Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 29

Jan 14

Tuesday’s Magic Word

  • Zach Lowe of Grantland: “It has been a bit of a rough go for Oladipo after a promising start. He’s shooting just 41 percent, and an icy 29 percent from deep; he’s lost his starting spot twice; and his turnover rate is scary. But the dude plays hard, he gets to the line, and the Magic are right to stretch him a bit as a ball handler.”
  • The Orlando Magic got blown out on the road. What else is new?
  • Watching the Magic’s last eight games during their losing streak “have been a huge waste of time” as one writer puts it.
  • “Oladipo has a chance to become an elite scorer in the NBA.”
  • It was a rough West Coast road trip for Orlando, as they went 0-5, but that hasn’t stopped head coach Jacque Vaughn from finding positives.
  • Arron Afflalo is a worthy All-Star candidate.
  • Is it time to start Victor Oladipo at point guard and slide Jameer Nelson to the bench? Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel thinks so.
  • Matt Moore of CBSSports.com on Vaughn’s coaching job to date: “Vaughn seems to do more than you’d expect with this roster, just like he did last year, but then you look at the overall record. They seem to have a plan on offense and an idea on defense, but the translation of execution isn’t there. Still too early to judge Vaughn, but there’s some stuff there to like.”

Jan 13

Grades: Dallas Mavericks 107, Orlando Magic 88

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Photo by Danny Bollinger/NBAE via Getty Images

 

Dallas Mavericks 107 Final
Recap | Box Score
88 Orlando Magic

Jameer Nelson
7-14 FG | 4-8 3P | 2 REB | 7 AST | 21 PTS | -12

With Nikola Vucevic (concussion) and Arron Afflalo (foot) out with injuries, Nelson took it upon himself to carry the load offensively with the Magic’s two best players sidelined. And he did his part, drilling 3-pointers and getting to the rim, making Orlando’s short-handed offense look somewhat competent. But in the grand scheme of things, it didn’t matter, as the Magic got blown out (again).

Glen Davis
8-14 FG | 3-3 FT | 1 STL | 8 REB | 19 PTS | -6

After a quiet first half, Big Baby turned it up in the third quarter, scoring 10 points in the period and helping Orlando go on a 16-4 run to cut an 18-point halftime deficit to six. He made a few midrange jump shots and some awkward-looking jump hooks during his scoring spree. The Mavericks undid Davis’ damage by responding with a 12-0 run.

Maurice Harkless
5-11 FG | 1-4 3P | 7 REB | 3 AST | 13 PTS | -19

Harkless had one of his better games of the season. His alley-oop dunk in transition early in the third quarter was pretty to watch, but it was his shot selection throughout the game that was more impressive to see. He was either attempting shots at the rim or behind the 3-point line (while also getting to the free throw line), eschewing the midrange jumper in favor of quality shots.

Victor Oladipo
4-11 FG | 1-3 3P | 3 REB | 2 AST | 11 PTS | -8

The last time Oladipo played against Dallas, he committed nine turnovers, getting himself in a lot of trouble trying to split the double-team when the Mavericks trapped Oladipo in the pick-and-roll. Dallas showed the same look to Oladipo in tonight’s game, but he did a better job of being patient and not trying to make a play that wasn’t there.

Dallas Mavericks

The Mavericks jumped on a bad Magic team, building a double-digit lead that ballooned to as many as 22 in the second quarter, as Orlando — undermanned and outgunned — could not keep up with Dallas. The Magic, as previously mentioned, made things interesting in the third quarter thanks to Davis getting hot, but make no mistake, the Mavericks were never in danger of losing the game.

Jan 13

Video: Harkless throws down alley-oop dunk

Jan 13

Preview: Orlando Magic at Dallas Mavericks

Essentials

  • Teams: Orlando Magic at Dallas Mavericks
  • Date: January 13, 2014
  • Time: 8:30 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: American Airlines Center

Records

  • Magic: 10-27
  • Mavericks: 22-16

Probable starters

Magic:

  • Jameer Nelson
  • Victor Oladipo
  • Maurice Harkless
  • Tobias Harris
  • Glen Davis

Mavericks:

  • Jose Calderon
  • Monta Ellis
  • Jae Crowder
  • Dirk Nowitzki
  • Samuel Dalembert

Advanced stats

Magic:

  • Pace: 94.3 (16th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 100.1 (26th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 106.1 (18th of 30)

Mavericks:

  • Pace: 94.7 (12th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 108.4 (8th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 106.9 (19th of 30)

