Orlando Magic Blog

Group Blog talking about the NBA 2009 Eastern Conference Champions. Due to the amazing success of the 2009 playoff run comments are now frequently deleted to kill offensive comments, incoherence, or asininity. Comments can no longer be anonymous and require either a Blogger or OpenID account.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Turk's last-second bucket leads Magic to dramatic OT win over CHI

In a tight game throughout, where both teams made clutch plays and hit big shots, the Magic held a 110-107 lead in the final 10 seconds of OT, when CHI's Ben Gordon hit a clutch three to tie the game with about 6 seconds left; but HTurkoglu then hit a running pull-up jumper with 0.7 seconds remaining to stick a dagger into the Bulls (11-18) and their fans, as the Magic (22-11, 15-5 road) won their 4th game in a row 112-110.

Again, a great team effort by the Magic with six players in double figures, led by JNelson off the bench with 22 pts (8 of 15 FGs), 4 asts; RLewis led the starters with 19 pts (7 of 13 FGs), 6 asts; DHoward 17 pts (4 of 11 FGs), 22 rebs, 5 blocks, 3 steals; Turkoglu 17 pts (7 of 19 FGs), 5 rebs; and CArroyo (7 of 7 FGs), along with KBogans (4 of 7 3 PT FGs) 14 pts each.

The Magic once again survived a huge game from an opposing SG, as the Bulls' Gordon came off the bench and scored a season-high 39 pts (16 of 27 FGs); Luol Deng added 21 pts.

The statistical breakdown:

FGs... CHI 42 of 97 (43.3%) ORL 41 of 83 (49.4%) ORL 93, CHI 90
3 PT FGs... ORL 11 of 25 (44.0%) CHI 6 of 18 (33.3%)
FTs... CHI 20 of 24 (83.3%) ORL 19 of 26 (73.1%)
REB... CHI 47 ORL 41
AST/TO... CHI 26/12 ORL 20/12
BENCH... CHI 60 ORL 31

Brilliant play from both Magic PGs Arroyo and Nelson; they combined to score 36 pts on 15 of 22 FGs, 8 asts, and just 3 TOs in 53 minutes. Magic return to ORL and host NJ WED night.

Magic/Bulls preview

The Magic (21-11, 14-5 road) take on the new-look Bulls (11-17, 6-7 home) in a New Year's Eve matinee at the United Center. CHI is coming off a 100-83 win SUN at NY, with Ben Gordon, now coming off the bench as the sixth man, scoring 25 pts. New coach Jim Boylan, taking over after the sudden firing of Scott Skiles last week, is 2-0.

The probable starting lineup for the Bulls:

G... Kirk Hinrich (18.4 ppg, 5.9 asts)
G... Chris Duhon (5.9 ppg)
F... Luol Deng (18.4 ppg, 6.8 rebs)
F... Joe Smith (8.2 ppg)
C... Ben Wallace (4.2 ppg, 8.4 rebs)

Top reserves: Ben Gordon (18.1 ppg); Andres Nocioni (13.5 ppg, 5.1 rebs); Tyrus Thomas (6.3 ppg); Aaron Gray (4.3 ppg); Joakim Noah (4.3 ppg)

CHI is averaging a league-low 91.9 ppg, but has scored 100 or better the last two games.

The Magic beat the Bulls 2 of 3 games last season, and are 2 1/2 pt favorites to extend their NBA-leading road victory total.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Solid effort from starting five helps Magic top CHA

All five Magic starters scored in double figures, as they slowly pulled away from CHA (10-18) in the final qtr for a 104-95 victory, the third in a row for the Magic (21-11, 7-6 home).

The Magic were led by HTurkoglu, who continues his outstanding play, with 28 pts (9 of 20 FGs), 7 rebs; DHoward 15 pts (5 of 10 FGs), 21 rebs, 4 blocks; CArroyo, starting in place of the injured JNelson (back strain) at PG, 16 pts (6 of 14 FGs), 6 asts, and just 2 TOs in 40 mins; RLewis 18 pts (8 of 16 FGs); and KBogans 12 pts (4 of 9 FGs). MEvans led the reserves with 7 pts.

Jason Richardson scored a season-high 34 pts (11 of 21 FGs) for the Bobcats, and Gerald Wallace added 23 pts.

The statistical breakdown:

FGs... ORL 36 of 80 (45%) CHA 35 of 74 (47.3%) ORL 79 CHA 78
3 PT FGs... ORL 8 of 21 (38.1%) CHA 7 of 18 (38.9%)
FTs... ORL 25 of 35 (71.4%) CHA 17 of 21 (81.0%)
REBs... ORL 42 CHA 36
AST/TO... CHA 25/17 ORL 13/12
BENCH... CHA 18 ORL 15

The Magic have now extended their lead to 4 games in the SE over ATL, and next play a New Year's Eve matinee MON in CHI against the new-look Bulls.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Magic survive Wade's 48 pts to beat Heat in OT

In one of the more exciting games of the Magic season, the Magic (20-11, 14-5 road), led by DHoward's 29 pts (10 of 15 FGs) and 21 rebs, were able to come back from a 7 pt deficit late in regulation to take a 3 pt lead in the final seconds, only to see MIA (8-22) tie with a 3 pt FG to send the game into OT. The Magic took control in the OT and scored the final 7 pts for a 121-114 win, despite a huge game by Dwyane Wade (16 of 21 FGs, 16 of 23 FTs) who scored 48 pts with 11 asts, 7 rebs.

Seven players scored in double figures for the Magic; in addition to Howard, HTurkoglu scored 22 pts (8 of 18 FGs); RLewis 17 pts (6 of 20 FGs); KBogans 13 pts (5 of 12 FGs); CArroyo, who played most of the minutes at PG in the 4th qtr and OT, scored 13 pts off the bench with 7 rebs and 5 asts; MEvans and KDooling each scored 10 pts off the bench.

