Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 4

Oct 02

Magic single-game tickets on sale October 10

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Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Via Orlando Magic press release:

Single-game tickets for games through January 3, 2015 of the 2014-15 Orlando Magic season will go on sale October 10 to the general public. The Magic will open the regular season in the Amway Center when they host the Washington Wizards on Thursday, October 30. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m.

Tickets will be available for purchase:

- Online at www.orlandomagic.com

- At the Amway Center box office (located on Church St.)

- At all TicketMaster outlets

- By calling 1-800-4NBA-TIX

- MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover accepted at all purchase points

The Magic also announce the return of the Sunday, Wednesday, Friday ticket packages for Florida residents: Sunday Family Magic, Mid-Week Magic and Friday Night Magic.

Sunday Family Magic presented by Papa John’s is offered for every Sunday home game and includes four tickets, four Papa John’s pizzas and four Pepsi soft drinks (or two Pepsi soft drinks and two beers) and front-of-the-line access to layups on the court after the game, starting at $99 for four. Mid-Week Magic is offered for every Wednesday home game and includes one ticket plus choice of hot dog or pretzel and one Pepsi or beer, or two Coronaritas along with Happy Hour at ‘Rona & ‘Ritas, starting at $20. Friday Night Magic is offered for every Friday home game and includes two options: option one – one ticket plus the choice of food and soda or beer at Amway Center concessions starting at $25 or option two – one ticket plus a Magic Grill menu item and one Pepsi or beer, starting at $70.

All three ticket packages are only available for purchase through OrlandoMagic.com. Ticket highlights for the Magic’s 2014-15 season in the Amway Center, named SportsBusiness Journal’s 2012 Sports Facility of the Year, include: 2,500 seats priced $20 or less, 8,000 seats priced $40 or less and 9,000 seats priced $50 or under.

Oct 02

Player Profile: Elfrid Payton

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Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Frankel’s 2014-15 per 36 projections

PPG RPG APG TS% PER ASPM
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

After not taking one of the expected choices — Dante Exum or Marcus Smart — with the No. 4 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, it became clear the Magic were targeting late-rising point guard Elfrid Payton with their second lottery pick. The Oladipo-as-a-point guard experiment was nice, and probably helped his development, but there was a consensus that Orlando needed a permanent solution at the point.

Payton hung around the 20s on draft boards for most of the college basketball season, but his stock started rising around March Madness and the NBA Draft Combine, and eventually mock drafts projected him as a lottery pick. There are a few players like this in each draft (Damian Lillard comes to mind) and it’s interesting to look at why they rise and what makes them appealing that wasn’t evident earlier in the season.

A lot of it with Payton probably comes down to him going to a mid-major school (Louisiana-Lafayette). Scouts gained a better appreciation of his skills once they spent more time watching him after his season was over.

Payton’s skill-set also fits into the type of team the Magic are trying to build. Most of the Magic’s recent player acquisitions have been focused on defense, and that’s Payton’s most NBA-ready skill. He’s tall for a point guard at 6-foot-4, and long-armed as well, posting a 3.5 percent steal rate in college. While he lacks the strength of Smart or the dexterity of other smaller guards, Payton’s a complete, if not spectacular package on the defensive end. He also rebounded at a very high rate on both the offensive and defensive ends in school. That could just be him dominating lesser competition, but there’s no way it’s a bad thing.

On the offensive end, Payton played a huge role in college. He used 25.2 percent of his team’s possession while on the floor and had a 33.1 assist rate. He’s not a single-faceted “pure” point guard or scoring point guard — he melds both skills well. He’ll probably create less in the NBA, with better players on his team, and pass more than he did in college. His aforementioned height comes in handy there, in seeing over defenders and picking out the right passes.

Payton’s scoring game was largely drive-based at ULL, and he shares the trait of poor shooting with draft classmate Aaron Gordon. He’s not abnormally athletic either, instead using his length to finish around the rim. How well he’ll be able to score while surrounded by NBA athletes is still a big question mark for him.

