Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 48

Nov 09

Preview: Orlando Magic at Atlanta Hawks


  • Teams: Orlando Magic at Atlanta Hawks
  • Date: November 9, 2013
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Philips Arena


  • Magic: 3-3
  • Celtics: 2-3

Probable starters


  • Jameer Nelson
  • Arron Afflalo
  • Maurice Harkless
  • Jason Maxiell
  • Nikola Vuvevic


  • Jeff Teague
  • Kyle Korver
  • DeMarre Carroll
  • Paul Millsap
  • Al Horford

Advanced stats


  • Pace: 97.4 (12th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 104.0 (11th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 97.2 (4th of 30)


  • Pace: 98.2 (8th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 107.1 (6th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 107.3 (25th of 30)

Read about the Hawks


Nov 08

Grades: Boston Celtics 91, Orlando Magic 89

Screen Shot 2013-11-09 at 3.31.04 PM

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images


Boston Celtics 91 Final
Recap | Box Score
89 Orlando Magic

Nikola Vucevic
6-12 FG | 2-4 FT | 13 REB | 1 AST | 14 PTS | -8

Vucevic took off the second and third quarters against the Celtics after that monster 31-point, 20-rebound game versus the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday. He still managed a double-double with 14 points and 13 boards, but was a specter in the middle of the game when Boston took the lead. He needs to bring the effort every quarter.

Victor Oladipo
3-12 FG | 3-4 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 9 PTS | -6

Oladipo ran a lot of pick-and-roll action, and more often than not, pulled up for a clanked jumper, or forced stuff inside when he should have just reset the offense. He’s young, so getting his pocket picked by Avery Bradley isn’t surprising, but he has to make better decisions out of the pick-and-roll and get his timing down with the roll man.

Arron Afflalo
8-15 FG | 5-6 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 23 PTS | +3

In his first two possessions, Afflalo was blocked and whistled for an offensive foul against Bradley. Then he settled down a little bit, and ended up with the highest point total for Orlando in the game. Like Vucevic, he bookended some nice moments (four-point play, three-point play, and a clutch jumper late in the fourth) with subpar middle two quarters.

Jameer Nelson
4-15 FG | 2-9 3P | 3 REB | 7 AST | 12 PTS | +3

It’s never good when you have a 1:1 assist-to-turnover ratio, which Nelson did in this game. He also shot just 4-for-15 from the floor and paired that with sloppy ballhandling, though props to Bradley’s defensive pressure for some of that. It was just a bad showing overall for the Magic point guard, who always seems to have trouble dealing with Bradley.

Boston Celtics

They’ve been arguably the worst team in the East so far this season, so the Magic should be disappointed they couldn’t put together a win. Courtney Lee shot well, and Bradley was a great pest on defense, per usual, and Jordan Crawford actually finished with 13 points and 5 assists. As a whole, the C’s had six players in double-figures for a well-rounded, though ugly win.

Nov 08

Video: Maurice Harkless throws the hammer down

Nov 08

Preview: Boston Celtics at Orlando Magic


  • Teams: Boston Celtics at Orlando Magic
  • Date: November 8, 2013
  • Time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Amway Center


  • Celtics: 1-4
  • Magic: 3-2

Probable starters


  • Avery Bradley
  • Jordan Crawford
  • Jeff Green
  • Brandon Bass
  • Vitor Faverani


  • Jameer Nelson
  • Arron Afflalo
  • Maurice Harkless
  • Jason Maxiell
  • Nikola Vuvevic

Advanced stats


  • Pace: 92.5 (24th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 96.7 (27th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 101.0 (10th of 30)


  • Pace: 97.4 (12th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 104.0 (11th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 97.2 (4th of 30)

Read about the Celtics

Celtics Hub

Nov 08

Victor Oladipo’s turnovers are a good thing

While Victor Oladipo hasn’t massively burst onto the scene like fellow rookie Michael Carter-Williams, he’s put together a very solid start to the season. He’s scored well, showcased nice vision at times, and, most importantly, been relentless attacking the rim. His defense has been as good as advertised, too. The one rub on what seems like a pretty rosy start is Oladipo’s propensity to turn the ball over.

