Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 226

Jun 16

Magic Basketball Mailbag, 6/16/10

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Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images

Here’s another installment of the Magic Basketball Mailbag.

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What I would like to see this offseason (one can dream) is a push for a sign and trade for LeBron or Wade. Either one matched with Howard would be a dynasty for years to come, comparable to or maybe even greater than Shaq/Kobe era. A starting 5 of Jameer, LeBron/Wade, Barnes, Bass, Howard would be lethal. Maybe we can include Rashard and VC in the deal. Is this total fantasy or is this something that can be accomplished? With the crushing finishes the last 2 seasons and the new mega arena opening, I would think this is something ownership would want to shoot for.

A sign-and-trade for LeBron James or Dwyane Wade would be practically impossible. It’s nice to think about the possibilities, but it’s fruitless to think they’re possible realities.

However, that doesn’t mean something can’t be done with players like Carlos Boozer, Chris Bosh, or Amar’e Stoudemire. Granted, the odds that either Boozer, Bosh, or Stoudemire come to the Orlando Magic are extremely low. Let’s make that clear. There’s almost no way that the Magic could trade for someone in that triumvirate, but they do have the pieces to accommodate a move theoretically. General manager Otis Smith always talks about assets and he has plenty of them to make a splash — Ryan Anderson, Brandon Bass, Marcin Gortat, Mickael Pietrus, trade exception of roughly $6.9 million, and draft picks. It’d be tough to move Vince Carter, but he is essentially an expiring contract that can be used to match salaries if necessary. Would those pieces be enough to trade for a big-time player? Maybe.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if Smith explored the possibility of acquiring a power forward that is a stud and workhorse, given that the last two teams to beat Orlando in the playoffs had monster frontcourts and will remain threats to them for the immediate future. Again, no one should expect anything to happen but Smith likes to play things close to the vest, so don’t put it past him to try to make something happen behind the scenes.

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Jun 15

Orlando Magic Give an Assist to Feed the Children

Via the Orlando Magic:

Feed The Children will bring eight semi tractor-trailers full of food and personal care items to help 3,200 Orlando-area families on Wednesday, June 16. Orlando Magic Community Ambassadors, former NBA players Nick Anderson and Bo Outlaw will attend the distribution to help hand out boxes to families.

The distribution is the latest stop on Feed The Children’s Americans Feeding Americans Caravan, which has helped more than 100,000 families across the country in cities that have been affected by the nation’s economic downturn. . An additional 100,000 across the nation are targeted to receive assistance by the end of this year.

Nearly one in four Orlando children is considered impoverished, and 41,410 children are below the poverty line in Orange County—enough to fill the Amway Arena nearly 2.5 times. Orlando is ranked fifth in the nation for cities with highest food hardship percentages. The state of Florida is not far behind with a ranking of 12th in the nation for states with the highest food hardship percentages.

Feed The Children partner agency, The Salvation Army of Orlando, pre-identified the 3,200 recipient families. Each family will receive a 25-pound box of food, a 10-pound box of personal care items and a box of Avon products. The boxes are designed to help a family of four for up to one week.

Jun 15

Tuesday’s Magic Word

  • George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel: “There’s a good reason for the split. Turk wasn’t The One. He had a lot of nice qualities, like being able to hit long-range shots, get to the basket, and run point if need be. He also needed a long-term contract to stay. The Magic wisely decided not to re-sign him, and got Vince Carter in a sign-and-trade. Hedo bolted to Toronto. Better fit. Or so we thought. Carter disappeared for long stretches in the Eastern Conference Finals against Boston, prompting people to consider a do-over. I’ve got a number of e-mails of prove it. Conversations, too. The Sentinel is asking the question: “Would you welcome Hedo Turkoglu back to the Magic?” Well, no. He’s old(er) and the [Orlando] Magic need to get better. They get better by getting bigger.”
  • Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel suggests that Doc Rivers, former head coach of the Orlando Magic, should retire to his home in the City Beautiful if the Boston Celtics beat the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2010 NBA Finals: “I spoke with Doc for a column when the Magic were playing the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals and he reiterated what he has said in the past. He said every year he misses his family more and more, and the pull to step away from coaching — at least for a couple of seasons — grows stronger. In a few months, for instance, his son Austin, one of the top high school basketball players in the country, will be a senior at Winter Park. Doc has made it known how much it kills him inside to miss so many of his kids’ games and activities.”
  • The evolution of the Magic logo.
  • Dwight Howard: “I wanted to tell you guys about what I was doing last week. I’m not just sitting around and feeling sorry for myself about losing to Boston. I decided to get back to work on my game immediately, so I went to Houston to work out with Hall of Fame center Hakeem “The Dream’’ Olajuwon. We worked three hours a day for five days last week. [...] He has so much knowledge about playing in the post and I’m just trying to be a sponge and soak up everything that he teaches me. Some of it is stuff that we already work on in practice every day, so it’s just a matter of me working on it more and more. But Hakeem showed me some things with footwork and shots off fakes to get free. He was always so patient in the post and it was like he had defenders on a string with his moves. So I’m just trying to pick up as much as I can from him.”
  • Rob Mahoney of ProBasketballTalk offers his opinion on Orlando’s new logo.
  • Ditto with Trey Kerby of Ball Don’t Lie: “Jokes aside, it’s a nice logo, if not a game-changer. If they’re shooting for something new that still calls back to the original Magic symbol, they got it. I’ll miss the old font (and still miss the old pinstriped jerseys) but this is more modern for sure. I wouldn’t necessarily buy it on a hat, but then I don’t wear hats that often. Let us know what you think in the comments.”
  • The Magic are going to hold draft workouts for five different prospects.

