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.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Complete second half collapse by Magic leads to loss at buzzer against Memphis

After falling behind 17-12 to Memphis midway through the first quarter, the Magic then woke up and outscored the Grizzlies 43-26 the rest of the half and shot over 60% as the Magic enjoyed a 55-43 halftime lead.

The second half, however, was a total disaster for the Magic. Their largest lead was 60-45, but it all went downhill after that. The Magic shot just 9 of 36 for the second half in scoring 29 points, as Rudy Gay's 18 footer at the buzzer won it for Memphis 86-84, after the Magic had a chance to win the game with 2.8 seconds left but had their inbounds pass stolen, as Hedo Turkoglu tried to get it underneath to Dwight Howard.

Magic leading scorers

Rashard Lewis: 23 points (8 of 18 field goals), 5 rebounds
Hedo Turkoglu: 18 points (5 of 10 field goals), 9 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 turnovers
Dwight Howard: 14 points (5 of 9 field goals), 14 rebounds, 3 blocks, 5 turnovers
Jameer Nelson: 11 points (4 of 12 field goals), 4 assists


Keith Bogans: 7 points (2 of 5 field goals)

Memphis leading scorers

Rudy Gay: 29 points, 4 rebounds
O.J. Mayo: 17 points, 6 rebounds

Game Stats

FG%: ORL 42.0% (29 of 69) MEM 39.5% (30 of 76)
3 PT FG%: ORL 34.5% (10 of 29) MEM 15.4% (2 of 13)
FT%: MEM 80% (24 of 30) ORL 61.5% (16 of 26)
REB: ORL 38 MEM 34
AST/TO: ORL 16/17 MEM 11/10

Other Game Stats and Notes

-The Magic starting guards were outscored 46-18 by the Grizzlies' starting guards and shot a combined 5 of 18
-Rashard Lewis scored just 4 second half points
-Jameer Nelson scored just 3 second half points on 1 of 9 field goal shooting
-Mickael Pietrus scored just 3 points in 17 minutes with five fouls
-J.J. Redick went scoreless in 11 minutes
-Former Magic PF Darko Milicic, after committing three fouls in less than four minutes, scored 7 points along with 5 rebounds off the bench
-Magic outscored Memphis 68-62 from the field, but Memphis had a big edge in free throw shooting 24-16
-Even though the Magic outrebounded Memphis, the Magic only had 6 offensive rebounds on 40 missed shots
-Memphis also took much better care of the ball than the Magic, with the Magic committing 17 turnovers
-Memphis started 3 rookies (Marc Gasol, Darrell Arthur, and O.J. Mayo), a second-year player in Mike Conley and a third-year player in Rudy Gay.
-Brian Cook, Marcin Gortat, and Courtney Lee did not play for the Magic
-Magic are averaging 84 1/2 points their first two games

For the complete box score, click here

Now 0-2, the Magic will try to pick up their first win of the season Saturday as they host Sacramento.

Magic play first road game at Memphis tonight

The Magic will be trying to come back after a woeful performance Wednesday night at home against Atlanta.

Jameer Nelson, Rashard Lewis, and Hedo Turkoglu all had game stats against the Hawks that were well below their per game average last year.

Magic will need to shoot better, move the ball around better, crash the boards better, cut down on the turnovers, and get a much better effort from the bench against the Grizzlies.

Former Magic PF Darko Milicic is beginning his second season with Memphis. If his first game this season against Houston is any indication, Milicic will continue to struggle with inconsistency much as he has his whole career. He finished with just two points and two rebounds in 17 minutes as the starting PF Wednesday against the Rockets.

For the complete preview, click here

The Magic are 6 1/2 point favorites.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Magic lay egg on opening night in 14 point loss to Atlanta

The Magic could not carry the momentum of a very promising 6-1 preseason record into opening night at Amway Arena, as the Hawks led 74-55 at the end of three quarters and went on to defeat the Magic 99-85, as the closest the Magic could get in the last quarter was 81-75.

