Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 8

Apr 10

Grades: Orlando Magic 115, Brooklyn Nets 111

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AP Photo/John Raoux

 

Orlando Magic 115 Final
Recap | Box Score
111 Brooklyn Nets

Arron Afflalo
9-16 FG | 5-8 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 25 PTS | -14

This was Afflalo’s best game in about a month and it could have been even better. He missed a few free throws and a couple of open jumpers that would have given him his first 30-point game since February 21, which came against the New York Knicks. Alas, Afflalo settled with 25-5-4 — the type of performance that got him All-Star considerations in the first half of the season.

E’Twaun Moore
6-6 FG | 5-5 3P | 1 STL | 1 AST | 17 PTS | +17

Moore only played 18 minutes, coming off the bench in his usual role as the Magic’s back-up shooting guard, but he made every minute count. Literally. Moore scored nearly a point per minute. A vast majority of his points came in the second quarter when he scored 14 straight for Orlando. Moore was out there drilling heat check 3s like he was T-Mac.

Tobias Harris
6-10 FG | 3-5 FT | 2 STL | 8 REB | 16 PTS | +1

It was a tale of two halves for Harris. He had zero points in the first half and 16 points in the second half (10 in the fourth quarter). What was the difference? In the first half, Harris settled for midrange jump shots. In the second half, Harris attacked the rim, converting layups and getting to the free throw line.

Kyle O’Quinn
6-9 FG | 2-3 FT | 2 BLK | 8 REB | 13 PTS | +9

Kyle O’Quinn had the play of the night when he blocked Joe Johnson’s game-tying 3-point attempt with Orlando leading Brooklyn by the score 112-109 in the game’s closing seconds. It’s almost as if Johnson underestimated O’Quinn’s length before he got his shot off. O’Quinn’s wingspan and timing is what makes him a great shot blocker — a skill the Magic sorely need with Dwight Howard gone.

Brooklyn Nets

People joke about Johnson, given that he’s someone that received a lot of (justified) criticism for being named an All-Star this season despite there being more deserving players in the East. But tonight, Johnson played like an All-Star. The Nets turned to him in crunch time when the game was close and Iso-Joe was nearly automatic, except on that last 3-point shot.

Apr 10

Video: E’Twaun Moore scores 14 straight points

Apr 09

Preview: Brooklyn Nets at Orlando Magic

Essentials

  • Teams: Brooklyn Nets at Orlando Magic
  • Date: April 9, 2014
  • Time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Amway Center

Records

  • Nets: 43-34
  • Magic: 22-55

Probable starters

Nets:

  • Deron Williams
  • Alan Anderson
  • Joe Johnson
  • Mirza Teletovic
  • Kevin Garnett

Magic:

  • Jameer Nelson
  • Arron Afflalo
  • Maurice Harkless
  • Kyle O’Quinn
  • Dewayne Dedmon

Advanced stats

Nets:

  • Pace: 91.4 (25th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 106.8 (14th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 107.4 (19th of 30)

Magic:

  • Pace: 93.8 (15th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 101.6 (29th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 107.1 (16th of 30)

Read about the Nets

Brooklyn’s Finest

Apr 09

Williams, Anderson named to Magic Hall of Fame

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Photo by Fernando Medina/Orlando Magic

Via Orlando Magic press release:

The Magic unveiled its inaugural Hall of Fame class on April 9 naming the first two inductees, Magic co-founder and Senior Vice President Pat Williams and the team’s first-ever draft pick and current Community Ambassador Nick Anderson. The Magic Hall of Fame will honor and celebrate the great players, coaches and executives who have had a major impact during the team’s illustrious 25-year history.

The Magic’s first-ever NBA Draft selection out of the University of Illinois (11th overall, 1989 NBA Draft), Anderson played 10 seasons for Orlando from 1989-99. In 692 career regular season games with the Magic, he averaged 15.4 ppg., 5.3 rpg., 2.8 apg. and 1.45 spg. Anderson ranks as the franchise’s all-time leader in games played (692), field goals made (4,075), steals (1,004), field goals attempted (8,976), three-point field goals attempted (2,480). He also stands second on the Magic’s all-time list with 10,650 points and 22,440 minutes played. Off the court, Anderson was also the inaugural winner of the Rich and Helen DeVos Community Enrichment Award in 1995-96 for his contributions to the Central Florida community. He currently serves as the team’s community ambassador, a position he has held since 2006.

Williams, who has more than 50 years of professional sports experience to his credit, turned a dream into the Orlando Magic more than 25 years ago. Williams, along with Jimmy Hewitt, began the process of bringing an NBA team to Orlando in 1986. On April 22, 1987, the NBA Board of Governors granted an expansion franchise to Orlando, and on December 22, 1988, the Magic sell their 10,000th season ticket, thus fulfilling their commitment to the NBA and the Magic was born. In addition, Williams was honored with the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He currently serves as the team’s senior vice president.

