Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 34

Dec 07

Video: Victor Oladipo stonewalls Carmelo Anthony

Dec 06

Preview: Orlando Magic at New York Knicks

Essentials

  • Teams: Orlando Magic at New York Knicks
  • Date: December 6, 2013
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Madison Square Garden

Records

  • Magic: 6-12
  • Knicks: 4-13

Probable starters

Magic:

  • Jameer Nelson
  • Victor Oladipo
  • Arron Afflalo
  • Andrew Nicholson
  • Glen Davis

Knicks:

  • Raymond Felton
  • Iman Shumpert
  • Carmelo Anthony
  • Andrea Bargnani
  • Kenyon Martin

Advanced stats

Magic:

  • Pace: 95.5 (10th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 102.7 (22nd of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 105.2 (16th of 30)

Knicks:

  • Pace: 90.4 (29th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 103.4 (19th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 107.9 (28th of 30)

Read about the Knicks

Knickerblogger

Dec 06

Arron Afflalo’s improved play: fluke or trend?

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Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images

Arron Afflalo fascinates. Not his actual game, per se, but the unique off- and on-court circumstances that permeate it.

Playing — by far — the best basketball of his career on a near-bargain contract with two years (including the present one) and a player option remaining, the 28 year-old is at a crossroads nevertheless. Afflalo was popular trade fodder coming into the season, owed as much to his underwhelming debut campaign with the Magic in 2012-13.

The player Orlando expected Afflalo to be this season is a very valuable one, but less so to a team in its unique position. Legitimately impactful two-way shooting guards are few and far between in today’s NBA, and every contender could use an additional “3-and-D” threat to guard the league’s elite perimeter talents and stretch the floor on the other end.

The question wasn’t whether or not Rob Hennigan would shop Afflalo at February’s trade deadline, but what the Magic could get for him. Remember, his stock took a hit after a disappointing season last year, and there was nothing to suggest a coming renaissance.

But Afflalo’s rewritten the narrative over a month into 2013-14, perhaps drastically altering the course of his career in the process.

Can Orlando really trade a guy whose 21.4 PER leads all shooting guards? That ranks ninth in points per game at 22.6? Who is playing like arguably the best player at his position in the NBA?

Read the rest of this entry »

Dec 05

3-on-3: Surprises and disappointments

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Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

What’s caught our eyes through the Magic’s first month of the season? Our panel weighs in with their most pleasant surprises and disappointments thus far.

1. Which player has been the biggest surprise?

Jacob Frankel: Andrew Nicholson. He himself hasn’t been a surprise, but his scant playing time has been one. He has an incredibly soft touch around the rim, and he’s extending his range to the 3-point line now. It seems like Vaughn is worried about his defense, but Nicholson won’t pick up the nuances of NBA defenses sitting on the bench.

Spencer Lund: Arron Afflalo. E’Twaun Moore is sporting a solid .538 True Shooting percentage — making me feel like a pessimistic jerk — but Afflalo is showing an offensive game that’s been astounding through the season’s first month. He’s still shooting over 45 percent beyond the arc for the year despite attempting almost five and a half 3s a game.

Jack Winter: Arron Afflalo. Many assumed that Afflalo — long considered Orlando’s best two-way player — would be trade-bait at February’s deadline. Just over a month into the season, though, Afflalo almost seems untouchable. He’s not only playing the best basketball of his career right now, but making the type of offensive impact reserved only for the game’s top players.

2. Which player has been the biggest disappointment?

Frankel: Maurice Harkless. Harkless has all the tools, but what he is struggling with right now is figuring out how to use them. There are awesome flashes, but he rarely seems to be able to do the right things at the right times in the team scheme. Maybe Harkless will gain a better understanding over time.

Lund: Maurice Harkless. I thought he would make more of a leap this season offensively, and while he’s still a threat to cut backdoor along the baseline, his shooting hasn’t improved as much as fans would like — maybe he should ask Moore for advice? His defense has also fallen off slightly, but maybe I was expecting too much. He’s still very young.

Winter: Tobias Harris. The 21-year-old Harris might be the Magic’s best offensive player, but we have no way of knowing — he’s played in just one game this season due to a high ankle sprain. With no set timetable for his return, Orlando will continue lacking the opportunity to see how he fits in the team’s long-term plans.