Payton is younger than his junior standing at Louisiana-Lafayette may suggest: he’s still only 20 (two years younger than Victor Oladipo). All in all, it’s clear that he’s the heir apparent to the Orlando point guard position and will have plenty of time to grow into that role.

Oct 01

Fox Sports Florida to televise Magic vs. Flamengo

Via Fox Sports Florida press release:

FOX Sports Florida, the regional television home of the Orlando Magic, announced today the network will televise the Magic’s preseason home opener on Wednesday, Oct. 15 at 7:00 p.m., versus Brazil’s Flamengo. David Steele will handle play-by-play duties, alongside color analyst Jeff Turner, with Dante Marchitelli reporting from the sidelines.

The broadcast will provide Magic fans with their first look at the 2014-15 edition of the Orlando Magic, a young, versatile, athletic squad which features 10 players under the age of 25. Said head coach Jacque Vaughn, “From a coaching standpoint and organizational standpoint, we’re extremely excited about the depth and talent on this roster. These guys started playing basketball because they love competition. We’re keeping things simple: We want them to love the game of basketball and compete as hard as they can every single day.”

Winners of the Brazilian National League Title, the FIBA Americas League Continental Title, and their 40th ‘State’ championship, Rio de Janeiro Flamengo will be the first South American squad to face a NBA opponent as part of a preseason exhibition this season.

Oct 01

Player Profile: Luke Ridnour

Orlando Magic sign free agent Luke Ridnour

Photo by Stephen M. Dowell via Getty Images

Frankel’s 2014-15 per 36 projections

PPG RPG APG TS% PER ASPM
9.2 3.6 5.1 44.0 8.2 -3.9

Luke Ridnour played just 36 games in Milwaukee during the 2013-14 season (starting 12 of them) before being shipped off to Charlotte in a deal at the trade deadline involving Gary Neal, Ramon Sessions, and Jeff Adrien. It was a tough year for Ridnour, who played the least amount of minutes and games (not including the lockout season) since his rookie year back in 2004. He started just 14 of his 61 games, and averaged a little under 19 minutes a night.

Ridnour’s .452 True Shooting percentage wasn’t pretty, but his 327 field goal attempts weren’t exactly an adequate sample size, especially as that number sits below his career percentage (.519). His 9.0 PER wasn’t any better — it was below replacement-level and way under his career PER (14.0).

His 2012-13 campaign — Ridnour’s final year in Minnesota — would likely be a better representation of his abilities, and of what he can bring to Orlando this season. Quietly back then, Ridnour was one of the league’s most prolific midrange scorers — he shot 55.7 percent from 10-16 feet and 48.7 percent from 16-23 feet, while having one of the more intriguing shot charts in the league. He sported a healthy 13.0 PER and his .532 True Shooting percentage was right at the league average.

Passing was, and is, another notable strength of Ridnour’s — he averaged 4.5 assists per 36 minutes in 2012-13 despite playing a majority of his minutes at shooting guard alongside Ricky Rubio. He boasts a career average of 6.2 assists per 36, and put up passing numbers just under that last season (5.6 assists per 36) despite his inconsistent play.

It will certainly be interesting to see what the Magic get out of Luke Ridnour next season. He’s 33 years old, and unquestionably past his prime, but he provides a veteran presence that Orlando seemed to miss on the floor last year, particularly in late-game situations.

It’s tough to estimate what sort of minutes he will play, but the Magic have shown that while they’re clearly all-in on the development of their younger guys, they’re still going to play the vets, as was seen with a 31-year-old Jameer Nelson starting in every game he appeared in.

There’s also the possibility of Ridnour’s addition pushing Victor Oladipo to shooting guard full-time. With Ridnour’s signing coinciding with drafting Elfrid Payton, we could see an end to the point guard experiment that Oladipo went through last season, especially if Ridnour’s minutes per game get back to normal (he averages 26.7 minutes per game for his career).

Whatever happens, not too much can go wrong with the Ridnour signing. He’s a proven player on a two-year, $5.5 million deal with only one year guaranteed, who — as GM Rob Hennigan said — “is well-respected as a teammate and competitor.” Even if this season doesn’t pan out for him, adding an NBA veteran to a roster with 10 players under the age of 24 is a good move, and can hopefully help oversee the growth of some of the younger guys.