In addition to Wade, four other players scored in double figures for MIA, including Ricky Davis and Udonis Haslem with 17 pts each. Shaquille O'Neal and Jason Williams both missed the game due to injuries.

The statistical breakdown:

FGs... ORL 43 of 94 (45.7%) MIA 43 of 85 (50.6%) ORL 98 MIA 91
3 PT FGs... ORL 12 of 34 (35.3%) MIA 5 of 13 (38.5%)
FTs... ORL 23 of 28 (82.1%) MIA 23 of 31 (74.2%)
REBs... ORL 52 MIA 35
AST/TO... MIA 25/10 ORL 24/16
BENCH... ORL 35 MIA 18

The Magic have now won consecutive games for the first time in 3 1/2 weeks and will try for their third in a row SAT night as they host CHA.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Magic/Heat preview

The Magic (19-11, 13-5 road) will try to win consecutive games for the first time since DEC 2nd-3rd as they take on the struggling Heat (8-21, 4-9 home) in MIA FRI night. The Heat is coming off a 96-85 loss at PHI WED night, with Dwyane Wade scoring 27 pts. MIA has scored under 90 pts two consecutive games.

The probable starting lineup for MIA:

G... Dwyane Wade (24.3 ppg, 6.7 asts)
G... Ricky Davis (14.9 ppg)
F... Dorell Wright (7.0 ppg)
F... Udonis Haslem (13.1 ppg, 9.4 rebs)
C... Shaquille O'Neal (14.0 ppg, 7.8 rebs)

Top reserves: Daequan Cook (8.8 ppg); Jason Williams (8.7 ppg, 5.4 asts); Chris Quinn (4.9 ppg)

MIA is averaging 94.0 ppg, while allowing 98.8 ppg; ORL is averaging 103.1 ppg while allowing 99.6 ppg.

O'Neal (hip) and Williams (knee) are questionable for tonight. The Magic's JNelson had back spasms yesterday but is probable for the game. The Magic are 3 1/2 pt favorites (www.pinnaclesports.com) to win their sixth straight game over the Heat the last two seasons.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Magic come to life in second half against NY to finally win at home

It was another typical slow start for the Magic (19-11, 6-6 home), as they fell behind NY (8-20, 1-11 road) by 5 pts after one qtr and fell behind by as many as 9 pts in the second qtr before trailing by 1 pt at the half. In the second half, The Magic outscored the Knicks 60-45 for a 110-96 victory.

Five players scored in double figures for the Magic, led by HTurkoglu with 26 pts (10 of 15 FGs), 6 rebs, 6 asts; RLewis 25 pts (9 of 17 FGs), 6 rebs; DHoward 16 pts (4 of 6 FGs), 11 rebs, 5 blocks; KDooling off the bench with 12 pts (4 of 7 FGs); and KBogans 10 pts (4 of 14 FGs), 7 rebs.

NY, with a change in their starting lineup, was led by Jamal Crawford with 29 pts, 8 asts. Zach Randolph, coming off the bench, added 22 pts. David Lee, a newcomer to the starting lineup, had a double-double with 11 pts, 14 rebs. Eddy Curry, who also started, played less than 5 mins and scored just 2 pts.

The statistical breakdown:

FGs... ORL 40 of 75 (53.3%) NY 35 of 87 (40.2%) ORL 88 NY 78
3 PT FGs... ORL 8 of 24 (33.3%) NY 8 of 20 (40%)
FTs... ORL 22 of 30 (73.3%) NY 18 of 22 (81.8%)
REBs... ORL 45 NY 37
AST/TO... ORL 24/16 NY 18/12
BENCH... NY 41 ORL 27

The Magic are now 14-1 when holding the opposition under 100 pts. This was the first of 8 consecutive games against teams under .500 for the Magic, who play at MIA FRI night.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Knicks/Magic preview

The Magic (18-11, 5-6 home), losers of 7 of their last 9 games, will try for their first home win in over a month tonight against the troubled Knicks (8-19, 1-10 road). The Knicks are coming off a 95-90 home loss to the Lakers on SUN, with Jamal Crawford scoring 31 pts to lead NY, and have lost 8 of their last 10 games.

The probable starting lineup for NY:

G... Jamal Crawford (18.9 ppg)
G... Fred Jones (6.8 ppg)
F... Quentin Richardson (7.3 ppg, 6.0 rebs)
F... Zach Randolph (18.0 ppg, 10.2 rebs)
C... Eddy Curry (14.2 ppg, 5.2 rebs)

Top reserves: David Lee (10.1 ppg, 7.6 rebs); Nate Robinson (9.0 ppg); Renaldo Balkman (2.5 ppg)

G Stephon Marbury has missed 7 of the last 8 games due to the sudden death of his dad, and will likely miss tonight's game. Coach Isiah Thomas has hinted he will make changes to the Knicks' starting lineup beginning tonight.

NY is averaging 94.1 ppg while allowing 101.8 ppg; the Magic are averaging 102.9 ppg while allowing 99.8 ppg.

What, if any, changes will Magic coach Van Gundy make to the Magic lineup and rotation? The Magic are 10 1/2 pt favorites over the Knicks (www.pinnaclesports.com).

Monday, December 24, 2007

BOS continues on roll with win over Magic

The Magic (18-11, 13-5 road) were never really in this one, falling behind by 20 pts in the third qtr to BOS (22-3) and could get no closer than 9 pts before losing 103-91 to the Celtics.

The "Big Three" of BOS, Paul Pierce (24 pts), Kevin Garnett (21 pts), and Ray Allen (22 pts) combined for 67 pts. Rajon Rondo helped out by matching a career-high with 23 pts.

