Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 3

Jul 11

Magic sign free agent Ben Gordon

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Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Via Orlando Magic press release:

The Orlando Magic have signed free agent guard Ben Gordon, general manager Rob Hennigan announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deal are not disclosed.

“Ben (Gordon) brings valuable experience to our team,” said Hennigan. “His competitiveness and ability to score and stretch the floor adds versatility to our backcourt and overall roster. We are excited to welcome Ben to the Orlando Magic family.”

Gordon (6’3”, 200, 4/4/83) played in 19 games last season with Charlotte, averaging 5.2 ppg., 1.4 rpg. and 1.1 apg. in 14.7 mpg. He led (or tied) the team in assists once and scored in double figures three times, including a season-high 12 points on Dec. 9 vs. Golden State.

Originally selected by Chicago in the first round (third overall) of the 2004 NBA Draft, Gordon has appeared in 688 career NBA regular season games (269 starts) during his 10-year career with Chicago, Detroit and Charlotte, averaging 15.6 ppg., 2.6 rpg. and 2.6 apg. in 28.5 mpg., while shooting .402 (1,136-2,824) from three-point range and .858 (1,968-2,306) from the free throw line. He also played in 29 career playoff games (24 starts), averaging 20.2 ppg., 3.2 rpg. and 3.2 apg. in 37.9 mpg. Gordon earned the NBA Sixth Man Award in 2004-05, becoming the first rookie in league history to win the honor. Since joining the NBA in 2004-05, he has scored 20+ points off the bench 98 times, second-most in the NBA during that span (Jamal Crawford, 127).

Jul 10

Grades: Boston Celtics 76, Orlando Magic 67

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Photo by Fernando Medina/Orlando Magic

 

Boston Celtics 76 Final
Recap | Box Score
67 Orlando Magic

Seth Curry
5-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 15 PTS | -12

Curry scored eight of his team-high 15 points over a two minute period in the second quarter, helping the Magic build on their lead, but Marcus Smart switched on to him in the second-half and took him out of the game. Nevertheless, Curry gave the Magic a nice boost off the bench and proved his value as a shooter by knocking down four of their five 3s.

Kadeem Batts
5-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | +7

The Magic dominated the Celtics on the boards, 46-32, and Batts was a big reason for that. He only finished with seven rebounds on the night, but he kept plenty of possessions alive by being active on the glass. He also came up big offensively yet again, spacing the floor on pick-and-pops and using his big body down on the low block to create space.

Elfrid Payton
3-7 FG | 2-4 FT | 9 REB | 10 AST | 8 PTS | -2

The good news is that Payton looks a lot more comfortable than he did in his first game with the Magic. The bad news is that, despite flirting with a triple-double for the second time in four games, he committed seven turnovers and got torched by Smart on offense — the sixth overall pick scored 12 of his points in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter.

Romero Osby
2-7 FG | 4-4 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | -7

Osby got to the free-throw line four times and blocked a pair of shots, but that’s about it. He only pulled down two rebounds in the 23 minutes he played and committed four fouls. Odds are that he was still feeling the ill-effects of a shoulder injury he sustained that kept him out of the Magic’s last game against Memphis.

Boston Celtics

Offensively, the Celtics were in shambles. They connected on 32.4 percent of their shots and shot only 8-for-33 on their 3-point attempts. Defensively, though, they were firing on all cylinders. They shut down the paint, which was instrumental in slowing down Payton, Gordon, and Marble, and they forced a total of 17 turnovers, many of which were turned into easy transition opportunities.

Jul 10

Video: Vernon Macklin with an alley-oop dunk

Jul 08

Grades: Memphis Grizzlies 80, Orlando Magic 73

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Photo by Fernando Medina/Orlando Magic

 

Memphis Grizzlies 80 Final
Recap | Box Score
73 Orlando Magic

Dewayne Dedmon
3-4 FG | 7-10 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 13 PTS | +1

For the second game in a row, Dedmon was a force on both ends of the court. He did the bulk of his damage offensively from the free-throw line and he also did a great job of using his length to contest shots on the defensive end. Luckily, players can’t foul out in Summer League, otherwise the Magic would’ve been in big trouble — Dedmon committed seven fouls in 20 minutes.

Victor Oladipo
4-12 FG | 1-2 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | -23

The Grizzlies’ game plan to slow Oladipo down was to send help on every pick-and-roll, go under screens to bait him into settling for jumpers, and funnel him into help defense when he put the ball on the floor. It worked. He struggled all game long and failed to get into any sort of rhythm, and the Magic struggled as a result.

Cameron Jones
4-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 3 AST | 10 PTS | +9

Cameron Jones was one of the few bright spots for the Magic in this game. He came off the bench at the midway point of the first quarter and gave them a big scoring boost right off the bat, putting together six quick points en route to a 13-4 run. While he failed to match that offensive production in the second-half, he was a pest defensively.

Devyn Marble
3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 7 PTS | +4

Marble’s stats don’t jump off the page, but he gave the Magic some quality minutes. He brought a lot of energy defensively and flaunted his shooting stroke by nailing a trio of jumpers. At the very least, it’s a good sign that he bounced back after a miserable outing against the Houston Rockets by not forcing anything and just letting the game come to him.