The Magic also saw their amazing three point shooting string come to an end; last season, they were the only team in NBA history to make at least five three point field goals in all 82 regular season games; against the Hawks, the Magic shot a horrid 4 of 25 from long range.

Magic leading scorers:

Dwight Howard: 22 points (8 of 15 field goals), 15 rebounds, 5 steals, 5 blocks
Mickael Pietrus: 20 points (7 of 16 field goals), 3 rebounds
Hedo Turkoglu: 13 points (5 of 17 field goals), 8 rebounds
Rashard Lewis: 11 points (5 of 12 field goals), 6 fouls


Anthony Johnson: 6 points, 3 assists

Hawks leading scorers:

Joe Johnson: 25 points (11 of 20 field goals), 7 rebounds
Josh Smith: 17 points (6 of 11 field goals), 10 rebounds, 5 blocks, 4 steals
Ronald Murray: 14 points (5 of 10 field goals)

Game Stats

FG%: ATL 44.2% (38 of 86) ORL 36.8% (32 of 87)
3 PT FG%: ATL 25% (5 of 20) ORL 16% (4 of 25)
FT%: ORL 63.0% (17 of 27) ATL 58.1% (18 of 31)
REB: ATL 53 ORL 45
AST/TO: ATL 17/15 ORL 10/15

Other Game Notes

-Magic were outscored by the Hawks by a combined 53-28 in the first and third quarters
-Magic outscored the Hawks by a combined 57-46 in the second and fourth quarters
-Anthony Johnson led the Magic with 3 assists in less than 16 minutes; Jameer Nelson, in 32 minutes, finished with 2 assists
-J.J. Redick was the first shooting guard off the bench, but scored just 2 points in 19 minutes and was 0 of 4 from the field
-Rashard Lewis went scoreless in the second half and fouled out; he played just 29 minutes
-The two starting forwards for the Magic, Lewis and Turkoglu, combined for just 24 points on 10 of 29 field goals, including 2 of 10 from three point range
-Marcin Gortat blocked 3 shots in just less than six minutes
-Brian Cook and Courtney Lee did not play for the Magic
-Former Magic guard Maurice Evans started for the Hawks and played 42 minutes, scoring 8 points along with 8 rebounds
-Former Magic center Zaza Pachulia added 8 points and 8 rebounds off the bench for the Hawks
-The Magic's only lead of the game was 4-2
-The Hawks went on a 22-5 run bridging the first and second quarters to lead 31-13 early in the second

For the complete box score, click here

Opening night is finally here as Magic host Atlanta

The Orlando Magic open their 20th season Wednesday night at Amway Arena as they play host to division rival Atlanta.

For the complete preview, click here

The Magic are 7 1/2 point favorites to defeat the Hawks (pinnaclesports.com).

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Preseason is not regular season, but still


You could make an argument that the current preseason standings will be a close match to the standings at the end of the season.

1-2. Detroit, Orlando 6-1
3. Boston
4-5. Atlanta, Philadelphia
6-7. New York, Toronto
8-9. Chicago, Indiana

Everyone else: New Jersey, Cleveland, Miami, Milwaukee, Charlotte.

O.K. so Cleveland isn't going to finish 12th, and New York is not making the playoffs. But I feel pretty good about putting Orlando, Detroit and Boston in the top 3. Cleveland can fight Atlanta, Philadelphia and Toronto for the next four, and who knows what mediocre team will be the best of the rest.

My WAG prediction for the East:

1. Orlando -- Superman averages over 20 ppg, leads the league in rebounds, blocked shots. Shoots 70% from the line and begins an 8-10 year streak of finishing in the top 3 for MVP. New guards are an improvement, and are even better after a minor trade for another guard.

2. Detroit -- last gasp from this group.

3. Boston -- season derailed by an injury to one of their big 3

4. Atlanta -- Horford gets better in his second year and becomes one of the ten best players in the East.

5. Cleveland -- stays the same. Probably trades a third of their roster during the season again and loses to Atlanta in the first round.