Four players scored in double figures for the Magic, led by DHoward with 23 pts (9 of 15 FGs, 5 of 16 FTs), 14 rebs; HTurkoglu 19 pts (5 of 11 FGs); RLewis 15 pts (4 of 12 FGs); and MEvans off the bench with 10 pts (4 of 5 FGs).

The statistical breakdown:

FGs... BOS 38 of 73 (52.1%) ORL 30 of 68 (44.1%) BOS 84 ORL 68
3 PT FGs... ORL 8 of 18 (44.4%) BOS 8 of 19 (42.1%)
FTs... ORL 23 of 36 (63.9%) BOS 19 of 24 (79.2%)
REBS... BOS 38 ORL 34
AST/TO... BOS 24/14 ORL 20/14

The Magic, after starting 16-4, are now 2-7 in their last 9 games. Magic will get back into action after Christmas hosting the Knicks.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Another embarrassing home loss for Magic

Ahead by 1 pt at the half over UT, the Magic (18-10, 5-6 home) completely fell apart in the second half as UT (15-13) outscored the Magic by 20 pts in the second half en route to a 113-94 rout over the Magic to break a 7 game road losing streak for the Jazz.

Six players scored in double figures for the Jazz, led by a career-high 28 pts by Paul Millsap. Carlos Boozer added 24 pts.

Four players scored in double figures for the Magic, led by HTurkoglu with 27 pts (7 of 16 FGs); DHoward added 20 pts (8 of 12 FGs), 13 rebs; RLewis 12 pts (5 of 10 FGs); and KBogans 11 pts (4 of 10 FGs). MEvans led the bench with 7 pts.

The statistical breakdown:

FGs... UT 42 of 79 (53.2%) ORL 35 of 77 (45.5%) UT 87 ORL 79
3 PT FGs... ORL 9 of 27 (33.3%) UT 3 of 6 (50%)
FTs... UT 26 of 34 (76.5%) ORL 15 of 24 (62.5%)
REBs... UT 40 ORL 37
AST/TO... UT 25/13 ORL 21/19
BENCH... UT 50 ORL 20

The Magic have now lost 6 of their last 8 games, including 4 losses in a row at home. The Magic have not won at home since NOV 24th. The Magic are only 3 games ahead of the surprising Hawks in the SE. Things only get tougher, as the Magic play at BOS SUN evening.

Jazz/Magic preview

UT (14-13, 5-11 road) will make their only visit to ORL (18-9, 5-5 home) this season tonight. UT is coming off a 98-92 road loss to CHA WED night, with Carlos Boozer leading UT with 21 pts. The Jazz have lost 7 straight road games.

The probable starting lineup for the Jazz:

G... Deron Williams (19.9 ppg, 8.8 asts)
G... Ronnie Brewer (13.6 ppg)
F... Andrei Kirilenko (11.0 ppg, 6.1 rebs)
F... Carlos Boozer (25.3 ppg, 11.8 rebs)
C... Jarron Collins (2.4 ppg)

Top reserves: Mehmet Okur (12.2 ppg); Paul Millsap (7.9 ppg, 5.8 rebs); Matt Harpring (6.9 ppg); Jason Hart (3.5 ppg). Gordan Giricek has been sent home by UT Coach Jerry Sloan and will not play.

UT is averaging 104.7 ppg, while allowing 100.1 ppg. ORL is averaging 103.6 ppg and allowing 99.1 ppg.

The Magic have beaten UT 6 of the last 7 games, including 4 games in a row in ORL; the Magic is a 4 pt favorite tonight (www.pinnaclesports.com).

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Magic able to hold off HOU for win

Ahead by as much as 12 pts early in the 4th qtr, the Magic (18-9, 13-4 road) saw HOU (12-13) gradually chip away and cut the Magic lead to 1 pt in the final 30 seconds, but the Magic scored the final 4 pts of the game to hang on for a 97-92 win.

Six players scored in double figures for the Magic, led by DHoward with 21 pts (7 of 13 FGs), 11 rebs; KDooling off the bench with 15 pts (9 of 10 FTs); KBogans 14 pts (6 of 9 FGs), 10 rebs; HTurkoglu 13 pts (4 of 15 FGs), 9 rebs; RLewis 13 pts (5 of 15 FGs); and JNelson 11 pts (5 of 14 FGs), 6 asts.

Houston was led by Yao with 19 pts, 17 rebs, but made just 7 of 18 FGs. Former Magic star Tracy McGrady, playing with a sore knee, had an awful game with just 3 pts on 1 of 10 FGs, and did not play the second half.

The statistical breakdown:

FGs... ORL 34 of 83 (41.0%) HOU 31 of 91 (34.1%) ORL 75 HOU 71
3 PT FGs... HOU 9 of 24 (37.5%) ORL 7 of 17 (41.2%)
FTs... ORL 22 of 26 (84.6%) HOU 21 of 31 (67.7%)
REBS... ORL 49 HOU 49
AST/TO... HOU 22/11 ORL 16/15
BENCH... HOU 38 ORL 25

This was only the second win for the Magic in their last 11 games against the Rockets. Magic will host UT FRI night.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Magic/Rockets preview

The Magic (17-9, 12-4 road), losers of 5 of their last 6 games, take on another struggling team at HOU (12-12, 6-4 home), who has lost 5 of their last 8 games. HOU is coming off a 96-83 loss to DAL SAT as Yao led the Rockets with 28 pts; former Magic guard Tracy McGrady, battling a sore knee, scored just 12 pts.

The probable starting lineup for HOU:

G... Rafer Alston (8.6 ppg)
G... Tracy McGrady (24.2 ppg, 5.4 ast)
F... Chuck Hayes (3.2 ppg, 6.1 rebs)
F... Shane Battier (8.0 ppg)
C... Yao Ming (21.8 ppg, 10.3 rebs)

Top reserves: Bonzi Wells (8.8 rebs); Mike James (8.4 ppg) Luis Scola (6.3 ppg) Steve Francis (5.5 ppg) Luther Head (4.5 ppg)

HOU is averaging 93.8 ppg while allowing 93.3 ppg; ORL is averaging 103.9 ppg while allowing 99.4 ppg.