He’s averaging 5.9 turnovers per 36 minutes and sporting a 26.4 turnover percentage. We can dig even further into how these turnovers occurred using nbawowy:

Steal Bad Pass Discontinue Dribble Lost Ball Out of Bounds Stepped Out of Bounds Traveling
9 (40.9%) 6 (27.3%) 3 (16.7%) 2 (9.1%) 1 (5.6%) 1 (5.6%)

He struggled early with palming the ball, a point of emphasis this year for NBA officials. Other than that, it’s been almost entirely what he does with ball, whether it be dribbling or passing. That may look troublesome on the surface — one could think that he has bad vision or handles — but it could actually be a good thing.

John Hollinger has hypothesized that rookies putting up lots of turnovers actually have had much higher rates of improvement. And looking at the list of guys that have put up abnormally-high turnover rates as rookies since 2000, that theory doesn’t sound so hair-brained.

Andre Iguodala, Dwyane Wade, John Wall, and Russell Westbrook are all players that had a bad habit for coughing the ball up their rookie season.

After watching the video of Oladipo’s turnovers, it seems that “turnovers are good” hypothesis may apply to him also. A lot of them are things like this:

Sure, he was a bit sloppy with the ball at the end of the spin, but at least he has the reflexes and creativity to even attempt that move. Instead of taking a pull-up long two off the pick, he attacks and tries something out. And, lo and behold, a few games later against the Brooklyn Nets, he attempted the same move twice and succeeded both times.

In a few years, the rookie that took the pull-up J will have had fewer turnovers his rookie season, but will also probably be the lesser player than the one who uncompromisingly attacks the hole in the mold of Wade and Westbrook — two elite players.

Nov 07

Thursday’s Magic Word

  • Nights like Nikola Vucevic’s 30-20 game reinforce the fact that the Dwight Howard trade worked out just fine for the Orlando Magic.
  • Vucevic earned an A for his performance against the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.
  • DeAndre Jordan got thoroughly outplayed by Vucevic.
  • Head coach Doc Rivers talks about Glen Davis’ tenure with the Boston Celtics.
  • Josh Cohen of thinks the Magic’s win over the Clippers was more than impressive than their victory against the Brooklyn Nets.
  • John Denton of “Vucevic, 24, has blossomed into the complete package of a center for the surprising Magic because he has the rare combination of size, instincts, basketball IQ and work ethic. And because he’s just in his third NBA season, Vucevic seems to have plenty of room for growth even though he’s starting to fulfill his vast potential by constantly adding something to his game.”
  • The future is bright in Orlando.
  • Victor Oladipo has been committing a lot of turnovers so far this season, but David Thorpe of ESPN Insider suggests they’re correctable mistakes.
  • Marc Stein of “Based on the terms of the original Melo trade in February 2011, New York is required to send its 2014 first-round pick to Denver no matter where it falls. The Nuggets then have to send the worse of two picks – either its own 2014 first-rounder or New York’s – to Orlando as a condition of the four-team Dwight Howard blockbuster in August 2012. So that means Orlando, in the stunning event that the Knicks and Nuggets both unexpectedly miss the playoffs, would thus inherit one of Denver’s two lottery picks in one of the most-anticipated NBA lotteries ever.”

Nov 07

Waiting for Tobias Harris: Act II


Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images

A short, semi-fictional play about Orlando forward, Tobias Harris, who’s out indefinitely with an ankle injury.

Previously: Act I


  • Stan
  • Rony
  • Bus driver
  • Tobias Harris

Act II:

Not the next day, and not the same time, but at the same place.

Hours have passed. A deep black shrouds the sky just before sunrise. Stan is reading from Rony’s phone and silently nodding. Rony blinks his eyes open.

Stan: Good morning.

Rony: Is it morning?

Stan: ‘Tis

Rony: Has Tobias Harris come and gone?