6. Philadelphia -- Never assume great things when your best player is from Duke.

7. Toronto -- I love Chris Bosh, Jermaine O'Neil used to be great. And their coach still sucks.

8. Really, it could be any of Miami, Milwaukee, Chicago...

Magic win final preseason game against Memphis

The Magic led by 20 points at halftime and quickly extended their lead in the third quarter before easing up and beat the Grizzlies 101-90 to finish the preseason at 6-1.

Leading Scorers


Hedo Turkoglu: 22 points (7 of 13 field goals), 8 rebounds, 4 assists
Rashard Lewis: 22 points (7 of 15 field goals), 6 rebounds
Dwight Howard: 11 points (7 of 10 free throws), 8 rebounds


J.J. Redick: 15 points (7 of 12 field goals)

Key Game Stats:

FG%: ORL 46.8% (36 of 77) MEM 43.1% (28 of 65)
3 PT FG%: ORL 36.0% (9 of 25) MEM 30% (3 of 10)
FT%: ORL 87% (20 of 23) MEM 73.8% (31 of 42)
REB: ORL 38 MEM 36
AST/TO: ORL 22/19 MEM 12/22

Other game stats and notes:

-Four Grizzlies scored in double figures, led by Darrel Arthur's 18 points
-Former Magic power forward Darko Milicic finished with 9 points, 5 rebounds
-Three Magic players played over 30 minutes (Jameer Nelson, Rashard Lewis, Hedo Turkoglu)
-Nelson wound up with a 7/0 assist/turnover ratio
-Backup point guard Anthony Johnson wound up with a 6/0 assist/turnover ratio in just 17 minutes
-For the second straight game, Magic were perfect from the free throw line outside of Dwight Howard
-Turkoglu (6 turnovers) and Howard (5 turnovers) combined for 11 turnovers
-J.J. Redick did well offensively in 27 minutes, but grabbed only one rebound and had only one assist
-Howard and Nelson each had three steals
-Marcin Gortat fouled out in just 15 minutes
-Tony Battie, Keith Bogans, Dwayne Jones, and Jeremy Richardson did not play

Magic have a week off before their first regular season game hosting Atlanta.

For the complete box score, click here

Monday, October 20, 2008

Magic free throws in final seconds help beat Atlanta

After Atlanta pulled to within a point of the Magic in the final 30 seconds, the Magic hit five free throws and were able to hold off the Hawks 109-103 in Atlanta, moving their preseason record to 5-1.

Leading Scorers:


Dwight Howard: 29 points (8 of 14 field goals), 11 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks
Rashard Lewis: 25 points (8 of 16 field goals), 8 rebounds, 3 steals
Keith Bogans: 12 points (2 of 3 three pointers), 4 rebounds, 2 steals


Courtney Lee: 13 points (6 of 12 field goals), 4 rebounds

Key Game Stats

FG%: ATL 47.4% (36 of 76) ORL 47.3% (35 of 74)
3 PT FG%: ORL 52.9% (9 of 17) ATL 31.6% (6 of 19)
FT% ATL 83.3% (25 of 30) ORL 76.9% (30 of 39)
REB: ORL 39 ATL 38
AST/TO: ATL 25/18 ORL 21/15

Other key game stats and notes:

-Five Hawks scored in double figures, led by Joe Johnson's 26 points
-Keith Bogans started in place of Hedo Turkoglu (groin) and played 39 minutes
-Four other Magic players played at least 32 minutes (Howard, Lewis, Lee, and Anthony Johnson)
-Tony Battie, Brian Cook, Adonal Foyle, J.J. Redick and Jeremy Richardson also did not play
-Howard attempted a whopping 22 free throws, making 13
-Howard also committed 7 turnovers
-Subtracting Howard's misses at the line, the Magic were a perfect 17 of 17
-Johnson, in almost 33 minutes, had an 8 to 1 assist/turnover ratio
-Courtney Lee had a much better game than he did on Saturday and added 3 assists and 2 steals to his 13 points and 4 rebounds
-Jameer Nelson (8 points) and Mickael Pietrus (9 points) played only a combined 36 minutes

For the complete box score, click here

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Big second quarter run helps lead Magic

Thanks to a 26-4 run in the second quarter, the Magic were able to build a 57-42 halftime lead over the Heat, and despite struggling offensively in the second half, held off the Heat and won their 4th preseason game in a row 100-92.