In their last 4 games, HOU is averaging under 90 ppg offensively, while the Magic, in their last 7 games, have allowed 107.3 ppg. HOU has beaten the Magic 3 straight games and 9 of the last 10 games, and is a 3 1/2 pt favorite to beat the Magic tonight (www.pinnaclesports.com).

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Magic hang tough, but lose close one to DAL

The Magic (17-9, 12-4 road) came within a KDooling 3 pt FG attempt of tying the game on the final shot, but just missed and DAL (17-9) hung on to defeat the Magic 111-108.

Five players scored in double figures for the Magic, led by HTurkoglu with 26 pts (10 of 14 FG), 6 rebs; DHoward 22 pts (9 of 16 FGs), 13 rebs; RLewis 15 pts (6 of 12 FGs), 8 rebs; JNelson 13 pts (5 of 13 FGs), 5 asts; and KDooling off the bench with 10 pts.

DAL had four players in double figures, led by Dirk Nowitzki with 31 pts, 11 rebs. Jerry Stackhouse added 21 pts off the bench.

The statistical breakdown:

FGs... ORL 44 of 84 (52.4%) DAL 42 of 80 (52.5%) ORL 93 DAL 88
3 PT FGs... ORL 5 of 14 (35.7%) DAL 4 of 16 (25%)
FTs... DAL 23 of 25 (92%) ORL 15 of 20 (75%)
REBS... DAL 41 ORL 37
AST/TO... DAL 27/8 ORL 20/7
BENCH... DAL 35 ORL 23

The Magic's Howard scored 16 pts in the 1st qtr, but was held to just 6 pts the rest of the way.

Quote from Magic coach Stan Van Gundy after the game: "We don't guard anybody,"

Monday, December 17, 2007

Magic/Mavericks preview

The Magic (17-8, 12-3 road) begin a tough four game stretch MON night in DAL (16-9, 10-2 home). DAL is coming off a 96-83 win over HOU SAT night, with Josh Howard scoring 23 pts and Dirk Nowitzki 20 pts. DAL has won 4 of their last 5 games after losing 6 of 9.

The probable starting lineup for the Mavericks:

G... Devin Harris (13.0 ppg, 5.4 asts)
G... Jason Terry (16.7 ppg)
F... Josh Howard (21.9 ppg, 7.2 rebs)
F... Dirk Nowitzki (20.8 ppg, 8.2 rebs)
C... Erick Dampier (4.4 ppg, 6.1 rebs)

Top reserves: Jerry Stackhouse (10.0 ppg); Brandon Bass (8.8 ppg); DeSagana Diop (4.1 ppg, 6.5 rebs); Jose Juan Barea (5.1 ppg)

DAL is averaging 101.4 ppg while allowing 97.8 ppg; the Magic average 103.7 ppg while allowing 99.0 ppg.

The Magic have not won in DAL since DEC of 1997, and are 5 1/2 pt underdogs to the Mavs (www.pinnaclesports.com).

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Magic can't stop hot-shooting MEM in stunning loss

In a close game throughout, the Magic (17-8, 5-5 home) built a 9 pt lead in the second half, and held a 2 pt lead over MEM (7-16, 3-9 away) with around five minutes remaining in the game. MEM scored 22 pts in that span to finish with 38 pts in the final qtr and 68 second half pts on their way to a stunning 123-119 win over the Magic, who could not sustain the momentum of their win the previous night against CHA. The Magic played without RLewis and CArroyo, while MEM was without Pau Gasol.

The Magic could not take advantage of another huge game from DHoward with 31 pts (10 of 11 FGs, 11 of 17 FTs), 20 rebs. In addition, HTurkoglu scored 24 pts (8 of 17 FGs); JNelson 18 pts (7 of 13 FGs) 8 asts; KBogans 16 pts (6 of 12 FGs); and JRedick off the bench with 12 pts (4 of 7 FGs). KDooling added 8 pts 6 asts from the bench.

Talented young F Rudy Gay led MEM with a career-high 32 pts with 7 rebs, while Juan Carlos Navarro also had a career night with 27 pts. Former Magic first round draftee Mike Miller added 19 pts, 8 rebs, 8 asts. Darko Milicic was barely a factor, scoring just 4 pts in 16 mins, but did block 3 shots.

The statistical breakdown:

FG... MEM 45 of 85 (52.9%) ORL 42 of 82 (51.2%) MEM 102 ORL 92
3 PT FG... MEM 12 of 32 (37.5%) ORL 8 of 25 (32.0%)
FT... ORL 27 of 35 (77.1%) MEM 21 of 26 (80.8%)
REB... ORL 45 MEM 34
AST/TO... MEM 26/10 ORL 25/14
BENCH... MEM 30 ORL 22

The Magic allowed Navarro to score 17 pts above his season average and Gay 14 pts above his season average.

With the WAS victory SAT night, the Magic have just a 3 game lead in the SE now, with a very tough week coming up starting MON at DAL.

Darko Milicic returns to ORL tonight with MEM

The Magic (17-7, 5-4 home) take on MEM (6-16, 2-9 road) tonight for their only visit this season to ORL. Former Magic first round pick Mike Miller and former Magic C Darko Milicic make their return. MEM is coming off a 98-91 loss to LAC FRI night, as Miller scored 23 pts to lead MEM. Milicic scored 6 pts with 12 rebs and 3 steals.

