Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 42

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, OrlandoMagic.com 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 OrlandoMagic.com: “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 ESPN.com 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.

Thanks!

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

Dec 11

Preview: Orlando Magic at Charlotte Bobcats

Essentials

  • Teams: Orlando Magic at Charlotte Bobcats
  • Date: December 11, 2013
  • Time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Time Warner Cable Arena

Records

  • Magic: 6-15
  • Bobcats: 10-11

Probable starters

Magic:

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

Bobcats:

  • Kemba Walker
  • Gerald Henderson
  • Josh McRoberts
  • Anthony Tolliver
  • Al Jefferson

Advanced stats

Magic:

  • Pace: 95.1 (12th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 101.2 (24th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 106.2 (22nd of 30)

Bobcats:

  • Pace: 92.4 (24th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 98.3 (29th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 100.1 (3rd of 30)

Read about the Bobcats

Queen City Hoops

Dec 10

Grades: Memphis Grizzlies 94, Orlando Magic 85

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 5.21.32 AM

Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

 

Memphis Grizzlies 94 Final
Recap | Box Score
85 Orlando Magic

Victor Oladipo
4-11 FG | 1-6 FT | 3 STL | 6 REB | 10 PTS | +3

He only had three assists in almost 40 minutes of playing time, but he still managed to turn the ball over four times. He even got yanked right away to receive some coaching from Vaughn before going right back out (good for his confidence). He needs to make smarter decisions when he’s handling the ball up top and take the ball to the rim more.

Arron Afflalo
5-16 FG | 6-6 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 17 PTS | -5

His shooting has cooled considerably since his career-high 43 points a week ago, and he’s failed to crack 40 percent shooting or 20 points in his last two contests. Tayshaun Prince’s long arms made his post turnaround difficult, and Afflalo didn’t help matters with those four turnovers, either.

Jameer Nelson
6-14 FG | 2-8 3P | 4 REB | 5 AST | 19 PTS | -6

There was a play around the 4:30 mark in the first quarter, where Jerryd Bayless flashed to Conley before cutting backdoor along the baseline for an uncontested dunk. Nelson was completely bamboozled, and that came after he had blown a wide-open layup earlier in the first. He filled up the stat sheet offensively, but his defense and enthusiasm on that end of the floor was awful.

Andrew Nicholson
8-12 FG | 2-3 3P | 4 BLK | 11 REB | 19 PTS | +2

Say hello to the only Magic player that could find the bottom of the twine. Nicholson was hitting from all over — he was 4-for-4 in the lane with a tip-in, a righty hook, a finger roll layup and another hook, plus the foul. Splice in a couple corner 3s and Nicholson played well within himself in a superb overall game.

Memphis Grizzlies

They played their game at their pace, which is more tortoise than rabbit. They also grabbed defensive rebounds (Orlando only had three offensive rebounds all night to Memphis’ 11), and didn’t allow many open looks near the rim, preferring to let Orlando try and knock down long 2-pointers instead. After jumping out to a 21-point halftime lead, they hung on in the second half for the wine.

Dec 09

Preview: Orlando Magic at Memphis Grizzlies

Essentials

  • Teams: Orlando Magic at Memphis Grizzlies
  • Date: December 9, 2013
  • Time: 8:00 p.m.
  • Television: NBA TV
  • Arena: FedEx Forum

Records

  • Magic: 6-14
  • Grizzlies: 9-10

Probable starters

Magic:

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

Grizzlies:

  • Mike Conley
  • Jerryd Bayless
  • Tayshaun Prince
  • Zach Randolph
  • Kosta Koufos

Advanced stats

Magic:

  • Pace: 95.2 (12th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 101.7 (24th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 106.6 (22nd of 30)

Grizzlies:

  • Pace: 89.6 (30th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 102.8 (21st of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 106.6 (23rd of 30)

Read about the Grizzlies

3 Shades of Blue

Dec 09

Magic to honor Dennis Scott on December 13

Orlando Warm Up 1995

Photo by Getty Images

Via Orlando Magic press release:

In continuation of the Orlando Magic’s 25th anniversary season-long celebration the team will honor the Magic’s 3-point field goal leader, Dennis Scott, at the Magic’s December 13 matchup vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers, tip-off set for 7 p.m. The night will feature a center court presentation at the end of the first quarter. Scott will also join FOX Sports Florida’s broadcasts including Magic Live pregame show with hosts Paul Kennedy and Nick Anderson and join broadcasters David Steele and Jeff Turner for a portion of the game broadcast. Leading up to the night, he will be featured on Magic Drive Time radio show with host Dante Marchitelli on Thursday, December 12 at 5:30 p.m. on 740 The Game. In addition, the first 2,500 fans will receive a collectible 8×10 photo featuring Scott and Magic guard Jameer Nelson. Scott will be available to the media at 6 p.m. on Friday, December 13 in the Amway Center interview room.

“Legends Nights” is an on-going program which will honor former players/legends throughout the Magic’s Silver Season. In addition to the Magic’s “Legends Nights”, the 2013-14 season will feature the Silver Ticket Sweepstakes and Scratch Off Promotion, special appearances, game entertainment and other events throughout the season.

The Magic’s fourth pick in the 1990 NBA Draft out of Georgia Tech, Scott played seven seasons for Orlando from 1990-97. In 446 career regular season games with the Magic, he averaged 14.8 ppg., 3.1 rpg., 2.3 apg. and 1.0 spg. Scott ranks as the franchise’s all-time leader in 3-point field goals made (981) and in the top ten in games played (446 – seventh), points (6,603 – eighth), steals (429 – seventh), assists (1,034 – ninth), field goals made (2421 – eighth), field goals attempted (5,737 – sixth), 3-point field goals attempted (2,432 – second) and minutes played (13,692 – eighth).

Dec 08

Grades: Houston Rockets 98, Orlando Magic 88

Screen Shot 2013-12-08 at 11.03.40 PM

Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

 

Houston Rockets 98 Final
Recap | Box Score
88 Orlando Magic

Victor Oladipo
2-11 FG | 4-6 FT | 3 STL | 4 AST | 8 PTS | -25

It was horrible shooting night for Oladipo in a game where it seemed like nothing would fall for him. There were some positives, though. Like his knack for drawing fouls, which comes in handy on nights like these where his shot has gone awry. He got out of control with his dribble a few times, but only turned the ball over twice.

Glen Davis
8-18 FG | 2-4 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 18 PTS | -10

Davis continued his hot play and was one of the only bright spots for the Magic. He looked smooth on the offensive end, especially in pick-and-roll sets. He could have given a little bit more effort on the glass, though. Houston took advantage of Davis — and the rest of Orlando’s big men with Vucevic out — and gobbled up 15 offensive rebounds.

Arron Afflalo
6-17 FG | 1-6 3P | 9 REB | 1 AST | 16 PTS | -17

Afflalo was efficient for most of the game, until he started chucking up shots at the end to try to spur a comeback. I’m still not a fan of some of the fadeaway midrange Js he takes, but they’re going down right now. He was the top rebounder on the Magic, which speaks to the team’s lackluster performance on the boards.

Jameer Nelson
5-12 FG | 4-6 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 15 PTS | -14

Nelson was adept finishing at the rim around former teammate Dwight Howard and hit a few big shots that got the Magic back into it at the end. He had some nice chemistry with Big Baby on pick-and-rolls and pick-and-pops, and came off the pick firing from behind the 3-point line when the Rockets’ bigs dropped back to protect the paint.

Houston Rockets

The Rockets were generally sloppy and were aided by the Magic’s inability to make even the simplest shots. With Vucevic nursing a sprained left ankle, they were able to parlay their size advantage into a sizable edge in the rebounding department. Houston also got a lot of free throws in a game that was a blowout for most of the second half.

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