Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 48

Sep 02

T-Mac and 62

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Photo by Fernando Medina/Orlando Magic

Disclaimer: I’m about to poke a few holes in Tracy McGrady’s 62-point game against the Washington Wizards. No doubt it was one of the most impressive individual outings of his career, but this was a volume shooting session. A Nick Young lucid dream. T-Mac had the green light and he fired away every time he was in range. My only beef is that when you’re going to shoot the ball every time you touch it, maybe we should expect you to score closer to, say, 81?

We’re actually going to touch on the hot hand theory here in a bit, but first, let’s take a brisk walk through this legendary game from nine years ago.

Pretend you’re a coach for a minute. Your team is playing in Orlando and, by far and away, the biggest offensive threat is a 6-foot-8 maestro with a silky smooth jumper. Objective A is to do what? Yes, make sure he doesn’t get into the paint. Objective B? Don’t give him any open jump shots.

You’ve heard the coach speak before. “If they’re going to beat us with difficult, contested jump shots, then they’re just going to beat us.”

In the case of Washington vs. Orlando on March 10, 2004, we need to slightly adjust the aforementioned jargon. “When Tracy McGrady shoots the ball 37 times, and more than 30 of those shots are contested but he still makes 20 of them, we’re probably going to lose.”

We can’t take anything away from T-Mac in this outing, because even upon reviewing the game nine years later, it was an outstanding effort. But let’s take a look at some context. Kobe Bryant scored 81 points in a game in 2006. If you had to guess, how many shots do you think he took? The answer is 46, just nine more attempts than McGrady in his 62-point game. That’s comparing apples and oranges, but the way that the two players got their buckets in these respective games were similar.

Take a handoff pass, drill a 3. Back down, fadeaway, buckets. Hand in the face? Don’t care. Still shooting. Net. Take it to the rack? Why? I’ll just shoot from the perimeter. Money.

T-Mac’s 62-point game was a classic case of a guy who was “feeling it,” a concept that we know isn’t entirely sound. When you sit around with your buddies talking about that game, you can’t help but think about how amazing it was. I’m sure phrases have been thrown around like, “he couldn’t miss!” Sure, that’s how we remember it.

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Aug 26

Tracy McGrady retires from the NBA

This is a close up of guard Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady.

Photo by Paul Chapman/NBAE/Getty Images

Via ESPN.com:

Leaving open the door to play overseas, seven-time All-Star Tracy McGrady retired from the NBA on Monday.

“It’s been 16 years playing the game I love. I’ve had a great run, but it’s time for it to come to an end,” McGrady said on ESPN’s “First Take.”

McGrady averaged 19.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game in a career that started in 1997, when he was drafted out of high school.

Aug 06

Orlando’s 2013-14 regular season schedule released

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Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Via Orlando Magic press release:

The National Basketball Association today released its 2013-14 schedule and announced the Orlando Magic will open its 25th “Silver Season” on Tuesday, October 29 at Indiana. The home opener will be on Friday, November 1 at the Amway Center against New Orleans. Tip-off is 7 p.m.

Orlando Magic season tickets, partial plans, group and single-game Amway Center suite rental opportunities are on sale now. Ticket highlights for the 2013-14 season in the Amway Center, honored with TheStadiumBusiness Awards’ 2013 Customer Experience Award and 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. Single-game tickets for the first half of the regular season will go on sale in October at a date to be announced. For ticket information log on to www.orlandomagic.com or call 407-89-MAGIC.

Beginning its 25th season, the Magic will celebrate their “Silver Season” with the entire Orlando community by remembering their success, the rich history of legendary moments, players, people and fans, while building on an exciting future.

Orlando opens training camp on October 1 at the Amway Center. The Magic’s complete schedule is available through their official website, orlandomagic.com, while the entire NBA schedule can be found at NBA.com.

For the second straight season, all Magic games will be televised locally on one channel. All local telecasts will be available in high definition on FOX Sports Florida.

Each NBA team will play an 82-game regular season: 41 home and 41 away. The Magic will play 52 games vs. the Eastern Conference (18 games vs. the Atlantic Division, 18 games vs. the Central Division and 16 games vs. the Southeast Division) and 30 games against the Western Conference (10 games each vs. the Northwest Division, the Southwest Division and the Pacific Division).

Orlando will play a total of 23 home games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday this season. The 2013-14 Magic schedule also features 18 back-to-back contests (36 games played on consecutive nights).

The Magic will play two games in October (both away), 14 games in November (10 home, 4 away), 15 games in December (7 home, 8 away), including a day game on New Year’s Eve at home against Golden State (5 p.m.), 17 games in January (7 home, 10 away), 12 games in February (5 home, 7 away), 14 games in March (7 home, 7 away) and eight games in April (5 home, 3 away).

The Magic will enjoy a season-long six-game homestand from December 18-31 (six games in 14 days). Orlando faces a season-long six-game road trip which takes place December 2-11 (six games in 10 days).

Orlando closes the regular season on Wednesday, April 16 at Amway Center vs. Indiana.

Click here for the 2013-14 schedule.

Aug 02

Magic waive Al Harrington

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Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Via Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel:

In a move designed to save money and free up playing time for their young players, the Orlando Magic waived veteran forward Al Harrington on Friday afternoon.

If no team claims Harrington within 48 hours, he will become a free agent. [...]

Harrington, 33, didn’t fit into the Magic’s long-range plans.

About $3.57 million of his salary of $7.15 million for the upcoming season is guaranteed, while $3.8 million of his salary of $7.6 million for the 2014-15 season is guaranteed.

Jul 25

Magic sign guard Ronnie Price

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Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

Via Orlando Magic press release:

The Orlando Magic have signed free agent guard Ronnie Price, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deal are not disclosed.

