Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 28

Jan 06

Preview: Orlando Magic at Los Angeles Clippers

Essentials

  • Teams: Orlando Magic at Los Angeles Clippers
  • Date: January 6, 2014
  • Time: 10:30 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Staples Center

Records

  • Magic: 10-23
  • Clippers: 23-13

Probable starters

Magic:

  • Jameer Nelson
  • Arron Afflalo
  • Tobias Harris
  • Andrew Nicholson
  • Glen Davis

Clippers:

  • Darren Collison
  • Jamal Crawford
  • Jared Dudley
  • Blake Griffin
  • DeAndre Jordan

Advanced stats

Magic:

  • Pace: 94.4 (15th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 100.7 (26th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 104.8 (14th of 30)

Clippers:

  • Pace: 95.7 (7th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 108.5 (7th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 103.7 (7th of 30)

Read about the Clippers

ClipperBlog

Jan 05

Grades: Miami Heat 110, Orlando Magic 94

Screen Shot 2014-01-05 at 2.07.15 PM

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

 

Miami Heat 110 Final
Recap | Box Score
94 Orlando Magic

Arron Afflalo
5-16 FG | 6-6 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 16 PTS | -9

Chalk this up as an off night for Afflalo. He got the looks he normally gets, but the shots didn’t fall. Every once in a while, the length of a Heat defender would give Afflalo trouble and force him to alter his jump shot ever so slightly, but it wasn’t a noticeable trend. Sometimes a player’s shot is off-kilter. That’s what happened to Afflalo.

Jameer Nelson
7-11 FG | 5-8 3P | 6 REB | 5 AST | 21 PTS | -4

Nelson was in rare form against Miami. He got off to a quick start, making three consecutive 3s in the first quarter. He kept gunning it from deep, mainly on pull-ups in transition as the game went along, and finished with his first 20-point game of the 2013-14 season. It was a throwback performance for Nelson on a throwback night.

Tobias Harris
7-16 FG | 1-5 3P | 10 REB | 1 AST | 17 PTS | -15

More bad than good came out of this game for Harris. He displayed a lack of awareness defensively midway through the third quarter when he fouled Rashard Lewis while he was shooting a 3-pointer and allowing him to convert a four-point play. And Harris’ insistence to chuck up 3-point shots himself — and miss them — is not paying dividends on offense for the Magic.

Victor Oladipo
5-13 FG | 4-4 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 16 PTS | -12

Even though Andrew Nicholson got the start, head coach Jacque Vaughn — in an attempt to match up with the Heat — gave the bulk of Nicholson’s minutes to Oladipo as Orlando went small. Unfortunately for the rookie, Dwyane Wade took him to school. That was no more evident than when Oladipo lost Wade several times on defense on backdoor cuts.

Miami Heat

Lewis got the start at power forward in place of Shane Battier (quadriceps) and put up a vintage performance against his former team. He scored a season-high 18 points and looked like the stretch four that terrorized defenses during the Stan Van Gundy-Dwight Howard era. Even though LeBron James had a quiet night, it didn’t matter, given how well Lewis played alongside Wade and Chris Bosh.

Jan 05

Video: Harkless with one-handed alley-oop jam

Jan 04

Orlando waives Solomon Jones

Via Orlando Magic press release:

The Orlando Magic have waived forward-center Solomon Jones, general manager Rob Hennigan announced tonight. Orlando’s roster now stands at 13 players.

Jones has appeared in 11 games this season with Orlando, averaging 1.3 ppg. and 1.5 rpg. in 7.7 mpg. He was signed by the Magic as a free agent prior to training camp on Sep. 27.

Originally selected in the second round (33rd overall) of the 2006 NBA Draft by Atlanta, Jones has played in 281 regular season games with Atlanta, Indiana, New Orleans, the L.A. Clippers, New York and Orlando, averaging 3.0 ppg. and 2.3 rpg. in 11.0 mpg.

Jan 04

Preview: Miami Heat at Orlando Magic

Essentials

  • Teams: Miami Heat at Orlando Magic
  • Date: January 4, 2014
  • Time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Amway Center

Records

  • Heat: 24-8
  • Magic: 10-22

Probable starters

Heat:

  • Mario Chalmers
  • Dwyane Wade
  • LeBron James
  • Rashard Lewis
  • Chris Bosh

Magic:

  • Jameer Nelson
  • Arron Afflalo
  • Tobias Harris
  • Andrew Nicholson
  • Glen Davis

Advanced stats

Heat:

  • Pace: 93.9 (17th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 110.9 (2nd of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 104.1 (10th of 30)

Magic:

  • Pace: 94.5 (14th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 100.7 (26th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 104.4 (11th of 30)

Read about the Heat

Heat Index

Jan 03

Victor Oladipo named East Rookie of the Month

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Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images

Via Orlando Magic press release:

Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo was named the Kia NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in December, the NBA has announced today.