The probable MEM starting lineup:

G... Damon Stoudamire (7.5 ppg)
G... Juan Carlos Navarro (9.9 ppg)
F... Mike Miller (15.4 ppg, 7.2 rebs)
F... Rudy Gay (18.4 ppg, 5.5 rebs)
C... Darko Milicic (7.9 ppg, 6.8 rebs)

Top reserves: Kyle Lowry (9.9 ppg); Stromile Swift (8.1 ppg); Hakim Warrick (7.8 ppg); Casey Jacobsen (2.9 ppg)

PF Pau Gasol missed FRI night's game against LAC with a jammed right big toe, and is listed as questionable for tonight's game. Magic G CArroyo will not play because of continued soreness in his foot.

MEM is averaging 102.6 ppg while allowing 105.2 ppg. ORL is averaging 103.1 ppg, while allowing 98.0 ppg.

Magic have won 8 of the last 11 meetings in ORL between the two teams, and are whopping 12 1/2 pt favorites (www.pinnaclesports.com).

Magic come alive in 2nd half against CHA to break losing skid

Trailing 55-42 early in the third qtr to CHA (8-13, 7-6 home) and looking like they were on their way to another bad loss, the Magic (17-7, 12-3 away) suddenly came to life offensively as they became more aggressive driving to the basket, hitting their outside shots, and eventually their FTs in a 103-87 victory, snapping their 3 game losing streak.

Just before the game started, the Bobcats traded C Primoz Brezec and F Walter Herrmann to DET for C Nazr Mohammed, which left them a man short for the game.

The Magic had five players in double figures, led by DHoward with 33 pts (11 of 16 FGs, 11 of 20 FTs), 18 rebs, 4 blocks; HTurkoglu 22 pts (8 of 13 FGs) 5 asts; JNelson 13 pts (6 of 6 FGs) 6 asts; RLewis 13 pts (3 of 11 FGs); and KDooling off the bench with 13 pts (5 of 7 FGs).

CHA was led by Ray Felton with 18 pts, and Emeka Okafor and Gerald Wallace with 16 pts each.

The statistical breakdown:

FG... ORL 37 of 69 (53.6%) CHA 36 of 79 (45.6%) ORL 81 CHA 77
3 PT FG... ORL 7 of 24 (29.2%) CHA 5 of 19 (26.3%)
FT... ORL 22 of 38 (57.9%) CHA 10 of 20 (50%)
REB... ORL 45 CHA 36
AST/TO... CHA 24/14 ORL 20/16
BENCH... CHA 22 ORL 15

The Magic shot 20 of 31 FGs in the second half, including 12 of 16 FGs in the third qtr and also made 17 of their last 21 FTs after starting 5 of 17 on FTs. Magic will try to sustain the momentum from this win as they play host to MEM SAT night.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Magic make first appearance of season on ESPN tonight at CHA

The suddenly slumping Magic (16-7, 11-3 away) will make their first national television appearance tonight at CHA (8-12, 7-5 home). The Magic have lost 4 of their last 6 games, including 3 in a row. CHA has lost 8 of their last 10 games, but won their last game WED night against LAC 108-103 as Raymond Felton scored 26 pts and Emeka Okafor 25 pts.

The probable starting lineup for CHA:

G... Raymond Felton (15.5 ppg, 6.7 asts)
G... Jason Richardson (16.4 ppg, 5.5 rebs)
F... Gerald Wallace (18.3 ppg)
F... Emeka Okafor (13.8 ppg, 10.9 rebs)
C... Primoz Brezec (1.9 ppg)

Top reserves: Matt Carroll (9.6 ppg); Jared Dudley (5.1 ppg); Jeff McInnis (4.5 ppg); Walter Herrmann (4.0 ppg)

CArroyo is day-to-day with a sore left foot and RLewis is probable with a sore neck.

CHA is averaging 92.5 ppg while allowing 98.5 ppg. ORL is averaging 103.1 ppg (86.5 in their last two games) and allowing 98.4.

Which Magic team will show up tonight? What adjustments will SVG make? Magic are a 4 1/2 pt favorite (www.pinnaclesports.com).

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Magic misfire badly again in loss to MIL

For the Magic (16-7, 11-3 road), this game was virtually a carbon copy of the previous game against ATL, only this time the Magic shot even worse. The Magic started out slow, as MIL led throughout, then scored the first 12 pts of the 4th qtr to cut the MIL lead to two, only to fade in the last several minutes as MIL (9-12, 7-2 home) scored 25 of the final 38 pts in a 100-86 win to break a four game losing streak.

The Magic had four players in double figures, led by DHoward with 20 pts (6 of 13 FGs), 13 rebs, 5 TOs; RLewis 20 pts (7 of 18 FGs); HTurkoglu 18 pts (4 of 11 FGs) and KDooling off the bench with 14 pts (4 of 9 FGs).

MIL had five players in double figures, led by Michael Redd with 27 pts (9 of 17 FGs), 10 rebs. First round draft pick Yi Jianlian added 18 pts (7 of 11 FGs).

The statistical breakdown:

FGs... MIL 35 of 70 (50%) ORL 26 of 77 (33.8%) MIL 75 ORL 62
3 PT FGs... ORL 10 of 30 (33.3%) MIL 5 of 15 (33.3%)
FTs... MIL 25 of 36 (69.4%) ORL 24 of 39 (61.5%)
REBS... MIL 48 ORL 38
AST/TO... MIL 24/21 ORL 15/18
BENCH... ORL 23 MIL 21

Not one Magic player who played could make half their shots. Howard and Dooling combined to shoot 10 of 22 FGs; the remaining eight players combined to shoot an icy 16 of 55 FGs. The Magic have now lost three in a row and will look look to try and get something going at CHA FRI night.

New Orlando Arena Revealed

If you haven’t already seen and heard some of the details about the future home of the Orlando Magic; check out The Sentinel for this photo gallery to go along with this story.

I couldn’t be more excited! It looks like it’s going to be a hell of building; especially considering the new events center will be 800,000 square feet, more than double the size of the 367,000-square-foot Amway Arena, and have everything you could want or imagine in an arena.

