Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 218

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.

_______

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 »

Aug 31

Tuesday’s Magic Word

  • Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post: “St. Martin is unrealistic to expect an NBA team convert 90 percent of its free throws, but he’s on the mark when he says that many games can come down to foul shots. The Orlando [Magic] organization knows that much all too well. Nick Anderson‘s four late misses in the Magic’s Game One loss to the Houston Rockets in the 1995 NBA Finals came to define his career and, in turn, led Chris Ballard to spotlighting him in the chapter about foul shooting in last year’s The Art of a Beautiful Game. [Dwight] Howard and Turkoglu missed six of their 12 free throws in the fourth quarter in Game Four of the 2009 NBA Finals, which the L.A. Lakers won in overtime to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. And, this last season, [Vince] Carter missed two free throws late in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals which would have brought the Magic to within a point of the Boston Celtics. Though we can fairly attribute Turkoglu’s and Carter’s misses to chance, their shortcomings really highlight Orlando’s need for more reliability at the stripe. […] The Magic, I believe, are still championship contenders, largely due to their work on the other side of the ball. And I do expect a bounce-back year from Carter. But certainly I’d feel better about their chances if they had a dynamic player who could earn several trips to the line each night.”
  • Meet the world’s greatest free-throw shooter.
  • Dwight Howard is going to visit Haiti in September.
  • Sandy Dover of SLAM ONLINE comes up with a trade that would land Carmelo Anthony to the Orlando Magic: “If the Orlando Magic were to acquire the likes of another star perimeter player to pair with Jameer Nelson and Rashard Lewis, it’s not impossible to believe that the Magic could go to the NBA Finals. Melo would be able to be such a distraction offensively that honest man-to-man defense by opposing teams might be the risk they would have to take to prevent a perimeter double-team from turning into a Dwight Howard dunk fest. Getting Arron Afflalo would make Orlando that much more competent on defense and on the ball offensively. The brilliance in acquiring Vinsanity, for the Denver Nuggets, would be that the Nuggets would have no pressure to re-sign the man, considering he’s in his last years of superstar pay (and quasi-star play). He’d be a nice bridge to keep the team in playoff mode, but nothing special, if we’re being honest with ourselves. Getting Mickael Pietrus would be the real treat, as he’s in his prime and blossoming just as the Nuggets need a player to be able to play well as all the other players on the roster continue to age, get injured or wind up in some sort of trouble. Air France’s modest salary and good play make his acquisition a win for Denver in their losing Melo.”
  • Howard is pitting himself against Dwyane Wade on the court. Sort of.

Aug 31

Dwight Howard Auctions Game of HORSE for Charity

Via Charitybuzz:

With a big man’s body, a small forward’s hangtime, the hands of a point guard and the heart of a champion, The Orlando Magic‘s Dwight Howard has won the adoration of fans around the world. Now, he’s taking that heart one step further with an incredible experience to benefit The New Look Foundation. Dwight Howard is auctioning the chance for one lucky fan to test their skills against his in a high-throttle game of HORSE!

Dwight Howard led the NBA in rebounds before he was even old enough to take a legal drink. One fan will have the rare opportunity to spend an afternoon shooting hoops with this incredible athlete while benefitting a great cause at the same time. The exclusive experience is up for auction on charitybuzz.com through Sept. 2 at: http://www.charitybuzz.com/catalog_items/215610

The New Look Foundation was founded by Usher Raymond IV, who understood early on that youth are the key to successful communities. He established the New Look Foundation to draw attention to the importance of their ideas, hard work and success. Every year, New Look mentors hundreds of youth as they discover their power as global leaders.

Aug 31

Poland Fails to Earn an Automatic Bid for EuroBasket 2011

Photobucket

FIBA Europe / Castoria / Kulbis

Via Josh Cohen of OrlandoMagic.com:

Marcin Gortat may not care that he was, by and large, one of the best, most dominant players during EuroBasket qualifying action in August. The Polish Machine averaged 18 points, nearly nine rebounds and more than two blocks per game for his country.

But, Gortat understands that his individual achievements are very immaterial after learning Poland did not qualify for EuroBasket 2011.

Poland suffered a devastating 70-67 defeat to Belgium on Sunday – allowing Georgia to eclipse the Poles in the standings and earn an automatic bid to next year’s competition. Poland finished Group C in fourth place. […]

In addition to Belgium and Georgia, Montenegro, Great Britain and Israel also advanced to EuroBasket 2011. The remaining 10 teams that did not qualify will have one more opportunity to advance during another qualifying round next August. One team from that bunch will earn a bid to Lithuania.

For Marcin Gortat and his fellow countrymen, that’s a shame.

Nevertheless, be on the lookout for another highlight video of Gortat in the EuroBasket qualifiers at some point tomorrow. It’ll be an overview of Gortat’s performance against Bulgaria on August 23, in which he finished the game with 23 points, nine rebounds, and three blocks.

In cased you missed it, I posted highlights of Gortat’s match against Georgia last week. If anything else, it’s a rare opportunity to see Gortat being the best player on the floor.

Aug 30

Geico Joins Orlando Magic and Amway Center as ‘Champions of the Community’ Partner

Via the Orlando Magic:

The Orlando Magic announced today a new, multi-year relationship with GEICO as the auto insurer joins the franchise and the new Amway Center as a ‘Champions of the Community’ partner. The ‘Champions of the Community’ designation represents an elite tier of brands committed to Central Florida and the Parramore community.

