Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 32

Nov 11

Grades: Boston Celtics 120, Orlando Magic 105

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 11.57.01 PM

AP Photo/Charles Krupa

 

Boston Celtics 120 Final
Recap | Box Score
105 Orlando Magic

Nikola Vucevic
6-11 FG | 3-3 FT | 10 REB | 4 AST | 15 PTS | -5

Vucevic, unsurprisingly, abused Kelly Olynyk on offense at every available opportunity. Brad Stevens was smart to limit the minutes of his defense-averse rookie until late in the second half, and Vucevic didn’t put up huge numbers as a result. Still, at times he showed off the physicality, shooting touch, and overall knack that’s made him something close to a revelation in Orlando.

Victor Oladipo
7-17 FG | 1-2 3P | 2 REB | 2 AST | 17 PTS | -10

Oladipo took 11 shots outside the paint in this game and made only four of them. That accuracy, though far from stellar, isn’t what’s most troubling; the overall shot distribution bothers far more. Oladipo is letting the defense off the hook by taking pull-ups in transition or with the shot-clock winding down. He’s too effective as a penetrator to rely so much on his jumper.

Arron Afflalo
6-12 FG | 2-5 3P | 4 REB | 7 AST | 18 PTS | -7

Afflalo’s offensive game was on point from the opening tip. He made several jumpers of the pull-up and catch-shoot variety, got to the rim off the dribble, and made plays for his teammates. Afflalo’s normal defensive worth wasn’t as evident against a hot-shooting Celtics team, but that’s not necessarily damning. This was another solid outing in a season full of them.

Maurice Harkless
4-10 FG | 2-3 3P | 5 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | -13

A bright spot for Orlando early, Harkless couldn’t sustain that high level of play for the entire 48 minutes. His jumper fell and he made some plays off the dribble in the first half, but he — like a lot of his teammates, actually — was mostly absent on both ends in the second stanza. On the whole, Harkless didn’t stand out much one way or another.

Boston Celtics

The Celtics shot 60 percent from the field in this game. Normally that’s indicative of a poor defensive effort from the opposition, but that wasn’t necessarily the case tonight. Orlando got lost in half-court rotations, beat in the post, and ran by in transition, but its level of play wasn’t the biggest issue. Boston simply shot the lights out. Sometimes there’s just not much the defense can do.

Nov 11

Video: Orlando shows off nice ball movement

Nov 11

Preview: Orlando Magic at Boston Celtics

Essentials

  • Teams: Orlando Magic at Boston Celtics
  • Date: November 11, 2013
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: TD Garden

Records

  • Magic: 3-4
  • Celtics: 3-4

Probable starters

Magic:

  • Jameer Nelson
  • Arron Afflalo
  • Maurice Harkless
  • Jason Maxiell
  • Nikola Vuvevic

Celtics:

  • Avery Bradley
  • Jordan Crawford
  • Jeff Green
  • Brandon Bass
  • Vitor Faverani

Advanced stats

Magic:

  • Pace: 97.2 (10th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 101.3 (22nd of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 98.2 (5th of 30)

Celtics:

  • Pace: 92.5 (24th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 99.7 (25th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 102.3 (10th of 30)

Read about the Celtics

Celtics Hub

Nov 10

Grades: Atlanta Hawks 104, Orlando Magic 94

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Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images

 

Atlanta Hawks 104 Final
Recap | Box Score
94 Orlando Magic

Nikola Vucevic
3-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 7 PTS | -12

Early in the fourth quarter, Vucevic airballed a midrange jumper along the right baseline. Then on the ensuing possession, he got stripped by Paul Millsap as he attacked the rim off the dribble. As Millsap was dribbling up the court, Vucevic immediately fouled him from behind in frustration. It was that type of night for Vucevic, who couldn’t get anything going offensively.

Victor Oladipo
2-8 FG | 1-2 3P | 3 REB | 2 AST | 5 PTS | +9

It was a quiet night for Oladipo, who met stiff resistance from the Hawks’ big men (especially Al Horford) whenever he drove to the basket, which resulted in his lowest scoring output of the season so far. Learning how to finish at the rim while protecting his body is something that Oladipo will need to work on as the regular season progresses.

