Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 55

Apr 03

Grades: San Antonio Spurs 98, Orlando Magic 84

Capture

AP Photo/Eric Gay

 

San Antonio Spurs 98 Final
Recap | Box Score
84 Orlando Magic

Nikola Vucevic
7-13 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 STL | 14 REB | 16 PTS | -3

Vucevic had a rather underwhelming first half. His midrange jumper wasn’t falling and he struggled to finish around the rim. But he resurrected himself on offense after halftime, partly because head coach Gregg Popovich elected to rest Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter in the second half. That allowed Vucevic free reign to have his way with the dregs of the Spurs bench.

Maurice Harkless
8-21 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 BLK | 9 REB | 18 PTS | -12

FGCU may have gotten bounced from the NCAA Tournament, but Dunk City lived on thanks to Harkless, who had a couple of dunks that drew some “oohs” and “ahhs” from the road crowd. His finest dunk of the evening came late in the second quarter when Harris connected with Harkless for an alley-oop dunk in transition. It wasn’t quite Wade to LeBron, but it was spectacular nonetheless.

Beno Udrih
5-11 FG | 2-3 3P | 3 STL | 8 AST | 14 PTS | -16

Facing off against a team who he won championships with in 2005 and 2007, Udrih lucked out in this one. Instead of having to deal with Tony Parker, a whirling dervish of a point guard having the best season of his career, Udrih got matched up primarily against Nando De Colo. Let’s just say that De Colo is in a different class than Parker.

Tobias Harris
5-19 FG | 1-6 3P | 5 AST | 7 REB | 11 PTS | -7

Harris really falls in love with his jump shot sometimes and against San Antonio, his jumper left him at the altar. Harris did attack the rim some, more so in the second half once Duncan and Splitter — the Spurs’ primary rim protectors — were out of the game, but he should have been even more aggressive when Boris Diaw and Aron Baynes were manning the middle.

San Antonio Spurs

It says something about San Antonio’s culture that Popovich can rest most of his starters and the remainder of the team picks up the slack in their absence. In the second half, Pop rolled out the Spurs’ C-Team and they dispatched the Magic with ease. It was a prime example of the winning program that Orlando is slowly trying to emulate.

Apr 03

Preview: Orlando Magic at San Antonio Spurs

Essentials

  • Teams: Orlando Magic at San Antonio Spurs
  • Date: April 3, 2013
  • Time: 8:30 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: AT&T Center

Records

  • Magic: 19-56
  • Spurs: 55-19

Probable starters

Magic:

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

Spurs:

  • Nando De Colo
  • Danny Green
  • Stephen Jackson
  • Boris Diaw
  • Tim Duncan

Advanced stats

Magic:

  • Pace: 92.1 (14th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 102.1 (26th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 109.4 (26th of 30)

Spurs:

  • Pace: 93.7 (7th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 109.3 (7th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 101.5 (3rd of 30)

Read about the Spurs

48 Minutes of Hell

Apr 03

Wednesday’s Mini-Magic Word

  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “As Shaq delivered his jersey-retirement speech Tuesday night at Staples Center, home of the L.A. Lakers, Dwight Howard also was in the building. Dwight was waiting in the Lakers’ lockeroom at halftime, waiting to build (or rescue) his legacy in L.A. as others paid homage to Shaq’s. In other words, it was a double whammy for the Magic and their fans.”
  • George Gervin, a family friend and mentor, will be rooting on Tobias Harris when the Orlando Magic play the San Antonio Spurs later tonight.
  • The Spurs will be a stiff test for the Magic.
  • Nikola Vucevic is looking forward to matching up against Tim Duncan, a player that he’s admired from afar since his childhood days.

Apr 03

Five creative ways to recover from a concussion

Capture

Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Nikola Vucevic is back and a double-double machine again. He recorded his 39th double-double on the year when he dropped 12 points and grabbed 13 rebounds against the Houston Rockets on Monday. His solid showing was a long way from the fragile state he was in earlier last week when he was trying to recover from a concussion suffered at the elbow of the insufferable Tyler Hansborough.

In the initial stages of his convalescence, Vucevic experienced the symptoms that usually occur after suffering a concussion: sensitivity to light, dizziness, and headaches. According to John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com, Vucevic “was instructed to not watch television, read or even text on his phone during his recovery.”

An inability to watch TV, read, or text helpfully coincided with his mom and dad, Ljiljana and Borislav (we don’t know how to pronounce their names, either), visiting from Montenegro. While they were in town, he asked his mom for some of her home cooking, ostensibly because he didn’t have anything else he could do. He couldn’t watch tape, browse the Internet, or tweet (not that he’s a social media maven) so he might as well bulk up by consuming whatever delicious dishes his mom served him.

Here’s what Vucevic had to say about his lack of entertainment options during his recovery:

My parents were in town, so I got a chance to spend time with them. But I’d rather be out on the court with my teammates. It was very frustrating. I was very bored because I couldn’t really do anything. They told me I couldn’t watch TV, couldn’t read and couldn’t text. It’s not like I couldn’t do those things, but if I did it might have slowed the recovery of the brain so I just did the right things. And it was frustrating to see (Magic) guys playing hard and I wanted to be out there to help them win. It was unfortunate, but I’m back now.

The whole ordeal got us thinking: what on earth could Nikola have done in the down time between meals?

Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 02

Glen Davis’ future with the Magic

Capture

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Back in my ill-advised pursuit of the Indie rock dream days, I was forced to make a huge decision when it came time to buy a new bass guitar. I mean, obviously I was getting a Fender, and I was pretty sure it would be a P-Bass, but do I spend the extra dough to get an American model? Or can I get by with a Mexican-made rocket?