Sep 29

Magic unveil “Pride Jersey” alternate home unis

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Photo courtesy of the Orlando Magic

Via Orlando Magic press release:

The Orlando Magic unveiled today new alternate Pride Jersey home uniforms, which will serve as the team’s fourth uniform to go along with their home white, road blue and alternate black pinstripe uniforms. The sleeved, adidas Pride Jersey is made out of engineered mesh in Magic silver to represent “steel” – a rigid, unbending and relentless symbol of unity created to invoke a sense of “pride” and an unyielding commitment to competing at the highest level.

The uniforms were developed through a collaborative effort between the team, the NBA and adidas. The Pride Jersey will pay homage to the Magic’s iconic silver-colored stars that have been part of the team’s logo lineage. The silver stars were originally featured prominently as replacements for the letter “a” in both “Orlando” and “Magic” within the team’s first logo in 1989. The silver stars have remained a part of the Magic’s logo throughout the years, including the team’s logo changes in 2000 and 2010.

The Magic’s new silver alternate home uniform debut will be on Wednesday, November 26, when the Magic host the Golden State Warriors at Amway Center. The team will wear them for select home games during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.

The Magic will have the new silver adidas Pride Jersey available for purchase at a limited-time presale beginning Monday, September 29 and lasting through November 23 exclusively at www.orlandomagic.com/team-shop. Each fan who purchases the new Magic silver adidas Pride Jersey during the presale period will also receive two tickets to a Magic preseason game.

Sep 29

Magic add four players to training camp roster

Via Orlando Magic press release:

The Orlando Magic have signed free agents Kadeem Batts, Drew Crawford, Seth Curry and Peyton Siva, general manager Rob Hennigan announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deal are not disclosed. Orlando’s roster now stands at 19 players.

Sep 25

Orlando Magic unveil “Pure Magic” campaign

Orlando Magic U

Photo by Fernando Medina

Via Orlando Magic press release:

To build off the organization’s commitment to excellence, the fans and the community the Magic have unveiled a unique, engaging and integrative marketing campaign, “Pure Magic.” This rebranded campaign turns the page on the next chapter in Orlando Magic history. As the team and the Magic brand continue to grow, this evolution speaks to the Magic’s continued desire to achieve excellence through authenticity, from the players’ effort and play on the court to the experience and quality found in the Amway Center during every game. Pure Magic is about building a sustainably successful team and integrating the Magic brand as part of the fan’s lifestyle.

Pure Magic speaks to what the Magic organization strives to display on the court, in the community and with the fans. The new campaign updates the Magic’s message and reaffirms the franchise’s unwavering pursuit to unmitigated, pure success while focusing on the fan experience and excitement of what it means to be a Magic fan. Pure Magic is the collection of unique, memorable experiences that fans encounter at Amway Center, enjoying the venue, friends, fans and above all the game. Hallmarks of the campaign are in the Magic’s mantra of competing every night, believing, leading and inspiring as the Magic strive for excellence via integrity, strength, passion and hard work.

“The Orlando Magic’s mission is to be world champions both on and off the court. Pure Magic really reflects our philosophy and how our team, coaches and staff work towards accomplishing that mission,” said Magic CEO Alex Martins. “This new campaign builds on the tradition and legacy of our organization and signifies the beginning of a new era of excitement for the Orlando Magic. We are focused on this team, our fans and the future and look forward to creating more Pure Magic moments together.”

“Pure Magic is a great statement and a strong message that we wanted to provide to our fans, employees and all of our partners,” said Magic vice president of marketing Lisa Cotter. “It’s designed for the fans to know our commitment to building a team that makes them proud and our commitment to their experience. We want them to feel like they are part of a family as we all work together to build this team and compete for a championship while creating memories and experiences to remember.”

A team of 25 Magic staff members, including Martins, worked with local advertising firm, GoConvergence, to create the new slogan which was designed to remind fans and partners that the Magic are a cornerstone of this community, a lifestyle, a rallying point. The Magic officially unveiled the new marketing campaign to the Central Florida market on September 25.

