Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 270

Apr 06

Celebrating Amway Arena

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Via the Orlando Magic:

With just a few regular season home games remaining and the Orlando Magic moving into Amway Center next season, the team is celebrating some of the greatest moments in Amway Arena history. To commemorate the last regular season in Amway Arena, the Orlando Magic are announcing a week-long tribute beginning Wednesday, April 7 leading up to the Magic’s last regular season home game on April 14.

To kick-off the celebration, the Magic will be giving away a commemorative poster that highlights the events that have come through Amway Arena to the first 3,000 fans at the game on Wednesday, April 7 vs. the Washington Wizards (7 p.m. tip-off).

On Friday, April 9 when the Magic face New York (7 p.m. tip-off), the team will give away another commemorative poster, which celebrates the best NBA/Magic moments in Amway Arena to the first 3,000 fans in attendance.

Fans in attendance at the April 7 or April 9 games will be treated to a video feature during the game highlighting moments at Amway Arena.

Apr 06

Tuesday’s Magic Word

  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “Orlando Magic shooting guard Vince Carter tweaked his tender right big toe during Tuesday afternoon’s practice. But Carter told me a few minutes ago that the injury is not serious and said that he’ll be able to play Wednesday against the Washington Wizards. Magic coach Stan Van Gundy originally told reporters that Carter had “tweaked” an ankle during the practice and sat out the end of the workout. But Carter clarified that he had tweaked his toe and not his ankle. Carter said he aggravated the toe when Ryan Anderson stepped on on his foot during practice.”
  • Orlando Magic television color analyst Matt Guokas has set the internet ablaze after stating on a recent telecast that Dwight Howard is a better defender than Bill Russell. Here’s what Guokas told me via e-mail (note: I cleaned up the message): “Dwight’s pick and roll defense is the best I’ve seen. Back in the 50’s and 60’s there wasn’t the discipline in running offenses, nor was there spacing involved because of the three-point line. Help and recover is more of a factor now. Bill was a deceptively strong individual defender against Wilt, even though Wilt put up big numbers. And Russell guarded the paint extremely well and kept his approximate eight blocks a game in play for the most part.”
  • Sometimes it feels like the “Heart and Hustle” era is overlooked in Magic history. No problem. Orlando Pinstriped Post has you covered by unveiling a tee “celebrating the fan-favorite 1999/2000 ‘Heart and Hustle’ Orlando Magic squad that won 41 games despite having a roster full of castoffs, rookies, and journeymen as the front-office prepared to clear salary for the 2000 Free Agency period.”
  • The NBA has gone green this week and Orlando is at the forefront of the movement, as Kyle Stack of SLAM ONLINE describes: “Orlando is constructing Amway Center, which they hope will become LEED certified. It will be designed to use 20 percent less energy and 40 percent less water than arenas of a similar size. They will run a compact florescent lightbulb giveaway Apr. 7 for the arena’s first 500 fans. The fans will receive a voucher upon entry and can exchange it for a lightbulb outside the arena starting in the third quarter.”
  • Dwight Howard explains his pre-game routine.
  • John Hollinger of ESPN Insider lists Howard on his All-Defensive First Team and tabs him as the Defensive Player of the Year: “I was down on Howard earlier this season, as I didn’t think he was moving particularly well in the first half of the season. All that’s changed since about Christmas, however, and Howard is back to his dominating ways. So are the Magic, who rank a close second to Charlotte in defensive efficiency despite a roster laden mostly with offensive players. The reason, of course, is Howard, who patrols the middle with his breathtaking shot-blocking ability, dominates the defensive glass, helps his guards on the perimeter and nullifies opposing breaks with his speed back down the court. It would be nice if he’d block a few more shots to his teammates rather than going for volleyball spikes into the 10th row, but as long as we’re comparing him to current players rather than Bill Russell, Howard is easily the cream of the crop.”
  • Brian Windhorst of The Plain Dealer states why the Magic are as dangerous as ever, specifically against the Cleveland Cavaliers: “Orlando went through a miserable period just after Jan. 1 where they lost seven of nine games as their defense lagged, Vince Carter and Jameer Nelson struggled and Dwight Howard wasn’t impacting games. As is his style, coach Stan Van Gundy had a series of meltdowns and issued a series of venomous challenges to his team. Basically, they listened. Since mid-January, the Magic have gotten back to the active defense that was just as much of a bedrock as their 3-point shooting in the run to the Finals last year.”