I personally enjoyed John Denton’s write up on the new arena more than The Sentinels. For Denton’s story, click here.

Magic/Bucks preview

The Magic (16-6, 11-2 road will try to snap their first losing streak of the season tonight against slumping MIL (8-12, 6-2 home). MIL is coming off a 93-90 loss at SAC, their 4th loss in a row. After starting the season 7-4, the Bucks have lost 8 of their last 9.

The probable starting lineup for MIL:

G... Maurice Williams (14.5 ppg, 7.1 asts)
G... Michael Redd (24.0 ppg, 5.3 rebs)
F... Desmond Mason (8.1 ppg)
F... Yi Jianlian (9.3 ppg, 5.4 rebs)
C... Andrew Bogut (12.9 ppg, 8.6 rebs)

Top reserves: Charlie Villanueva (9.5 ppg, 5.2 rebs); Bobby Simmons (7.2 ppg); Charlie Bell (4.2 ppg); Royal Ivey (3.6 ppg)

MIl is averaging 95.6 ppg, while allowing 100.5 ppg. ORL is averaging 103.9 ppg, while allowing 98.4.

Injury update: Rashard Lewis may miss the game because of muscle spasms in his neck that prevented him from practicing this morning. According to Lewis, it's been bothering him for a few days and seems to be getting worse, and it will be a game-time decision. If Lewis can't start, James Augustine will make his first start of the season with the Magic.

The Magic have beaten MIL 3 games in a row and 5 of the last 6 games, and are 5 pt favorites over the Bucks (www.pinnnaclesports.com).

Monday, December 10, 2007

Cold-shooting Magic fall to ATL for second loss in row

The Magic (16-6, 5-4 home), except for a brief time at the beginning of the game, trailed throughout to ATL (10-10, 4-5 road) and could not mount a fourth qtr comeback, losing consecutive games for the first time this season 98-87, and continue to struggle at home.

Five players scored in double figures for the improving Hawks, led by Josh Smith with 25 pts, 16 rebs, and Joe Johnson with 24 pts. Anthony Johnson and Shelden Williams, who had combined to average less than 7 pts a game this season, combined to score 27 pts on 12 of 15 FGs against the Magic.

Four Magic starters scored in double figures, led by HTurkoglu with 22 pts (7 of 15 FGs), 7 rebs; RLewis 15 pts (5 of 13 FGs), 7 rebs; DHoward 14 pts (4 of 7 FGs), 18 rebs; and KBogans 12 pts (4 of 11 FGs). KDooling, who did not play against IND, played 21 mins against ATL and led the bench with 7 pts (2 of 7 FGs). Dooling, who had been leading the NBA in FT%, missing only 1 of 40 FTs before tonight, missed 2 of 4 FTs against ATL.

The statistical breakdown:

FGs... ATL 35 of 82 (42.7%) ORL 29 of 73 (39.7%) ATL 75 ORL 69
3 PT FGs... ORL 11 of 31 (35.5%) ATL 5 of 11 (45.5%)
FTs... ATL 23 of 30 (76.7%) ORL 18 of 30 (60%)
REBS... ORL 45 ATL 43
AST/TO... ATL 19/8 ORL 18/19
BENCH... ORL 18 ATL 15

ATL has now won 4 of their last 5 games against the Magic. Fortunately, the Magic head back out on the road, where they have been so successful, to play MIL WED night to try and get back on the winning track.

Hawks/Magic preview

The Magic (16-5, 5-3 home) will try to avoid losing consecutive games for the first time this season as they take on ATL (9-10, 3-5 road), who has won 3 of their last 4 games, and is coming off a 86-78 win over MEM SAT night, as Josh Smith led the Hawks with 25 pts.

The probable starting lineup for ATL:

G... Anthony Johnson (3.8 ppg)
G... Joe Johnson (20.5 ppg, 5.4 asts)
F... Marvin Williams (15.6 ppg, 5.9 rebs)
F... Josh Smith (18.0 ppg, 7.2 rebs)
C... Al Horford (8.8 ppg, 10.8 rebs)

Top reserves: Josh Childress (12.2 ppg); Salim Stoudamire (5.5 ppg); Acie Law (5.2 ppg); Shelden Williams (2.7 ppg)

G Tyronn Lue, a former Magic player, is out with a calf injury, and C Zaza Pachulia, another former Magic player, has a concussion and is questionable.

ATL is averaging 92.9 ppg while allowing 94.3 ppg. ORL is averaging 104.7 ppg, while allowing 98.4.

ATL defeated the Magic in three of four games last season, as the Magic's DHoward averaged just 14 pts and 7.5 rebs in those four games, but the Magic have won 13 of the last 15 games in ORL against the Hawks. The Magic are a 9 1/2 pt favorite (www.pinnaclesports.com)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Magic fall flat in second half in surprising loss to IND

The Magic (16-5, 5-3 home), in their first home game in almost two weeks, started out well enough, leading by 8 pts at halftime, and extending the lead to 73-58 in the third. However, the Magic collapsed after that and could not stop IND (10-10, 6-4 road), as the hot-shooting Pacers made 8 of 11 3 pt FGs in the second half and finished on a 57-36 run to stun the Magic 115-109.

Seven Pacers scored in double figures, led by Danny Granger with 27 pts (6 of 7 3 pt FGs). Jamaal Tinsley added 20 pts, 10 asts, and 7 rebs.

Six Magic players scored in double figures, led by DHoward with 30 pts (9 of 13 FGs), 15 rebs, 4 steals, but 6 TOs; RLewis 24 pts (5 of 11 3 pt FGs); KBogans 14 pts (4 of 11 FGs); JNelson 11 pts (5 of 9 FGs) 5 asts; HTurkoglu 11 pts (3 of 15 3 pt FGs); and MEvans off the bench with 11 pts (5 of 7 FGs).

