Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 54

Apr 11

Grades: Orlando Magic 113, Milwaukee Bucks 103 (OT)

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Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images

 

Orlando Magic 103 Final
Recap | Box Score
93 Milwaukee Bucks

Nikola Vucevic
14-26 FG | 2-3 FT | 20 REB | 5 AST | 30 PTS | +16

How about this for a mind-boggling stat? Vucevic became the first player to record at least 20 points, 20 rebounds, and five assists in consecutive games since Tim Duncan in 2003. Vucevic had 21-21-6 against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday and 30-20-5 against the Bucks (the 30 points were a career-high). Vucevic may never be as great as Duncan, but he’s pretty damn good already.

Tobias Harris
13-20 FG | 3-4 3P | 19 REB | 5 AST | 30 PTS | +12

Harris was the hero after he made a game-tying 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds left after Marquis Daniels waited too long to foul him with Milwaukee up three. But he was also the villain (depending on who you ask), causing a little controversy by electing to dunk the ball in the closing seconds of the overtime instead of dribbling the clock out.

Beno Udrih
6-22 FG | 1-1 3P | 4 REB | 11 AST | 13 PTS | +21

Udrih had a rough outing to say the least. In pick-and-rolls, he clanked jumpers left and right when pulling up for midrange jump shots. And he had a number of inexplicable turnovers, especially in the fourth quarter. But the Magic were able to overcome it — barely. Had they not, Udrih would have been the scapegoat for his dreadful offensive performance.

Doron Lamb
6-10 FG | 4-6 3P | 4 REB | 2 AST | 16 PTS | -3

It speaks volumes that Lamb not only got extended minutes, but that he played the entire fourth quarter and overtime, and drew the assignment of defending J.J. Redick. And it speaks greater volumes that Vaughn ran a sideline out-of-bounds play for Lamb coming out of a timeout in the extra frame. That Lamb scored on the play, setting a new career-high with 16 points, was only fitting.

Milwaukee Bucks

Not only did the Bucks lose in heartbreaking fashion after having the game in the bag, but the driving forces behind the Magic’s win were former Milwaukee players. You can’t help but wonder, especially if Redick walks in free agency, if the Bucks will regret letting Harris go in a trade that was meant to give them better playoff positioning this season but hasn’t.

Apr 10

Preview: Milwaukee Bucks at Orlando Magic

Essentials

  • Teams: Milwaukee Bucks at Orlando Magic
  • Date: April 10, 2013
  • Time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Amway Center

Records

  • Bucks: 37-40
  • Magic: 19-59

Probable starters

Bucks:

  • Brandon Jennings
  • Monta Ellis
  • Marquis Daniels
  • Luc Richard Mbah a Moute
  • Larry Sanders

Magic:

  • Beno Udrih
  • E’Twaun Moore
  • Maurice Harkless
  • Tobias Harris
  • Nikola Vuvevic

Advanced stats

Bucks:

  • Pace: 94.6 (3rd of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 103.8 (21st of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 105.2 (11th of 30)

Magic:

  • Pace: 92.1 (14th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 101.8 (27th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 109.0 (26th of 30)

Read about the Bucks

Bucksketball

Apr 10

Let Hedo Turkoglu go

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Photo by Cameron Browne/NBAE via Getty Images

He’s old and slow, but that’s not the only reason Hedo Turkoglu should go.

The Orlando Magic are a franchise on the mend after the “put Dwight Howard in the middle and spread the floor with 3-point shooting” experiment ended in recriminations, and finally with Howard getting dealt to Los Angeles. Keeping Hedo around next season would slow the Magic’s stated decision to rebuild, and he’s not exactly the best mentor for the youngsters the Magic possess and are likely to keep acquiring with all the draft picks headed their way.

There are bad contracts and then there are badcontracts, and the Orlando Magic franchise has unfortunately experienced a few of the latter during their brief reign as the NBA’s equivalent of easy money.

No Magic fan can forget Rashard Lewis’s laughable — and possibly PED-influenced — $118 million signing in the summer of 2007. Or the swap of that contract for Gilbert Arenas. Even though Arenas had been amnestied before the start of last season, the Magic still have to pay him $20.8 million this year and $22.3 million next year! Yeah.

So it’s not very surprising the recent Forbes list of the most overpaid NBA players included two current Magic members.

Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 09

Orlando’s screen the screener action

Although the team has not always executed — the Orlando Magic rank 27th in offensive efficiency — the system that rookie head coach Jacque Vaughn has put into place is exciting as a concept.

He’s used a ton of off-ball movement all season. The primary shooter in those sets was J.J. Redick, but as we all know, he’s in Milwaukee now and Vaughn has had to adapt. He’s plugged Arron Afflalo into a particularly effective action Orlando has been running like gangbusters post-trade deadline.

Things begin in a little bit of a “Horns” look, with two high post big men, but almost immediately Tobias Harris moves towards the corner and Al Harrington comes up from the elbow for a screen-and-roll with Jammer Nelson. This is a faux-action, executed only to occupy the defense and get Nelson moving towards the middle.

Another effect of the initial pick-and-roll is to get the Magic’s lone true big man (though it may even be a stretch to call Al Harrington a true big man) out of the paint. Look how much space there is in the middle of the floor.

Harris and Maurice Harkless criss-cross each other on cuts, with Harkless continuing on a curl to the middle while Harris is stopping and lurking on the baseline.

