Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 7

Dec 29

Preview: Orlando Magic at Miami Heat

Essentials

  • Teams: Orlando Magic at Miami Heat
  • Date: December 29, 2014
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: AmericanAirlines Arena

Records

  • Magic: 12-21
  • Heat: 14-17

Probable starters

Magic:

  • Elfrid Payton
  • Victor Oladipo
  • Tobias Harris
  • Kyle O’Quinn
  • Nikola Vucevic

Heat:

  • Mario Chalmers
  • Dwyane Wade
  • Luol Deng
  • Chris Bosh
  • Chris Andersen

Advanced stats

Magic:

  • Pace: 92.7 (23rd of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 101.1 (29th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 106.5 (15th of 30)

Heat:

  • Pace: 89.5 (30th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 105.5 (17th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 109.2 (25th of 30)

Read about the Heat

Heat Index

Dec 28

Grades: Orlando Magic 102, Charlotte Hornets 94

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Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images

 

Orlando Magic 102 Final
Recap | Box Score
94 Charlotte Hornets

Nikola Vucevic
9-19 FG | 4-4 FT | 11 REB | 3 AST | 21 PTS | +2

After being outplayed by Al Jefferson in their first meeting in Charlotte, Vucevic got the better of him this time around. Not only did he do a majority of his damage from midrange, but he didn’t miss a single jump shot from the perimeter. And Vucevic finished with his league-leading 18th double-double of the season, per ESPN Stats & Info.

Tobias Harris
7-16 FG | 2-4 3P | 2 BLK | 6 REB | 21 PTS | +2

With the Hornets trying to make a comeback late in the game, Harris made a catch-and-shoot 3-pointer from the left wing, giving the Magic a 97-86 lead with 1:35 left in the fourth quarter, that served as the dagger. Harris used to not have that shot in his offensive repertoire, but he does now, and it’s changed him completely — he’s become a legitimate small forward.

Victor Oladipo
6-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 13 PTS | +1

It was a modest performance from Oladipo. He couldn’t get his jumper to fall, but he was aggressive in attacking the rim (5-for-5), especially in 2-5 pick-and-rolls with Vucevic. What’s interesting is that, in those pick-and-roll sets, Orlando started them unusually high at the top of the key to take advantage of Oladipo’s explosiveness off the dribble.

Elfrid Payton
4-13 FG | 3-4 FT | 7 REB | 8 AST | 11 PTS | +6

The box score can be deceiving. Even though Walker scored a career-high 42 points, the vast majority of his points came against other Magic players, not Payton. Charlotte did a smart job of creating mismatches for Walker by constantly running pick-and-rolls, given that Orlando were switching them defensively. So even though Walker had a career night, it wasn’t because Payton failed miserably on defense.

Charlotte Hornets

It was the Kemba Walker show, as he was making every shot from everywhere on the floor (including a 3-pointer from Raleigh). The problem for the Hornets is that, outside of Walker and Jefferson (14 points and 9 rebounds), they got very little contributions from everyone else. There was no Lance Stephenson (strained pelvis) to rely on either.

Dec 27

Preview: Orlando Magic at Charlotte Hornets

Essentials

  • Teams: Orlando Magic at Charlotte Hornets
  • Date: December 27, 2014
  • Time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Time Warner Cable Arena

Records

  • Magic: 11-21
  • Hornets: 10-20

Probable starters

Magic:

  • Elfrid Payton
  • Victor Oladipo
  • Tobias Harris
  • Kyle O’Quinn
  • Nikola Vucevic

Hornets:

  • Kemba Walker
  • Gerald Henderson
  • Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
  • Cody Zeller
  • Al Jefferson

Advanced stats

Magic:

  • Pace: 92.7 (23rd of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 101.1 (29th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 106.5 (15th of 30)

Hornets:

  • Pace: 92.2 (25th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 102.1 (25th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 106.9 (18th of 30)

Read about the Hornets

Queen City Hoops

Dec 27

Grades: Cleveland Cavaliers 98, Orlando Magic 89

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Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

 

Cleveland Cavaliers 98 Final
Recap | Box Score
89 Orlando Magic

Nikola Vucevic
6-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 7 AST | 12 PTS | -8

Without Anderson Varejao (torn Achilles), the Cavaliers quickly double-teamed Vucevic most of the evening. Vucevic frequently made smart, effective passes in these situations, but he didn’t impact the game with his physicality. It’s almost inexcusable for someone with his skill-set to finish with zero free-throw attempts. Vucevic struggled to defend Kevin Love on the perimeter during the first quarter, and put forth a pedestrian performance overall.

