Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 81

Nov 13

Preview: New York Knicks at Orlando Magic

Essentials

  • Teams: New York Knicks at Orlando Magic
  • Date: November 13, 2012
  • Time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Amway Center

Records

  • Knicks: 4-0
  • Magic: 2-4

Probable starters

Knicks:

  • Raymond Felton
  • Jason Kidd
  • Ronnie Brewer
  • Carmelo Anthony
  • Tyson Chandler

Magic:

  • E’Twaun Moore
  • J.J. Redick
  • Arron Afflalo
  • Glen Davis
  • Nikola Vucevic

Advanced stats

Knicks:

  • Pace: 91.4 (25th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 114.3 (1st of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 95.7 (1st of 30)

Magic:

  • Pace: 91.3 (26th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 96.2 (28th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 102.4 (19th of 30)

Read about the Knicks

KnickerBlogger

Nov 13

Tuesday’s Mini-Magic Word

  • Since a hot 2-0 start to the regular season, the Orlando Magic have lost their last four games. The main culprit being that the offense has sputtered. Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post examines the Magic’s offensive struggles.
  • The New York Knicks, the NBA’s lone undefeated team at 4-0, face off against Orlando at Amway Center tonight. Expect Carmelo Anthony, starting at power forward while Amar’e Stoudemire recovers from knee surgery, to create a lot of matchup problems for the Magic.
  • Jameer Nelson is a game-time decision for tonight’s game between the Knicks and Orlando.
  • Head coach Jacque Vaughn is hoping that the Magic, who played well defensively against the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, will continue that trend against New York. It’ll be a difficult task, given that the Knicks’ offense currently average 114.3 points per 100 possessions (1st in the NBA).

Nov 12

The life and times of Glen Davis

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

It must really stink to be Glen Davis right now. Imagine being a guy who entered the league as a 21-year-old and almost immediately felt the unparalleled bliss of winning a championship, of being a champion. Now, four long and relatively miserable years later, you’re in Orlando and playing for nothing, it seems, as the Magic are in tank mode and have very little to be excited about.

First, let me go here: not every player is the same. Some play for money, some play for fame, some play to win. Of course, some players (and probably most) are a combination of all three of those things, but certainly certain players lean heavily in favor of one of those things over another.

Take James Harden, for example. Harden is a great player and probably likes to win. However, winning is not the most important thing to him by any stretch. Money (and by extension a bigger role) is more important to him and we saw that play out when he took his talents to the corporate epicenter of the United States.

On the other side of that coin are guys like LeBron James or Kevin Durant. These are guys who winning is pretty much everything to. I’m sure it doesn’t hurt their cause that their endorsement deals give them enough money for about 1,000 lives, but regardless, they chose “best situation” over “highest dollar amount.” So we can conclude that these guys value winning more than money.

Glen Davis probably doesn’t really have the opportunity to make a ton of money (relative to other players) in the league. Guys like that tend to lean more towards winning because they don’t have the temptation to make the ridiculous dollars like maybe 20 or so guys in the league will have over the course of their career. So I don’t really care how he got there, Glen Davis is a guy who values winning over anything else, even though becoming a starter was also very important to him as his career progressed in Boston (which is precisely why he was traded to Orlando).

And in 2008, when Davis came into the league, his rookie contract probably didn’t matter a whole lot to him because the guy put a ring on his finger in a short amount of time.

Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 12

Recap: Brooklyn Nets 82, Orlando Magic 74

Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

BOX SCORE

For the Orlando Magic, the outcome was decided in the first 12 minutes of the game. In the first quarter, the Brooklyn Nets jumped out to a double-digit lead thanks to Brook Lopez and Deron Williams.

Lopez went to work against Nikola Vucevic, making an array of hook shots and midrange jumpers, doing most of his damage almost exclusively on the right half of the court. For all the questions about Lopez’s defensive acumen and rebounding ability, there’s little questioning his offensive skill-set when he gets on a roll. It’s diverse and refined for a 7-foot big man.

As for Williams, he went to work on the perimeter in half-court sets, making two three-pointers off of handoff passes from Lopez.

Lopez and Williams combined to score 17 of the Nets’ 35 points in the first quarter, matching the Magic’s total offensive output in the period.

