Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 228

Jun 08

Tuesday’s Magic Word

  • Dan Savage of OrlandoMagic.com: “There are a lot of players in the league that would be happy to be in Marcin Gortat’s shoes. He’s played an integral role on a team that’s reached the Eastern Conference Finals in two straight seasons. He’s won over the hearts of fans throughout Orlando and in his home country of Poland. And he’s only in the second year of a contract that makes him one of the best paid young centers in the league. But the ‘Polish Machine’ is far from satisfied. Just a week after his team was eliminated from the Eastern Conference Finals, Gortat is back at the RDV Sportsplex training and working on aspects of his game. Like his squad, Gortat feels that he took a step backwards this season and he’s anxious to get to work this offseason on improving his game in a number of ways.”
  • Marcin Gortat chats with Savage in a Q/A session: “After we finished the season, right after the game, I sat down and asked myself ‘what kind of season did I play? How did it happen that we lost in the Eastern Conference Finals? This team was built to win a championship, we lost and what did I do to help the team?’ Honestly, I said ‘I had exactly the same season like I had last year.’ I had a little drop in points, but I went up a little bit in blocks. Rebounds were pretty much the same. Everything was pretty much the same. I just realized that I had the same season. But then I came back home and after a couple of days I realized this season was (really bad) for me actually. My goal was to have bigger statistics, play better, have a bigger role on the team, be more aggressive on offense and I didn’t do any of those things. So I just realized that I had a (really bad) season, because I just played at the same level.”
  • Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel responds to Charles Oakley after he made disparaging remarks towards Dwight Howard last week in a radio interview.
  • David Aldridge of NBA.com: “One year removed from its own Finals appearance, the core of the Magic is set for years to come: Howard in the middle, Rashard Lewis at power forward and [Jameer] Nelson at point guard. [Otis] Smith will have to make decisions on forward Matt Barnes (who says he’ll opt out of the final year of his contract), on Vince Carter (who has one fully guaranteed year remaining on his contract and a partial guarantee for the 2011-12 season — which would make him an attractive piece to trade). Oh, and valuable bench player J.J. Redick is a restricted free agent this summer, too. But Smith is not looking to make wholesale changes. [...] Orlando’s ownership has given Smith the green light to go into the luxury tax to keep the team together, and the Magic will be paying tax for the foreseeable future. He already has a general sense of how much the Magic can spend next season. That overarching plan is why Smith has the freedom to do as much or as little as he chooses to alter the roster going into next season. And it also gives him the final say on everything. So, at least for the moment, he’s immune to player grousing about minutes or contracts; there is no room between him and [Stan] Van Gundy.”
  • Ben Q Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post offers commentary on Smith’s comments to Aldridge.

Jun 08

2009-2010 Player Evaluation: J.J. Redick

Photobucket

Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images

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

Today, the shooting guards.

2009-2010 regular season J.J. Redick
Games Played 82
Minutes Played 22.0
adj. +/- -9.19
net +/- -6.1
statistical +/- +0.99
PER 15.0
WARP 2.1
Win Shares/48 .173

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Jun 08

2009-2010 Player Evaluation: Vince Carter

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Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images

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

Today, the shooting guards.

2009-2010 regular season Vince Carter
Games Played 75
Minutes Played 30.8
adj. +/- +1.95
net +/- +7.5
statistical +/- +2.62
PER 17.1
WARP 4.3
Win Shares/48 .154

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Jun 07

Orlando Magic Host 2010 Summer Youth Basketball Camps

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Via the Orlando Magic:

The Orlando Magic will host over 20 sessions of youth basketball camps, designed for boys and girls of all skill levels ages 7-16, all across Central Florida this summer. While many camp dates are already sold out, limited space is still available, including the first-ever camp at the new Orlando Magic South Econ Community Gym from June 14-18.

In addition to the 18 sessions of full-day camps, the Magic are also hosting an overnight camp with Jason Williams from July 5-9 at Warner University, which includes all meals and housing, as well as a special day camp June 28-July 2 with Vince Carter at the Orlando Sports Center. Two half-day camps will also be offered June 21-25, with a morning session at the Highland Park Church of the Nazarene and an afternoon session at Winter Haven High School, and a one-day mini camp for youth ages 5-9 will also be offered from 9 a.m.-Noon on July 24 at the Orlando Magic’s practice court at the RDV Sportsplex.