All the space left open in the middle of the floor is now Harkless’ to exploit and the Sixers don’t want to let him do that. Harris’ man (head circled) is keeping his eye on Harkless and shifts over just a half step.

Meanwhile, Afflalo begins to accelerate towards a stealthily-set Harris screen. He comes around it and pops to the corner — the man with the responsibility of helping on him is a step behind because of the Harkless cut. If his man can get around the screen, Afflalo can just use his defender’s momentum against him and curl into the middle. Here’s a couple examples of the play in real time:

This offense will become more and more potent as players develop. The biggest thing is that a system and process are in place, and if Orlando can keep them consistent, they’ll succeed in due time.

Apr 08

Monday’s Magic Word

  • Will the Orlando Magic finish with the NBA’s worst record? The answer seems to be yes.
  • The Magic are dead-last in Marc Stein’s Power Rankings for this week. Again.
  • In a recent article, Forbes listed Arron Afflalo as one of the most overpaid players in the league. Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped contends that Afflalo isn’t overpaid, but overworked and being asked to do too many things on the court for Orlando.
  • Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk has had a hard time watching the Magic’s offense lately.
  • Shaq and Penny: one of the best duos in NBA history.
  • Andrew Unterberger of The Basketball Jones on Orlando retiring No. 6 for the fans: “Suuuuper lame when you’re guessing retired jerseys and you’ve exhausted all the obvious Magic guesses, until you’re forced to contemplate a universe in which a franchise retired the jersey of Terry Catledge or Darrell Armstrong for some reason.”
  • Are Tobias Harris and Maurice Harkless stat-padding?
  • John Schuhmann of NBA.com: “The Magic have held four of their last five opponents under a point per possession, which is pretty amazing. They haven’t won any of those games, but why be picky? Offense (92.5 points scored per 100 possessions in that stretch) is obviously the problem and Tobias Harris might want to stay inside the arc. He has five double-doubles in his last six games, but has missed 17 of his last 18 3-point attempts.”

Apr 08

Highlights: Nikola Vucevic with another 20-20

Apr 08

Video: Nikola Vucevic throws the hammer down

Apr 08

Grades: Cleveland Cavaliers 91, Orlando Magic 85

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Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images

 

Cleveland Cavaliers 91 Final
Recap | Box Score
85 Orlando Magic

Nikola Vucevic
10-20 FG | 1-3 FT | 21 REB | 6 AST | 21 PTS | 0

His long arms once again controlled the boards as he posted his third 20-20 game of the season. Tyler Zeller was overmatched, as Nik collected eight offensive rebounds on the game and lorded over Zeller in the paint. He needs to work on setting tougher screens, particularly at the top of the key, and hitting his free throws, but he’s an octopus on the glass.

Tobias Harris
11-19 FG | 4-6 FT | 2 STL | 12 AST | 26 PTS | -1

Harris bounced back nicely from his shooting slump. Rather than settle for jumpers, he attacked the rim and hit the glass. Harris started hot, knocking down four of his first five shots, but after a big third quarter, he didn’t shoot well in the fourth. Harris’ defense left a lot to be desired too, as Gee dropped 19, including 3-for-6 from deep when Harris got stuck going under screens.

Beno Udrih
4-12 FG | 5-5 FT | 4 REB | 6 AST | 13 PTS | -5

Kyrie Irving shot 3-for-15 from the field, but it didn’t matter because Udrih wasn’t much better shooting. He did run the offense smoothly in the first quarter, collecting four assists — including a laser to a cutting Nik for a nifty leftie lay-in — but he only had two assists the rest of the way. And he disappeared down the stretch, committing two costly turnovers in the fourth.

Andrew Nicholson
4-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 8 PTS | -2

Thompson killed the rookie on the glass, and it got so bad Nicholson only played a minute and a half in the fourth. Nicholson did have four assists, and he knocked down a 20-footer in the second half that looked smooth, but he’s young and not quite big enough to grab rebounds without proper technique, which will hopefully come as he plays more.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Orlando was an abysmal 1-for-13 from beyond the arc. If Harris, Udrih, or Harkless had knocked down a couple of their 3-pointers, this is a totally different game. But even with their star struggling and C.J. Miles knocked out early after a Vucevic elbow found his cranium, the Cavs found a way to win behind their young forwards Alonzo Gee and Tristan Thompson.

Apr 07

Preview: Orlando Magic at Cleveland Cavaliers

Essentials

  • Teams: Orlando Magic at Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Date: April 7, 2013
  • Time: 6:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Quicken Loans Arena

Records

  • Magic: 19-58
  • Cavaliers: 23-52

Probable starters

Magic:

  • Beno Udrih
  • Maurice Harkless
  • Tobias Harris
  • Andrew Nicholson
  • Nikola Vuvevic

Cavaliers:

  • Kyrie Irving
  • Wayne Ellington
  • Alonzo Gee
  • Tristan Thompson
  • Tyler Zeller

Advanced stats

Magic:

  • Pace: 92.2 (14th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 101.9 (26th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 109.2 (26th of 30)

Cavaliers:

  • Pace: 92.4 (12th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 104.5 (19th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 109.5 (27th of 30)

Read about the Cavaliers

Cavs: The Blog

Apr 06

Video: DeQuan Jones with a tomahawk jam

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