As part of the ‘Champions of the Community’ relationship, GEICO will receive entitlement to the GEICO Garage, a parking garage adjacent to the Amway Center and located beside I-4. The entitlement to the City of Orlando parking facility will bring a revenue stream to the city. As another element of the partnership, GEICO also receives designation as the Official Auto Insurance of the Orlando Magic and beginning this season, will receive a digital signage package inside the Amway Center, presence on the Magic’s official website, OrlandoMagic.com, and will receive print advertisements in the game-day program, in-game radio spots and be incorporated into a number of promotions throughout the season such as giveaways and halftime sponsorship.

“We are honored to have GEICO join our ‘Champions of the Community’ partnership category for the new Amway Center,” Orlando Magic President Alex Martins said. “GEICO has been a partner with the Orlando Magic for more than 10 years, and in that time has demonstrated the qualities that align with our ‘Champions of the Community’ partners. We look forward to incorporating GEICO into our Central Florida fan base and for them to play an integral role in the new Amway Center for many years to come.”

“GEICO is proud and pleased to join the Orlando Magic and Amway Center as a ‘Champions of the Community’ partner,” said Ted Ward, GEICO vice president of marketing. “The Orlando Magic is a real champion of the community through its sponsorships and scholarships. We look forward to continuing our partnership with this outstanding franchise.”

GEICO joins the Orlando Magic and Amway Center as the fourth “Champions of the Community’ partner, joining PepsiCo, AirTran Airways and Harris Corporation. Opening in the fall of 2010, the facility, which will be operated by the City of Orlando and owned by the Central Florida Community, will compete to host major national events, concerts and family shows and serve as the new home of the Orlando Magic.

Aug 30

Playbook: The Corner Three-Pointer

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Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Over the last three years, the three-point shot has been used by the Orlando Magic as one of the primary weapons of choice in their offensive attack. There are many critics that bemoan head coach Stan Van Gundy‘s dependence of the three-pointer in the Magic’s philosophy on offense, yet they ignore the fact that threes are one of the most efficient shots in basketball — to be more specific, the corner three.

Why take a long two?

It’s no coincidence, then, that Orlando led the NBA in three-pointers made and attempted, while also putting up less shots from 16-23 feet than any other team. It should be noted that the Houston Rockets, noted for their basketball analytics, were second in the latter category. The Magic, too, dedicate themselves to the numbers, so there’s a method to the madness when it comes to their three-point happy ways.

A lot of people assume that the method primarily surrounds just chucking up threes and seeing what happens, but that’s not the case. Orlando makes an effort to seek out the corner three-pointer when executing some of their sets offensively. It’s why the Boston Celtics, in the 2010 NBA Eastern Conference Finals, made sure to not allow the Magic to get those shots.

It’s an easy thing to overlook because nearly everyone remembers the end result when it comes to certain plays. But like Bret “Hitman” Hart, Orlando takes pride in the excellence of execution. There is a grand design taking place when the Magic go through the motions on each possession on offense, trying to find the optimum shot to take as the situation presents itself.

How does Orlando maneuver the offense to create corner three-point shots?

Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 30

The Logic Behind Variable Pricing for Tickets

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Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images

Via Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel:

The Orlando Magic are borrowing a page from the movie industry’s playbook.

Just as it costs more to attend a Friday-night premiere than a Tuesday matinee, the Magic also will base their single-game ticket prices on demand this upcoming season. A ticket to watch the team host the star-studded Miami Heat, Boston Celtics or Los Angeles Lakers will cost more than a ticket in the exact same seat for, say, a game against the lowly Sacramento Kings.

For the first time in franchise history, the Magic will employ variable pricing for single-game tickets to all 41 of their regular-season home contests. Team officials will set prices based largely on the game’s day of the week and the quality of the opponent. […]

Variable pricing is becoming increasingly popular throughout the NBA, with at least the Atlanta Hawks, Houston Rockets, New Orleans Hornets and Utah Jazz also planning to use it in 2010-11.

Makes sense from an economic point of view — it’s an efficient way to make money.

Considering the Orlando Magic will be sporting a payroll over $92 million this year, before accounting for the luxury tax hit, it’s only logical for ownership to squeeze out every last penny in a revenue stream that is going to be bolstered by the opening of the Amway Center.

This topic was touched upon by Kevin Arnovitz of TrueHoop a little over a week ago. Here’s what he had to say about variable pricing for tickets:

What does this mean for the average fan? He’ll have to be as precise in his purchasing strategy as the team is in its sales strategy. To maximize your dollars, first figure out the variables you value more (and less) than the rest of the customer base. In other words, apply Moneyball to your ticket-buying. The buying public usually prefers to consume live entertainment Friday-Sunday nights. If you don’t have kids, or if late nights during the week don’t bother you, zero in on the Monday-Thursday columns on the schedule. Second, what’s worth more to you — three games against mediocre opponents or one tantalizing matchup? All things being equal, superstars and the league’s premier teams generally put on a better show, but a variable pricing structure might overvalue brand names. If you’re a die-hard basketball fan, you probably have a better appreciation for the Sacramento Kings than the average New Orleanian, who might not know who Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins are. Watching the Hornets against an upstart Kings team will likely offer you the best bang for your basketball buck. Finally, seat location remains one of the most elastic variables in ticket-pricing. Determining which vantage point you value most relative to the median buyer is crucial in getting the most out of your purchase. As someone who needs to be between the baselines, I owned center-court seats in the first row of the upper bowl at Staples Center for years and paid less than half of what a corner seat 25 rows up from the floor cost.

Interesting stuff, to say the least.

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