Stan: No. (Stan opens up the iTunes app and starts to sing in a low whisper.)

Sunday mornin’, praise the dawnin’
It’s just a restless feelin’, by my side
Early dawnin’, Sunday mornin’
It’s just the wasted years so close behind
Watch out, the world’s behind you
There’s always someone around you, who will call
It’s nothin’ at allllllll

Rony: HEY, what’s the meaning of that? (Pats his entire body, but doesn’t find a nip left.) Cut that racket out.

Stan: Lou Reed died.

Rony: So, Tobias Harris is alive, and we need him back. Where the hell is he? (Begins to panic that last night’s memories were just a dream and he might not get to meet Tobias Harris.)

Stan: You don’t know who Lou Reed is, do you?

Rony: No, I don’t, but I know that in 27 games last year, Harris averaged over 17 points, eight rebounds, two assists and a one block in under 36 minutes of action. According to Basketball-Reference — and you can check me on that, since you somehow got my phone to work despite no visible outlet or charger I can see — only a handful of guys in the league accomplished that feat, and all of them are at the top of the forward food chain, if you know what I mean.

Stan: I actually do now. That’s why I was playing Sunday Morning. I have all these regrets about my job. Like, PER, what a wonderful stat! And this site I found on your phone, Hoopdata, except now they look to be shuttering. Tough break. I would have enjoyed those numbers.

Rony: (He remembers Stan is connected to the team somehow, but thought he was just a flunky for the owner.) How long was I out?

Stan: Long enough for me look up some relevant information on Tobias Harris.

Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 07

Highlights: Nikola Vucevic records 30-20 game

Nov 06

Grades: Orlando Magic 98, Los Angeles Clippers 90

Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 11.48.55 PM

AP Photo/John Raoux


Orlando Magic 98 Final
Recap | Box Score
90 Los Angeles Clippers

Nikola Vucevic
11-19 FG | 8-8 FT | 21 REB | 3 AST | 30 PTS | +6

After a quiet start to the fourth quarter, Vucevic came on strong in crunch time and single-handedly carried the Magic to an impressive victory over the Clippers. Vucevic scored 10 of Orlando’s last 12 points in the final 2:38 — including six consecutive free-throws that closed out the Clips — and finished with his second 30-20 game of his career.

Victor Oladipo
4-6 FG | 2-3 3P | 2 REB | 2 AST | 11 PTS | +3

The Oladipo experience, which produced plenty of fireworks on Sunday against the Brooklyn Nets, was much more subdued tonight. The lone highlight occurred late in the first quarter when Oladipo finished with an uncontested dunk after cutting to the basket and receiving a nice bounce pass from Kyle O’Quinn from the high post. It was a beautiful sequence to watch unfold.

E’Twaun Moore
5-8 FG | 2-3 3P | 2 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | +21

Moore gave the Magic a nice boost off the bench — he was a team-high plus-21 for the game — and as a result of his good play, head coach Jacque Vaughn left him on the floor for the entire fourth quarter. Moore rewarded Vaughn’s trust by making two timely 3-pointers midway through the period as Orlando was trading baskets back-and-forth with the Clippers.

Arron Afflalo
5-16 FG | 0-3 3P | 6 REB | 5 AST | 11 PTS | +6

The pendulum of efficiency has swung wildly for Afflalo in recent games. After scoring 30 points on 14 shots against the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday, Afflalo put up a stinker tonight versus the Clippers. Afflalo’s problems in this game were three-fold: he couldn’t finish at the rim, he couldn’t get to the free-throw line, and he couldn’t knock down any 3-pointers.

Los Angeles Clippers

In the first half, the Clips were thoroughly outplayed. Their defense was porous, and they struggled to score (specifically at the rim and behind the 3-point line). But they woke up in the third quarter, erasing a 19-point deficit to take a 74-72 lead into the fourth quarter. However, the Clippers failed to execute and make shots in crunch time, and that was the ballgame.

Nov 06

Video: Victor Oladipo goes backdoor for a dunk

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