Last season, Price (6’2”, 190, 6/21/83) played in 39 games with Portland, averaging 2.7 ppg., 1.9 apg. and 1.1 rpg. in 13.1 mpg. He led the Blazers in assists once and scored a season-high 10 points on Nov. 18 vs. Chicago. Price was waived by Portland on Feb. 21, 2013.

“We’re excited to welcome Ronnie (Price) and his family to the Magic organization,” said Hennigan. “We believe Ronnie’s toughness and competitive spirit, along with the varied experiences he’s gained throughout his career, will impact the development of our team in a positive way.”

Jul 18

Magic sign forward Jason Maxiell

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Photo by Allen Einstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Via Orlando Magic press release:

The Orlando Magic have signed free agent forward-center Jason Maxiell, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deal are not disclosed.

“We’re excited to welcome Jason (Maxiell) and his family to the Magic organization,” said Hennigan. “Jason brings an element of experience, toughness and resolve to our roster that we feel will benefit our team.”

Maxiell (6’7”, 260, 2/18/83) played in 72 games last season with Detroit, averaging 6.9 ppg., 5.7 rpg. and 1.32 bpg. in 24.8 mpg. He has also appeared in 35 career playoff outings.

Jul 15

Magic have a new D-League affiliate

Via Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel:

The Orlando Magic’s NBA Development League affiliate for the upcoming season will be the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the NBA announced this afternoon.

The Magic will share the Mad Ants with the Charlotte Bobcats, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies and the Milwaukee Bucks.

That sharing arrangement, along with Fort Wayne’s location, make the Mad Ants a less-than-ideal affiliate for the Magic.

Still, it’s better than the situation last season, when the Magic’s affiliate was the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Sioux Falls’ remote location made it counterproductive for the Magic to send any of their young players there.

Fort Wayne, Ind., at least, is closer than South Dakota.

Jul 12

Friday’s Magic Word

  • Expect Victor Oladipo to keep learning the point guard position in training camp and preseason.
  • It was an up-and-down week for many Orlando Magic players at Summer League.
  • The Magic have elected not to re-sign DeQuan Jones.
  • Al Harrington and Hedo Turkoglu, two players that many expect to be bought out by Orlando, are hoping to resolve their situations very soon.
  • John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com: “Borrego said the past week was very informative for the Magic as it relates to Oladipo because it shows how the point guard reacts to ball pressure, his ability to break down defenders and his calm under pressure. He hit the game-winning shot on Thursday when he drilled a 22-foot, step-back jumper over Philadelphia’s Michael Carter-Williams with 4.4 seconds remaining. And in his four games, Oladipo showed his explosiveness off the dribble by repeatedly getting into the rim and averaging 10 free throw attempts a game.”
  • Oladipo was named to the Orlando Pro Summer League First Team.
  • With the Magic looking to sign a third point guard, preferably young, could Darius Morris be that guy? He is currently an unrestricted free agent.
  • A peak into the 2014 NBA draft class. Many expect Orlando to be in position to win the lottery or, at worst, net a top five pick.
  • At Summer League, Oladipo was as good as advertised. And Maurice Harkless showed off improved ballhandling skills that bodes well for his offensive development.
  • With a 102-83 loss to the Boston Celtics, the Magic finished Summer League in eighth place out of 10 teams. One of the few bright spots in the game was A.J. Slaughter, who may have earned himself a training camp invite with an outstanding performance.
  • Dan Devine of Ball Don’t Lie thought Oladipo’s game-winning shot against the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday was cool.

Jul 12

Video: A.J. Slaughter with a nifty dish

Jul 12

Grades: Boston Celtics 102, Orlando Magic 83

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Photo by Joe Petro/Orlando Sentinel

 

Boston Celtics 102 Final
Recap | Box Score
83 Orlando Magic

A.J. Slaughter
10-22 FG | 2-8 3P | 7 STL | 9 AST | 25 PTS | -11

Slaughter, starting in place of Victor Oladipo at point guard on the last day of Summer League, produced one of the best stat lines of the week from any player. His 35 minutes were by far the most he’d played all week, and he responded by showing the Magic just what he can do when being handed extended minutes.

DeQuan Jones
5-10 FG | 3-4 3P | 1 REB | 0 AST | 15 PTS | -12

Looks at the box score. Looks at who shot the ball well. Sees that Jones was 3-for-4 from 3-point range. Gives Jones a B-minus for his grade. But seriously, folks. Jones may not return to the Magic and may not even get a training camp invite, but it was good to see him have a good game in an otherwise forgettable week.

Romero Osby
6-12 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 STL | 3 REB | 14 PTS | -15

Osby likely won’t see as many minutes during the regular season as he did this week. That being said, whenever he does get on the court, he brings an infectious energy on a consistent basis that raises the level of play of everyone around him. Intangibles aside, his mid-range jump shot should also help him get time on the court.

Kyle O’Quinn
1-5 FG | 1-3 3P | 4 REB | 3 AST | 3 PTS | -8

On the last day of Summer League, usually this is a chance for players that haven’t gotten any playing time during the week to get an extended look. With the Magic on the lookout for a third point guard, this was a chance for McGruder to show what he can do in front of the coaching staff. Unfortunately for the Kansas State alum, Slaughter outplayed him.

Boston Celtics

Look, this game was awful. I’m not even going to try and wax hyperbolic, making it out to be some glorious battle between two forces who wouldn’t give up. It was just a bad, bad game. That being said, the Celtics did play well, Kelly Olynyk wrapped up a tremendous Summer League on a high note, and Colton Iverson had his best game of the week. Yay.

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