Each camp session offers instruction provided by the National Basketball Academy and other top area coaches, personalized attention with a coach (no greater than a 1:8 coach-to-camper ratio), drills, skill development, live games and an individual player evaluation. All participants will also receive an official camp T-shirt and headband, a full-size Magic basketball, a ticket to a 2010-11 Orlando Magic home game in the new Amway Center, daily giveaways, prizes, awards and other trivia, contests and games. Guest appearances are subject to availability; past appearances have included Vince Carter, J.J. Redick, Dwight Howard and Orlando Magic Community Ambassadors Nick Anderson and Bo Outlaw.

Jun 07

2009-2010 Player Evaluation: Jason Williams

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Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

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

Today, the point guards.

2009-2010 regular season Jason Williams
Games Played 82
Minutes Played 20.8
adj. +/- -2.59
net +/- -1.4
statistical +/- -0.45
PER 12.9
WARP 2.1
Win Shares/48 .127

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Jun 07

2009-2010 Player Evaluation: Jameer Nelson

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Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

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

Today, the point guards.

2009-2010 regular season Jameer Nelson
Games Played 65
Minutes Played 28.6
adj. +/- -4.14
net +/- +1.5
statistical +/- +0.22
PER 15.5
WARP 3.0
Win Shares/48 .130

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Jun 06

Sunday’s Magic Word

  • Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post: “In an Orlando Magic season which featured uneven or unimpressive performances from All-Stars Jameer Nelson, Rashard Lewis, and Vince Carter, J.J. Redick‘s development into one of the league’s most reliable reserves came as a welcome surprise, but it shouldn’t have. Not to play the “I told you so” card, but I did mention in last season’s Redick evaluation that he shoot a flukily low percentage on long two-pointers, which crippled his field goal percentage and confidence. But he showed in the playoffs that he developed as a playmaker and a defender, which was enough for me to believe that he would put it together this season. And, in putting it together, Redick wound up producing 1.12 points per possession this season, according to Synergy Sports Technlogy, the most efficient mark in the league of any player with at least 700 possessions. Redick’s the sort of versatile, mid-usage, high-efficiency role player on whom any team can rely, and his performance this year no doubt earned him millions of dollars as he seeks a new contract this summer.”
  • Mickael Pietrus gets a B for the 2009-2010 season.
  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel evaluates general manager Otis Smith and head coach Stan Van Gundy: “[Otis] Smith sets a high bar for the Magic. He says the team’s goal is to win an NBA title, and he doesn’t shy away from the pressure. He made a smart move to not pay Hedo Turkoglu the $52 million over five years that Toronto offered, because such a commitment would have hurt the Magic in the long-term. Smith’s acquisitions of free agents Matt Barnes and Jason Williams were brilliant because the signings yielded two key contributors at bargain salaries. Smith doesn’t receive enough credit for assembling a roster filled with good guys. He also showed patience in keeping J.J. Redick after Redick played sparingly over his first two seasons. Redick blossomed the last two seasons and has become a valuable contributor.”
  • Make sure to check out an invaluable photo archive at the Orlando Magic’s official website.

Jun 04

Friday’s Magic Word

  • Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post: “Again, [Stan] Van Gundy has come under fire for his offense, which I don’t understand. Surrounding Howard with three-point shooters makes sense, and Howard’s about the last guy in the league who needs “protection” from a “true” power forward. No, Lewis is the right fit at that position. My issue is that Van Gundy needs to find ways to get Lewis more touches. He’s a brilliant scorer, but too often gets lost in the shuffle. Whether that’s Carter and Nelson calling their own number too often, or Lewis not making himself available, or Van Gundy not getting him involved, or some combination of the three, I’m not sure. But Lewis is too talented to keep loitering on the weak side, waiting for a kickout, for 33 minutes a night. Going forward, that’s the biggest concern about Lewis.”
  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel evaluates Vince Carter, Rashard Lewis, Matt Barnes, and Dwight Howard.
  • Jameer Nelson has a Twitter account — follow him!
  • Charles Oakley speaks his mind on Howard: “Dwight Howard is embarrassing Patrick [Ewing] if you ask me. He doesn’t have a ball player’s mind. And they tell me he is one of the best centers in the game. He wouldn’t have even made the league ten years ago. He would be on the bench. They say he won’t listen. Dwight won’t listen. How can you not listen to Patrick Ewing?”