3. What storyline stands out to you the most?

Frankel: Oladipo’s struggles. He’s turning the ball over a ton and the shooting has been spotty. He’s shown the reasons the Magic drafted him No. 2 though, with athletic drives and finishes and hounding defense. I’m interested to see how he improves. Top picks from last year like Bradley Beal put together big second halves after struggling to begin with.

Lund: Waiting for Tobias Harris and his Unbreakable ankles has been difficult since a lot of us were drinking the Tobias kool-aid last year. But he continues to sit out with a high ankle sprain, and this is starting to look malignant. Whatever supernatural chants are available to get him healthy should be uttered now by Magic brass.

Winter: Whether or not Afflalo or Nelson will be traded by the February deadline. Both Magic veterans seemed like prime candidates for trades to contenders at the deadline coming into this season, but things are markedly different now. Afflalo is playing like a star, and Nelson’s been a valuable off-court presence to a team littered with impressionable youngsters.

Dec 04

Highlights: Afflalo scores career-high 43 points

Dec 04

Highlights: Big Baby scores career-high 33 points

Dec 04

Highlights: Oladipo’s first career triple-double

Dec 04

Grades: Philadelphia 76ers 126, Orlando Magic 125 (2OT)

Capture

Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

 

Philadelphia 76ers 126 Final
Recap | Box Score
125 Orlando Magic

Victor Oladipo
8-18 FG | 10-12 FT | 10 REB | 10 AST | 26 PTS | -3

The rook scored a career-high 26 points and also recorded his first-career triple-double — getting his 10th rebound in the second overtime to complete the trip-dub. But the man he was marking for much of the game, fellow rookie Michael Carter-Williams, also recorded his first-career triple-double with 27 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. Most importantly, MCW got the win.

Arron Afflalo
14-27 FG | 10-11 FT | 6 REB | 5 AST | 43 PTS | +5

Afflalo also set a career-high by scoring 43 points. Afflalo did much of his damage on the left side of the floor, which has been the theme for him on offense since the start of the 2012-13 season. But ultimately, the Sixers beat the Magic, so Afflalo’s career night cannot even be properly savored. Which is a shame, because he played out of his mind.

Glen Davis
15-24 FG | 2-5 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 33 PTS | +8

The lumbering power forward, who never met a midrange jump shot he didn’t like, dropped a career-high 33 points in a losing effort by making a bevy of long two’s. But he snagged just 3 rebounds despite playing 50 minutes. Starting in place of center Nikola Vucevic (ankle), Davis’ lackadaisical rebounding led to the Sixers 56-34 rebounding edge in the game.

Andrew Nicholson
4-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 STL | 4 REB | 8 PTS | +1

Nicholson played close to 39 minutes, yet he didn’t record a single assist. But more importantly, he grabbed just four rebounds for the entire game, which is a surprise, given how well he’s been rebounding the basketball this season. He also turned the ball over three times. In all, it was not the best performance from the second-year power forward.

Philadelphia 76ers

They dominated the glass with Vucevic out, and had six separate players score in double figures including three who scored more than 24 points. They did have 23 turnovers, but 15 of them came from Evan Turner and MCW. It was a tense, back-and-forth victory where they gutted it out in double OT to win by a point in an exhilarating game.

Dec 04

Video: Victor Oladipo beats the buzzer

Dec 03

Preview: Orlando Magic at Philadelphia 76ers

Essentials

  • Teams: Orlando Magic at Philadelphia 76ers
  • Date: December 3, 2013
  • Time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Wells Fargo Center

Records

  • Magic: 6-11
  • Sixers: 6-12

Probable starters

Magic:

  • Victor Oladipo
  • E’Twaun Moore
  • Arron Afflalo
  • Jason Maxiell
  • Glen Davis

Sixers:

  • Michael Carter-Williams
  • Evan Turner
  • Hollis Thompson
  • Thaddeus Young
  • Spencer Hawes

Advanced stats

Magic:

  • Pace: 95.6 (10th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 102.1 (22nd of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 104.8 (13th of 30)

Sixers:

  • Pace: 100.0 (1st of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 100.6 (25th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 107.5 (26th of 30)

Read about the Sixers

Hoop76

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