After the first quarter, Orlando’s defense did tighten up. Brooklyn shot 29.6 percent from the floor after shooting a high percentage (56.5 percent) in the opening period. The problem for the Magic was that their offense continued to sputter up until the final buzzer. This is the main reason why the Nets were able to maintain a double-digit lead until midway through the fourth quarter despite the fact their offense was brought to a screeching halt.

Quality shots were hard to come by for Orlando — part of that was the Nets defense but part of that was also the Magic’s lack of offensive firepower (this trend will likely continue until Al Harrington, Jameer Nelson, and Hedo Turkoglu return from their injuries).

When Orlando was able to get open looks offensively, they didn’t convert very many of them. And when the Magic did start converting them, like they did late in the fourth quarter when they tried to make a late comeback bid after dealing with a double-digit deficit for a majority of the game, it was too little, too late.

That was the game in a nutshell.

MVP (Most Valuable Player)

Kris Humphries stuffed the stat sheet, finishing with 14 points and 21 rebounds, showing once again why he’s one of the best rebounders in the NBA. The 21 rebounds was two shy of his career-high.

Defining Moment

The Nets played a crisp first quarter, outscoring the Magic 35-17 in the period. That proved to be the difference in the ballgame, as Orlando couldn’t recover from a deficit that was as much as 20 points early in the second quarter.

That Was … a Chore to Watch

After the opening stanza, this game was a bit of a slog. Brooklyn (37.2 percent shooting from the floor) and the Magic (36.1 percent) played a game that was not easy on the eyes.

Nov 11

Preview: Orlando Magic at Brooklyn Nets

Essentials

  • Teams: Orlando Magic at Brooklyn Nets
  • Date: November 11, 2012
  • Time: 3:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Barclays Center

Records

  • Magic: 2-3
  • Nets: 2-2

Probable starters

Magic:

  • E’Twaun Moore
  • J.J. Redick
  • Arron Afflalo
  • Glen Davis
  • Nikola Vucevic

Nets:

  • Deron Williams
  • Joe Johnson
  • Keith Bogans
  • Kris Humphries
  • Brook Lopez

Advanced stats

Magic:

  • Pace: 91.5 (24th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 99.0 (23rd of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 104.7 (20th of 30)

Nets:

  • Pace: 89.4 (28th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 107.1 (5th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 105.7 (24th of 30)

Read about the Nets

The Brooklyn Game

Nov 09

Recap: Brooklyn Nets 107, Orlando Magic 68

AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

BOX SCORE

It just never felt like Deron Williams and Joe Johnson were even trying. Mostly because the Nets were up by double-digits while the dynamic duo was in the game in the first half. The two didn’t play much in the second half, as Brooklyn enjoyed a 30-point lead for most of it. Orlando showed absolutely no threat and Brooklyn rolled.

When you can’t score, you have to play defense. The Magic struggled in that department. When you can’t score and you can’t play defense, you have to at least protect the ball. Again, Orlando struggled. What was evident in Friday night’s slaughter was a real lack of leadership. At times, the Nets doubled Glen Davis and by default dubbed him “the threat.” But when he escaped and kicked the ball out, there wasn’t much working, save for the occasional E’Twaun Moore push runner.

At this point, it is clear that Orlando misses Jameer Nelson and abundantly clear that E’Twaun Moore is not fully equipped to carve out a spot for himself in the league as a leader or starter. Moore’s early (and ridiculous) turnovers might have been jitters, but to be honest he looked lost. It would be nice if he was playing behind a veteran and not thrusted into a leadership role as he has been in the absence of Jameer.

Glen Davis continued to work his butt off but struggle. He became an easy mark on Friday and was unable to get any midrange looks (usually the result of a spread floor and multiple options). It will be nice for the Magic to have Turkoglu back, when his broken hand heals, to add a little size and versatility to the offense.

It appears as if Orlando, when not in the mindset of “we have to screen and execute perfectly on every possession or else we will lose,” is extraordinarily bad. The execution was not there, the screening and movement off the ball were not there, and the “fight for your life” mentality was not there. When you don’t have a star and several of your veterans are on the bench, that is a recipe for a blowout.

A lingering problem is the inability to create. Orlando, by the end of the third quarter, shot only two free-throws (missing both). There is little attacking and seemingly little ability to get to the hole with any kind of effectiveness.

On the positive side, the Magic still have guys who do a lot of things right. Andrew Nicholson provided strong play, albeit in short minutes. J.J. Redick was assertive and the team defense, at times, looked to at least be on the same page. Aaron Afflalo had a few bursts as well, but Orlando needs a constant scorer or a constant team effort if they are going to not get blown out every game.