“We are so thrilled to unveil to our fans our first two inductees into the Magic Hall of Fame,” said Magic CEO Alex Martins. “Both Pat and Nick are Magic basketball, really laying the foundation for our franchise. They are the perfect pair to begin this great legacy of remembrance and recognition in the rich history of the Orlando Magic.”

The Hall of Fame will bridge the past with the future of Magic basketball, and the design will provide Magic fans an opportunity to enjoy the exhibits on game nights at the Amway Center. The exhibit is located in the Amway Center on the Terrace Level near Nutrilite Magic Fan Experience. The inductees will be determined based on their overall on and off the court contributions to the team and organization, years of service, impact in the community and general character of the individual.

Apr 07

Monday’s Magic Word

  • Victor Oladipo inadvertently helped Kemba Walker get a triple-double during the Magic’s loss to the Charlotte Bobcats on Thursday.
  • Several members of the Magic franchise talk about their baseball ties.
  • Is Arron Afflalo snapping out of his funk offensively?
  • John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com conducts a Q&A with Jameer Nelson.
  • Matt Dollinger of Sports Illustrated: “One night after shooting only 5-of-20 in 30 minutes in a loss to Charlotte, Kyle O’Quinn bounced back with 14 points (on 6-of-7 shooting), 13 rebounds and four blocks in a victory over Minnesota. The second-year power forward has played more in the second half of the season, with averages of 8.3 points and 7.1 rebounds in 22.1 minutes since the All-Star break.”
  • Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk: “The team is not for sale, the DeVos family wants you to know. That’s swell. But this is still a massive rebuilding project in its early stages, this is a team that needs a little lottery luck this year.”
  • It’s worth repeating. Despite rumors to the contrary, the DeVos family — owners of the Magic — have no plans of selling the team.
  • Chad Ford of ESPN Insider reveals Orlando’s draft board: “The Magic want a point guard and will likely have three good options — Exum, Marcus Smart and Tyler Ennis. However, none of them are in serious consideration for the No. 1 pick. But Exum is close, and I’m told he is No. 2 on Orlando’s board; Wiggins is first and Parker is third. The Magic remain quite high on Smart as well and have him at No. 4.”

Apr 06

Grades: Orlando Magic 100, Minnesota Timberwolves 92

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AP Photo/John Raoux

 

Orlando Magic 100 Final
Recap | Box Score
92 Minnesota Timberwolves

Arron Afflalo
8-15 FG | 1-4 3P | 3 REB | 2 AST | 18 PTS | -5

After a poor performance against the Charlotte Bobcats on Thursday, in which Afflalo seemed to disappear at times, the Magic made a concerted effort to get him involved early and often offensively versus the Timberwolves. And it worked. Afflalo settled into a nice groove on offense in the first quarter and scored 10 points in the period, which jumpstarted his night.

Maurice Harkless
7-9 FG | 3-3 3P | 4 REB | 2 AST | 17 PTS | -15

Comfortable. That’s the first word that comes to mind when Harkless had the ball in his hands against Minnesota. He knew what he wanted to do offensively, and he went out there and did it. There was no second-guessing involved. That has almost everything to do with Harkless’ confidence. He’s confident in his ability to score, especially from beyond the arc.

Tobias Harris
7-12 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 STL | 6 REB | 17 PTS | +26

Just when it seemed like the Timberwolves was going to run away with the game in the third quarter, thanks to a 17-6 run that ballooned their lead to 13, the Magic responded by going on runs of 11-1, 14-4, and 10-1 in the third and fourth quarters. Harris was a big part of those scoring surges (and Victor Oladipo too for that matter).

Kyle O’Quinn
6-7 FG | 2-3 FT | 4 BLK | 13 REB | 14 PTS | -6

With Nikola Vucevic sitting out his second straight game with a strained left achilles, Kyle O’Quinn took over his duties as the double-double guy. The points and rebounds were nice, but what was more impressive was O’Quinn’s four blocks. He’s by far the Magic’s best shot blocker and it’s easy to see why. He has great timing and he uses his length effectively.

Minnesota Timberwolves

Minnesota was without Kevin Love (back), Nikola Pekovic (ankle), Kevin Martin (foot), and Shabazz Muhammad (knee). To add insult to injury, Chase Budinger sprained his right ankle in the game’s opening minutes. It’s a minor miracle that the Timberwolves, playing on a road back-to-back no less, were able to lead for most of the night until the Magic finally got their act together in the second half.

