Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 227

Jul 14

Magic Basketball Mailbag, 7/14/10

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Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images

Here’s another installment of the Magic Basketball Mailbag.

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If the Orlando Magic can’t obtain a top star, why not build one up and invest time into Marcin Gortat or Ryan Anderson to be our power forward in the starting line up? They both have size.

Against the elite teams in the NBA, which — for now — includes the Los Angeles Lakers, the Miami Heat, and the Boston Celtics, it makes little sense for the Orlando Magic to start either Ryan Anderson or Marcin Gortat at power forward. The main problem, more than anything else, is that Rashard Lewis would start at the small forward position and that would mean he’d have to defend players like LeBron James, Paul Pierce, and others. At small forward, Lewis doesn’t have the lateral quickness to keep players in front of him or the speed to chase them on the perimeter. This isn’t new, by the way. Lewis dealt with the same issues when he played with the Seattle SuperSonics.

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Jul 14

Quentin Richardson Highlights For Your Viewing Pleasure

Jul 13

MyTown: Orlando with Rashard Lewis

Via Yardbarker:

Jul 13

Tuesday’s Magic Word

  • George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel: “All of these are ancillary moves in the big-picture scheme of Dwight HowardJameer Nelson, [Rashard] Lewis and [Vince] Carter. They are the nucleus of the Magic roster that has to wrestle with the James Gang in South Florida. You can’t rip [Otis] Smith because James bolted for Miami. Smith put together the best team possible — in his estimation — to compete and win an NBA title. Stuff happens along the way. The Magic regressed by not advancing to the Finals again last season. Will they regress again in 2011? At least they are in the conversation of teams contending in the East, joining The Other Big Three — coming back to Boston — and the Heat in the preseason shuffle. Holding onto [J.J.] Redick or plugging in [Quentin] Richardson for [Matt] Barnes will not shift the odds in Orlando’s favor, but it will keep Smith’s game plan intact for the most part. It appears that will have to be enough.”
  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “Otis Smith insists he hasn’t made up his mind whether to match the Chicago Bulls’ three-year, $19 million offer sheet for shooting guard J.J. Redick. Smith has been known to misdirect the media on player personnel moves, so take that with a grain of salt. But one thing is certain: If Smith decides he wants to retain Redick, he’ll have to receive approval from Owner Rich DeVos and the team’s president and chief executive officer, Bob Vander Weide. After all, re-signing Redick would add significantly to the Magic’s already hefty luxury-tax hit.”
  • John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com: “Because the Magic are already a luxury-tax-paying team, Chicago reportedly front-loaded its contract offer to Redick to make it more difficult for Orlando to match. The deal calls for Redick to make approximately $7.5 million in the first year, $6.5 million in the second season and $5 million in the third. Smith admitted that those figures were somewhat surprising, but not surprising considering the improvement that Redick made this season and the toughness that he played with during the playoffs. […] The Magic must make a decision by Friday, and Smith plans to use all of his allotted time to make that decision. Richardson, 30, is primarily a small forward, but he can play shooting guard as well. Because Barnes is still considered in play, the decision for Smith could come down to Redick or Barnes. Whichever one it is will be the 12th player on the roster with only a minimum-salaried third point guard left to still add.”
  • Quentin Richardson stays with a contender.
  • Tim Povtak of NBA FanHouse: “Instead of sitting behind James in Miami or Paul Pierce in Boston, Richardson will likely be starting at small forward for the Magic, who were looking to replace free agent Matt Barnes. That role will make him the guy assigned to slow both James and Pierce — the Magic’s Big Show stopper. In replacing Barnes, who is expected to sign elsewhere, Richardson is giving the Magic a better shooter, bigger scoring threat and a defender who is about the same. And like many around the league, he is more curious about Miami’s Big Three — and how they will come together — than worried about them.”
  • Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post has notes from Richardson’s media availability.
  • The top 25 dunks of the decade, featuring Vince Carter, Dwight Howard, and others.
  • Daniel Marks of Dime Magazine rates the Orlando Magic as the second-best team in the Eastern Conference behind the Miami Heat: “While the Magic will finish second in their own division, they will also be second in the conference. With two straight trips to the Eastern Conference Finals, the Magic have a ton of talent still on the roster. If they trade Marcin Gortat for some wing help (in addition to signing Quentin Richardson), they will probably be back there. Also, the roster has had a year to gel, and with no major changes like last offseason when Hedo Turkoglu left and Vince Carter was brought in, they should be ready.”
  • A must-read Q/A with Rony Seikaly.

Jul 13

Magic Sign Free Agent Quentin Richardson

Elsa/Getty Images

Via the Orlando Magic:

The Orlando Magic have signed free agent guard/forward Quentin Richardson, General Manager Otis Smith announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deal are not disclosed.