Apr 06

The Orlando Magic Supports NBA Green Week 2010

Via the Orlando Magic:

The Orlando Magic announces their participation in the National Basketball Association (NBA) Green Week 2010 which tipped-off on April 1 and will run through April 9. The NBA will partner with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) on its efforts.

To recognize NBA Green Week 2010, the Orlando Magic will be hosting a “Green Night” on Wednesday, April 7 during the Magic vs. Washington matchup. Orlando’s “Green Night” activities on April 7 to include:

  • A voucher/pledge card distribution to the first 500 fans for two compact fluorescent light bulbs redeemable outside Amway Arena’s north side starting in the third quarter of the April 7 contest.
  • “Green Tips” displayed on the jumbotron throughout game.
  • Players to wear adidas shooting shirts featuring a green logo (done during all games throughout Green Week).
  • Recycling awareness videos featuring STUFF the Magic mascot on the jumbtron.
  • Waste Management’s (WM) 2010 Think Green Art Contest Winner, fifth-grader Anna Lam from Azalea Park Elementary, to be recognized pregame on-court with Magic Community Ambassadors Nick Anderson and Bo Outlaw, STUFF and a WM representative.  Her artwork illustrates the 3 R’s…reduce, reuse and recycle.
  • The WM truck outside at Fan Fest displaying Anna Lam’s artwork.
  • Continuing with the team’s “green sweep” in partnership with Waste Management to educate fans and encourage them to recycle in games.

The Orlando Magic continues a company-wide green initiative, which is punctuated by having the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certified designed and constructed professional basketball arena.  Other on-going Orlando Magic green activities include:  an in-game recycling program with Waste Management and an Orlando Magic front office recycling program; a continued partnership with “Rock and Wrap it Up” to take leftover food after Magic games and deliver to shelters and food banks; an environmentally-friendly digital version of the team magazine, Magic Magazine produced monthly.

Apr 06

Possible Clinching Scenario Tonight


Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images

Via the Orlando Magic:

Orlando’s “magic number” to clinch the Southeast Division title is 1 … which means an Orlando win OR an Atlanta loss will give the Magic their third straight division title. It will also secure the #2 seed in the Eastern Conference during the upcoming 2010 NBA Playoffs.

Apr 05

Monday’s Magic Word

  • Tania Ganguli of the Orlando Sentinel: “After a string of very public arguments with, among others, coach Stan Van Gundy over playing time and a random fan in San Antonio, it seemed only a matter of time before Matt Barnes’ temper impacted a game. Van Gundy said he hoped Barnes would take his ejection from Sunday’s game as a “wake up call.” Barnes was contrite and apologized to his teammates. “Apology accepted,” Vince Carter said, smiling. The truth is, his teammates don’t want him to change.”
  • Henry Abbott of TrueHoop: “[…] there’s sure to be more excitement in the season’s final week-and-a-half. The conference’s top three teams, after all the tie-breakers, are the Lakers, Mavericks and Nuggets, and they’re doing their best to keep things interesting. Over their last 10 games, they have combined to create a tepid 16-14 record. (And even the Lakers, who are a cinch for first in the West with 22 losses, are still fighting for homecourt advantage in the Finals against Orlando, which has 23 losses. Every team is still trying.)
  • Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post comments on the relationship between the Orlando Magic and the referees: “Orlando’s playing well, but has been chirping about foul calls a lot more lately. Though the Magic responded after Barnes’ ejection yesterday, there’s also the chance that they could let their anger get the best of them in another pressure-packed situation, which could indeed hurt them in the playoffs, especially on the road. That might explain why Van Gundy is a bit concerned, particularly with Barnes. Then again, maybe playing so emotionally is a good thing, as it prevents the team from coasting, which in turn could explain why Barnes’ teammates don’t want him to change.”
  • Dwight Howard looks back at the Magic’s ‘steel cage match’ with the Memphis Grizzlies in last night’s game: “That Barnes-Thabeet cage match went pretty well for us. Matt got kicked out of the cage and sent to the locker room, but at the end of the night we won the Royal Rumble. The Big Show (me) didn’t get a T. Ric Flair (Vince Carter) got a T. And Hulk Hogan (Matt) got kicked out of the steel cage match. Matt apologized to us after the game, but we all understood where he was coming from because we don’t take too much of anything personally on this team. We actually enjoyed that little pushing match and it fired us up.”