Jun 04

Video Analysis: A Look Back at Jameer Nelson’s Best Game in the 2010 NBA Playoffs

One of the major storylines to take away with the 2010 NBA Playoffs winding down, as the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers are facing off against each other to determine which team will stand alone at the end of the season with another championship in their trophy case, was the Jameer Nelson‘s return to All-Star form for the Orlando Magic. Nelson had a number of standpoint performances in the playoffs for the Magic, but one game stood out from the pack. And that was Nelson’s Game 3 performance against the Charlotte Bobcats in the first round (Game 1 in the series was a close second).

It should be noted that Nelson did this against the NBA’s best defense based on Defensive Rating during the regular season. Take a look.

Jun 03

Thursday’s Magic Word

  • Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post: “Overall, [Dwight] Howard ranked in the 85th percentile of offensive players in 2008/09, compared to the 90th percentile this season. There is no way to argue that he got worse. None. I guess the commercials he filmed didn’t actually affect his game then, right? But plenty of people, it seems, expect more from Howard. They want him to be a back-to-the-basket nightmare with a zillion and one moves, capable of scoring 25 points a night while still locking down the defensive end. They aren’t crazy. Given his age, it’s reasonable that he’ll one day get there. Where I think they’re off is in their belief that he can only become a truly elite if he does that. As it stands, Howard is the best player at his position and, at worst, the 5th-best player in the league. He could make no improvement whatsoever for the next several seasons, maintain that standing, and still be elite.”
  • Marcin Gortat gets a C+ for the season.
  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel evaluates J.J. Redick, Jason Williams, and Jameer Nelson.
  • Eric Freeman of The Baseline chimes in on Dwight Howard seeking out Hakeem Olajuwon during the off-season: “Hakeem is actually one of the better players Howard could turn to for advice. As a youngster, Olajuwon relied more on athleticism than skill, in a manner relatively similar to Dwight. Howard is still only 24, but Olajuwon can still help him transition from athletic dynamo to a more refined player. Patrick Ewing has helped Howard’s offensive game considerably, but it too often seems as if Ewing is trying to turn Dwight into a veteran big man rather than a dynamic athletic talent who also happens to have a couple excellent post moves. Olajuwon could understand Howard better. The main question is whether or not he can have much of an impact in only a few sessions.”
  • Spiffy ‘at rim defenses’ data charts, courtesy of Tom Haberstroh of Hardwood Paroxysm.
  • Jordan Schultz of NBA FanHouse … without comment: “[...] what about Jameer Nelson? More specifically, what was Van Gundy doing playing him such a heavy dosage of minutes? After he torched an incumbent Raymond Felton and glacial Mike Bibby in the earlier rounds, Nelson was everyone’s darling entering the conference finals. Rajon Rondo, however, quickly changed this sentiment. In beating him in every way possible, Rondo has made Nelson look like the aging point guard Bibby appeared to be in the Eastern Conference semis. Nelson has never been a burner. He’s a pace-setter, a strong-willed floor general who can score and moderately facilitate, but can also be scored upon. In this series, he looked tired, sluggish and outclassed. Nevermind the poor shooting numbers and sub-par scoring … “guarding” Rondo he was absolutely gobbled up, costing Howard to pick up bail-out fouls and forcing Orlando into the hands of the Celtics. Once again, the player deserves criticism, but the real responsibility falls on the coach.”
  • Nelson’s True Shooting Percentage was .559 percent in the 2010 NBA Eastern Conference Finals. Rajon Rondo? .465 percent … that stat alone refutes Schultz’s assertion that Nelson was outclassed. I rarely, if ever, criticize another writer because who am I to say who is good or bad? But Schultz’s article today was poorly written. End of story.
  • Neil Paine of Basketball-Reference looks at how team balance affects the outcome of a Finals series.
  • Daniel Marks of Dime Magazine states that Jason Williams is one of 10 free agents that nobody is talking about: “After his one year retirement, Williams has returned to the NBA with the Magic and proven to be a very solid backup point guard for them. Williams shot 38 percent from three this year, and averaged 6.0 points and 3.5 assists in 20 minutes, proving he definitely can be a good backup point guard for the next few years. Plus, he can add much needed depth for a team looking for some.”
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