Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 35

Dec 15

Preview: Orlando Magic at Oklahoma City Thunder


  • Teams: Orlando Magic at Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Date: December 15, 2013
  • Time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Chesapeake Energy Arena


  • Magic: 7-16
  • Thunder: 18-4

Probable starters


  • Jameer Nelson
  • Victor Oladipo
  • Arron Afflalo
  • Glen Davis
  • Nikola Vucevic


  • Russell Westbrook
  • Thabo Sefolosha
  • Kevin Durant
  • Serge Ibaka
  • Kendrick Perkins

Advanced stats


  • Pace: 95.0 (11th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 101.3 (24th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 105.9 (18th of 30)


  • Pace: 96.8 (4th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 108.3 (7th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 101.0 (5th of 30)

Read about the Thunder

Daily Thunder

Dec 13

Highlights: Victor Oladipo matches a career high

Dec 13

Grades: Cleveland Cavaliers 109, Orlando Magic 100

Screen Shot 2013-12-15 at 11.27.05 AM

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images


Cleveland Cavaliers 109 Final
Recap | Box Score
100 Orlando Magic

Nikola Vucevic
3-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 13 REB | 2 AST | 6 PTS | -8

The struggle was real for Vucevic. He had a forgettable 39-second sequence midway through the fourth quarter that exemplified his struggles in this game. On one possession, he got stripped by Dion Waiters while backing down Anderson Varejao in the post, then he committed a frustration foul on Matthew Dellavedova after the ball was stolen. Then on the ensuing possession, Vucevic was called for a moving screen.

Victor Oladipo
9-13 FG | 5-5 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 26 PTS | +1

Oladipo’s first basket was a 3-pointer — which he banked in — from the right wing in transition. It was a good omen for Oladipo, who went on to match his career-high with 26 points and did so efficiently. Everything was clicking for him. The jump shot was falling, and he was converting at the rim and getting to the free throw line.

Jameer Nelson
7-15 FG | 3-8 3P | 3 REB | 5 AST | 17 PTS | -7

Layups and 3s. That was Nelson’s night in a nutshell, as he generated a lot of his points in transition and on secondary breaks. The Cavaliers couldn’t have made it any easier on Nelson at times. Particularly in the first quarter, when all his made baskets were layups. It’s a mild surprise that Nelson even bothered to attempt any midrange jumpers.

Arron Afflalo
6-15 FG | 1-7 3P | 5 AST | 4 REB | 17 PTS | -8

Regression to the mean is staring Afflalo in the face right now and the root of the problem is that his 3-point shot has deserted him in recent games. Against Cleveland, Afflalo had plenty of quality looks — thanks to Magic running crisp half-court sets for him — but he was only able to knock down one 3-pointer in seven tries.

Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavaliers won only their second road game of the season and they have Waiters to thank for that. He scored 16 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, helping Cleveland turn a six-point deficit into an 10-point lead in a five-minute span before cruising to victory. Waiters had his jumper working for him and Orlando was at his mercy.

Dec 13

Video: Oladipo’s block leads to a fast break

Dec 13

Preview: Cleveland Cavaliers at Orlando Magic


  • Teams: Cleveland Cavaliers at Orlando Magic
  • Date: December 13, 2013
  • Time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Amway Center


  • Cavaliers: 8-13
  • Magic: 7-15

Probable starters


  • Kyrie Irving
  • C.J. Miles
  • Alonzo Gee
  • Tristan Thompson
  • Andrew Bynum


  • Jameer Nelson
  • Victor Oladipo
  • Arron Afflalo
  • Glen Davis
  • Nikola Vucevic

Advanced stats


  • Pace: 93.2 (20th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 98.4 (28th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 105.0 (15th of 30)


  • Pace: 94.9 (12th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 101.2 (24th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 105.6 (16th of 30)

Read about the Cavaliers

Cavs: The Blog

Dec 13

Fans to vote on top moment in Magic history

Via Orlando Magic press release:

In celebration of the Magic’s 25th anniversary season, will provide fans the opportunity to vote on their top moment in Magic history. Fans can log onto the website through January 31, 2014 for a list of the Magic’s top 25 moments to select their favorite. To get posted on the Magic’s website, fans can also tweet their favorite moment and why using the hashtag #MagicTop25.

The Magic’s top 25 moments (in chronological order):

December 22, 1988 – Orlando Awarded NBA Franchise

October 13, 1989 and November 6, 1989 – Orlando’s First Wins in Franchise History

December 30, 1990 – Skiles Dishes it Out

September 19, 1991 – DeVos Family Caretakers

1992, 1993, 2004 – Lottery Luck

April 23, 1993 – Bring Down the House

May 5, 1995 – The Boston Garden is Now Closed

May 7, 1995 – Anderson Stole the Ball

June 4, 1995 – Why Not Us, Why Not Now?

April 18, 1996 – 3-D from Downtown

April 29, 1997 and May 1, 1997 – Penny Goes to Work

February 22, 1998 – Welcome Back, Shaq

March 15, 1999 – Darrell Beats the Buzzer

March 10, 2004 – T-Mac in the Record Books

February 9, 2007 – Howard Slams Spurs

February 16, 2008 – Superman Steals the Show

January 13, 2009 – Bombs Away!