Jameer Nelson
4-9 FG | 3-6 3P | 3 REB | 6 AST | 13 PTS | -12

The 3-pointer was good to Nelson, which accounted for most of his scoring, and he made some nice drive-and-kick passes for assists in pick-and-roll sets. But he was thoroughly outplayed by Jeff Teague (19 points and 13 assists). In fairness to Nelson, though, Teague — with his explosiveness — is a handful for almost any point guard in the NBA.

Andrew Nicholson
5-9 FG | 3-5 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 13 PTS | 0

Stat of the night: Nicholson notched his first assist of the 2012-13 season. The irony being that it took him seven games to do it. The lucky recipient of Nicholson’s charity was Kyle O’Quinn, who converted an easy layup after Nicholson faced up, drew two defenders as he was going to the basket, and found O’Quinn wide open in the paint.

Atlanta Hawks

November 8, 2010. That’s the last time Orlando beat Atlanta in a regular season game. After sweeping the Hawks in historic fashion in the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2010 NBA Playoffs, the Magic have been dominated in this matchup. The front offices have changed, the coaches have changed, the players have changed, yet the losses keep piling up for Orlando against Atlanta.

Nov 09

Preview: Orlando Magic at Atlanta Hawks

Essentials

  • Teams: Orlando Magic at Atlanta Hawks
  • Date: November 9, 2013
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Philips Arena

Records

  • Magic: 3-3
  • Celtics: 2-3

Probable starters

Magic:

  • Jameer Nelson
  • Arron Afflalo
  • Maurice Harkless
  • Jason Maxiell
  • Nikola Vuvevic

Hawks:

  • Jeff Teague
  • Kyle Korver
  • DeMarre Carroll
  • Paul Millsap
  • Al Horford

Advanced stats

Magic:

  • Pace: 97.4 (12th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 104.0 (11th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 97.2 (4th of 30)

Hawks:

  • Pace: 98.2 (8th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 107.1 (6th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 107.3 (25th of 30)

Read about the Hawks

HawksHoop

Nov 08

Grades: Boston Celtics 91, Orlando Magic 89

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Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

 

Boston Celtics 91 Final
Recap | Box Score
89 Orlando Magic

Nikola Vucevic
6-12 FG | 2-4 FT | 13 REB | 1 AST | 14 PTS | -8

Vucevic took off the second and third quarters against the Celtics after that monster 31-point, 20-rebound game versus the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday. He still managed a double-double with 14 points and 13 boards, but was a specter in the middle of the game when Boston took the lead. He needs to bring the effort every quarter.

Victor Oladipo
3-12 FG | 3-4 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 9 PTS | -6

Oladipo ran a lot of pick-and-roll action, and more often than not, pulled up for a clanked jumper, or forced stuff inside when he should have just reset the offense. He’s young, so getting his pocket picked by Avery Bradley isn’t surprising, but he has to make better decisions out of the pick-and-roll and get his timing down with the roll man.

Arron Afflalo
8-15 FG | 5-6 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 23 PTS | +3

In his first two possessions, Afflalo was blocked and whistled for an offensive foul against Bradley. Then he settled down a little bit, and ended up with the highest point total for Orlando in the game. Like Vucevic, he bookended some nice moments (four-point play, three-point play, and a clutch jumper late in the fourth) with subpar middle two quarters.

Jameer Nelson
4-15 FG | 2-9 3P | 3 REB | 7 AST | 12 PTS | +3

It’s never good when you have a 1:1 assist-to-turnover ratio, which Nelson did in this game. He also shot just 4-for-15 from the floor and paired that with sloppy ballhandling, though props to Bradley’s defensive pressure for some of that. It was just a bad showing overall for the Magic point guard, who always seems to have trouble dealing with Bradley.

Boston Celtics

They’ve been arguably the worst team in the East so far this season, so the Magic should be disappointed they couldn’t put together a win. Courtney Lee shot well, and Bradley was a great pest on defense, per usual, and Jordan Crawford actually finished with 13 points and 5 assists. As a whole, the C’s had six players in double-figures for a well-rounded, though ugly win.