MVP (Most Valuable Player)

Off the bench, Nicholson went 4-for-4 from the floor and 2-for-2 from the free-throw line. The rook gathered three rebounds, threw down two dunks, ran the floor well, and finished with 10 points in 12 minutes. Let’s talk about efficient.

LVP (Least Valuable Player)

In 14 minutes, Smith went 1-for-5 with two points, turned the ball over three times, threw an alley-oop to nobody, and recorded a clean -25 for the game.

Defining Moment

Orlando started the third quarter on a 7-0 run, capped by a three pointer by Afflalo. They closed the deficit to seven and then realized they had nothing left to throw in the furnace. It became abundantly clear that the Magic cashed out in an early second half run and would then fold.

Nov 09

Preview: Brooklyn Nets at Orlando Magic

Essentials

  • Teams: Brooklyn Nets at Orlando Magic
  • Date: November 9, 2012
  • Time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Amway Center

Records

  • Nets: 1-2
  • Magic: 2-2

Probable starters

Nets:

  • Deron Williams
  • Joe Johnson
  • Keith Bogans
  • Kris Humphries
  • Brook Lopez

Magic:

  • E’Twaun Moore
  • Arron Afflalo
  • Josh McRoberts
  • Glen Davis
  • Nikola Vucevic

Advanced stats

Nets:

  • Pace: 90.7 (25th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 101.5 (22nd of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 114.0 (29th of 30)

Magic:

  • Pace: 92.9 (17th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 103.6 (14th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 100.1 (11th of 30)

Read about the Nets

The Brooklyn Game

Nov 09

Friday’s Mini-Magic Word

  • Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post: “Given his reputation as a trigger-happy jump shooter, it’d be easy to conclude that Davis is settling for far too many long twos. That’s not exactly the case: he’s taken 37 long twos through four games, and while that’s a terribly high figure, it’s not as though he’s settling: he’s taken another 28 shots in the restricted area and 12 more in the paint, but outside the charge circle. The problem is that opposing teams haven’t had any trouble stonewalling him at the rim. Davis has made 14 shots in the charge circle… and has had 13 of his shots blocked.”
  • Magic fans will get a first-hand look at Brook Lopez in tonight’s game. Lopez, for those that don’t remember (and it’s hard not to), was the centerpiece of the Brooklyn Nets’ rumored trade offer — that lingered for a while — for Dwight Howard.
  • Glen Davis, dealing with some early-season struggles, received advice from a former Boston Celtics teammate — Kevin Garnett. This is what Davis had to say: “I talked to K.G. last night and he was telling me some great advice that could most definitely help me. He told me, `Now you’ve graduated. Now you’re a Navy Seal.’ And I see it.”
  • An injury update on Jameer Nelson, who will sit out of his fourth consecutive game with a strained groin and hamstring.

Nov 09

#ORLrank 9: Hedo Turkoglu

Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

 

G MP PER VORP WARP WS/82
2007-2008 82 3026 17.8 4.06 10.6 9.0
Hedo Turkoglu’s best season with the Magic

 
When I think of Hedo Turkoglu in a Magic uniform, a few things come to mind.

I think of 2008 when Turkoglu had the best season of his career.

That’s when Stan Van Gundy helped transform Turkoglu from a spot-up shooter under Brian Hill’s regime into an efficient scorer and dynamic playmaker. Turkoglu became a matchup nightmare in the league because of his ability to run pick-and-rolls as a 6-foot-10 point forward with Dwight Howard (and by extension, pick-and-pops with Rashard Lewis).

Not only that but Turkoglu also became a reliable crunch time player. Van Gundy didn’t hesitate putting the ball in Turkoglu’s hands in the clutch and letting him work his magic. Turkoglu did his part by not shying away from the responsiblity and stepping up to the challenge.

Turkoglu elevating his level of play in the fourth quarter became an expectation and game-winning shots, like his memorable shot against the Boston Celtics (who would later go on to win the NBA title that year) on a nationally televised game on ABC, seemingly became the norm. It’s why Magic fans began to refer to Turkoglu as “Mr. Fourth Quarter.”

It’s also why those noteworthy moments, coupled with his evolution as a player, led to Turkoglu winning the 2008 Most Improved Player award.