April 26, 2009 and April 30, 2009 – Ring a Bell in Philadelphia

May 28, 2009 – Boston Beatdown

May 30, 2009 – Return to The Finals

June 9, 2009 – NBA Finals First

October 10, 2010 – Amway Center Opens

January 19, 2011 – The 4-Point Plays

February 24-26, 2012 – All-Stars Hit Orlando

December 31, 2012 – Nik At Night

Dec 12

Thursday’s Magic Word

  • Tom Haberstroh of ESPN Insider thinks Arron Afflalo is deserving of an All-Star nod: “‘Spellcheck’ could be warming this seat for incumbent starter Dwyane Wade, but the Orlando 2-guard’s production has been absolutely stellar so far this season. Put it this way: Wade and Afflalo have nearly identical PERs but Afflalo has sustained that level for 300 more minutes than Wade. That’s no small thing. Afflalo’s scoring 21.6 points per game thanks to lights-out shooting from deep (43.6 percent) along with a career-high 18.9 percent assist rate. Unlike Wade, Afflalo’s a super conservative defender, but his body of work has been more impressive than Wade’s. Wade will almost certainly start, but if this was based on merit, Afflalo could be going to New Orleans as a starter.”
  • Victor Oladipo trails Michael Carter-Williams in the race for Rookie of the Year in one writer’s ballot.
  • Glen Davis gets up-close-and-personal with Fox Sports Florida’s Dante Marchitelli in a post-game interview following the Orlando Magic’s win against the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday.
  • Former Magic general manager John Weisbrod gets fired from the Calgary Flames.
  • Orlando got a balanced attack offensively in their win over the Bobcats.
  • A look back at some of Big Baby’s funniest moments in a Magic uniform.
  • Tobias Harris (ankle) may return to play on Friday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
  • John Denton of “If Orlando can get Harris back on the active roster for Friday night, it will be the first game this season in which every player on the roster is healthy and available to play. Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis has played in half of the Magic’s 22 games after working his way back from two foot surgeries. And Orlando got center Nikola Vucevic back from a sprained ankle on Wednesday in time for their stirring 92-83 defeat of the Charlotte Bobcats.”
  • Orlando’s starting lineup of Nelson-Oladipo-Afflalo-Davis-Vucevic is 3-0 this season.

Dec 12

Magic Basketball is looking for writers

First and foremost, if you’re interested in contributing, please send multiple writing samples (two or three will suffice).

To get a clue on my philosophy as writer, I strive for objectivity every step of the way while at the same time using evidence — I work with numbers a lot — to support my opinions and arguments. I’m looking for someone that is familiar with advanced statistics and comfortable using them, objective in their approach, and willing to be open-minded on whichever topics crop up.

If you’re more the creative, esoteric type, someone that likes to think of ideas and narratives outside the box (in other words, the type of writing you’ll see at The Classical), that’s also fine. I’m hoping to inject a different voice and style of prose at MBN, but I do have my preferences for what I seek.

Whether your style is more Grantland or like Henry Abbott, I’m looking for a good writer. If you fit the criteria I’m looking for, you’ll have the opportunity to have your articles featured on and be part of the TrueHoop Network.

I will not rush to make my decision until I feel fully comfortable that I’ve found someone that I’m willing to bring aboard, so just a heads up.


Please e-mail me at mbnhoops[at]gmail[dot]com

Dec 11

Grades: Orlando Magic 92, Charlotte Bobcats 83

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 10.30.09 AM

Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images


Orlando Magic 92 Final
Recap | Box Score
83 Charlotte Bobcats

Nikola Vucevic
4-9 FG | 4-4 FT | 1 BLK | 14 REB | 12 PTS | +13

After missing the last four games with a sprained left ankle, Vucevic made his return to the starting lineup and promptly fixed the Magic’s rebounding woes, which had ailed the team for the past week during his absence. Orlando out-rebounded the Bobcats by a wide margin (52-41) and Vucevic had much to do with that disparity.

Jameer Nelson
6-16 FG | 3-7 3P | 7 REB | 6 AST | 17 PTS | +13

Nelson scored 12 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter, and was the main reason the Magic were able to snap a six-game losing streak and come away with a victory against the Bobcats. With the Magic leading 83-79 and trying to hold off a late Charlotte comeback, Nelson’s 3-pointer with 1:06 remaining proved to be the dagger.

Glen Davis
8-17 FG | 1-1 3P | 12 REB | 3 AST | 17 PTS | +10

What’s the bigger surprise? That Davis made a corner 3 or that he gobbled up double-digit rebounds in his 11th game of the regular season? The 3-pointer was a happy accident, but the 12 rebounds were much-needed for Orlando. Big Baby finally put his big body to good use, having the most success muscling rookie Cody Zeller around for boards.

Arron Afflalo
6-18 FG | 1-4 3P | 5 AST | 4 REB | 16 PTS | +14

Afflalo has been on a bit of a cold streak lately. After scoring a career-high 43 points against the Philadelphia 76ers on December 3, Afflalo has failed to eclipse the 20-point mark in his last three games. The fadeaway midrange jumpers he’s been feasting on this season weren’t falling against the Bobcats and he wasn’t able to connect on many of his 3-point attempts, either.

Charlotte Bobcats

They made a lot of headlines during the offseason for overpaying free agent Al Jefferson, but it’s the hiring of Steve Clifford (a Stan Van Gundy acolyte) that should have warranted more press. Despite a sputtering offense, the Bobcats have been competitive in nearly every game — their loss against the Magic the latest example. That’s a credit to Clifford’s coaching.

Dec 11

Video: Oladipo throws down the alley-oop dunk

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