Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 4

Mar 29

Grades: Orlando Magic 110, Charlotte Bobcats 105 (OT)

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Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

 

Orlando Magic 110 Final
Recap | Box Score
105 Charlotte Bobcats

Arron Afflalo
3-9 FG | 9-10 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 17 PTS | -6

Afflalo is the biggest reason why the Magic were able to beat the Bobcats. With Orlando trailing 97-94, Afflalo made a 3-pointer at the top of the key — with the help of a (moving) Vucevic screen — to tie things up with 7.4 seconds left. It’s that shot which allowed the Magic to send the game into overtime and eventually win it.

Nikola Vucevic
11-22 FG | 2-3 FT | 23 REB | 1 AST | 24 PTS | -5

At one point in the first half, Vucevic was 2-for-12 from the floor — though a lot of those shots were missed tip-ins. Then he made nine consecutive field goals before missing a shot near the end of regulation. Oh, and while Vucevic was doing all that, he was gobbling up rebounds like Pacman en route to his sixth career 20-20 game.

Tobias Harris
5-11 FG | 5-6 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 15 PTS | +13

Even though Harris didn’t start, head coach Jacque Vaughn relied on him heavily. With Josh McRoberts having a career night, Vaughn tried to slow him down by using Harris at the stretch four position to defend him on the perimeter — something that Kyle O’Quinn (a more traditional big man) struggled to do. It worked, as McRoberts didn’t have a lot of success scoring on Harris.

Victor Oladipo
5-12 FG | 4-6 FT | 4 STL | 3 REB | 14 PTS | +9

The Oladipo experience is truly intoxicating to watch sometimes. He can wow you with his ability to put defenders on skates with his crossover dribble (hello Kemba Walker). He can make your head shake in disbelief with his elite speed and athleticism in the open court. Then you notice his five turnovers and have to remind yourself that he still has much to learn.

Charlotte Bobcats

Despite a career-high 24 points from McRoberts, Charlotte was unable to beat Orlando on the road. The biggest issue for the Bobcats was that they got destroyed on the boards. They got out-rebounded 57-36, with Vucevic racking up 23 rebounds in the process. Unless you’re the Miami Heat, it’s hard to win games when the rebounding discrepancy is that large.

Mar 29

Video: Arron Afflalo hits a game-tying 3-pointer

Mar 28

Preview: Charlotte Bobcats at Orlando Magic

Essentials

  • Teams: Charlotte Bobcats at Orlando Magic
  • Date: March 28, 2014
  • Time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Amway Center

Records

  • Bobcats: 35-37
  • Magic: 20-52

Probable starters

Bobcats:

  • Kemba Walker
  • Gerald Henderson
  • Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
  • Josh McRoberts
  • Al Jefferson

Magic:

  • Jameer Nelson
  • Arron Afflalo
  • Maurice Harkless
  • Kyle O’Quinn
  • Nikola Vucevic

Advanced stats

Bobcats:

  • Pace: 92.6 (21st of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 103.2 (24th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 104.4 (8th of 30)

Magic:

  • Pace: 94.0 (16th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 101.4 (29th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 106.9 (16th of 30)

Read about the Bobcats

Queen City Hoops

Mar 26

Grades: Orlando Magic 95, Portland Trail Blazers 85

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AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.

 

Orlando Magic 95 Final
Recap | Box Score
85 Portland Trail Blazers

Arron Afflalo
3-9 FG | 4-5 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 10 PTS | +9

With Harris and Vucevic scoring seemingly at will, and Oladipo running the show offensively, Afflalo was very much a spectator for most of the evening. He did go on a bit of a scoring flurry late in the second quarter, but that was the extent of Afflalo’s positive influence on the game. On the flip-side, his five turnovers were a glaring negative.

Nikola Vucevic
10-18 FG | 2-3 FT | 2 STL | 10 REB | 22 PTS | +10

Vucevic showed great synergy with Oladipo in the pick-and-roll against the Blazers, which helped fuel his outstanding night offensively. Earlier in the regular season, the timing was always a little off between the two. But as the season has progressed, you can see that Oladipo and Vucevic are getting more in-sync with each other. And tonight was a prime example of their improved chemistry.

Tobias Harris
10-15 FG | 3-4 FT | 1 BLK | 11 REB | 25 PTS | +1

It’s nights like these when people are reminded that the Milwaukee Bucks gave up Harris for a J.J. Redick rental. Harris was practically unstoppable on offense against Portland. He took advantage of mismatches in the post, he was aggressive on the offensive boards, and he was knocking down corner 3s and midrange jump shots. Harris showed off the total package.

Victor Oladipo
5-16 FG | 3-3 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 13 PTS | +13

To the doubters who are skeptical that Oladipo can play the point guard position in the NBA, look no further than this game (and many other games) as proof that, yes, he can. Oladipo’s stat line doesn’t jump off the page. But with Jameer Nelson still nursing a sore left knee, Oladipo did his job as Orlando’s floor general. The offense ran smoothly with him in the floor.

Portland Trail Blazers

Coming off a heartbreaking loss to the Miami Heat on Monday and playing on a road back-to-back, without their best player no less (LaMarcus Aldridge), the Blazers struggled against the Magic. Portland’s top-rated offense, in particular, looked all out of sorts, as Orlando was swarming defensively. If it wasn’t for Robin Lopez (20 points, 13 rebounds), the final score would have probably been far worse for the Blazers.

