Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 9

Nov 04

Preview: Orlando Magic at Chicago Bulls

Essentials

  • Teams: Orlando Magic at Chicago Bulls
  • Date: November 4, 2014
  • Time: 8:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: United Center

Records

  • Magic: 0-3
  • Bulls: 2-1

Probable starters

Magic:

  • Elfrid Payton
  • Evan Fournier
  • Tobias Harris
  • Channing Frye
  • Nikola Vucevic

Bulls:

  • Kirk Hinrich
  • Jimmy Butler
  • Mike Dunleavy Jr.
  • Taj Gibson
  • Pau Gasol

Advanced stats

Magic:

  • Pace: 94.9 (11th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 97.3 (26th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 110.3 (26th of 30)

Bulls:

  • Pace: 92.2 (24th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 111.1 (7th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 104.5 (11th of 30)

Read about the Bulls

Blog a Bull

Nov 02

Grades: Toronto Raptors 108, Orlando Magic 95

Screen Shot 2014-11-02 at 12.19.06 PM

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

 

Toronto Raptors 108 Final
Recap | Box Score
95 Orlando Magic

Nikola Vucevic
7-11 FG | 0-2 FT | 12 REB | 4 AST | 15 PTS | -24

In the Magic’s first two regular games, Vucevic whipped out some moves that Magic fans haven’t seen before. The same was the case versus the Raptors. On one possession, Vucevic found himself isolated against Jonas Valanciunas on the perimeter and blew past him for a reverse lefty dunk. On another possession, Vucevic made a 3-point shot on the right wing. What’s gotten into Vucevic?

Evan Fournier
6-10 FG | 5-7 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 18 PTS | -11

Fournier scored a team-high 18 points and did it in his usual manner — layups, free-throws, and 3-pointers. Early on in his Magic tenure, what’s been most impressive about Fournier has been his aggressiveness driving to the basket. Though that nearly cost him when he tweaked his right ankle early in the third quarter on a cut to the rim. He ended up finishing the game.

Elfrid Payton
6-12 FG | 4-8 FT | 3 REB | 9 AST | 16 PTS | -8

It was a career-night for Payton, who had career highs in points and assists. And he nearly had his first career double-double (he was an assist shy). The most encouraging takeaway from Payton’s performance was his willingness to shoot jumpers on the perimeter and, more importantly, making two of them. Payton’s jump shooting will be key to his development.

Tobias Harris
4-15 FG | 2-4 FT | 9 REB | 3 AST | 11 PTS | -21

Harris struggled on offense, particularly in the paint. He shot 3-for-10 at the rim, which was the root of his problems. The Raptors’ defense deserve credit for being physical with Harris and putting a body on him whenever he got into the lane. Harris struggled to deal with the physicality, throwing up a lot of errant shots that had no chance of going in.

Toronto Raptors

The sole reason why Toronto won this game was because Orlando fouled incessantly. The Magic committed 37 team fouls, while the Raptors committed 21 team fouls. As a result, the game ended with a 48-24 disparity in free throw attempts in Toronto’s favor. It tough to win games when you foul that much and Orlando found that out the hard way.

Nov 01

Video: Nikola Vucevic with a lefty reverse dunk

Nov 01

Preview: Toronto Raptors at Orlando Magic

Essentials

  • Teams: Toronto Raptors at Orlando Magic
  • Date: November 1, 2014
  • Time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Amway Center

Records

  • Raptors: 1-0
  • Magic: 0-2

Probable starters

Raptors:

  • Kyle Lowry
  • DeMar DeRozan
  • Terrence Ross
  • Amir Johnson
  • Jonas Valanciunas

Magic:

  • Elfrid Payton
  • Evan Fournier
  • Aaron Gordon
  • Tobias Harris
  • Nikola Vucevic

Advanced stats

Raptors:

  • Pace: 91.1 (19th of 28)
  • Offensive Rating: 114.8 (5th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 107.4 (19th of 30)

Magic:

  • Pace: 95.1 (10th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 95.7 (25th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 108.3 (23rd of 30)

Read about the Raptors

Raptors Republic

Nov 01

Tobias Harris and the Magic reach a stalemate

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Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images

The Orlando Magic had until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, October 31, to extend Tobias Harris’ rookie contract. However, the two sides failed to reach an agreement. Harris is now set to become a restricted free agent during the offseason.