As part of the campaign debut, a large “MAG_C” structure has been developed in partnership with FOX Sports Florida that will make its way around Central Florida for fans to take photos with as they fill in the “I” to remind them they are an important part of the team and its success. Fans are encouraged to upload their photos with the “MAG_C” structure to participate in the season-long “How are you Pure Magic?” social media sweepstakes using the hashtag #PureMagicSweeps for a chance to win tickets to home opening night, luxury suite night and other prizes throughout the season. The “MAG_C” structure will first appear at Lake Eola beginning Thurs., Sept. 25.

“MAG_C” Structure Locations/Dates:

Sept. 25: Lake Eola Park (in downtown Orlando)
Oct. 26: Park Ave. (in Winter Park)
Oct. 27: Carver Middle School
Oct. 28: Wall Street Plaza (in downtown Orlando)
Oct. 29: UCF
Oct. 30: Amway Center Plaza (corner of Church St. and Division Ave.)*

*beginning on Oct. 30, the structure will live in the Amway Center plaza for next two years

Sep 09

Jay Hernandez named Magic assistant coach

Via Orlando Magic press release:

The Orlando Magic have named Jay Hernandez assistant coach/player development general manager Rob Hennigan announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deal are not disclosed.

“We are extremely excited to add Jay (Hernandez) and his family to the Orlando Magic,” said head coach Jacque Vaughn. “Jay will bring a tireless work ethic and dedication to development to our coaching staff.”

Hernandez established Pro Hoops, Inc. in 2004, a basketball training service based in New York for teams and individuals seeking to improve their performance. Their mission is to help basketball players of all ages reach their full potential. Under his leadership, Pro Hoops has grown in its scope of players that are training there, as well as programs that have been established.

Hernandez played one season at the University of New Hampshire (1996-97) and three seasons at Hofstra University (1998-2001). He helped Hofstra to a berth in the NIT in 1999, then back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2000 and 2001. Hernandez went on to play professionally in Puerto Rico for three seasons.

Aug 26

Bill Peterson named BayHawks head coach

Via Orlando Magic press release:

The Orlando Magic have named Bill Peterson as head coach of its D-League team, the Erie BayHawks, Magic general manager Rob Hennigan announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deal are not disclosed.

“We are excited to welcome Bill (Peterson) and his family,” said Hennigan. “Bill’s passion for teaching and development fit seamlessly into our vision of creating a culture of collaboration and synergy between the Orlando Magic and Erie Bayhawks. His wealth of knowledge and experience will help our players fulfill their ultimate basketball potential.”

“When speaking with Bill, it’s clear that he’s committed to developing our players and has a strong desire to win,” said BayHawks majority owner Steve Demetriou. “We’re looking forward to him becoming a part of the Erie community and leading our team as we begin our new affiliation with the Orlando Magic.”

Aug 20

How good can Evan Fournier become?

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Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

In late June, the Orlando Magic traded a proven player and their leading scorer to the Denver Nuggets for, essentially, two unknowns, which in most cases isn’t a smart move.

With the 56th overall pick in the 2014 draft, which was included in the trade, the Magic acquired Devyn Marble, a potent scorer in college who has a lot of developing to do before he becomes a rotational player in the NBA. With the Magic now having their own D-League affiliate, there’s a strong chance Marble will spend a lot of his rookie season on assignment with the Erie BayHawks. With that in mind, it’s unlikely he’ll be a big contributor anytime soon.

The focal point of the trade was Evan Fournier who, despite some upside, has very little mileage — 114 games and 1,931 minutes — and a short resume — 840 points and 156 assists — since entering the league in 2012.

On the surface, the trade was heavily lopsided, even with Arron Afflalo’s impending free agency (he has a player option after the 2014-15 season). The Nuggets got the Magic’s leading scorer and fringe Eastern Conference All-Star in return for a bench player and one of the final picks in the draft. However, the Magic have had Fournier on their radar for quite some time and feel as though he fits in perfectly with what they are trying to accomplish right now. The question is: are they overvaluing him, or does he actually have the potential to bring them much-needed scoring?

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