Leading scorers


Dwight Howard: 26 points (10 of 14 field goals), 16 rebounds, 2 blocks
Rashard Lewis: 21 points (8 of 17 field goals), 8 rebounds
Mickael Pietrus: 16 points (4 of 12 field goals), 7 rebounds
Jameer Nelson: 11 points (3 of 4 field goals), 4 assists


J.J. Redick: 14 points (4 of 5 3 point field goals), 4 rebounds

Key Game Stats

FG%: ORL 44.6% (33 of 74) MIA 41.0% (34 of 83)
3 PT FG%: ORL 33.3% (10 of 30) MIA 33.3% (8 of 24)
FT%: MIA 94.1% (16 of 17) ORL 24 of 36 (66.7%)
REB: ORL 48 MIA 45
AST/TO: ORL 19/18 MIA 18/18

Other game stats and notes:

-Heat superstar Dwayne Wade is rounding into form, with superb numbers of 29 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, and 6 steals
-With all the injuries the Magic are having, four of the five starters played at least 31 minutes, with Mickael Pietrus playing just under 40 minutes
-Pietrus was shifted to small forward to start in place of Hedo Turkoglu (groin), while rookie Courtney Lee started at shooting guard
-Lee shot just 1 of 8 and finished with 2 points in 26 minutes
-Pietrus struggled from the field, hitting just 1 of 8 3 point field goals
-J.J. Redick had a strong all-around game, and added 2 assists and a steal in addition to the 14 points and 4 rebounds
-Brian Cook did not grab a single rebound in 20 minutes
-Keith Bogans, in a tight battle with Redick for backup shooting guard, did not see any action
-Adonal Foyle, Dwayne Jones, and Jerome Richardson also did not see any action in addition to the injured Turkoglu, Tony Battie, and Mike Wilks, who is out for the season
-Howard made only 6 of his 13 free throw attempts
-Jameer Nelson took only 4 shots in just under 32 minutes and had a 4/1 assist/turnover ratio

For the complete box score, click here

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Magic battle injuries heading into Saturday's game against Miami

Hedo Turkoglu (groin), Anthony Johnson (eye), and Tony Battie (finger) are all day-to-day as the Magic get ready to play the Heat in Jacksonville Saturday.

In more serious injury news, according to Brian Schmitz's BasketBlog, reserve point guard Mike Wilks is out for the entire season with serious knee injuries, among them being a torn ACL. The Magic had liked the way Wilks was playing, and he most likely would have made the team as the third-string point guard if he hadn't gotten injured.

This likely means the Magic will have to pick up another point guard between now and the start of the regular season, as Jameer Nelson and Johnson are the only point guards on the roster.

In another Magic note from Schmitz's BasketBlog, Coach Van Gundy praised J.J. Redick's defense, saying that Redick has made a significant improvement from the previous year with his defense, and that it's a very close battle with Redick and Keith Bogans as to who will be the first shooting guard off the bench to replace Mickael Pietrus.

I'm guessing that Turkoglu, Johnson, and Battie won't play against the Heat, as it doesn't seem smart to risk their health in a preseason game.

Hopefully, the bench will step up and give a good effort. The battle between Redick and Bogans for backup shooting guard will continue to be watched. Bogans had by far his best preseason game against Charlotte, while Redick has struggled with his shooting the last two games, though he has played well defensively.

Third Quarter Collapse has a very informative post about what Wilks' injury will do to the Magic's salary cap situation. Click on the link to read.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Strong second half leads Magic to victory over Bobcats

After trailing 51-38 at halftime against Charlotte, the Magic outscored the Bobcats 56-33 in the second half to come away with a 94-84 victory for their third win in a row this preseason.