I also think of 2009 when Turkoglu helped lead the Orlando Magic to the Finals.

Even though Turkoglu had an underwhelming regular season, partly due to Jameer Nelson’s brief flirtation with being an All-Star point guard but mostly due to Turkoglu’s regression to the mean after a career year, he picked the exact right moments to make his presence felt in the playoffs.

Like in Game 4 against the Sixers in the first round. With Orlando staring a 3-1 series deficit right in the face, Turkoglu made a game-winning shot that arguably saved the Magic’s season. It also created an indelible image that the Magic fan base will not soon forget.

Or Game 7 against the Celtics in the Conference Semifinals. Turkoglu had the game of his life, putting up 25 points on 9-for-12 shooting from the floor (including 10 points in the fourth quarter), 12 assists, and three rebounds. Not only did Turkoglu help Orlando defy long odds (heading into the game, the Celtics were 32-0 all-time when leading a series 3-2), but he helped close out Boston on the road.

Or Game 2 against the Cavaliers in the Conference Finals. Everyone remembers “The Shot” from LeBron James, but not everyone remembers Turkoglu scoring the go-ahead bucket with 1 second left in regulation before James’ game-winning shot. Had it not been for James’ miracle, Turkoglu would have been the hero once again for the Magic.

Or even Game 2 against the Lakers in the Finals. In the span of roughly five seconds, Turkoglu blocked Kobe Bryant’s potential game-winning shot at the end of regulation, had the presence of mind to call a timeout, then was the man that delivered the pass when Courtney Lee missed a difficult game-winning alley-oop layup on a last-second sideline-out-of-bounds play. It’s an impressive sequence, even though Orlando ultimately lost the game.

Turkoglu’s second go-around with the Magic, after being acquired from the Phoenix Suns in a midseason trade in 2011, wasn’t as memorable or successful as his first stint. That much is certain.

Which is why, when looking back at Turkoglu’s tenure with Orlando when it’s all said and done, Magic fans will remember that two-year stretch in 2008 and 2009. They’ll remember the game-winning shots, the “Mr. Fourth Quarter” moniker, the Most Improved Player award, the Finals run, the list can go on for a while.

That’s Turkoglu’s legacy.

Voter breakdown for Hedo Turkoglu

Drexler Highkin Rivera Schiller Scribbins
Scale (1-to-10) 6 10 N/A (11) 10 9
Average rank: 9.2

What is #ORLrank?

Magic Basketball ranks the top 10 players in Magic franchise history. #ORLrank is the Twitter hashtag to use if you want to get involved in the discussion or just follow along.

You can also follow along here: @erivera7

How did we rank the players?

Five MBN writers ranked each player 1-to-10, in terms of the quality of each player.

Thanks to Daniel Myers, Neil Paine of Basketball-Reference, and Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus for contributing to the project.

Nov 08

Thursday’s Magic Word

  • J.J. Redick has turned some heads with his play early in the season. Chris Broussard of ESPN Insider suggests that Redick could even be an early contender for the Sixth Man of the Year award.
  • David Thorpe of ESPN Insider offers a breakdown of rookie Andrew Nicholson: “He has a solid shot from the perimeter. He can put the ball down and drive to the paint before finishing with a soft hook. And he goes to the offensive glass fairly well. Once he locks in on his defensive rebounding role better, his playing time should improve.”
  • The Orlando Magic were thrashed by the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday.
  • Some Magic players didn’t take too kindly to Joakim Noah trying to win free Big Macs (the Chicago Bulls have to score 100 points or more in a home win) for Bulls fans by attempting a three-pointer in the Magic’s loss against the Bulls on Tuesday. Noah later expressed regret for attempting the shot.
  • John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com on Redick’s future with Orlando: “I believe that Redick has a chance to stay with the Magic for the long-term. He wants to be in Orlando, he likes being a mentor for the younger players and he likes his role in Vaughn’s share-the-ball offensive system.”
  • Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports with a must-read profile on Magic rookie DeQuan Jones. Here’s a snippet: “Here’s how big of a long shot Jones was in making the team, let alone starting a game for the Magic: He wasn’t invited to any predraft camps, wasn’t listed in the league’s media draft guide and worked out with only three teams. He was the seventh-leading scorer at the University of Miami last season as a senior, light credentials that led to a quiet evening at his parents’ house last June, when he watched the NBA draft and didn’t hear his name called.”
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