Jun 15

Orlando Magic Unveil New Logo

Via the Orlando Magic:

In anticipation of the opening of the team’s new home, the Amway Center, the Orlando Magic have updated its primary logo. This new look ‘turns the page’ on the next chapter in Orlando sports history. As the team and the Magic brand continue to grow, the logo evolves with a stronger, cleaner, more timeless design to match the team’s championship ideals.

The new logo incorporates the Magic’s current jersey wordmark giving a more integrated look. It also continues the team’s colors with the Magic blue, Magic black and Magic silver. The updated look includes the team’s current secondary logo with the iconic star ball for a smooth transition from old to new, building on the heritage and history of the Magic from its birth in 1989.

“The Orlando Magic is an organization whose mission is for excellence both on and off the court. The jersey worn by our team and represented so well by each of our players is a direct reflection of that excellence, which made for a seamless transition from jersey to logo,” said Magic Chief Operating Officer Alex Martins. “This new logo signifies the beginning of a new era of excellence for the Orlando Magic and our fans. We are excited about where our team is and the direction we are headed as we build on the legend already created and look forward to what the future holds.”

Jun 15

Magic Basketball Mailbag, 6/15/10

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Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Welcome to the inaugural installment of Magic Basketball Mailbag.

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Will the Magic get rid of Vince? Can the Magic get rid of Vince?

‘Will’ and ‘can’ are two different words.

According to Hoopdata.com, Vince Carter is on the hook to be paid approximately $17.5 million next year, with a guaranteed salary of $4 million in 2011-2012 out of a contract that is $18.3 million. Carter is, more or less, an expiring contact but which team in the NBA would want him? Expiring contracts are always valuable commodities in the league but it’s highly unlikely that general manager Otis Smith can trade Carter unless he’s willing to part with players of value, like Marcin Gortat for example. That’s a price Smith will have to pay to accommodate a move. If Smith is able to package Carter in a deal and find a trade partner, then yes, he will be traded but the odds of that happening are low.

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Jun 14

Monday’s Magic Word

  • John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com: “The [Orlando] Magic’s consensus All-NBA center spent five days in Houston last week working out with legendary Hall of Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon. The two worked for three hours a day, drilling on a variety of post moves, face-up jump shots and baby hooks off pump fakes. The idea was to help [Dwight] Howard add more weapons to his offensive arsenal when foes look to choke him off with sagging defenses. [...] Howard said that Olajuwon taught him several footwork drills and combination moves that he can work on throughout the summer as he travels the globe. He said he hopes to work out with Olajuwon again in August when he’s in Senegal and he might visit Olajuwon again prior to training camp for one more refresher course.”
  • More from Denton: “Dwight Howard wasn’t just slapping high fives, handing out one hug after another, posing for pictures with babies and showing off his bowling prowess Sunday afternoon at Altamonte Bowling Lanes. The superstar center was also fulfilling a promise to a new friend, and also making a lifetime of memories for a special segment of his fanbase. Asked a month ago by 19-year-old Charbel “Big Bubba” El-Khoury, who suffers from Down’s Syndrome, if he would participate in the 2010 Bowl-A-Thon to benefit the Special Olympics of Seminole County, Howard pledged his attendance. Then, the first-team All-NBA star went out of his way to make it happen. [...] “Big Bubba” was so excited at the prospect of bowling with his hero on Sunday that he awoke at 6 a.m. and dressed himself in Magic blue. But that excitement was nothing compared to the smiles and genuine joy that he exuded each frame that he and Howard bowled together on Sunday.”
  • Tania Ganguli of the Orlando Sentinel previews the 2010 NBA Free Agency class, beginning with Carlos Boozer: “You might have spotted Boozer at Amway Arena during the Eastern Conference Finals. He’s been making the rounds since the Jazz’s season ended. Boozer flirted with wanting out of Utah last year, saying he wanted to play for the Miami Heat or Chicago Bulls. That upset Jazz fans. It wasn’t the first time pending free agency landed Boozer in a pickle.”
  • If the Boston Celtics win the 2010 NBA Finals, what does that mean for the Orlando Magic? Does the loss in the Eastern Conference Finals make it easier to bear? Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post leaves those questions out there for people to answer for themselves.
  • According to statistical plus/minus, Rashard Lewis‘ 34-point, 11-rebound, 7-assist outing in Game 2 of the 2009 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers ranks as the third-best individual performance in a Finals loss. Ahead of Shawn Kemp, Michael Jordan, and a bevy of other historically great players.
  • Just a heads up, I’m going to do a mailbag tomorrow. If you haven’t sent in your questions already, make sure to do so before the end of the evening. Thanks!