Oladipo is just the fifth Magic player to be awarded the honor and the first since March of 2001, when Mike Miller was the co-winner of the award. Dennis Scott won the award once, Shaquille O’Neal was awarded the honor four times, while Anfernee Hardaway and Miller each won twice.

Oladipo, the second overall selection in the 2013 NBA Draft, ranked second among Eastern Conference rookies during December in scoring (12.7 ppg.), second in assists (3.8 apg.), second in steals (1.33 spg.), fourth in rebounds (4.5 rpg.) and second in minutes (32.1 mpg.). As of January 1, he also ranked among all NBA players in steals (T-18th) and assists (T-39th).

During December, Oladipo scored in double figures 10 times and had 20+ points twice, including a career-high 26 points on both Dec. 3 at Philadelphia and Dec. 13 vs. Cleveland. On Dec. 3 at Philadelphia, he also registered the first triple-double of his career with 10 assists and 10 rebounds to go along with his 26 points. In addition, Oladipo also notched a double-double against Detroit on Dec. 27, with 16 points and a career-high 11 assists.

Utah’s Trey Burke was the winner of the award for the Western Conference.

Jan 03

Orlando waives Hedo Turkoglu

Screen Shot 2014-01-03 at 4.24.37 PM

Photo by Cameron Browne/NBAE via Getty Images

Via Orlando Magic press release:

The Orlando Magic have waived forward Hedo Turkoglu, general manager Rob Hennigan announced today.

Turkoglu has appeared in 897 regular season games during his NBA career with Sacramento, San Antonio, Orlando, Toronto and Phoenix, averaging 11.9 ppg., 4.2 rpg. and 3.1 apg. in 28.5 mpg., while shooting .381 (1,164-3,057) from three-point range. He has also appeared in 93 career playoff outings, averaging 11.1 ppg., 4.3 rpg. and 3.0 apg. in 31.1 mpg.

Turkoglu played in 497 regular season games with Orlando from 2004-09 and 2010-13, averaging 14.5 ppg., 4.5 rpg. and 3.9 apg. in 32.7 mpg. He also appeared in 49 playoff games with the Magic, averaging 14.4 ppg., 4.5 rpg. and 4.5 apg. in 38.0 minpg. Turkoglu earned the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award in 2007-08 and helped Orlando reach the 2009 NBA Finals.

Jan 03

Friday’s Magic Word

  • David Thorpe of ESPN Insider highlights what Victor Oladipo needs to improve on: There’s little doubt that, in the NBA, the more athletic a player is the better chance he has to be elite. Oladipo, who is already doing some amazingly athletic things nightly, is absolutely in line to be a top athlete in this league. But this game is also about skill and craft — two areas that he’s not yet consistent in. And that’s the key for Oladipo.”
  • Amin Elhassan of ESPN Insider says that Oladipo is the most intriguing player in the rookie class: His combination of explosive athleticism and strength, coupled with his defensive vigor, make him a possible “Kryptonite” for the super-athlete PGs who have taken over the league.”
  • “Orlando Magic are bringing back the best NBA jerseys ever.”
  • The Orlando Magic get an “F” for blowing the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
  • Anderson Varejao (18 points, career-high 25 rebounds) took advantage of Nikola Vucevic’s absence (ankle).
  • The Magic could use a win versus the Miami Heat on Saturday to get over Thursday’s disappointing loss to the Cavaliers.
  • Matt Moore of CBSSports.com with a descriptive breakdown of Orlando’s choke job: “Orlando hung in there and played a more balanced, more fundamental game. They built a seven point lead with 50 seconds remaining. It was over. And then an absolutely phenomenal tanking job ensued. It was heroic tanking. It was also sad.
  • So how exactly did the Magic lose a 10-point lead in 94 seconds to Cleveland? A team without Kyrie Irving? Dan Devine of Ball Don’t Lie details how.