Leading scorers


Rashard Lewis: 26 points (9 of 18 field goals), 5 rebounds
Dwight Howard: 15 points ( 6 of 11 field goals), 8 rebounds, 2 blocks


Keith Bogans: 14 points (5 of 10 field goals), 3 rebounds
Courtney Lee: 7 points, 2 assists

Key Game Stats

FG%: ORL 43% (34 of 79) CHA 37.8% (28 OF 74)
3 PT FG %: CHA 37.5% (6 of 16) ORL 31.3% (10 of 32)
FT%: CHA 78.6% (22 of 28) ORL 57.1% (16 of 28)
REB: ORL 50 CHA 40
AST/TO: ORL 20/13 CHA 16/15

Other game stats and notes:

-Four Bobcats scored in double figures, led by Gerald Wallace with 18 points
-Mickael Pietrus shot an awful 1 of 10 from the field, but did contribute 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals
-Two Magic players (Pietrus and Lewis) played as much as 30 minutes
-Hedo Turkoglu played only 8 minutes, scoring 2 points with 3 assists; according to the Sentinel's Brian Schmitz, Turkoglu was taken out with a sore groin in the first quarter, and reserve point guard Mike Wilks injured his leg in the fourth quarter
-The Magic had a poor game shooting free throws, with Dwight Howard making only 3 of 9
-Jameer Nelson took only three shots in 26 minutes, making two, and adding 3 assists with 3 turnovers
-Marcin Gortat grabbed 12 rebounds off the bench in just 23 minutes
-J.J. Redick had his second straight poor shooting game, just 2 of 7 from the field (4 of 15 combined the last two games) and 0 for 2 on free throws, but did have 4 rebounds and 3 assists in 23 minutes
-Bogans had by far his best preseason game, and is probably back in the picture for being the first SG off the bench
-Dwayne Jones had 6 rebounds in just 8 minutes
-Five different Magic players had 3 assists
-Tony Battie, Anthony Johnson, and Adonal Foyle did not play

For the complete box score, click here

Battie out, Johnson questionable for Thursday's game at Charlotte

According to Brian Schmitz's basketblog, Tony Battie will sit out the Magic's preseason game against the Bobcats on Thursday due to his fractured left ring finger, while reserve point guard Anthony Johnson is questionable because of a scratched left eye he incurred during a recent practice.

Brian Cook will receive a considerable amount of playing time and try to get back in the good graces of Coach Van Gundy after reporting to camp in not good enough shape.

If Johnson cannot play, Mike Wilks will see his first significant playing time of the preseason as Jameer Nelson's backup. Courtney Lee may see some time at the point, also.

Gametime is an early 10:30 AM start in Charlotte, with the recap here later in the afternoon.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Magic long shot to win championship according to one sportsbook

One of the internet's leading sportsbooks, pinnaclesports.com (which doesn't accept any clients from the U.S., not that I would condone internet gambling anyhow), rates the Magic as a 28.53 to 1 chance to win the NBA championship this coming season (which would give one a $2853 profit on a $100 bet if the Magic won it all).

The team with the best chance? The LA Lakers, a 3.37 to 1 shot, followed closely by the Celtics at 3.66 to 1. The team with the worst chance? The Memphis Grizzlies, at whopping 550 to 1 odds.

The Magic rate the fourth best odds to win the Eastern Conference, with Boston first at 1.31 to 1; Detroit second at 3.98 to 1; Cleveland third at 3.98 to 1, then the Magic fourth at 9.21 to 1.

For the complete odds of every NBA team to win the championship, click here

Friday, October 10, 2008

Strong defensive efforts leads Magic to win

The Magic started out strong in their second straight game, outscoring CSKA Moscow 37-19 in the first quarter on their way to a 23 point halftime lead and cruised in the second half for a 94-66 victory. The Magic are now 2-1 this preseason.