Read about the Mavericks

Mavs Moneyball

Jan 13

Magic to honor Horace Grant on January 17

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Photo by Fernando Medina/Orlando Magic

Via Orlando Magic press release:

In continuation of the Orlando Magic’s 25th anniversary season-long celebration the team will honor former Magic great, Horace Grant, at the Magic’s January 17 matchup vs. the Charlotte Bobcats, tip-off set for 7 p.m. The night will feature a center court presentation at the end of the first quarter. Grant will join FOX Sports Florida’s broadcasts including Magic Live pregame show with hosts Paul Kennedy and Nick Anderson and join broadcasters David Steele and Jeff Turner for a portion of the game broadcast. He will also be featured on Magic Drive Time radio show with host Dante Marchitelli pregame at 5:30 p.m. on 740 The Game. In addition, the first 2,500 fans will receive a collectible 8×10 photo featuring Grant and Kyle O’Quinn. Grant will be available to the media at 6 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 17 in the Amway Center interview room.

“Legends Nights” is an on-going program which will honor former players/legends throughout the Magic’s Silver Season. Past honorees include Tracy McGrady, Nick Anderson, Pat Williams, Jimmy Hewitt, Dennis Scott and Pat Garrity. In addition to the Magic’s “Legends Nights,” the 2013-14 season will feature the Silver Ticket Sweepstakes and Scratch Off Promotion, special appearances, game entertainment and other events throughout the season.

Grant was originally drafted in the first round (10th overall) of the 1987 NBA Draft by Chicago out of Clemson University. He left the Bulls as a free agent in 1994 to join the Magic and played six plus years for Orlando from 1994-99 and 2001-03. Grant appeared in 411 regular season games for the Magic, the eighth-most in franchise history. While with the Magic, he averaged 11.3 ppg., 8.3 rpg., 2.1 apg. and 1.0 bpg. in 34.6 mpg., and was twice selected to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team (1994-95, 1995-96). In addition to finishing eighth all-time in games played with Orlando, Grant ranks on the Magic’s all-time franchise list in rebounds (3,353, fourth), blocked shots (415, fourth), minutes played (14,233, sixth) and steals (426, eighth).

Jan 12

Grades: Denver Nuggets 120, Orlando Magic 94

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Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

 

Denver Nuggets 120 Final
Recap | Box Score
94 Orlando Magic

Tobias Harris
8-17 FG | 6-8 FT | 9 REB | 4 AST | 22 PTS | -11

Harris has had his struggles since returning from his ankle injury, but he was the brightest spot in a darkest night for the Magic. He played 41 minutes due to Orlando’s limited player availability, doing his damnedest to battle down low for both boards and points. He was the only Magic player with more than six rebounds, and he led all Orlando scorers with 22 points.

Glen Davis
8-14 FG | 4-6 FT | 1 BLK | 6 REB | 20 PTS | -21

In a game that got out of hand really, really quickly, Davis was one of the few players who kept the Magic within shouting distance. Big Baby tried to keep Denver’s aggressive, energetic bigs off the glass, but between rebounding and defensive woes, Orlando was essentially using papier-mâché in an effort to hold back the inevitable flood of Nuggets points.

Victor Oladipo
6-11 FG | 3-5 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 15 PTS | -18

Oladipo had a solid statistical night — from everywhere but beyond the arc, that is — providing 15 points when scoring was in short supply. A couple of his turnovers seemed avoidable, but he wasn’t extraordinarily sloppy with the ball. For the most part, though, Oladipo had a quiet night. Other than his involvement in Orlando’s defensive breakdowns, it seemed like the rookie was barely mentioned at all.

E’Twaun Moore
5-10 FG | 0-1 3P | 3 REB | 2 AST | 10 PTS | -15

Sure, it’s only fair to point out that without Arron Afflalo and Nikola Vucevic, the Magic bench was going to be pressed into action for which they might not have been entirely prepared. But with that caveat noted, Moore and the rest of the Orlando reserves were absolutely atrocious. Moore had 10 points on the night, but eight came in the fourth quarter with the game well out of hand.

Denver Nuggets

You don’t get an A+ for beating up on a team like the Magic, weakened by injuries and without two of its best players. But the Nuggets did what they were supposed to do at home, soundly defeating Orlando in a game that, outside of a brief 7-2 Magic run in the middle of the first, was completely in Denver’s control from start to finish.

