Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 50

Jul 09

Video: Maurice Harkless spins and slams

Jul 09

Kyle O’Quinn is still talking

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Photo by Fernando Medina/Orlando Magic

ORLANDO, Fla. — Kyle O’Quinn just doesn’t stop talking.

He’s hollering at Doron Lamb, telling him to watch out for the pick on his right. A shooter camps in the corner, and he shouts at Moe Harkless to stop cheating off of him. He yells “BLUE, BLUE, BLUE” when the Magic “blue” or “ice” a pick-and-roll on defense. The chatter is constant and never-ending. But O’Quinn’s basso bellow serves more than just a directorial purpose.

“It makes us run around like wild men,” says O’Quinn, with feral tones and an equally feral grin.

A bruising forward/center out of Norfolk State, O’Quinn compensates with his less-than-ideal height of 6-foot-8 with a condor-like 7-foot-5 wingspan and a frame to rival that of Colossus. His massive frame belies the agility and quickness with which he moves on court. His feet, like his mouth, never stop moving, shuffling and scuffing up and down, side-to-side, stepping out on pick-and-rolls before sprinting back to his man.

And O’Quinn’s motor, to borrow a phrase from ESPN analyst Jay Bilas, never stops running, and never falls below its highest gear. The only time he stops moving is either in the post, his body like a hundred-year-old oak tree that refuses to budge an inch, or when he sets his feet to take a charge.

In this, his second year in the NBA, O’Quinn has assumed the mantle of defensive lynchpin for this young Magic team, a role and responsibility he relishes.

“I let Victor [Oladipo] call the plays on offense. On defense, I’m the quarterback and point guard. I’m in the back line, so if anything breaks down, I have to be the last guy to tag a cutter or take that charge.”

O’Quinn’s perpetual dialogue is crucial to his directing of the defense. His teammates respond in kind to his yelling, acknowledging his directions and spouting some of their own.

“The coaches say that’s what defense is: just talking it out,” says O’Quinn. “[Summer League head coach James Borrego] will draw up schemes for us, but sometimes we might have a breakdown, and we have to talk it out on the court. You can’t play defense silently.”

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Jul 08

Monday’s Magic Word

  • Via the Orlando Magic: “Glen Davis underwent a surgical procedure today to replace the screw in his left foot. Davis originally suffered a left foot fracture of the 5th metatarsal during a game against the New York Knicks on January 30, 2013. He is expected to resume basketball-related activity later this summer.”
  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel has more on Davis’ setback: “Although team officials said Davis will resume basketball-related activities later this summer, it’s unclear whether Davis will be ready to participate in the Magic’s training camp when it begins Oct. 1.”
  • Jordan White of Hardwood Paroxysm on Victor Oladipo in his Day 1 dispatch at Summer League in Orlando: “I’ll admit, I wasn’t all that excited about Oladipo. OH MY GOD I’M SO SORRY I WAS SO WRONG. Athleticism is one thing, but knowing how to use it is quite another. Oladipo knows how to harness his athleticism in every facet of his game, from his terrifying defense to his explosive offense. He also displays a polish to his game that’s extremely rare for such a young rookie.”
  • A look back at Nikola Vucevic snaring 20 rebounds against the Miami Heat. In the first half.
  • Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post recaps the Magic’s loss against the Oklahoma City Thunder in today’s Summer League matchup and highlights Andrew Nicholson’s work in the low post.
  • Maurice Harkless gets posterized.
  • Brett Koremenos of Grantland: “One of the most interesting plots of the Orlando Summer League was that the draft’s second overall pick, Victor Oladipo, was going to log major minutes running the show for the Magic. From a developmental standpoint, this was a great call by the Orlando front office. Coming out of Indiana, Oladipo was strictly an attacking wing whose main goal was simply “score.” Being forced to run a team, even for this short stretch, has already forced thought and nuance into the young guard’s approach.”
  • For Magic fans, Doron Lamb’s development is something to keep an eye on — he was one of the players that came over from Milwaukee in the J.J. Redick trade.
  • Orlando has made a concerted effort to give a lot of playing time to their key youngsters in an effort to “instill good habits … and to experiment a bit with positions,” as Dunlap puts it.
  • Jeff Zillgit of USA Today Sports: “Oladipo plans to take a small break after summer league and then get back into training. He will also spend time watching video of slashers such as Dwyane Wade and point guards Westbrook and George Hill, who both played shooting guard in college.”
  • The Magic are raving about the assertiveness that Maurice Harkless’ is displaying on the court at Summer League.
  • Oladipo reached the foul line a lot against the Thunder.

Jul 08

Grades: Oklahoma City Thunder 79, Orlando Magic 78

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Photo by Fernando Medina/Orlando Magic

 

Oklahoma City Thunder 79 Final
Recap | Box Score
78 Orlando Magic

Andrew Nicholson
7-13 FG | 5-6 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 19 PTS | -4

Nicholson rebounded from his poor shooting performance on Sunday. He wasn’t backing down people as often as he did against the Celtics, but he still showed off his polished post game and even stepped out a few times to shoot the mid-range J (though, that produced mixed results). Nicholson needs to improve his awareness from the post, specifically when he’s double-teamed, something he struggled with today.

Maurice Harkless
3-8 FG | 8-12 FT | 3 STL | 5 REB | 14 PTS | +14

He didn’t shoot the ball well, but Harkless looked much improved in several aspects of his game, especially dribbling. He handled the ball in pick-and-rolls and drove to the rim, and looked comfortable doing so. He feasted at the line and played some very good man defense. Unfortunately, Harkless didn’t have the range today, missing several open jumpers, including two jump shots.