Jun 14

Yes, Penny Hardaway Was That Good

Jun 13

Sunday’s Magic Word

  • Dan Savage of OrlandoMagic.com: “While [Marcin] Gortat may be the most intimidating member of his teammates in the ring – his sheer size makes him resemble Rocky IV’s Ivan Drago whenever he swings away at a sparring partner – he’s not the only [Orlando] Magic player involved in stepping between the ropes. Rogowski routinely brings each member of Orlando’s roster to Gym Rat Boxing & Fitness during the offseason. After the team spends their entire season working on the basketball court, Rogowski finds that a different training method assists in keeping their excitement level high. It’s an idea that has proven results. Players such as Ryan Anderson, Brandon Bass and Adonal Foyle have even adopted boxing into their regular season routine, in order to keep their conditioning level high when they’re not getting as many minutes on the court. Former members of the Magic, Courtney Lee and Tony Battie, still migrate back during the offseason to continue their training in the ring.”
  • Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post offers some commentary at potential draft prospects for the Orlando Magic. Remember, the Magic have the 29th and 59th picks in the 2010 NBA Draft.
  • Matt Moore of ProBasketballTalk chimes in on Dwight Howard working out with Hakeem Olajuwon in Houston: “Howard’s only true weak point in his game is his lack of a genuine post game. He has a semi-functional driving hook, which is like trying to kick-start that 1978 Volvo in your uncle’s backyard, half the time it just kicks out smoke. He’s got a small turnaround floater, but it mostly looks like an accident. His up-and-under dunk is solid and practiced, but defensible, especially in a series with time to prepare. Which is what makes Howard’s potential work with Olajuwon (and we have no confirmation they’re working out) so exciting/downright terrifying. He’s already one of the best players in the league, an MVP candidate. Olajuwon is arguably the greatest center of the last 30 years, one of the greatest centers of all time, and the strongest part of his game was his footwork and offensive prowess. The Dream could hurt you in a million different ways, stringing together moves in combinations his opponent couldn’t prepare for. That may be the best thing Olajuwon can teach Howard.”
  • Ryen Russillo of ESPN Insider: “[Willie] Warren has a chance to go in the first round based on his ability to get to the rim. This past season was a disaster though. His shooting was terrible and the team fell apart with him as the leader. Ask any scout, and you’ll hear horror stories about Warren’s immaturity and lack of commitment. If Warren doesn’t grow up, he will be a waste of a pick.”

Jun 13

Magic Basketball Mailbag Debut

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Quick announcement.

Inspired by other sites in the blogosphere and after receiving positive feedback with the idea on Twitter a few days ago, I’d like to start a ‘mailbag feature’ at Magic Basketball.

It’s quite simple, really. You, the reader, e-mail me inquiries related to the Orlando Magic and I’ll be more than happy to answer them with either statistical analysis or detailed commentary. I will respect and maintain anonymity for each person that asks a question but if you’d like to pass a name along, feel free to notify me in your message and I’ll gladly grant the 15 minutes of fame. Also, I’ll post questions and answers once a week, at minimum, but depending on how many messages I get in my inbox, I may make multiple posts every couple of days.

I figure, more than anything else, the mailbags will offer a chance for you to get answers to your questions and make yourselves feel like you’re part of the site, which exists solely for your benefit to learn more about the Magic.

Let’s give this a trial run and see how it goes next week.

You can reach me at eddy.rivera7 [at] gmail [dot] com

Jun 11

2009-2010 Player Evaluation: Dwight Howard

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Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

Synergy-fueled player evaluations, with the help of other metrics, are always fun.

Today, the centers.

2009-2010 regular season Dwight Howard
Games Played 82
Minutes Played 34.7
adj. +/- +24.97
net +/- +10.2
statistical +/- +7.21
PER 24.0
WARP 19.2
Win Shares/48 .223

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