“Quentin (Richardson) is a solid perimeter defender and brings an element of toughness,” said Smith. “At the same time, he also is a tremendous shooter from long range, which fits our style of play very well. We’re excited to add him to our team.”

Richardson (#5, 6’6”, 228, 4/13/80) played in 76 games (75 starts) last season with Miami, averaging 8.9 ppg., 4.9 rpg. and 1.2 apg. in 27.4 minpg. He also appeared in five postseason contests, averaging 9.8 ppg., 3.8 rpg., 1.6 apg. and 1.60 stlpg. in 29.8 minpg. Richardson shot a team-best .397 (142-358) from three-point range, which tied for 21st in the NBA. He scored in double figures 28 times and had seven 20-point outings, including a season-high 25 points on Mar. 4 vs. the L.A. Lakers. Richardson led (or tied) the team in scoring once, in rebounding 12 times and in assists once.

It’s official.

Jul 13

Dwight Howard Nominated for Induction Into the Bowling Hall of Fame

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Photo by Gary Bassing/Orlando Magic

Via the BPAA:

From Hollywood “A”-listers and the stars of the silver screen to pro athletes and celebrities who like to bowl for fun, the revitalization of bowling is evident across all sectors of pop culture. To pay tribute to celebrities and notable individuals who help contribute to the enduring popularity of bowling, the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America (BPAA) announced today its 2010 class of nine nominees for consideration into the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame.

Nominees include Hollywood megastars Bill Murray (Kingpin), Jeff Bridges (Big Lebowski) and Paris Hilton, pop music artists and bowling aficionados Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift, NBA athletes and recreational bowlers Chris Paul and Dwight Howard and TV personalities Jimmy Fallon and Kim Kardashian (see below for complete list of nominees with bowling-themed biographical information).

For the first time in bowling history, the industry is opening up the Hall of Fame celebrity induction process to a public vote. Beginning on July 12, consumers will be empowered to vote online at www.gobowling.com for the candidate who they would most like to see forever enshrined in bowling history. The voting process will occur throughout July with the one celebrity, the leading vote-getter, being inducted into the Celebrity Hall of Fame. The final votes will be tallied on World Record Day, August 7th, a day on which more than 3,000 centers across the United States will join forces to try to set a new world record for the most bowling games played in a 24 hour period.

Votes can be placed once per day, every day from now until August 7.

Jul 13

2009-2010 Free Agent Evaluation: Quentin Richardson

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Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

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

Today, Quentin Richardson.

2009-2010 regular season Quentin Richardson
Games Played 76
Minutes Played 27.4
adj. +/- +3.30
net +/- +6.0
statistical +/- +1.82
PER 12.9
WARP 1.4
Win Shares/48 .133

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Jul 12

Monday’s Magic Word

  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “The Orlando Magic replaced one well-traveled 30-year-old small forward with another on Monday, signing Quentin Richardson and likely parting ways with Matt Barnes. […] It is believed that Richardson signed a multiyear deal — likely three years — for between $7.5 million to $8 million. He received what remained of the Magic’s mid-level exception after the club signed point guard Chris Duhon last week. Barnes told the Sentinel that he never received an offer from the Magic and is virtually resigned to the fact his stay in Orlando is over. […] [Stan] Van Gundy said that it is his understanding that Richardson’s signing will not directly impact the Magic’s decision to match the Chicago Bulls’ three-year, $19 million offer for [J.J.] Redick.”
  • More from Schmitz: “If they want to keep [Redick] as the heir apparent to Vince Carter (who is off the books at season’s end), they will match Chicago and attempt to perhaps trade other contracts to lessen the blow. Or maybe owner Rich DeVos nods his head, pays Redick without making other sacrficies and the Magic continue to try to add a swing man and a third point guard. The Magic have assets to move. They matched backup center Marcin Gortat last summer and are paying him $34 mil over five years to play about 12 minutes behind Dwight Howard. That’s not bang for your buck, and the same could be said for little-used power Brandon Bass (four years, $16 mil).”
  • Josh Cohen of OrlandoMagic.com: “Although we still don’t know what each team will exactly look like when the 2010-11 season begins in the Fall, we do know that the Magic and Heat will be two of the best teams in the NBA. NBA analysts and critics are already predicting that the Lakers, Celtics, Magic and Heat will be the top four teams in the league. This will be the first time since the Magic entered the NBA in 1989 – one year after the Heat arrived – that the two Florida franchises will be championship contenders at the same time. Orlando and Miami met in the playoffs just once – but it was just a first round matchup in 1997. This could also be the first long-term rivalry for the Magic. Orlando squabbled with the Chicago Bulls in the mid-90’s, but that really only lasted for two NBA seasons. It’s had a brief enmity with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but that contention is officially over since LeBron is no longer involved.”
  • Reminiscing on Vince Carter’s dunk over Frederic Weis in the 2000 Summer Olympics.
  • Matt Moore of ProBasketballTalk thinks it won’t be easy for the Orlando Magic to re-sign J.J. Redick, given the offer sheet he’s received from the Chicago Bulls is lucrative.
  • Tim Povtak of NBA FanHouse: “Redick, a restricted free agent, received a 3-year, $19 million offer sheet last week from the Chicago Bulls that is front-loaded at $7 million the first year. Magic general manager Otis Smith said over the weekend that he “anticipated” matching the offer to keep Redick, who the Magic made the No. 11 pick in the 2006 Draft. Keeping Redick, though, would be especially costly. Because the Magic already are over the luxury tax limit of $70 million, any money they pay Redick would be doubled under the dollar-for-dollar tax. The offer sheet presented by the Bulls was designed to deter the Magic from matching. With the luxury tax, the Magic would be paying $14 million to keep Redick — unless they can move others off the roster.”
  • According to Rey Jefferson of Dime Magazine, Jameer Nelson and Dwight Howard are the second-best point guard/big man tandem in the NBA: “How many ESPN “Top 10 Plays” need to happen before defenders realize the obvious? If you single-cover Dwight with no weak side help, he’s going to live on alley-oops from Jameer.”