In the end, I went Mexican. But that was based on the fact that I was a pizza delivery man and paid way too much for rent. The smart move would have been to buy American. Why? Because these aren’t cars and if you’re a musician, you know that the extra cash upfront for an American-made Fender means that it actually will appreciate in value in the time that you own it (especially if you become famous).

Acquiring assets that appreciate over time is not something to take lightly. The Orlando Magic and general manager Rob Hennigan get that, and they have a piece in Glen Davis that is probably more valuable now than when he was first acquired in late 2011 by the Otis Smith regime.

Just look at his Player Efficiency Rating in correlation with his usage rate over the past six seasons. Davis has progressed from an 11.3 PER in his rookie season (17.4 percent usage rate) to a career-best 15.0 PER in the first half of this season (25.5 percent usage rate). There is really no arguing the fact that as his usage has gone up, his production has increased. Even if his efficiency and shot selection has admittedly suffered mightily along the way.

Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 02

Highlights: Maurice Harkless takes off in Houston

Apr 02

Grades: Houston Rockets 111, Orlando Magic 103

Capture1

Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images

 

Houston Rockets 111 Final
Recap | Box Score
103 Orlando Magic

Nikola Vucevic
5-19 FG | 2-2 FT | 13 REB | 2 AST | 12 PTS | -10

The last time these two teams met, Vucevic out-double-doubled the Rockets’ double-double machine. In their rubber match, Omer Asik got the better of Vucevic. Asik played a masterful game, tying a career-high with 22 points to go along with 18 rebounds. His finest work came on the defensive end, where he severely hampered Vucevic’s ability to score in the post.

Maurice Harkless
10-18 FG | 6-7 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 28 PTS | -3

That sound you hear is the light bulb going off for Harkless in his head. He’s becoming more and more assertive offensively, and it’s reflecting in his numbers. The latest example being his career-high 28-point performance against the Rockets. What stands out the most is that Harkless is actively looking to score now. That wasn’t the case earlier in the season.

Tobias Harris
6-17 FG | 6-7 FT | 11 REB | 4 AST | 18 PTS | -9

It was a tale of two halves for Harris. He got bullied by Greg Smith in the first quarter as he was trying to defend him on the low block. And he got off to a slow start offensively in the first half. But Harris snapped out of his funk after halftime and finished the game strong on both ends of the floor.

Beno Udrih
6-10 FG | 3-3 3P | 10 AST | 1 REB | 17 PTS | -13

After transforming into Allen Iverson against the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday, Udrih returned to form and did his job in running the Magic’s offense instead of shooting to his heart’s content. Udrih made things interesting at the end, making two 3-pointers in the closing minutes as Orlando tried to frantically come back from a double-digit deficit, but it was too little too late.

Houston Rockets

The run-and-gun Rockets were in such control of this game — sans James Harden and Chandler Parsons — that head coach Kevin McHale elected to sit Asik and Jeremy Lin, and play most of his bench for the entirety of the final period. It was a decision that almost came back to haunt him, as Houston had to hold off a late Orlando rally before securing the win.

Apr 01

Preview: Orlando Magic at Houston Rockets

Essentials

  • Teams: Orlando Magic at Houston Rockets
  • Date: April 1, 2013
  • Time: 8:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Toyota Center

Records

  • Magic: 19-55
  • Rockets: 40-33

Probable starters

Magic:

  • Beno Udrih
  • DeQuan Jones
  • Maurice Harkless
  • Tobias Harris
  • Kyle O’Quinn

Rockets:

  • Jeremy Lin
  • James Anderson
  • Francisco Garcia
  • Greg Smith
  • Omer Asik

Advanced stats

Magic:

  • Pace: 92.1 (14th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 102.1 (26th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 109.2 (26th of 30)

Rockets:

  • Pace: 96.0 (1st of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 109.8 (9th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 106.1 (16th of 30)

Read about the Rockets

Red94

Apr 01

Monday’s Magic Word

  • John Schuhmann of NBA.com: “Tobias Harris set his career high in points twice last week, dropping 29 on the Bobcats and 30 on the Wizards, a game Orlando actually won! He has averaged 16.3 points and 8.0 boards in his 19 games with the Magic, who got Nikola Vucevic back from a five-game absence on Saturday, but lost Jameer Nelson to a sprained ankle and are without Arron Afflalo (torn hamstring) for the rest of the season.”
  • Marc Stein of ESPN.com: “League Pass addicts will tell you that the Tobias Harris/Moe Harkless combo is enough to keep you reasonably entertained. Can’t co-sign that one. I suppose I can muddle through Magic games without Arron Afflalo or Big Baby Davis, but those five games sans Nikola Vucevic were rough.”
  • The Magic will be without Jameer Nelson (sprained ankle) against the Houston Rockets in tonight’s game.
  • On the flipside, the Rockets will likely be without James Harden (sore right foot) and Chandler Parsons (food poisoning).
  • Orlando’s top five plays from the month of March.
  • Getting back in transition will be a point of emphasis for the Magic, given that the Rockets lead the NBA in pace (96 possessions per game).

Mar 31

Grades: Atlanta Hawks 97, Orlando Magic 88

Screen Shot 2013-03-31 at 3.20.12 PM

AP Photo/John Amis

 

Atlanta Hawks 97 Final
Recap | Box Score
88 Orlando Magic

Nikola Vucevic
8-17 FG | 1-3 FT | 2 STL | 15 REB | 17 PTS | -7

Beno Udrih
8-23 FG | 5-6 FT | 7 REB | 8 AST | 20 PTS | +2

Maurice Harkless
6-10 FG | 4-8 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 17 PTS | -10

Tobias Harris
5-18 FG | 1-4 3P | 1 AST | 10 REB | 11 PTS | -1

Atlanta Hawks

Page 55 of 252« First...102030...5354555657...607080...Last »