Tobias Harris
7-16 FG | 2-6 3P | 1 BLK | 4 REB | 16 PTS | -5

The Magic needed everyone to step up if they were going to defeat the Cavs. Tasked with guarding LeBron James, Harris spent most of his energy on the defensive end. In that regard, he helped Orlando keep things close until the last quarter. However, Harris did little to pressure Cleveland offensively, mostly settling for jump shots and rarely attacking the rim.

Evan Fournier
5-10 FG | 2-3 3P | 2 STL | 4 REB | 15 PTS | -5

Fournier got a lot of minutes despite coming off the bench, and was somewhat efficient on the offensive side of the ball. A caveat to this is that he offers little resistance defensively. Ergo, Fournier could do little to prevent the Cavaliers’ Mike Miller and Dion Waiters from having productive games. Orlando really needs Fournier to develop into a better perimeter defender.

Victor Oladipo
5-14 FG | 3-4 FT | 4 REB | 8 AST | 13 PTS | -13

Oladipo can only learn and move forward after a disappointing outing against a marquee opponent. He fouled out, committed five turnovers, and overcompensated at both ends of the floor — simply trying to do too much. Despite finishing with a team-high 8 assists, it looked as though Oladipo spent most of the night frustrated and out-of-sync.

Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavs clamped down defensively when it mattered most, outscoring the Magic 27-14 in the final frame. Orlando faltered in the fourth quarter despite Cleveland’s decision to bench Kevin Love, which became a major storyline afterwards, and simply failed to execute enough to win. The consistently inconsistent play from Orlando these previous few weeks is both concerning and alarming.

Dec 26

Video: Victor Oladipo dunks over LeBron

Dec 26

Preview: Cleveland Cavaliers at Orlando Magic

Essentials

  • Teams: Cleveland Cavaliers at Orlando Magic
  • Date: December 26, 2014
  • Time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Amway Center

Records

  • Cavaliers: 17-11
  • Magic: 11-20

Probable starters

Cavaliers:

  • Matthew Dellavedova
  • Mike Miller
  • LeBron James
  • Kevin Love
  • Tristan Thompson

Magic:

  • Elfrid Payton
  • Victor Oladipo
  • Tobias Harris
  • Kyle O’Quinn
  • Nikola Vucevic

Advanced stats

Cavaliers:

  • Pace: 92.0 (26th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 111.7 (4th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 107.9 (21st of 30)

Magic:

  • Pace: 92.8 (19th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 100.8 (27th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 106.5 (17th of 30)

Read about the Cavaliers

Cavs: The Blog

Dec 26

Devyn Marble assigned to Erie BayHawks

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Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Via Orlando Magic press release:

Orlando Magic guard Devyn Marble has been assigned to the Erie BayHawks of the NBA Development League, general manager Rob Hennigan announced today.

Marble (6’6”, 200, 9/21/92) has appeared in five games during his rookie season with Orlando, averaging 0.8 ppg. in 1.0 mpg. Originally selected in the second round (56th overall) by Denver, his draft rights, along with Evan Fournier, were acquired by Orlando in exchange for Arron Afflalo on June 26.

Marble played in 136 career games during four years at the University of Iowa, averaging 12.5 ppg., 3.4 rpg., 2.9 apg. and 1.29 spg. in 27.6 mpg. He ranks second on the school’s all-time games played list with 136. Marble also ranks in Hawkeyes’ history in scoring (fifth, 1,694 points), assists (sixth, 397) and steals (seventh, 176).

The Orlando Magic and the Erie BayHawks have a three-year single affiliation partnership beginning this season. Orlando became the 16th NBA team to have a one-to-one affiliation with an NBA D-League team. The partnership, also referred to as a “hybrid affiliation,” is the eighth of its kind in the NBA D-League and allows an NBA team to control the NBA D-League team’s basketball operations, while the existing local ownership maintains primary responsibility for the team’s off-the-court business operations and community initiatives.

Dec 24

Devyn Marble’s future resides in Erie

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Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Second-round picks are never guaranteed an opportunity to prove themselves in the NBA. It starts in Summer League, where rookies are pinned against one another (as well as players fighting tooth and nail for (a)nother shot in the Association) and every waking moment on the court is scrutinized under the watchful eyes of league personnel.

That battle continues into training camp, where the odds of a second-round pick cracking a team’s rotation before the season starts are slim. All that’s left is to make the most of the few opportunities one gets in practice or in preseason games, which are few and far between. Whatever vacant minutes are left tend to go to a team’s prized possession — a first-round pick — rather than someone who was amongst the last to hear their name called on draft night.

That’s the situation Devyn Marble, the Magic’s 56th pick in the 2014 draft via the Nuggets, has faced thus far in his young career. Summer League gave him an opportunity to fight for a roster spot, and he raised eyebrows by showcasing his ability to be the type of 3-and-D player that is in high demand in today’s NBA.

