Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 81

Jul 28

Jacque Vaughn named Magic head coach

Photo by Fernando Medina/Orlando Magic

Via Orlando Magic press release:

Jacque Vaughn, who spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs and was a member of their 2006-07 NBA World Championship team as a player, has been named head coach, Orlando Magic general manager Rob Hennigan announced today. Vaughn becomes the tenth head coach in franchise history.

“We are beyond excited to name Jacque Vaughn as our head coach,” Hennigan said. “As we navigated through our coaching search, we quickly saw that Jacque’s spirit and leadership strengths made him the clear choice. We are confident that his diligence, attention to detail and communication style will help establish the bedrock of our culture moving forward. His commitment and passion to building a sustainable program will help steer our organization for years to come.”

During Vaughn’s two seasons on San Antonio’s staff, the Spurs compiled a regular season record of 111-37 (.750).

Jul 26

Orlando Magic’s 2012-13 regular season schedule released

Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images

Via Orlando Magic press release:

The National Basketball Association today released its 2012-13 schedule and announced the Orlando Magic will open its 24th season on Friday, November 2 at the Amway Center against Denver. Tip-off is 7 p.m.

Orlando Magic season tickets, partial plans, group and single-game Amway Center suite rental opportunities are on sale now. Ticket highlights for the 2012-13 season in the Amway Center, named SportsBusiness Journal’s 2012 Sports Facility of the Year, include: 2,500 seats priced $20 or less, 8,000 seats priced $40 or less and 10,000 seats priced $50 or under. Single-game tickets for the first half of the regular season will go on sale on October 1 at 10 a.m. A limited number of season tickets are available through the Orlando Magic by calling 407-89-MAGIC or visiting orlandomagic.com.

Orlando opens training camp on October 1 at the Amway Center. The Magic’s complete schedule is available through their official website, orlandomagic.com, while the entire NBA schedule can be found at NBA.com.

For the first time in team history, all Magic games will be televised locally on one channel. All local telecasts will be available in high definition on FOX Sports Florida.

Each NBA team will play an 82-game regular season: 41 home and 41 away.The Magic will play 52 games vs. the Eastern Conference (18 games vs. the Atlantic Division, 18 games vs. the Central Division and 16 games vs. the Southeast Division) and 30 games against the Western Conference (10 games each vs. the Northwest Division, the Southwest Division and the Pacific Division).

Orlando will play a total of 22 home games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday this season. The 2012-13 Magic schedule also features 13 back-to-back contests (26 games played on consecutive nights).

The Magic will play 15 games in November (9 home, 6 away), 16 games in December (8 home, 8 away), including a day game on New Year’s Eve at home against Miami (5 p.m.), 14 games in January (7 home, 7 away), 13 games in February (6 home, 7 away), 16 games in March (8 home, 8 away) and eight games in April (3 home, 5 away).

The Magic will enjoy a season-long five-game homestand from November 21-30 (five games in 10 days). Orlando faces three season-long five-game road trips which take place December 2-9 (five games in eight days), January 28-February 4 (five games in eight days) and March 30-April 7 (five games in nine days).

Orlando closes the season on Wednesday, April 17 at Miami.

Click here for the 2012-13 schedule.

Jul 25

Gustavo Ayon’s pick-and-roll abilities

You can forgive Magic fans if they don’t know much about Gustavo Ayon.

When the Orlando Magic executed a sign-and-trade with the New Orleans Hornets to acquire Ayon in exchange for Ryan Anderson, a lot of people within the Magic fanbase were asking themselves, “who?” That was to be expected.

While Anderson was raising his national profile around NBA circles with his “breakout” year last season, Ayon quietly had a solid rookie season with the Hornets. You just didn’t really hear about it because Anderson was a part of a seemingly never-ending soap opera with the Magic that garnered constant headlines and attention (courtesy of Dwight Howard, Stan Van Gundy, and company), while Ayon was a part of a bad New Orleans team that wasn’t in the news much apart from a fleeting Chris Paul reference.

So who is Ayon and how can he help Orlando?

One of Ayon’s strengths as a player is his ability to be an effective pick-and-roll big man. Even though it remains to be seen what the offensive philosophy will be when the Magic eventually hire their new head coach, considering the personnel on the roster, you have to figure Orlando won’t stray too far from Van Gundy’s pick-and-roll heavy offense in recent years, even if Dwight is eventually traded because of guys like Glen Davis, Andrew Nicholson, and Kyle O’Quinn. Assuming that’s the case, Ayon should be a good fit with the Magic.

Last season with the Hornets, Ayon averaged 1.17 points per possession as the roll man in pick-and-rolls in 53 possessions (19th in the NBA). Ayon did a majority of his damage at the rim, but he didn’t hesitate popping out for the occasional midrange jumpshot either.