While it’s no surprise the Magic went down this route with Harris, it makes matters more difficult when it comes to retaining him in the future.

Prior to his arrival in Orlando, Harris was a non-factor for a sub-.500 Milwaukee Bucks team. He only played in 42 games as a rookie in 2011-12 (averaging 11.4 minutes per game) and didn’t see his minutes increase as a sophomore in 2012-13. But after being traded to the Magic at the deadline in the J.J. Redick deal in February 2013, Harris showcased what he could be, putting up gaudy averages of 17.3 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per contest in 36.1 minutes per game.

The Magic were hoping Harris would build upon that success in 2013-14 and emerge as one of the stars on their young, inexperienced roster, but his season got off to a shaky start while he recovered from a high ankle sprain. As the season wore on, Harris struggled to get back into form and never found his feet.

For that reason, the Magic don’t have a large sample size to base what Harris truly brings to the team. He’s proven he can carry the team offensively on any given night, but consistency is lacking. He flaunted off the ability to stretch the floor when he first came to Orlando, but he connected on only 25.4 percent of his 3s last season. And although he’s spent the bulk of his minutes as a power forward, it remains to be seen what his “true position” is.

Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 31

Grades: Washington Wizards 105, Orlando Magic 98

Capture

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

 

Washington Wizards 105 Final
Recap | Box Score
98 Orlando Magic

Nikola Vucevic
11-21 FG | 1-2 FT | 12 REB | 3 AST | 23 PTS | -2

Midrange jumpers. Hook shots. Layups. Vucevic could do no wrong offensively. The problem was that Marcin Gortat (20 points and 13 rebounds) was equally infallible on offense. And that’s the rub with Vucevic. For as good as he’s looked on the offensive side of the ball since the start of preseason, his defense needs to be much better than it currently is.

Ben Gordon
7-12 FG | 6-7 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 22 PTS | +9

Gordon came off the bench and did what he does best — score. He scored 18 of his 22 points in the second half (11 in the fourth quarter) and gave the Magic a much-needed boost offensively when they needed points. The lone negative was coach Jacque Vaughn’s curious decision to have Gordon defend Paul Pierce in crunch time. It didn’t work.

Evan Fournier
8-10 FG | 3-4 3P | 1 STL | 4 REB | 21 PTS | -2

When the Magic acquired Fournier from the Denver Nuggets in the Arron Afflalo trade, this is the player they are hoping to see consistently. Fournier’s play of the game came late in the fourth quarter when the Magic were trying to erase a 16-point fourth quarter deficit. He made a 3-pointer from Saint-Maurice, France that cut the Wiz’s lead to three and prompted a timeout from coach Randy Wittman.

Tobias Harris
4-12 FG | 5-7 FT | 1 STL | 4 REB | 14 PTS | -15

It wasn’t the best night for Harris. His jump shot was off (though he did attack the rim and get to the free-throw line). And he had the dubious task of defending Nene in the fourth quarter when Vaughn stuck with a lineup of Ridnour-Gordon-Fournier-Harris-Vucevic that had, to be fair, helped the Magic get back into the game.

Washington Wizards

It was the John Wall show. Washington’s franchise player and All-Star point guard finished with 30 points, 12 assists, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals. He was excellent on both ends of the floor and he came through in the clutch. With the Wizards clinging to a 100-98 lead, it was Wall’s layup with 28.4 seconds left that iced the game.