Yet that hasn’t translated into any opportunities this season, due in large part to him recovering from a strained rotator cuff (which he suffered on November 7 against the Timberwolves). He’s only played five minutes of regular season basketball, and the vigorous schedule give teams few chances to scrimmage in practice.

For that reason, the Magic have opted to assign Marble to the Erie BayHawks, their D-League affiliate, as an opportunity for him to get some much needed in-game reps. According to the Orlando Sentinel’s Josh Robbins, the Magic will make it official over the coming days.

The Magic established a three-year, single affiliation with the BayHawks in the summer and have used it primarily as an opportunity to keep a close eye on Peyton Siva, Seth Curry, and Kadeem Batts — a trio who were each on the cusp of landing a roster spot before the season kicked off.

Marble marks the first Magic player this season to find himself on assignment in Erie, and it gives him the perfect opportunity to continue to find his feet as a pro. Not only do the BayHawks run a similar system to the Magic (one of the many benefits from establishing a single affiliation with a D-League team), but he finds himself playing alongside familiar faces in Curry and Batts, both of whom had big roles on the Magic’s Summer League team this year. It’ll make Marble’s transition to the D-League even smoother.

There’s no saying how long Marble’s stint in the D-League will last. Nevertheless, after seeing extremely limited court time over the Magic’s first 31 games of the regular season (some of which had to do with the rotator cuff injury he suffered during preseason), it makes sense for him to spend some time in Erie. He’ll be able to develop in a surrounding similar to the Magic’s. More importantly, being a part of a single affiliation ensures that the Magic have control over how much he plays.

Dec 23

Grades: Orlando Magic 100, Boston Celtics 95

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Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

 

Orlando Magic 100 Final
Recap | Box Score
95 Boston Celtics

Nikola Vucevic
8-12 FG | 2-2 FT | 12 REB | 3 AST | 18 PTS | +4

It was a ho-hum performance for Vucevic, as he got his customary double-double. The more noteworthy item is that, in his second start alongside O’Quinn, the two played off each other much better — both players had double-doubles — than they did against the Sixers. As valuable as Channing Frye is with ability to provide floor spacing, Vucevic and O’Quinn are a more natural fit together.

Tobias Harris
7-13 FG | 3-4 3P | 4 REB | 3 AST | 19 PTS | +4

With the Magic up 90-87 late in the fourth quarter (their lead on life support after being up by as many as 27 points in the period), Harris made a difficult fadeaway jumper that gave the team a little breathing room against the Celtics. Harris has proven this season that he can make tough shots in crunch time.

Kyle O’Quinn
6-12 FG | 2-4 3P | 2 STL | 13 REB | 18 PTS | +2

What makes the O’Quinn-Vucevic pairing work is that O’Quinn is able to mask Vucevic’s defensive shortcomings (particularly as a rim protector). And even though O’Quinn isn’t a stretch four in the traditional sense, he’s proving that he can step out and make 3s on occasion. That’s all Orlando needs from O’Quinn to keep opposing defenses from shrinking the floor.

Elfrid Payton
6-10 FG | 0-2 FT | 2 STL | 7 AST | 12 PTS | +11

The Magic’s point guard of the future faced off against the point guard of the past (Jameer Nelson) and got schooled a few times. Side note: the C’s intentionally fouled Payton with 3:49 left in the fourth quarter during their mega-run and he missed both free throws, forcing coach Jacque Vaughn to take the rookie out of the game.

Boston Celtics

For three quarters, Boston looked terrible. However, in the fourth quarter, the Celtics looked like a different squad and in a way, they were, as the newly-acquired trio from Dallas (Nelson, Jae Crowder, and Brandan Wright) helped spark a 27-3 run that nearly erased the Magic’s 27-point lead. But the C’s fell short and Orlando escaped with a narrow victory.

Dec 23

Preview: Boston Celtics at Orlando Magic

Essentials

  • Teams: Boston Celtics at Orlando Magic
  • Date: December 23, 2014
  • Time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Amway Center

Records

  • Celtics: 10-15
  • Magic: 10-20

Probable starters

Celtics:

  • Jameer Nelson
  • Avery Bradley
  • Jeff Green
  • Jared Sullinger
  • Tyler Zeller

Magic:

  • Elfrid Payton
  • Victor Oladipo
  • Tobias Harris
  • Kyle O’Quinn
  • Nikola Vucevic

Advanced stats

Celtics:

  • Pace: 97.3 (2nd of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 105.6 (17th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 106.1 (14th of 30)

Magic:

  • Pace: 92.6 (23rd of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 100.7 (27th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 106.9 (17th of 30)

Read about the Celtics

Celtics Hub

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