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On this possession, New Orleans executes a 1/5 pick-and-roll with Jarrett Jack and Ayon. Ayon sets the screen, then pops out free-throw line extended.

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Jul 24

Getting to know Gustavo Ayon

Chris Trotman/Getty Images

When the Magic signed-and-traded Ryan Anderson to the New Orleans Hornets for Gustavo Ayon, many Magic fans were probably displeased. Anderson was one of the sole bright spots on the team last season, while Ayon is hardly six months removed from toiling in complete basketball obscurity. The 6-foot-10, 250-pound 27-year-old had been nowhere near the NBA radar as he spent the early portion of his career between his home country of Mexico and Spain. Even when Hornets general manager Dell Demps brought him over to New Orleans last summer, it was to a team decimated by both offseason trades and injuries, one that few people would willingly watch all year.

Those who watched, though, were pleasantly surprised. Ayon broke into the Hornets’ rotation early in the year last season and stayed there, displaying a smart game to go with nimble feet and constant effort. As such, he shot above Eduardo Najera and Earl Watson (bet you didn’t know that) for the position of best Mexican NBA player, as well as ensuring that his 3-year, $4.5 million deal would be a huge bargain.

The first thing that meets the eye with Ayon, as mentioned, is his smart play. Ayon rarely does the things he’s bad at — 60 percent of his shots came in the immediate basket area, where he converted 65.4 percent of his attempts, as he left his jumper in the closet more often than not. This definitely seems like the right decision, as he shot only 36.5 percent away from the basket all year.

Ayon’s shots come mostly in the flow of the offense, as he struggles to create off the dribble. MySynergySports.com classified only 26 possessions all year as ones where Ayon isolated, and they mostly ended badly, as he averaged just 0.42 points per possession. Things weren’t much better in the post, where he averaged 0.52 points per possession in 33 possessions.

Ayon actually has a pretty solid first dribble -– he likes planting himself at one of the elbows, faking a handoff to a guard curling around him, then dribbling hard to the rim -– and he uses this combined with his speed to get by some of the league’s slower big men defenders. However, if that first dribble doesn’t gain him an advantage, he is often lost, left with no choice but to barrel into an array of defenders and throw up an awkward layup. It is a weapon to be used only in very favorable matchups, and Ayon definitely seems to realize that his iso game is not his strength.

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Jul 19

NBA Mexico Game 2012 to feature Magic and Hornets in October

Via Orlando Magic press release:

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Zignia Live, a premier live entertainment and events company in Mexico, today announced a multiyear partnership that includes a preseason game in Mexico featuring the Orlando Magic and New Orleans Hornets on Oct. 7 at the newly launched Mexico City Arena as part of NBA Mexico Game 2012.

The game marks the NBA’s 18th visit to Mexico City and the league’s 20th game in Mexico overall, the most NBA matchups held in any country outside the United States and Canada. Game tickets are available for purchase starting July 20 through Super Boletos (www.superboletos.com).

“NBA Mexico Game is an important part of our 2012 international games schedule and a great opportunity for us to connect with our fans in Mexico and across Latin America,” said Philippe Moggio, NBA Vice President, Latin America. “As the most frequent international host for NBA games, Mexico will again provide a great showcase for the game of basketball as the New Orleans Hornets and Orlando Magic put on an exciting show for our passionate fans at the new Mexico City Arena.”

Jul 16

Magic re-sign Jameer Nelson

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Via Orlando Magic press release:

The Orlando Magic have re-signed free agent guard Jameer Nelson, general manager Rob Hennigan announced tonight. Per team policy, terms of the deal are not disclosed.

“Jameer (Nelson) has been an integral member of this organization for the last eight years, both on the court and in the community,” said Hennigan. “His leadership, toughness, and commitment to his teammates will continue to help guide our program in the right direction. We are excited to have him back in a Magic uniform.”

Nelson (#14, 6’0”, 190, 2/9/82) played and started in 57 games last season with the Magic, averaging 11.9 ppg., a team-high 5.7 apg. and 3.2 rpg. in 29.9 mpg. He shot .377 (87-231) from three-point range and .807 (71-88) from the free throw line. Nelson ranked 15th in the NBA in assists. He led (or tied) the team in scoring eight times and in assists 36 times, including a career-high-tying 14 assists on Feb. 15 vs. Philadelphia.

Jul 13

2012 Orlando Pro Summer League Recap

July 3

July 9-13

Jul 13

2012 Orlando Pro Summer League roundup: Day 5

Photo by Fernando Medina/Orlando Magic

Alton Clark of NBA Playbook is covering the 2012 Orlando Pro Summer League on behalf of Magic Basketball. This is Alton’s roundup of Day 5.

