Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 26

Feb 03

Grades: Indiana Pacers 98, Orlando Magic 79

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Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images

 

Indiana Pacers 98 Final
Recap | Box Score
79 Orlando Magic

Arron Afflalo
8-18 FG | 4-7 3P | 2 REB | 2 AST | 20 PTS | -4

Tasked with trying to score on one of the NBA’s premier defenders (Paul George), Afflalo made it look incredibly easy in the first half. He scored 18 points on 11 shots, capping off an excellent shooting display by making a buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of the second quarter. But Afflalo went cold after halftime, missing his last seven shots to finish with just 20 points.

Nikola Vucevic
8-16 FG | 2-2 FT | 13 REB | 0 AST | 16 PTS | -2

Vucevic played 30-plus minutes for the first time since coming back from a concussion, with the Magic ramping up his minutes game-by-game. He churned out another double-double, his 19th of the regular season (in 32 games), and held his own against Roy Hibbert — at least offensively. But Vucevic has a ways to go on defense before he can consider himself Hibbert’s equal.

Tobias Harris
4-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | -7

For a player that likes to chuck up a lot of shots, it’s unusual to look at the box score and see that Harris had less than 10 field goal attempts in a game. Part of it was due to the natural flow of the game. Part of it was due to Harris being hounded by the hyperactive Lance Stephenson.

Victor Oladipo
2-11 FG | 0-3 3P | 5 REB | 11 AST | 6 PTS | -5

Starting at point guard in place of the injured Jameer Nelson (knee), Oladipo tried his best to run the Magic’s offense as effectively as his mentor but failed. Ironically enough, it wasn’t Oladipo’s passing that was the problem, but rather his shooting. Oladipo couldn’t connect on any of his midrange jump shots whenever Orlando ran pick-and-rolls for him, which hurt the team offensively.

Indiana Pacers

The Pacers can thank their second unit (Watson-Stephenson-Granger-Scola-Mahinmi) for winning them this game. Indiana’s reserves sparked an 18-1 run, spanning from the end of the third quarter and start of the fourth quarter, that turned a close game into a blowout. Granger was the ringleader, leading the Pacers in scoring with 16 points off the bench and — more importantly — looking healthy.

Feb 03

Preview: Orlando Magic at Indiana Pacers

Essentials

  • Teams: Orlando Magic at Indiana Pacers
  • Date: February 4, 2014
  • Time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Records

  • Magic: 13-36
  • Pacers: 36-10

Probable starters

Magic:

  • Victor Oladipo
  • Arron Afflalo
  • Tobias Harris
  • Glen Davis
  • Nikola Vucevic

Pacers:

  • George Hill
  • Lance Stephenson
  • Paul George
  • David West
  • Roy Hibbert

Advanced stats

Magic:

  • Pace: 94.1 (16th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 100.7 (26th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 106.7 (18th of 30)

Pacers:

  • Pace: 93.4 (18th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 105.1 (19th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 96.6 (1st of 30)

Read about the Pacers

8 Points, 9 Seconds

Feb 02

Grades: Boston Celtics 96, Orlando Magic 89

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Photo by Steve Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

 

Boston Celtics 96 Final
Recap | Box Score
89 Orlando Magic

Arron Afflalo
6-12 FG | 5-8 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 18 PTS | -11

Nikola Vucevic
7-14 FG | 2-2 FT | 11 REB | 1 AST | 14 PTS | -4

Glen Davis
6-12 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 15 PTS | +5

Tobias Harris
6-12 FG | 1-3 3P | 5 REB | 1 AST | 13 PTS | -4

Boston Celtics

Feb 02

Preview: Orlando Magic at Boston Celtics

Essentials

  • Teams: Orlando Magic at Boston Celtics
  • Date: February 2, 2014
  • Time: 12:00 p.m.
  • Television: NBA TV
  • Arena: TD Garden

Records

  • Magic: 13-35
  • Celtics: 15-33

Probable starters

Magic:

  • Victor Oladipo
  • Arron Afflalo
  • Tobias Harris
  • Glen Davis
  • Nikola Vucevic

Celtics:

  • Rajon Rondo
  • Avery Bradley
  • Jeff Green
  • Brandon Bass
  • Jared Sullinger

