, a trainer based in Altamonte Springs, accompanied Howard on the trip.

Howard said he worked out for 2 1/2 hours Thursday. He did conditioning work with Meyer and practiced on a basketball court, performing the drills he worked on earlier this summer with former Houston Rockets all-star Hakeem Olajuwon.

Once in a while, someone will criticize Dwight Howard for spending too much time on extracurricular activities and not devoting enough attention on improving himself as a basketball player. However, despite the fact that Howard is halfway around the globe, he’s working on his game.

The criticism for Howard will never end, it seems like. For years, many people — not only Magic fans — hoped and prayed that Howard would work with Hakeem Olajuwon to improve his low post game. But now that Howard is doing just that, working with Olajuwon and trying to get better on the low block, it’s not good enough for everyone.

Go figure.

Nevertheless, next season is going to be an important one for Howard.

After breaking through against Kendrick Perkins and Rasheed Wallace (now retired) in the 2010 NBA Eastern Conference Finals versus the Boston Celtics, the table is set for Howard to wreak havoc on the rest of the league. Especially with Perkins sidelined indefinitely and Yao Ming’s health in question — two players that have had the most success defensively against Howard in the past.

There’s no one that can stop Howard except himself. Howard is putting in the work during the off-season, and soon the public will see the fruits of his labor.

Aug 12

Thursday’s Magic Word

  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “Dwight Howard has been in India for less than four full days, but he already has a list of memories he won’t forget anytime soon. The Orlando Magic center has fulfilled a lifelong dream by seeing tigers. He has visited a butterfly park. He has met appreciative children who want to learn about basketball. Thursday afternoon, after a plane flight from Bangalore to Delhi, he saw a mother on a sidewalk with her baby and her 4-year-old sitting nearby. Howard said the mother was either cleaning or resurfacing the pavement as the older child watched over the baby. [...] Howard traveled to India to help promote the NBA and the game of basketball. League officials regard India’s population of nearly 1.2 billion people as a vast untapped market, and they hope Howard’s star power and megawatt smile will help generate interest in the sport.”
  • Scott Stanchak of conducts a Q/A with Dwight Howard.
  • Josh Cohen of wants you to vote on what is the best NBA occasion of the year? Here’s what Cohen wrote about the NBA Finals: “After a grueling, bloodthirsty regular season and another month and a half of cutthroat playoff action, there may be nothing more electrifying than the start of the NBA Finals. While players on all 28 other teams are out golfing, fishing, in the weight room preparing for next season or in the tropical islands on vacation, the few players remaining are battling to claim the ultimate prize. Following months of analyzing the field and trying to determine which two teams will reach the championship round, it’s very stirring to finally see the best two teams square off in front of just about every NBA fan.”
  • Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post provides commentary on whether or not former Magic rookie Courtney Lee is approaching “journeyman” status in the league.
  • Tom Ziller of NBA FanHouse: “To be a journeyman implies that there’s no place for a player anywhere, that he’s a mercenary for hire (Kevin Willis) or, less generously, a vital cog in only the Trade Machine dynamics of the modern NBA (Devean George). Lee fits neither definition; he’s a good, young player any team would love to have, but who keeps getting dealt in bigger-picture trades as an asset (not as salary cap fluff). It has to bug Lee, because, for one, always being traded is no way to build demand, and building demand is the entire goal of a rookie on his first contract. Second, it’s annoying to move and to have to meet new co-workers, learn a new system, figure out how to deal with a new coach. It’s clearly far less optimal than staying in one place and being allowed to improve organically.”
  • Sebastian Pruiti of NBA Playbook breaks down the pick and roll.
  • Rey Jefferson of Dime Magazine thinks J.J. Redick is poised for a breakout season: “More minutes (with the departure of Matt Barnes), more money and for the Orlando Magic, more production. There were times in the playoffs when Stan Van Gundy had Redick on the court during the most important moments of big games, causing Vince Carter to sit the bench. After the Magic matched Chicago’s $19 million offer sheet for Redick in free agency, he knows the team values him.”
  • Redick had his “breakout season” last year but hey, maybe he can do better.
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