Apr 05

Preview: Minnesota Timberwolves at Orlando Magic

Essentials

  • Teams: Minnesota Timberwolves at Orlando Magic
  • Date: April 5, 2014
  • Time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Amway Center

Records

  • Timberwolves: 38-37
  • Magic: 21-55

Probable starters

Timberwolves:

  • Ricky Rubio
  • Chase Budinger
  • Corey Brewer
  • Dante Cunningham
  • Gorgui Dieng

Magic:

  • Jameer Nelson
  • Arron Afflalo
  • Maurice Harkless
  • Kyle O’Quinn
  • Dewayne Dedmon

Advanced stats

Timberwolves:

  • Pace: 97.3 (4th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 109.0 (9th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 105.8 (13th of 30)

Magic:

  • Pace: 93.8 (16th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 101.5 (29th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 107.1 (16th of 30)

Read about the Timberwolves

A Wolf Among Wolves

Apr 05

Grades: Charlotte Bobcats 91, Orlando Magic 80

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Photo by Brock Williams-Smith/NBAE via Getty Images

 

Charlotte Bobcats 91 Final
Recap | Box Score
80 Orlando Magic

Arron Afflalo
2-10 FG | 4-4 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | -21

To say that Afflalo’s production has tapered off at the end of the season, as I said on TrueHoop TV Live: After Dark on Thursday, would be an understatement. It’s fallen off a cliff the past week or so, and the Bobcats game was the latest example of that. Afflalo was passive in his approach on offense and it reflected in his numbers.

Victor Oladipo
8-18 FG | 4-4 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 21 PTS | +7

Oladipo scored 17 of his 21 points in the second half, as he tried everything he could to help the Magic erase a 17-point halftime deficit. Nearly everything was clicking for him. He was aggressive in attacking the rim. He was pulling up for jump shots (and making them). Ultimately, it was to no avail, as the Bobcats won by double digits.

Tobias Harris
5-12 FG | 4-5 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 15 PTS | +7

Harris was the only other Magic player that had any success offensively. He got his usual numbers and he did it in typical Harris fashion. Midrange jump shots and free throws, with one 3-pointer tossed in for good measure. Oladipo and Harris shouldered much of the offensive load, coming off the bench no less, but they didn’t get much help.

Kyle O’Quinn
5-20 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 BLK | 6 REB | 10 PTS | -6

To put up 10 points, 6 rebounds, 5 blocks, and 3 steals is rather impressive, as O’Quinn did against Charlotte. It goes to show you the type of defensive player that O’Quinn can be, even though he got roasted on the low block defending Al Jefferson. But how the heck did he shoot 20 times? And why? Did Big Baby take over his body?

Charlotte Bobcats

It was a milestone victory of sorts for the Bobcats, as they were able to get to .500 for the first time since November. Big Al (29 points, 16 rebounds) was a big reason for that, as he channeled his inner-Hakeem Olajuwon and dominated in the post. Kemba Walker (13 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists) was not too shabby, either.

Apr 04

Preview: Orlando Magic at Charlotte Bobcats

Essentials

  • Teams: Orlando Magic at Charlotte Bobcats
  • Date: April 4, 2014
  • Time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Time Warner Cable Arena

Records

  • Magic: 21-54
  • Bobcats: 37-38

Probable starters

Magic:

  • Jameer Nelson
  • Arron Afflalo
  • Maurice Harkless
  • Andrew Nicholson
  • Kyle O’Quinn

Bobcats:

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

Advanced stats

Magic:

  • Pace: 93.9 (16th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 101.6 (29th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 107.2 (17th of 30)

Bobcats:

  • Pace: 92.6 (21st of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 103.7 (24th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 104.4 (6th of 30)

Read about the Bobcats

Queen City Hoops

Apr 04

Rebuilding: It’s a magical thing

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Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Throughout the years of the Association’s existence, we’ve seen numerous ways of how teams choose to rebuild. Of how they go about attempting to bring their teams from positions of mediocrity or consistent failure, and into the elusive contender field that is rarely occupied by more than five or six teams from year-to-year.

There are different methods, for sure. Blowing it all up and starting from scratch by building through the draft (don’t make me say tanking), as of recently at least, seems to be the most common way.

Some teams are able to rebuild through free agency. Others are just unintentionally bad, catch a few lucky breaks, and manage to land a high lottery pick who works out, and they’re able to build around that player.

Then there’s what we’re seeing the Magic do right now, which we may have seen a similar version of before.

Back in October of last year, Magic Basketball’s Nate Drexler wrote about the issue surrounding Arron Afflalo and Glen Davis still being on the Magic roster, for they looked as if they would get in the way of developing the young talent. He wrote that dealing them was probably for the best — a near-consensus opinion at the time — as they were both believed to be decent players on relatively fair contracts, therefore they each had solid trade value.

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