Celtics 94, Magic 73

BOX SCORE

  • Being that this was the final day at the Orlando Pro Summer League, most of the teams rest the players that they have made a decision on and use this day to evaluate guys they might be on the fence about with regards to inviting them camp or extending a contract offer. With that said, there are still a few guys who took advantage of the opportunity to play more then they have throughout the week.
  • The Celtics’ Dionte Christmas had one of the best all-around games of anyone here this week. Christmas did everything for Boston today, as they gave the Orlando Magic their worst defeat this week with a 94-73 victory. Christmas shot the ball well, scoring a game-high 21 points (7-for-14 from the floor, 3-for-7 from three-point range, and 4-for-4 from the free-throw line). Christmas also added 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals to his stat-line. The second unit of the Magic had no answer for Christmas on either ends of the floor, as he raised a lot of eyebrows from opposing NBA scouts who witnessed his performance today. If Christmas can carry this momentum with him next week in Las Vegas, he could play his way into an NBA job.

Thunder 89, Jazz 75

BOX SCORE

Pistons 71, Sixers 67

BOX SCORE

  • Devin Searcy of the Sixers has been rock solid all week, doing the little things that help good teams become great. Searcy had another solid game today with 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. The 6-foot-10 power forward from Dayton was coached well in his collegiate years and it shows with how he hasn’t ventured out from his role the entire week. Searcy does a good job of running from rim-to-rim in the open floor, establishing solid post position deep in the paint, and making contact on ball screens. With the Sixers signing Kwame Brown today to a 2-year, $6 million contract, the chances of Searcy making the roster are even more slim than they were before. With his height and traditional style of play, Searcy could work his way onto a Euroleague roster.

Nets 90, Pacers 77

BOX SCORE

  • MarShon Brooks has taken himself, coaches, executives, and fans on a rollercoaster ride this entire week. After shooting 0-for-10 from the floor in his first game this week, Brooks waited until the final game in Orlando to have the highest scoring output of any player here. Brooks tied an Orlando Pro Summer League record, scoring 34 points on 13-for-27 shooting. Much can be said about Brooks’ shot selection and his ability to play within an offense, but he made sure that everyone knew that his ability to score in bunches was not all hype.

Jul 13

Magic announce 2012 AirTran Airways All-Summer League Teams

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Via Orlando Magic press release:

The Orlando Magic’s first round draft pick Andrew Nicholson headlined the 2012 AirTran Airways All-Summer League First Team at the conclusion of the five-day event at the Amway Center in Orlando, Fla. Nicholson concluded summer league play averaging 12.8 points per game and 6.8 rebounds per contest.

The Utah Jazz’s Alec Burks, Detroit’s Austin Daye and a pair of Indiana Pacers, Miles Plumlee and Lance Stephenson, rounded out the First Team selections.

The All-Summer League Second Team consisted of Oklahoma City’s Lazar Hayward and Reggie Jackson, Boston’s Jared Sullinger, Detroit’s Brandon Knight and Orlando’s Kyle O’Quinn. Honorable Mention selections were given to Detroit’s Kim English, Boston’s E’Twaun Moore and Dionte Christmas, Utah’s Enes Kanter and Jeremy Evans, Philadelphia’s Jacob Pullen and Justin Holiday, Orlando’s Justin Harper and Maalik Wayns and Brooklyn’s Tyshawn Taylor and Al Thornton. The members of the AirTran Airways All-Summer League Teams were selected by participating NBA teams’ public relations representatives, members of the media and select NBA personnel.

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Jul 13

Magic Basketball Weekly: On the supremacy of pie among desserts

Via angela n./Flickr

Hello again, readers! It’s been so long. You look fantastic. Sorry we haven’t spoken in a while. I live in Portland now, where I sometimes write about the Blazers.

Listen, though, I’ve been thinking about a major offseason issue, and I thought this was the place to share my thoughts. What I’m saying is: pie is the greatest dessert there is, and I’d like to impart some new philosophical findings toward that point.

Let me back up. Since I have moved to Portland, I have had to find a job. Like a grown-up office job. And it’s not that my current job is bad — quite the opposite, in fact — it’s just that it’s a job. I have to be somewhere for a given number of hours to devote my negligibly marketable talents toward the engine of commerce.

Gone are my years of idly whiling away my time, pursuing pleasure at my leisure in a healthy way. Why, even just one year ago, I could scarce hide my disdain for the beautiful dilletantes of my youth, those brunettes and bearded fellows with their shabby living rooms and their red wine in chipped mugs. Now, that shabby-mugged wine — so recently laughable — belongs to a different milieu. How my lips long for the poorly glazed ceramics of youth!

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