Advanced stats

Magic:

  • Pace: 94.2 (16th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 100.8 (26th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 106.7 (18th of 30)

Celtics:

  • Pace: 93.3 (19th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 101.1 (24th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 105.7 (16th of 30)

Read about the Celtics

Celtics Hub

Feb 01

Grades: Orlando Magic 113, Milwaukee Bucks 102

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Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

 

Orlando Magic 113 Final
Recap | Box Score
102 Milwaukee Bucks

Arron Afflalo
7-13 FG | 6-7 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 21 PTS | +18

It’s hard to credit Afflalo’s All-Star snub for all of his performance against the Bucks. But Afflalo acknowledged after the game that not being named an All-Star “created a new level of passion and a new level of hunger.” Those new heights led to Afflalo scoring 17 points in the first half, helping stake the Magic to a lead of 20-plus points in the first 24 minutes.

Nikola Vucevic
5-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 12 PTS | +5

A blowout victory can make for a generous grader. And make no mistake — though the final margin of victory was just 11 points, Milwaukee only made it that close by outscoring the Magic by 13 in fourth quarter garbage time. But Vucevic gets an “A” independent of grade inflation. In his second game back from a concussion, he looked like his normal, Vucci Mane self.

Tobias Harris
7-18 FG | 4-5 FT | 2 BLK | 6 REB | 18 PTS | +3

Harris didn’t have the prettiest box score, shooting a hair under 39 percent from the field. But he was also on the floor when the Magic went on the run that essentially put this game out of reach — again, in the first half! His decision-making in the second half, when the game was already decided, was liberal at times, but he got into a rhythm in the fourth quarter.

Victor Oladipo
5-10 FG | 4-5 FT | 5 REB | 7 AST | 15 PTS | +2

Jameer Nelson left the game at the end of the first quarter with a sore left knee, and he did not return. In his absence, Oladipo showed his much improved game as the primary initiator of the offense. He was the common thread in the Magic’s dominant victory in the battle of the teams with the two worst records in the NBA.

Milwaukee Bucks

I know, I know. A “C” seems like an awfully weird grade for a team that got destroyed by the Magic. And in a vacuum, Milwaukee would have gotten a big ol’ F. But at this point, the Bucks aren’t exactly looking to win games. Besides, any team that has Giannis Antetokounmpo automatically gets a letter-grade bump from their baseline performance. That’s just the rule.

Jan 31

Preview: Milwaukee Bucks at Orlando Magic

Essentials

  • Teams: Milwaukee Bucks at Orlando Magic
  • Date: January 31, 2014
  • Time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Amway Center

Records

  • Bucks: 8-37
  • Magic: 12-35

Probable starters

Bucks:

  • Brandon Knight
  • Nate Wolters
  • Khris Middleton
  • Ersan Ilyasova
  • Larry Sanders

Magic:

  • Jameer Nelson
  • Victor Oladipo
  • Arron Afflalo
  • Glen Davis
  • Nikola Vucevic

Advanced stats

Bucks:

  • Pace: 91.6 (26th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 98.6 (30th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 109.1 (27th of 30)

Magic:

  • Pace: 94.1 (16th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 100.5 (27th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 106.9 (18th of 30)

Read about the Bucks

Bucksketball

Jan 30

Arron Afflalo not selected to East All-Star team

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Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Via Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel:

The Orlando Magic worried this would happen.

Arron Afflalo, their best and most consistent player this season, was snubbed tonight when the reserves were announced for the 2014 NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 16 at New Orleans Arena.

The Eastern Conference reserves are Chris Bosh, DeMar DeRozan, Roy Hibbert, Joe Johnson, Paul Millsap, Joakim Noah.

The reserves were selected through a vote of league head coaches. Each coach was required to vote for seven players within his conference: two guards, three frontcourt players and two players regardless of position. Coaches were not permitted to vote for someone from his own team.

Jan 30

Grades: Toronto Raptors 98, Orlando Magic 83

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Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images

 

Toronto Raptors 98 Final
Recap | Box Score
83 Orlando Magic

Arron Afflalo
4-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | -12

Terrence Ross did yeoman’s work defensively against Afflalo. He hounded him everywhere and used his length to disrupt Afflalo on offense. The one possession that showcased Ross’ long arms being put to good use came early in the first quarter. Afflalo received a handoff pass from Vucevic on the left wing, then curled around Vucevic’s screen to shoot an elbow jumper, only to get blocked by Ross.