Mar 26

Video: Victor Oladipo breaks Mo Williams’ ankles

Mar 25

Preview: Portland Trail Blazers at Orlando Magic

Essentials

  • Teams: Portland Trail Blazers at Orlando Magic
  • Date: March 25, 2014
  • Time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Amway Center

Records

  • Trail Blazers: 45-26
  • Magic: 19-52

Probable starters

Trail Blazers:

  • Damian Lillard
  • Wesley Matthews
  • Nicolas Batum
  • Dorell Wright
  • Robin Lopez

Magic:

  • Victor Oladipo
  • Arron Afflalo
  • Maurice Harkless
  • Kyle O’Quinn
  • Nikola Vucevic

Advanced stats

Trail Blazers:

  • Pace: 95.1 (11th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 111.8 (1st of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 107.8 (19th of 30)

Magic:

  • Pace: 94.1 (15th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 101.4 (29th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 107.1 (18th of 30)

Read about the Blazers

Blazer’s Edge

Mar 24

Monday’s Magic Word

  • Matt Dollinger of Sports Illustrated: “With Jameer Nelson sidelined, Victor Oladipo has started at point guard in the Magic’s last three games. The rookie has gone in and out of the starting five all season, but had one of his best games in Sunday’s loss to the Lakers: 21 points (6-of-11 shooting), 10 assists and five rebounds. The only problem? His turnover problems (game-high eight) aren’t going away.”
  • Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk on the difficulties of the Magic’s remaining schedule: “They have lost nine in a row and what’s brutal is their schedule the rest of the way — they only have two games left against non-playoff teams. With all those losses not sure Victor Oladipo is playing well enough to take the ROY award away from Michael Carter-Williams.”
  • Dewayne Dedmon is hoping to stick around with Orlando beyond this season.
  • The Magic have their eyes set on Dante Exum in the 2014 NBA Draft.
  • Orlando isn’t playing well lately — losers of nine straight — and that could negatively effect Victor Oladipo’s chances at winning the Rookie of the Year award.
  • A deeper look at Exum’s potential.
  • John Schuhmann of NBA.com: “The Magic play nine of their last 11 games against playoff teams, but aren’t quite playing like a spoiler, having lost nine straight (including three against the Bucks, Jazz and Lakers). Their offense stinks, in part because they don’t get to the free-throw line. They rank last in post-break FTA rate, with Nikola Vucevic having attempted just four freebies in 146 minutes over his last five games.”
  • Zach Harper of CBSSports.com: “The Magic have been impressive all season long. They’ve toed the line of competitiveness with no real overwhelming feelings of tanking, even though they never put a team on the floor that can actually dream of making a playoff push, which is fine. They’re in part of their rebuilding plan and hitting it big in this year’s potentially star-heavy draft would put them right on schedule for competing for the playoffs next season. It’s just a matter of managing their assets properly this offseason, in case any advantageous trade opportunities come up.”
  • With the Magic officially eliminated from playoff contention following their loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, Royce Young of CBSSports.com takes an in-depth look at Orlando’s season overall.

Mar 24

Grades: Los Angeles Lakers 103, Orlando Magic 94

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AP Photo/Mark J. Terril

 

Los Angeles Lakers 103 Final
Recap | Box Score
94 Orlando Magic

Arron Afflalo
6-15 FG | 2-5 3P | 2 REB | 5 AST | 18 PTS | -15

Nikola Vucevic
2-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 11 REB | 3 AST | 4 PTS | -16

Victor Oladipo
6-11 FG | 7-9 FT | 5 REB | 10 AST | 21 PTS | -4

Tobias Harris
7-14 FG | 2-2 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 16 PTS | 0

Los Angeles Lakers

Mar 23

Preview: Orlando Magic at Los Angeles Lakers

Essentials

  • Teams: Orlando Magic at Los Angeles Lakers
  • Date: March 23, 2014
  • Time: 9:30 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Staples Center

Records

  • Magic: 19-51
  • Lakers: 23-45

Probable starters

Magic:

  • Victor Oladipo
  • Arron Afflalo
  • Maurice Harkless
  • Kyle O’Quinn
  • Nikola Vucevic

Lakers:

  • Kendall Marshall
  • Jodie Meeks
  • Wesley Johnson
  • Jordan Hill
  • Pau Gasol

Advanced stats

Magic:

  • Pace: 94.1 (15th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 101.4 (29th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 107.1 (18th of 30)

Lakers:

  • Pace: 98.5 (2nd of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 103.4 (22nd of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 110.1 (28th of 30)

Read about the Lakers

Forum Blue & Gold

Mar 23

Grades: Utah Jazz 89, Orlando Magic 88

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Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

 

Utah Jazz 89 Final
Recap | Box Score
88 Orlando Magic

Arron Afflalo
4-9 FG | 7-9 FT | 2 REB | 6 AST | 18 PTS | +3

Nikola Vucevic
8-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 13 REB | 5 AST | 16 PTS | +4

Victor Oladipo
5-14 FG | 8-10 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 19 PTS | -2

Maurice Harkless
7-13 FG | 1-3 3P | 2 BLK | 4 REB | 15 PTS | -5

Utah Jazz

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