The statistical breakdown:

FGs... IND 39 of 86 (45.3%) ORL 35 of 81 (43.2%) IND 89 ORL 82
3 PT FGs... ORL 12 of 35 (34.3%) IND 11 of 20 (55%)
FTs... ORL 27 of 33 (81.8%) IND 26 of 33 (78.8%)
REBS... ORL 43 IND 43
AST/TO... IND 29/16 ORL 22/23
BENCH... IND 31 ORL 19

In the second half, the Magic shot just 13 of 39 FGs, including 5 of 18 3 pt FGs, while IND shot 21 of 43 FGs, including the 8 of 11 from 3 pt range. Magic were outscored 61-47 in the second half.

The Magic get the weekend off before their next game MON hosting ATL.

Magic back in action FRI night against IND

The Magic (16-4, 5-2 home), who have played the fewest home games in the NBA, play their first home game in nearly two weeks tonight, as IND (9-10, 5-4 road) comes to town. IND is coming off a tough 121-117 home loss to PHO TUE night, as Jermaine O'Neal led the Pacers with 30 pts, 11 rebs.

The probable starting lineup for IND:

G... Jamaal Tinsley (14.5 ppg, 8.6 asts)
G... Danny Granger (17.5 ppg, 6.1 rebs)
F... Mike Dunleavy (16.7 ppg, 5.8 rebs)
F... Troy Murphy (11.3 ppg, 6.2 rebs)
C... Jeff Foster (6.9 ppg, 9.6 rebs)

Top reserves... Shawne Williams (9.9 ppg); Marquis Daniels (8.8 ppg); David Harrison (5.3 ppg); Kareem Rush (3.2 ppg); and former Magic reserve Travis Diener (2.9 ppg).

The Magic and IND are the two highest scoring teams in the East. ORL averages 104.5 ppg, while allowing 97.5 ppg. IND averages 103.0 ppg, while allowing 104.5 ppg.

IND has beaten the Magic in 5 of their last 7 meetings, though the Magic took both games last season in ORL. The Magic are 8 pt favorites (www.pinnaclesports.com).

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

How Good Are the Magic?

Marc Stein says they are #1. He also says his rankings are based on both the here and now, and who should eventually be the champ. His rankings come out on ESPN each Monday.

ESPN - NBA Basketball Power Rankings - National Basketball Association

John Hollinger says they are #2 behind Boston. His is based on some statistical formula. His rankings are updated daily.

John Hollinger Power Rankings

NBA.com says they are #4 behind San Antonio, Boston, Phoenix.

NBA.COM Power Rankings

At the quarter point of the season and 13 road games it's all well deserved. The coaching has been great, Howard has reached a new level, Nelson is playing up to his new contract, Lewis has created the floor space he was signed to do, and Turkoglu and Bogans have resurrected their careers by playing the smart basketball they were always capable of.

Even the bench is starting to shape up after the Ariza trade. Boston is on pace to wear out their Big 3. Van Gundy is keeping the starting front court minutes in the mid 30's and has added Evans, Redick and a few minutes for Cook to the mix.

Although they haven't won a playoff series since Shaq quit Orlando, this team has a legitimate shot to win the East this year. They need to continue to improve, and learn to beat Detroit. They also have over $10 million worth of expiring contracts to make a February trade.

Go Magic!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Howard is East player of month

NBA honors Howard as East player of month -- OrlandoSentinel.com

None of this is a shock anymore, simply well deserved. Howard also has more dunks than 25 teams combined, and has more than double the dunks of the #2 dunker in the league.

And he is still 4 days shy of his 22nd birthday!

Orlando Magic C Dwight Howard was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Month after demolishing the competition since the start of the season. He averaged 23.8 points on .618 shooting and a league-high 15 rebounds. The Magic benefited from Howard's start, tying the San Antonio Spurs in wins for the month with 14. He led the NBA with 15 double-doubles and scored 30 or more points six times, including a career-high 39 in a 110-94 victory Nov. 28 against the SuperSonics in Seattle. "We're a total team; it's not just me," Howard said. "Every night we have got to get a contribution from everybody on our team."

Magic stun GS in OT thriller to move record to 16-4

In a game that the Magic (16-4, 11-2 road) led throughout, only to see GS (9-8. 3-5 home) come back late in the final qtr to take a 3 pt lead, the Magic were able to send the game into OT in a heart-stopping final minute of regulation, and took over in the OT for a fantastic 123-117 victory over a team that had won 9 of its previous 10 games.

Seven players scored in double figures for the Magic, including three players with over 20 pts. JNelson, after an awful game against the Lakers, had a great game with 22 pts (9 of 18 FGs), 11 asts, 8 rebs, and just 1 TO; KBogans also had 22 pts (9 of 12 FGs); RLewis 20 pts (7 of 14 FGs); DHoward 18 pts (5 of 10 FGs), 23 rebs, 7 blocks, but 9 TOs; HTurkoglu 17 pts (7 of 21 FGs); MEvans off the bench with 11 pts, and KDooling also off the bench with 10 pts.

Seven players also scored in double figures for GS, led by Stephen Jackson's 25 pts, all after halftime. Monta Ellis added 22 pts with 12 rebs, and Baron Davis 19 pts (6 of 23 FGs) 9 asts.