Nikola Vucevic
6-12 FG | 4-4 FT | 2 STL | 10 REB | 16 PTS | -8

It had been 12 games since Vucevic last played after suffering a concussion in a game against the Los Angeles Clippers on January 6. Yet despite playing just 20 minutes, Vucevic picked up a double-double in limited playing time and didn’t miss a beat. His jump shot looked fluid and he attacked the offensive glass. Not bad for Vucevic’s first game back.

Jameer Nelson
5-15 FG | 3-6 3P | 2 REB | 4 AST | 13 PTS | -15

Medical examiners were able to identify the charred remains of Nelson’s body after he got torched by Kyle Lowry at Air Canada Centre. Lowry was ruthless in the first quarter, scoring 17 points (shooting 6-for-8 from the floor, including 5-for-5 from 3-point range) in the period and finishing the game with a near-triple double (33 points, 11 assists, seven rebounds). Nelson didn’t stand a chance.

Victor Oladipo
3-14 FG | 5-8 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 12 PTS | -17

The bright side for Oladipo is that, unlike some of his Magic counterparts, he didn’t get thoroughly outplayed by Greivis Vasquez. The downside is that Oladipo was defended by Lowry in a cross-match and struggled on offense as a result. Kudos to head coach Dwane Casey for recognizing that Lowry, a bulldog of a defender, could handle the explosive Oladipo.

Toronto Raptors

Needless to say, things got out of hand in a hurry. The Raptors, led by Lowry, went on a 3-point barrage in the first quarter, shooting 8-for-8 beyond the arc and building a double digit lead in the first quarter. Coupled with the fact that Toronto has a top 10 defense and the game was over before it really began for Orlando.

Jan 29

Preview: Orlando Magic at Toronto Raptors

Essentials

  • Teams: Orlando Magic at Toronto Raptors
  • Date: January 29, 2014
  • Time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Air Canada Centre

Records

  • Magic: 12-34
  • Raptors: 23-21

Probable starters

Magic:

  • Jameer Nelson
  • Victor Oladipo
  • Arron Afflalo
  • Glen Davis
  • Nikola Vucevic

Raptors:

  • Kyle Lowry
  • Greivis Vasquez
  • Terrence Ross
  • Amir Johnson
  • Jonas Valanciunas

Advanced stats

Magic:

  • Pace: 94.2 (16th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 100.7 (26th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 106.8 (18th of 30)

Raptors:

  • Pace: 92.2 (24th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 106.4 (14th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 104.0 (7th of 30)

Read about the Raptors

Raptors Republic

Jan 29

Victor Oladipo selected to Rising Stars Challenge

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Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images

Via Orlando Magic press release:

Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo has been selected to participate in the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge as part of 2014 NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans, LA. The Rising Stars Challenge will take place on Friday, February 14 at 9 pm ET at New Orleans Arena and will be nationally televised by TNT.

The participants for the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge consist of both NBA rookies and sophomores selected by the NBA’s assistant coaches. The rosters will be finalized following a draft by TNT personalities. Fans will have the opportunity to vote online for who should be in the starting lineup for each team.

Oladipo has appeared in all 46 games (27 starts) this season for Orlando, averaging 13.9 ppg., 4.5 rpg., 3.8 apg. and a team-high 1.57 spg. in 32.0 mpg. As of January 29, he ranks 19th in the NBA in steals. Oladipo also ranks among all NBA rookies in scoring (2nd), rebounding (4th), assists (3rd), field goal percentage (5th), three-point field goal percentage (T-9th), free throw percentage (8th), steals (2nd), blocked shots (5th) and minutes played (2nd).

Selected in the first round (second overall) of the 2013 NBA Draft by Orlando, Oladipo was named the NBA’s Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month in December. He has led (or tied) the Magic in scoring six times, in rebounding twice and in assists nine times. Oladipo has scored in double figures 36 times and had 20+ points six times, including a career-high 35 points on January 15 vs. Chicago. He tallied his first career triple-double with 26 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists on December 3 at Philadelphia.

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