Leading scorers


Dwight Howard: 28 points (10 of 12 field goals), 10 rebounds, 5 steals
Hedo Turkoglu: 16 points (5 of 9 field goals)
Rashard Lewis: 15 points (5 of 14 field goals)


Brian Cook: 7 points
Jeremy Richardson: 6 points
J.J. Redick: 5 points (2 of 8 field goals)

Key Game Stats

FG%: ORL 47.3% (35 of 74) CSKA 40.8% (29 of 71)
3 PT FG%: CSKA 33.3% (3 of 9) ORL 23.5% (4 of 17)
FT%: ORL 74.1% (20 of 27) CSKA 71.4% (5 of 7)
AST/TO: CSKA 22/24 ORL 18/11

Other game notes:

-Only two players for CSKA scored in double figures, with former Magic player Terence Morris leading with 16 points
-No Magic player played more than 29 minutes
-Jameer Nelson (4 points) and Mickael Pietrus (3 points) combined to score just 7 points
-Keith Bogans went scoreless in 20 minutes
-Redick had his worst game shooting of the preseason, but did make his only 3 point attempt, had 2 rebounds and 2 assists
-Nelson (4 assists) and Anthony Johnson (4 assists) combined for 8 assists to just 1 turnover
-Howard is now 21 of 29 shooting free throws in three games, which is over 70%
-Cook shot 3 of 5 from the field after his awful 1 of 10 Wednesday night
-Turkoglu did not grab any rebounds in 23 minutes, but did block a shot
-Tony Battie, Adonal Foyle, and Courtney Lee did not see any action

For the complete box score click here

Magic host CSKA Moscow tonight

The Magic will try to go above .500 this preseason and pick up where they left off after their impressive 38 point victory over Charlotte Wednesday night.

CSKA Moscow features former NBA lottery pick and Duke alum Trajan Langdon, who played three years with Cleveland. CSKA also features former Magic player Terence Morris, who played in 22 games for the Magic in the 2005-06 season, averaging 1.6 ppg.

Gametime is at 7 PM; I'll have the recap here after the game. Hopefully the Magic will play with as much focus as they did against the Bobcats.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Strong first quarter carries Magic to easy win over Bobcats

After a rather mediocre performance against Atlanta Monday, the Magic came out to prove they are a much better team than what they showed against the Hawks. The Magic did just that with an eye-popping 40-9 lead after the first quarter on their way to a 118-80 victory over Charlotte.

Magic leading scorers:


-Dwight Howard: 20 points (6 of 9 field goals, 8 of 10 free throws), 8 rebounds, 5 blocks
-Rashard Lewis: 17 points (5 of 8 field goals), 4 assists
-Mickael Pietrus: 13 points (5 of 8 field goals, 4 rebounds)
-Jameer Nelson: 10 points (6 of 6 free throws), 5 rebounds


-J.J. Redick: 12 points (3 of 4 field goals), 2 rebounds
-Courtney Lee: 9 points, 4 rebounds
-Brian Cook: 9 points, 4 rebounds

Key Game Stats

FG PCT: ORL 47.1% (33-70) CHA 28.4% (23-81)
3 PT FG PCT: CHA 33.3% (4 of 12) ORL 26.7% (4 of 15)
FT PCT: ORL: 90.6% (48 of 53) CHA 73.2% (30 of 41)
REB: ORL 49 CHA 45
AST/TO: ORL 18/19 CHA 13/20

Other Notes:

-Gerald Wallace (18 points) and Jason Richardson (15 points) were the only Bobcats to score in double figures
-Howard has made 13 of 16 free throws in the first two games
-Redick has scored 24 points in 33 minutes in the two games
-Hedo Turkoglu was the only starter not to score in double digits ( 9 points)
-No Magic player played more than 25 minutes
-Anthony Johnson had 7 assists in just 17 minutes; Jameer Nelson 1 assist in 20 minutes
-Brian Cook shot just 1 of 10 from the field
-Jeremy Richardson and Mike Wilks each scored 2 points in their first action of the preseason
-Tony Battie and Adonal Foyle combined for 15 points, 13 rebounds
-Keith Bogans, Marcin Gortat, and Dwayne Jones did not play

For the complete box score click here

Some things to look for in tonight's Magic preseason contest

The Magic will be playing the Charlotte Bobcats in their second preseason game Wednesday night in Orlando, and will be looking for a much better defensive effort after a dismal second half in which the Magic gave up 69 points to Atlanta in a 118-101 loss Monday night.