Jan 11

Preview: Orlando Magic at Denver Nuggets

Essentials

  • Teams: Orlando Magic at Denver Nuggets
  • Date: January 11, 2014
  • Time: 9:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Pepsi Center

Records

  • Magic: 10-26
  • Nuggets: 18-17

Probable starters

Magic:

  • Jameer Nelson
  • Victor Oladipo
  • Maurice Harkless
  • Tobias Harris
  • Glen Davis

Nuggets:

  • Ty Lawson
  • Randy Foye
  • Quincy Miller
  • Kenneth Faried
  • J.J. Hickson

Advanced stats

Magic:

  • Pace: 94.2 (16th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 100.1 (27th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 105.5 (17th of 30)

Nuggets:

  • Pace: 96.1 (6th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 106.3 (11th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 105.5 (16th of 30)

Read about the Nuggets

Roundball Mining Company

Jan 11

Grades: Sacramento Kings 103, Orlando Magic 83

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Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

 

Sacramento Kings 103 Final
Recap | Box Score
83 Orlando Magic

Arron Afflalo
3-12 FG | 8-8 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 15 PTS | -6

Somehow, Afflalo was able to salvage a poor shooting night by getting to the free throw line. The more newsworthy item is that Afflalo hurt his right foot in the third quarter when he landed awkwardly on it after he missed a layup in transition. The injury was ruled a strained tendon, which means Afflalo is likely to miss Saturday’s game against the Denver Nuggets.

Tobias Harris
5-10 FG | 4-5 FT | 1 STL | 6 REB | 16 PTS | -24

There’s no question that Harris is better served as a stretch four offensively, given his ability to spread the floor on the perimeter, use his strength to post up opposing threes, and utilize his quickness to blow by opposing fours off the dribble. But Harris’ D still needs a lot of work, as evidenced by the fact that Jason Thompson manhandled him in the interior.

Victor Oladipo
5-14 FG | 2-4 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 13 PTS | -20

After setting the internet on fire with his block on Damian Lillard in Orlando’s loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday, it was tempting to expect an encore from Oladipo against the Kings, but it didn’t happen. The only noteworthy highlight from Oladipo versus Sacramento came midway through the fourth quarter when he whipped out his patented spin move and (goaltended) layup finish.

Glen Davis
4-12 FG | 4-4 FT | 2 STL | 12 REB | 12 PTS | -10

You have to feel for Davis. In the Magic’s last two games, he’s had to defend LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMarcus Cousins — two All-Star caliber players. Both times Davis has been overmatched. Aldridge ate him alive and Cousins did much of the same. Despite Davis’ best efforts defensively, Cousins drilled midrange jump shots and got to the rim off the dribble with ease.

Sacramento Kings

One fast break sequence exemplified how much of a beatdown this was. It occurred in the fourth quarter with the game well in hand for Sacramento. After stealing the ball from Kyle O’Quinn, Cousins ran a 4-on-1 break (with Oladipo as the lone trailing defender) and made a no-look bounce pass to Derrick Williams, who finished the play off with a two-handed windmill dunk.

Jan 10

Preview: Orlando Magic at Sacramento Kings

Essentials

  • Teams: Orlando Magic at Sacramento Kings
  • Date: January 10, 2014
  • Time: 10:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Sleep Train Arena

Records

  • Magic: 10-25
  • Kings: 11-22

Probable starters

Magic:

  • Jameer Nelson
  • Victor Oladipo
  • Arron Afflalo
  • Tobias Harris
  • Glen Davis

Kings:

  • Isaiah Thomas
  • Marcus Thornton
  • Rudy Gay
  • Jason Thompson
  • DeMarcus Cousins

Advanced stats

Magic:

  • Pace: 94.4 (16th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 100.4 (26th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 105.3 (15th of 30)

Kings:

  • Pace: 94.8 (14th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 105.8 (14th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 109.7 (30th of 30)

Read about the Kings

Cowbell Kingdom

Jan 10

Grant Hill and the future Orlando can’t predict

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Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images

A historic impending draft — combined with intriguing free agent opportunities during the summer — has the faithful fans in Orlando uttering two of the ugliest words in sports.

Next year.

Every strategy within the organization has been put in place to culminate with an explosion back into success. That culmination might indeed arrive next year, or perhaps the city might have to endure a few more seasons such as the current one. But you get the sense that the organization’s patience, as a whole, will pay off eventually.

The draft has its own pitfalls, monsters, and glories. But with all the financial freedom the Magic will soon have, consider the vast, terrifying expanse that will be free agency. Another pair of words paints the picture well for a Magic fan.

Grant Hill.

Yes, he was a solid contributor at times for the team. But his time in Orlando is a perfect reflection of the reality that no matter how much care you put into building a fire, the weather above is completely out of your control.

Read the rest of this entry »

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