Nov 08

Video: Maurice Harkless throws the hammer down

Nov 08

Preview: Boston Celtics at Orlando Magic

Essentials

  • Teams: Boston Celtics at Orlando Magic
  • Date: November 8, 2013
  • Time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Amway Center

Records

  • Celtics: 1-4
  • Magic: 3-2

Probable starters

Celtics:

  • Avery Bradley
  • Jordan Crawford
  • Jeff Green
  • Brandon Bass
  • Vitor Faverani

Magic:

  • Jameer Nelson
  • Arron Afflalo
  • Maurice Harkless
  • Jason Maxiell
  • Nikola Vuvevic

Advanced stats

Celtics:

  • Pace: 92.5 (24th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 96.7 (27th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 101.0 (10th of 30)

Magic:

  • Pace: 97.4 (12th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 104.0 (11th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 97.2 (4th of 30)

Read about the Celtics

Celtics Hub

Nov 08

Victor Oladipo’s turnovers are a good thing

While Victor Oladipo hasn’t massively burst onto the scene like fellow rookie Michael Carter-Williams, he’s put together a very solid start to the season. He’s scored well, showcased nice vision at times, and, most importantly, been relentless attacking the rim. His defense has been as good as advertised, too. The one rub on what seems like a pretty rosy start is Oladipo’s propensity to turn the ball over.

He’s averaging 5.9 turnovers per 36 minutes and sporting a 26.4 turnover percentage. We can dig even further into how these turnovers occurred using nbawowy:
 

Steal Bad Pass Discontinue Dribble Lost Ball Out of Bounds Stepped Out of Bounds Traveling
9 (40.9%) 6 (27.3%) 3 (16.7%) 2 (9.1%) 1 (5.6%) 1 (5.6%)

He struggled early with palming the ball, a point of emphasis this year for NBA officials. Other than that, it’s been almost entirely what he does with ball, whether it be dribbling or passing. That may look troublesome on the surface — one could think that he has bad vision or handles — but it could actually be a good thing.

John Hollinger has hypothesized that rookies putting up lots of turnovers actually have had much higher rates of improvement. And looking at the list of guys that have put up abnormally-high turnover rates as rookies since 2000, that theory doesn’t sound so hair-brained.

Andre Iguodala, Dwyane Wade, John Wall, and Russell Westbrook are all players that had a bad habit for coughing the ball up their rookie season.

After watching the video of Oladipo’s turnovers, it seems that “turnovers are good” hypothesis may apply to him also. A lot of them are things like this:


 
Sure, he was a bit sloppy with the ball at the end of the spin, but at least he has the reflexes and creativity to even attempt that move. Instead of taking a pull-up long two off the pick, he attacks and tries something out. And, lo and behold, a few games later against the Brooklyn Nets, he attempted the same move twice and succeeded both times.

In a few years, the rookie that took the pull-up J will have had fewer turnovers his rookie season, but will also probably be the lesser player than the one who uncompromisingly attacks the hole in the mold of Wade and Westbrook — two elite players.

Nov 07

Thursday’s Magic Word

  • Nights like Nikola Vucevic’s 30-20 game reinforce the fact that the Dwight Howard trade worked out just fine for the Orlando Magic.
  • Vucevic earned an A for his performance against the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.
  • DeAndre Jordan got thoroughly outplayed by Vucevic.
  • Head coach Doc Rivers talks about Glen Davis’ tenure with the Boston Celtics.
  • Josh Cohen of OrlandoMagic.com thinks the Magic’s win over the Clippers was more than impressive than their victory against the Brooklyn Nets.
  • John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com: “Vucevic, 24, has blossomed into the complete package of a center for the surprising Magic because he has the rare combination of size, instincts, basketball IQ and work ethic. And because he’s just in his third NBA season, Vucevic seems to have plenty of room for growth even though he’s starting to fulfill his vast potential by constantly adding something to his game.”
  • The future is bright in Orlando.
  • Victor Oladipo has been committing a lot of turnovers so far this season, but David Thorpe of ESPN Insider suggests they’re correctable mistakes.
  • Marc Stein of ESPN.com: “Based on the terms of the original Melo trade in February 2011, New York is required to send its 2014 first-round pick to Denver no matter where it falls. The Nuggets then have to send the worse of two picks – either its own 2014 first-rounder or New York’s – to Orlando as a condition of the four-team Dwight Howard blockbuster in August 2012. So that means Orlando, in the stunning event that the Knicks and Nuggets both unexpectedly miss the playoffs, would thus inherit one of Denver’s two lottery picks in one of the most-anticipated NBA lotteries ever.”
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