Memphis Grizzlies

Memphis didn’t play a perfect game, but it was enough to give the Magic their first loss of Summer League. The Grizzlies hounded the guards all game long, forced turnovers and turned them into easy transition points, and had a response for every late basket the Magic had. Their leading scorer, Jordan Adams, had his worst game to date, scoring two points on 0-for-6 shooting, and they didn’t skip a beat.

Jul 08

Video: Elfrid Payton with an impressive dunk

Jul 07

Grades: Orlando Magic 87, Houston Rockets 69

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Photo by Fernando Medina/Orlando Magic

 

Orlando Magic 87 Final
Recap | Box Score
69 Houston Rockets

Elfrid Payton
5-5 FG | 2-4 FT | 8 REB | 9 AST | 12 PTS | +12

The negative: He committed a few baffling turnovers in the beginning, one where he practically handed the ball over in the backcourt against soft pressure. The overwhelming positives: He dished out nine assists and didn’t miss a field goal, shaking defenders and driving the lane for easy layups. And his defensive prowess was on full display. No one in the league will outshine his hair, either.

Dewayne Dedmon
4-4 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 STL | 6 REB | 11 PTS | +9

Dedmon looked like a man out on the court, towering above the crowd and rocking a dunk in the beginning that set the tone for the team. He had three steals to go with his six rebounds. The main issue is that he disappears from the game at times, which may be related to the foul trouble he gets into. But it’s easy to see why he’s hung around.

Kadeem Batts
5-8 FG | 0-1 FT | 1 STL | 7 REB | 10 PTS | +16

The grade is so high because of the lack of expectations for him. This was Batts’ second good showing in a row. He is impressive around the rim, hitting reverse layups and fighting for every rebound. You also don’t see him shooting shots he probably shouldn’t, as you do with Aaron Gordon so far. For what it’s worth, Batts’ plus-16 was the highest on the team.

Seth Curry
4-10 FG | 2-5 3P | 0 REB | 2 AST | 10 PTS | 0

Curry quietly put up double-digit points, which included two 3-pointers. He also had a beautiful no-look alley-oop. The most pressing need on the team is shooting, and Curry is the best of the young hopefuls in that area. The Magic have addressed the need by signing Channing Frye, but there may be room for more shooting at the end of the bench.

Houston Rockets

In a sloppy game from both sides, even for Summer League, Houston was sloppier, turning the ball over in bunches against an active Magic defense. Nick Johnson, looking sharp against Payton, was about the only spark. This was a shadow of the team we’ll see in the regular season, however, and the Chris Bosh rumors floating around all game were more arresting than the on-court action.

Jul 07

Video: Elfrid Payton elevates and detonates

Jul 07

Magic to sign free agent Channing Frye

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Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:

Free-agent forward Channing Frye has reached agreement on a four-year, $32 million contract with the Orlando Magic, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Frye had opted out of the final season of his contract with the Phoenix Suns to become an unrestricted free agent. Frye passed on his player’s option for $6.8 million in the 2014-15 season, which would’ve been the final year of an original five-year, $30 million deal.

The Suns had wanted to bring Frye back, but the Magic offer proved too attractive to turn down.

Jul 05

Grades: Orlando Magic 83, Philadelphia 76ers 77

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Photo by Fernando Medina/Orlando Magic

 

Orlando Magic 83 Final
Recap | Box Score
77 Philadelphia 76ers

Victor Oladipo
6-11 FG | 4-4 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 18 PTS | +17

Oladipo had his fingerprints all over this game. Defensively, he hounded the 76ers’ guards by picking them up full court and matching them step-by-step; offensively, he was under control and never forced the issue. While the acquisition of Elfrid Payton will allow Oladipo to roam free as a shooting guard this season, he continues to develop as a floor general, which will only pay off in the long run.

Devyn Marble
5-7 FG | 2-3 3P | 3 STL | 5 REB | 13 PTS | +3

Out of the three rookies who will wear the pinstripes this season, it was the Magic’s third and final pick (56th overall) who shined the most in the first Summer League game. Marble came off the bench for a shade under 17 minutes and showcased his potential to be a spark plug off the bench, knocking down a pair of threes and getting out in transition.

Kadeem Batts
5-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 11 PTS | +4

While the rest of the Magic’s big men struggled to score on Nerlens Noel, Batts looked quite comfortable on the low block. All but one of his field goals came in the paint — the other being a jump shot off of a pick-and-pop with Oladipo — and he held his own on the other end of the court.

Romero Osby
4-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 STL | 3 REB | 10 PTS | +6

Osby did the bulk of his damage in the first quarter off of pick-and-pops, but was a no-show in the second half. Nevertheless, he was a mismatch problem for the 76ers when he was on the court, easily taking their big men off the dribble while punishing their perimeter players down low in the paint. He fits a big need for the Magic — outside shooting — and is someone worth keeping an eye on.

Philadelphia 76ers

The 76ers didn’t play great as a team and, to make it all worse, it looks like they’ve lost Pierre Jackson for the season with a torn Achilles. However, Nerlens Noel looked fantastic, showing no signs of favoring his knee by dominating the Magic’s bigs with totals of 19 points, four steals and one block in 26 minutes of action.

Jul 05

Video: Aaron Gordon’s one-handed catch block

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