Brian Schmitz of the Sentinel reports that the Magic have picked up the option on J.J. Redick's contract, and he is signed through 2010 now. Redick had an impressive performance with 12 points in 19 minutes off the bench against the Hawks, and Coach Van Gundy said that Redick played the best of all the reserves. Can J.J. pick up where he left off and continue to solidify a spot in the rotation?

Other areas to watch, not only tonight but for the rest of the preseason also:

-Rashard Lewis struggled much of last year's preseason but got off to a solid start Monday night with 22 points, 6 rebounds.

-Will any one of the trio of Hedo Turkoglu, Jameer Nelson, and Mickael Pietrus score in double figures against Charlotte after failing to do so against Atlanta?

-Can the Magic improve upon their poor defensive performance from Monday night? The Magic were outrebounded by 11, and Dwight Howard had more blocks (8) than rebounds (5).

-Can Anthony Johnson continue to make us all feel better about the backup point guard position with another, solid, efficient performance off the bench?

-Will Marcin Gortat continue to make a legitimate bid to be Howard's backup off the bench instead of Adonal Foyle, who saw no action Monday?

-Can the Magic and Howard continue their solid free throw shooting?

A recap here on the blog will follow the game later on tonight.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Atlanta dominates second half to defeat Magic

Thanks to 45 third quarter points, the Hawks outscored the Magic 69-50 in the second half to defeat them 118-101 in the first preseason game for both teams.

The Magic were led by Rashard Lewis, who had a nice all-around game with 22 points (8 of 13 field goals), 6 rebounds. Dwight Howard added 17 points (6 of 9 field goals) along with 8 blocks and 5 rebounds. Howard also showed progress at the free throw line, hitting 5 of 6. J.J. Redick led the reserves with 12 points (5 of 8 field goals, 2 of 2 3 pt FGs) in 19 minutes. New shooting guard Mickael Pietrus added 9 points (4 of 9 field goals); new reserve point guard Anthony Johnson scored 8 points along with 6 assists, center Marcin Gortat 8 points, and rookie Courtney Lee 5 points in his NBA debut.

Former Magic shooting guard Maurice Evans impressed with 17 points on 6 of 9 shooting for the Hawks, while Acie Law led the team with 20 points.

The Magic shot well at 49.5%, including 5 of 11 from three point range, but the Hawks' superior depth helped them win the game as their reserves outscored the Magic reserves 67-39.

For the complete box score, click here

Magic open preseason Monday night against Hawks

The game tonight isn't televised, but if you have a ticket, you'll get a chance to see newcomers Mickael Pietrus, Anthony Johnson, and rookie Courtney Lee probably get considerable playing time for the Magic. Tony Battie should also see action for the first time since missing all of last season with a shoulder injury.

Even J.J. Redick and his new muscular physique should get a lot of playing time.

Former Magic SG Maurice Evans, who did a nice job with the Magic last season after being acquired in a trade with the Lakers, makes his Atlanta debut.

Game time is at 7, with the wrap-up here on the blog afterwards.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

What's new with the Magic so far in training camp

As I was scanning the internet for Magic-related news, I found several interesting items regarding the Magic for these first few days of training camp:

- Hedo Turkoglu and Courtney Lee have both seen time at point guard in scrimmages to add depth to the position. Turk can handle the ball well, and the coaching staff feels that Lee can give opposing PGs trouble because of his length, even though Lee was a shooting guard in college and will play most of the time at SG with the Magic.

- J.J. Redick has reported to camp in terrific shape with a good attitude about his uncertain situation. He has added muscle to his frame, feels that he is in the best shape of his life, and is ready to fight for a role on the Magic.

- Dwight Howard is working on a midrange jumper to add to his offensive game, with help from assistant coach Patrick Ewing. I hope that Howard continues to work on his free throw shooting especially.

- Mickael Pietrus made a couple of outstanding defensive plays in the first scrimmage, but he also has committed a lot of fouls. Coach Van Gundy wants Pietrus to be a defensive stopper while guarding the top shooting guards and small forwards in the league.

- I'm sure everyone has seen the new Magic uniforms by now... I think they look pretty cool!