Apr 05

“Blue and White Ignite” – Magic First Round Playoff Tickets on Sale Saturday, April 10

AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

Via the Orlando Magic:

Single game tickets for the first round of the 2010 Orlando Magic playoffs, presented by Bright House Networks, will go on sale to the general public Saturday, April 10 at 10 a.m. Orlando’s playoff schedule will be announced following the conclusion of the regular season.

Tickets are available for purchase:

  • Online at
  • At the Amway Arena box office (cash, MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover)
  • At the Orlando Magic ticket office (Monday – Friday and on Saturday, April 10; cash, MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover)
  • At all TicketMaster outlets (cash only)
  • By calling 1-800-4NBA-TIX (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover)

Playoff tickets start at $12.

Apr 02

Recap: San Antonio Spurs 112, Orlando Magic 100


Photo by D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images


Matched up with a good opponent on a back-to-back, the Orlando Magic lost to the San Antonio Spurs by the score of 112-100. The Magic played with the requisite effort and energy required to win but a dominant performance by Manu Ginobili, with 43 points, six rebounds, and five assists, allowed the Spurs to come away with the victory. As expected, Tim Duncan returned to form for San Antonio with 23 points in 24 minutes after being held to his worst shooting percentage game of his career the last time these two teams met. Orlando was led by a balanced attack, with six players scoring in double-figures. Rashard Lewis and Mickael Pietrus each had 18 points and shot with great efficiency.

Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 02

Preview: Orlando Magic at San Antonio Spurs

8:30 EDT | Sun Sports
53-22 @ 45-29
Pythagorean Record: 55-20 Pythagorean Record: 49-25
Pace: 92.1 (19th) Pace: 91.5 (23rd)
Offensive Rating: 110.3 (8th) Offensive Rating: 109.9 (9th)
Defensive Rating: 102.7 (3rd) Defensive Rating: 104.5 (9th)
AT&T Center | Magic lead season series 1-0

Apr 02

Friday’s Magic Word

  • Dime Magazine: “The Orlando domination started with Dwight Howard’s Kraken act in the paint. The Centaur cruised his way to a light 17 points, 20 boards and five blocks (including one where he just snatched a J.J. Barea shot out of the air), showing some nice moves and carrying himself with a little bit of an edge. For example, in the final minute of the first half, Dwight almost decapitated Jason Terry on a ball screen. About 30 game seconds later, as the final seconds of the half were ticking down, Terry tried to launch a shot from just inside half court. Dwight rudely swatted it away and stomped off to his halftime interview.”
  • Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel thinks it would be a mistake for general manager Otis Smith to pursue Tracy McGrady in free agency during the off-season.
  • Ian Thomsen of Sports Illustrated lists Matt Barnes ($1.6 million) as a member of the All-Judicious Team, which recognizes players that have helped their teams at a bargain price.
  • Add Holly MacKenzie of SLAM ONLINE to the list of people that were impressed by one of Howard’s blocks last night against the Mavericks: “The Dwight ‘block’ of J.J. Barea was phenomenal. He just grabbed the ball in the air, as though it was a pass attempt from Barea to him and then went the other way.”
  • When ESPN writers were asked: “Other than the Lakers and Cavaliers, what two other teams do you see as most capable of reaching the NBA Finals and why?” … the Magic were a unanimous choice.

Apr 02

Video Highlights: Dwight Howard and Mickael Pietrus

Dwight Howard is well on his way to winning the Defensive Player of the Year Award for a second consecutive season and there’s no doubt that he is, arguably, the best defender in the NBA. But more people are starting to take notice of Howard’s improvements on offense and last night against the Dallas Mavericks, he put his new-and-improved post moves on display once again.

As for Mickael Pietrus, it sure didn’t take him too long to get back into rhythm after missing two games with a left ankle injury.

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