Jan 03

Welcoming back the original black pinstripes

Nick Anderson Action Portrait

NBA Photos/Getty Images

Via OrlandoMagic.com:

In celebration of the Magic’s 25th anniversary season and to honor the rich history of Orlando Magic basketball, the team will don the original jersey, the signature black, pinstriped jersey with throwback team logos worn through the 1989-94 seasons starting with the January 4 matchup with the Miami Heat. The team also featured the jerseys through the 1998 season as an alternate. The original Magic jersey design was worn by Magic greats including Shaquille O’Neal, Penny Hardaway, Dennis Scott, Nick Anderson, Horace Grant, Darrell Armstrong and Scott Skiles.

There’s a time for objective analysis, and there’s a time for things that are too awesome for stoicism. The Orlando Magic wearing their “black, pinstriped jersey[s]” is of the latter category. They’re among the greatest jerseys ever, and, given the general reaction on Twitter being an emphatic embrace of the news, they’re fondly remembered.

The reason, I’m willing to wager, stretches back to the talent and level of play of those Shaq and Penny years. For a fair share of basketball fans around the country, Orlando became a national team. Those teams were the very definition of entertaining. Don’t forget about Dennis Scott, Nick Anderson and Horace Grant in these same styled jerseys — with Grant accentuating them with matching Rec Specs. Scott Skiles donned them, too.

Many fans have first loves, but Orlando provided an outlet in lean years and an entertaining alternative on off nights. That effect seems even more pronounced in regions far removed from an NBA city, where geographical affiliation becomes nebulous and rooting for a team either hundreds or thousands of miles away seems an equal choice.*

*Alternate explanation: people like the jerseys because they look really good. And in an age of endless glasses without lenses, surely someone on the Magic can rock some non-prescription Rec Specs, right? I’m looking at you, Tobias Harris.

And, fair weather or bandwagon as it might be, I think the Magic will gain quite a few fans as they once again don these gorgeous jerseys. Even if it’s just for the few nights that they are so adorned, it’s a chance to show the entertaining side of the 2013-14 Orlando squad. Nikola Vucevic is a mountain of a man who devours souls and rebounds alike. Victor Oladipo seems more adept at initiating offense and creating his own looks with every game. Arron Afflalo continues his bid to make the All-Star Game. Glen Davis does Glen Davis things, and all that entails.

In an age of expanding League Pass access (and other not-so-legitimate means), the era of the national team is alive and well. The Magic will draw curious viewers with their selection of attire. Keeping them curious is the new task at hand.

Jan 03

Grades: Cleveland Cavaliers 87, Orlando Magic 81 (OT)

Screen Shot 2014-01-03 at 10.41.50 AM

Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images

 

Cleveland Cavaliers 87 Final
Recap | Box Score
81 Orlando Magic

Arron Afflalo
5-15 FG | 2-5 3P | 6 REB | 5 AST | 12 PTS | -12

The Cavaliers double-teamed Afflalo throughout the game and forced him to give up the ball a lot. The Magic tried their best to run sets Afflalo to free him up for open looks to counteract that. But even then, Cleveland made it tough on Afflalo to get quality shots. This is the type of added attention Afflalo has been seeing lately, given how well he’s been playing this season.

Glen Davis
6-19 FG | 4-8 FT | 2 BLK | 13 REB | 16 PTS | -11

Big Baby got a double-double, but as is the norm for him, he did it in the most inefficient way possible. He took 19 shots to score 16 points, with many of his misses coming at the rim. It’s often said that Davis struggles to finish in the paint because of his lack of lift (due to his girth). That’s what happened against the Cavaliers.

Jameer Nelson
5-9 FG | 4-8 3P | 6 REB | 9 AST | 14 PTS | -8

Did you know that more than half of Nelson’s field goal attempts (55.6 percent, to be exact) are from behind the 3-point line? Well, now you know. Nelson kept that trend going versus Cleveland, as four of his five made field goals were 3-point shots. It’s interesting to see Nelson’s shot selection drift further away from the basket — at least he’s not shooting long 2s.

Andrew Nicholson
5-11 FG | 0-3 3P | 1 BLK | 6 REB | 12 PTS | +7

Nicholson wasn’t able to connect on any of his corner 3s, but that’s about all he couldn’t do offensively. He was damn near-automatic everywhere else on the floor. On a night where nearly every player for the Magic struggled to score on offense, Nicholson was effective. If given the minutes, he could have easily put up a more efficient double-double than Davis.

Cleveland Cavaliers

In the span of 13.9 seconds, Nelson fouled Jack on a 3-pointer, Harris committed a five-second violation, and Moore missed two free throws. That allowed the Cavaliers to erase a 79-72 deficit — thanks to Jack’s three free throws and back-to-back layups from Waiters — and send the game to overtime, where they came back to win. Varejao (18 points, career-high 25 rebounds) was a monster.

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