Victor Oladipo
2-12 FG | 8-10 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 12 PTS | -6

It wasn’t the stellar performance of his Summer League debut, but Oladipo still had a solid outing. His shooting left much to be desired, but what was very encouraging was his adjustments. Rather than continue to settle for jumpers, Oladipo drove to the basket much more in the second half. He wasn’t as steady running the point today, but the pressure he’s facing now is beneficial to his development.

Rodney McGruder
2-5 FG | 0-2 3P | 2 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | -11

His stat line won’t jump out at you, but the K-State alum moved off the ball well. He made a nice read off a Nicholson post-up, cutting to the lane and sinking a floater. He’ll need to show more on both ends of the ball if he’s going to fill a 3-and-D role for the Magic, so we’ll see if he’s able to do so as the week progresses.

Oklahoma City Thunder

They never stopped fighting, and put themselves in great position to win the game during the last few minutes. Jeremy Lamb wasn’t spectacular, but his crossover on Harkless and subsequent step-back game-winning jumper sealed a come-from-behind victory. Dwight Buycks continues to impress. He had 11 points and five assists, yet even those numbers don’t do proper justice to how well he moves the ball and operates the offense.

Jul 08

Video: Jeremy Lamb hits the game-winning jumper

Jul 07

Grades: Orlando Magic 95, Boston Celtics 88

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Photo by Fernando Medina/Orlando Magic

 

Orlando Magic 95 Final
Recap | Box Score
88 Boston Celtics

Victor Oladipo
5-13 FG | 6-8 FT | 5 STL | 7 AST | 18 PTS | +4

Orlando’s prized rookie wasn’t perfect, but his Magic debut was everything both the team and fans wanted to see. He had eight points in the opening nine minutes of play, looked surprisingly comfortable running the team, and showed off his vaunted defensive acumen. His energy, and as a consequence his performance, waned slightly in the second half, but his overall line is something that should excite the Magic faithful.

Romero Osby
7-8 FG | 4-5 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 18 PTS | +1

The selection of Osby in the second round may have raised a few eyebrows, but if Osby’s performance showed us anything, it’s to trust in Hennigan and his team of evaluators. Osby’s 18 points were nice, but more than that, the way he operated within the team scheme, on both sides of the ball, was truly impressive. Between he and O’Quinn, the Magic will not lack for energy bigs.

Kyle O’Quinn
3-6 FG | 5-7 FT | 11 REB | 2 AST | 11 PTS | +3

O’Quinn was perfectly solid, putting up a double-double. More valuable than anything that showed on the stat line, however, was O’Quinn’s frequent (seriously, he never stopped talking) communication on both sides of the ball. Be it calling out screens on defense, or helping direct the point guards on defense, O’Quinn’s constant chatter was crucial to the high energy displayed by the Magic.

Andrew Nicholson
1-9 FG | 5-5 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 7 PTS | +10

Nicholson had about as good of a bad shooting performance as possible. The second-year forward had more than his fair share of touches in the post, and each time he received the ball down low, he sought to punish his defender — most frequently Kelly Olynyk. On defense, Nicholson never stopped talking, which is seems to be typical of all Orlando frontcourt players.

Boston Celtics

The Celtics’ Summer League roster isn’t exactly the most exciting, nor of the highest quality in terms of players, and it showed on the court. Were it not for Kelly Olynyk, this game wouldn’t have been as close as it seemed. Give credit to Olynyk, though: he showed off a terrific shooting touch, knocking down jumpers with little, if any, difficulty.

Jul 07

Video: DeQuan Jones jumps to the moon

Jul 07

Magic sign first round pick Victor Oladipo

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Photo by Fernando Medina/Getty Images

Via Orlando Magic press release:

The Orlando Magic have signed rookie guard Victor Oladipo, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deal are not disclosed.

Oladipo was selected in the first round (second overall) of the 2013 NBA Draft. He will participate in the Southwest Airlines Orlando Pro Summer League, taking place at the Magic’s practice court at the Amway Center from July 7-12, 2013.

Oladipo (6’5”, 214, 5/4/92) appeared in 104 career games during three seasons at Indiana University, averaging 10.7 ppg., 5.2 rpg., 1.7 apg. and 1.55 spg. in 24.6 mpg. He ranks third in Indiana history in career steals (161) and scored 1,117 points with the Hoosiers.

Jul 01

Magic announce Summer League roster

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Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Via Orlando Magic press release:

The Orlando Magic have released their roster for the 2013 Southwest Airlines Orlando Pro Summer League.

The event takes place at the team’s practice court at the Amway Center from July 7-12, 2013. The 25-game, six-day event will feature the Orlando Magic, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder, Philadelphia 76ers and Utah Jazz.

For the complete game schedule for the Southwest Airlines Orlando Pro Summer League, click here.

Jun 28

Magic to hire Jeff Turner as color commentator

Via Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel:

The Orlando Magic have reached an agreement in principle with former Magic player Jeff Turner to serve as the team’s color commentator on its Fox Sports Florida TV broadcasts, the Orlando Sentinel has learned.

Turner, 51, is expected to sign a multiyear deal.

He will team with longtime play-by-play man David Steele and will replace popular color commentator Matt Guokas, whose contract wasn’t renewed by the team following the 2012-13 season.

Magic officials would not comment.

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