Oct 30

Video: Gordon-to-Gordon alley-oop connection

Oct 30

Preview: Washington Wizards at Orlando Magic

Essentials

  • Teams: Washington Wizards at Orlando Magic
  • Date: October 30, 2014
  • Time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Amway Center

Records

  • Wizards: 0-1
  • Magic: 0-1

Probable starters

Wizards:

  • John Wall
  • Garrett Temple
  • Paul Pierce
  • Nene Hilario
  • Marcin Gortat

Magic:

  • Elfrid Payton
  • Evan Fournier
  • Aaron Gordon
  • Tobias Harris
  • Nikola Vucevic

Advanced stats

Wizards:

  • Pace: 91.1 (19th of 28)
  • Offensive Rating: 104.3 (18th of 28)
  • Defensive Rating: 117.5 (23rd of 28)

Magic:

  • Pace: 95.2 (9th of 28)
  • Offensive Rating: 88.2 (26th of 28)
  • Defensive Rating: 106.1 (16th of 28)

Read about the Wizards

Truth About It

Oct 28

Grades: New Orleans Pelicans 101, Orlando Magic 84

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Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images

 

New Orleans Pelicans 101 Final
Recap | Box Score
84 Orlando Magic

Nikola Vucevic
7-15 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 BLK | 23 REB | 15 PTS | -3

If it wasn’t for Anthony Davis’ historic night in the Pelicans’ season home opener, more people would be marveling at Vucevic’s stat line. Instead, Vucevic’s performance was a footnote in a Magic loss. And even though Vucevic played well, almost posting a 20-20 game, he had his hands full dealing with Omer Asik (14 points, 17 rebounds, and 5 blocks).

Tobias Harris
9-18 FG | 6-6 FT | 1 STL | 8 REB | 25 PTS | -4

With the October 31 deadline approaching, Harris is doing everything he can to get the most money possible in his contract extension. The question is whether or not the Magic will be able to reach a deal with Harris in time — the two sides are reportedly far apart. Harris had an injury scare with his left knee last night, but it ended up being cramps.

Evan Fournier
3-11 FG | 2-4 3P | 3 REB | 2 AST | 11 PTS | -13

With Victor Oladipo nursing a sprained MCL and facial fracture, Fournier started at shooting guard and performed decently enough. His jump shot was off, but he was able to squeeze out 11 points on 11 shots by making two 3-pointers and getting to the free throw line. More importantly, let’s take the time to admire Fournier’s hair. It’s beautiful.

Aaron Gordon
5-8 FG | 1-2 3P | 1 BLK | 3 REB | 11 PTS | -18

Even though Gordon didn’t start, unlike his rookie teammate Elfrid Payton, he got plenty of playing time and had some flashes of brilliance. Most surprisingly, Gordon’s jump shot looked good. He made a left corner 3 early in the second quarter on a catch-and-shoot opportunity and showed soft touch on his fadeaway jumpers. It remains to be seen if his shooting is sustainable.

New Orleans Pelicans

Davis became the second player in NBA history to finish a game with 26 points, 17 rebounds, 9 blocks, and 3 steals. The only other player to accomplish that feat was Hakeem Olajuwon (four times). Outside of Davis’ otherworldly performance, the Pelicans won this game by dominating the paint (64 points in the paint) and the offensive glass (26 offensive rebounds).

Oct 28

Preview: Orlando Magic at New Orleans Pelicans

Essentials

  • Teams: Orlando Magic at New Orleans Pelicans
  • Date: October 28, 2014
  • Time: 8:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Smoothie King Center

Records

  • Magic: 23-59
  • Pelicans: 34-48

Probable starters

Magic:

  • Elfrid Payton
  • Evan Fournier
  • Tobias Harris
  • Kyle O’Quinn
  • Nikola Vucevic

Pelicans:

  • Jrue Holiday
  • Eric Gordon
  • Tyreke Evans
  • Anthony Davis
  • Omer Asik

Advanced stats

Magic:

  • Pace: 93.6 (15th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 101.7 (29th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 107.4 (17th of 30)

Pelicans:

  • Pace: 92.2 (22nd of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 107.2 (13th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 110.1 (27th of 30)

Read about the Pelicans

Bourbon St. Shots

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