Jul 12

Source: Orlando Magic to Sign Quentin Richardson to a Multi-Year Contract

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Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Via John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com:

Unable to reach a contract agreement with gritty small forward Matt Barnes, the Orlando Magic instead agreed to a deal with veteran wing Quentin Richardson on Monday.

Just four days after inking Chris Duhon to a four-year, $15 million pact to shore up their point guard spot, the Magic landed Richardson to add depth at small forward. He’ll either start or play beind Mickael Pietrus next season. […]

Richarson, 30, is a big upgrade as far as a shooter — always a plus in an offense centered around the post play of superstar Dwight Howard. He hit 39.7 percent of his 3-pointers last season and is a career 36 percent shooter from beyond the arc. The 6-foot-7 forward averaged 8.9 points and 4.9 rebounds in 76 games (75 starts) with the Miami Heat last season.

Like Barnes, Richardson is also considered a top defender on the wing because of his strength and toughness.

Tomorrow, check back for analysis on the Richardson signing.

Jul 12

A Rivalry Ready to Explode

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Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images

Via Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel:

One of the league’s most popular players, [Dwight] Howard has been the driving force behind the [Orlando] Magic‘s comeback as a franchise and their 68-consecutive sell-out streak (including playoffs). He’s helped them to an NBA Finals appearance two years ago and to back-to-back 59-win seasons.

A two-time MVP, James sent South Florida into a frenzy with his free-agent announcement. People honked horns and cheered in bars, and the Heat quickly sold all their season tickets for the coming season.

Never has pro basketball looked so enticing and intriguing — even when Shaq played for both the Heat and Magic.

“We’ve never seen anything like this in the NBA or anywhere else in sports, really,” Magic vice president Pat Williams, a 40-year veteran of the NBA. “It’s unprecedented. It’s taken basketball in the state to its highest level.”

With the Miami Heat re-signing Dwyane Wade and bringing LeBron James and Chris Bosh aboard, and the Orlando Magic opening the Amway Center in October, we might be entering a golden age of NBA basketball in the state of Florida with two high-profile teams. The Magic have been an elite team in the league the past two years, and now the Heat will join them in the same rank. This has been mentioned before, but Orlando and Miami have never competed for titles at the same time … until now. A rivalry that has been brewing below the surface, for far too long, is ready to explode.

It’s fun to think about, actually.

Magic fans are understandably concerned about the ramifications of James, Wade, and Bosh uniting under one banner and what it means on the court. But off the floor, the Heat’s re-emergence to the national spotlight, not only in the NBA but in sports in general, will only serve to boost the Magic’s profile. Orlando’s true rival is Miami, and the storylines are oozing with sub-plots that will capture people’s attention — the “Three Kings” vs. Superman, teacher (Stan Van Gundy) vs. apprentice (Erik Spoelstra) with their mentor looming in the background (Pat Riley), and more. And the star power will be absurd, with Dwight Howard headlining the Magic’s side with the help of Jameer Nelson, Rashard Lewis, and Vince Carter. The Heat, of course, have their trio. That’s three of the best players in the league right now, coupled with numerous All-Stars.

Basketball will be played on a micro level, yes, but it’ll be neat to see Orlando and Miami battle for division titles, conference championships, and the Larry O’Brien Trophy on a macro level. Great teams in the NBA are remembered in the history books, but the same can be said about intense rivalries. After their prologue in the 1997 NBA Playoffs, the Magic and the Heat might potentially write a book to an amazing rivalry that is long overdue.

Savor it, because it should be a joy to watch.

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