The statistical breakdown:

FG... ORL 45 of 94 (47.9%) GS 42 of 111 (37.8%) ORL 101 GS 93
3 PT FG... ORL 11 of 25 (44%) GS 9 of 40 (22.5%)
FT... GS 24 of 31 (77.4%) ORL 22 of 32 (68.8%)
REBS... ORL 54 GS 54
AST/TO... GS 28/15 ORL 28/19
BENCH... ORL 24 GS 24

The Magic end the 5 game west coast road swing at a terrific 4-1, and are proving themselves as a top NBA team. They finally get a break in the schedule with only 2 games in the next 7 days, both home games, starting FRI against IND.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Magic/Warriors preview

Two of the hottest NBA teams play tonight, as the Magic (15-4, 10-2 road) take on GS (9-7, 3-4 home). After an 0-6 start, the Warriors have won 9 of their last 10 games, including the last 6 in a row. Stephen Jackson, who was suspended the first seven games of the season, has made a big difference for GS. They are coming off a 109-96 win at SEA SUN night, in which Jackson and Al Harrington each scored 20 pts.

The probable starting lineup for GS:

G... Baron Davis (23.6 ppg, 8.6 asts)
G... Monta Ellis (16.4 ppg)
F... Stephen Jackson (21.4 ppg, 5.3 rebs)
F... Al Harrington (15.7 ppg, 5.7 rebs)
C... Andris Biedrins (11.2 ppg, 10.1 rebs)

Top reserves: Kelenna Azubuike (13.4 ppg, 5.1 rebs), Mickael Pietrus (7.9 ppg), Matt Barnes (7.4 ppg)

GS averages a league-leading 108.6 ppg, while allowing 107.1 ppg; the Magic average 103.5 ppg, while allowing 96.5.

The Magic will be without CArroyo again, as he is in ORL tending to his ill daughter. GS may be without Pietrus, who suffered a possible broken nose SUN night against SEA. GS is a 3 pt favorite (www.pinnaclesports.com).

Balanced scoring effort leads Magic over Lakers

The Magic (15-4, 10-2 road) won for the first time on the road against the Lakers (9-8), and matched the franchise record for fastest start in a 104-97 victory. Five Magic players scored in double figures.

The Magic were led by RLewis with 18 pts (5 of 12 FGs), 7 asts; DHoward 17 pts (6 of 11 FGs), 8 rebs; HTurkoglu 14 pts (4 of 12 FGs), 10 rebs, 7 asts; and KBogans 11 pts (3 of 11 FGs). KDooling led a strong bench effort with 14 pts (7 of 11 FGs). Lakers star Kobe Bryant scored 28 pts (10 of 26 FGs), but only 6 pts in the second half.

The statistical breakdown:

FG... LAL 40 of 97 (41.2%) ORL 38 of 88 (43.2%) LAL 88 ORL 86
3 PT FGs... ORL 10 of 30 (33.3%) LAL 8 of 29 (27.6%)
FTS... ORL 18 of 21 (85.7%) LAL 9 of 10 (90%)
REB... LAL 52 ORL 43
AST/TO... ORL 25/16 LAL 24/22
BENCH... ORL 42 LAL 24

CArroyo was unavailable for the game because he had to be with his 3 year old daughter, who is ill. The bench played well, even without Arroyo, as four players scored at least 8 pts. Magic wind up the five game west coast swing against surging GS MON night.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Magic take on Bryant, Lakers tonight

The Magic (14-4, 9-2 road) will try to avoid their first losing streak of the season as they face the Lakers (9-7, 6-3 home). LA is coming off a big 120-96 loss against Utah FRI night. Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 28 pts.

The probable starting lineup for LAL:

G... Derek Fisher (11.6 ppg)
G... Kobe Bryant (27.6 ppg, 6.1 rebs)
F... Ronny Turiaf (7.6 ppg)
F... Lamar Odom (12.6 ppg, 6.8 rebs)
C... Andrew Bynum (10.9 ppg, 10.3 rebs)

Top reserves: Jordan Farmar (10.1 ppg); Vladimir Radmanovic (8.9 ppg); Luke Walton (7.2 ppg); Sasha Vujacic (6.3 ppg). Kwame Brown has an injured knee and is out indefinitely.

Former Magic reserve Trevor Ariza has played in just three games for the Lakers, scoring 6 pts.

LA is averaging 106.0 ppg while allowing 101.9 ppg. ORL is averaging 103.4 ppg while allowing 96.5 ppg.

The Magic have not beaten the Lakers in LA since March of 1996. The Lakers have beaten the Magic 5 games in a row and 15 of 17 overall, and are 1 1/2 pt favorites to keep that streak going (www.pinnaclesports.com).

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Magic comeback falls just short in PHO

The Magic (14-4, 9-2 road), trailed by 15 at the end of the first qtr and by 10 at the end of three qtrs and were forced to play catchup in the fourth against PHO (12-4). The Magic nearly made it all the way back, but RLewis's missed 3 pt FG with under 5 seconds remaining, which would have given the Magic the lead, missed the mark and the Suns added FTs to win 110-106, sweeping the 2 game season series.

Three players scored in double figures for the Magic: DHoward once again led the way with 30 pts (13 of 19 FGs), 23 rebs, but 8 TOs; HTurkoglu 25 pts (9 of 17 FGs), 8 rebs, 6 asts; and RLewis with 18 pts (6 of 19 FGs). JRedick led the effort off the bench with 8 pts (3 of 5 FGs). PHO had better balanced scoring, with six players in double figures lede by Raja Bell with 20 pts. Steve Nash added 15 pts, 14 asts and Amare Stoudemire 19 pts, 10 rebs.

The statistical breakdown:

FGs... PHO 43 of 87 (49.4%) ORL 40 of 87 (46.0%) PHO 93 ORL 90
3 PT FGs... ORL 10 of 34 (29.4%) PHO 7 of 17 (41.2%)
FTs... PHO 17 of 25 (68%) ORL 16 of 25 (64%)
REBS... PHO 48 ORL 43
AST/TO... PHO 29/13 ORL 21/17
BENCH... PHO 24 ORL 20

Nice effort by the Magic to come back in the last qtr and nearly take the lead late, but as it turned out, the Magic dug themselves too big a hole to climb out of. Magic have SAT off, followed by two tough back-to-back games against LAL and GS.