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.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Magic eliminate Raptors! Game 5: Magic 102, Toronto 92

For the first time since 1996, the Magic have won a playoff series and advance to the second round of the playoffs, thanks to another dominant 20/20 performance from Dwight Howard, as the Magic win 102-92 and the series 4 games to 1.

The Magic jumped out to a quick 10-2 lead, but the Raptors took control after that and had their largest lead of 37-30 in the second quarter and went into halftime with a 50-49 lead. The Magic then outscored Toronto 53-42 in the second half, holding the Raptors to 16 of 42 field goal shooting, including just 2 of 11 from three point range. Toronto got to within 84-82 in the fourth quarter, then the Magic went on a 13-2 run to put the game and the series away.

Magic leading scorers:

Dwight Howard 21 points (7 of 12 FGs), 21 rebounds, 3 blocks; Jameer Nelson 19 pts (7 of 13 FGs), 3 assists; Rashard Lewis 18 pts (5 of 12 FGs), 13 rebounds, 4 assists; Hedo Turkoglu 12 points (4 of 13 FGs), 9 assists, 8 rebounds; Maurice Evans 12 points (5 of 12 FGs). Bench: Keith Bogans 11 points (3 of 9 3 pt FGs), 6 rebounds.

Toronto leading scorers:

Chris Bosh 16 points, 9 rebounds; T.J. Ford 14 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists; Anthony Parker 11 points. Bench: Carlos Delfino 14 points, 7 rebounds; Jason Kapono 13 points; Jose Calderon 12 points 4 assists.

The statistical breakdown:

FGs... ORL 35 of 78 (44.9%) TOR 35 of 85 (41.2%) ORL 79 TOR 78
3 PT FGs... ORL 9 of 32 (28.1%) TOR 8 of 22 (36.4%)
FTs... ORL 23 of 28 (82.1%) TOR 14 of 17 (82.4%)
REBs... ORL 55 (16 offensive) TOR 37 (9 offensive)
AST/TO... ORL 21/13 TOR 20/6
BENCH... TOR 39 ORL 20

Other game stats and notes...

-The Magic outshot the Raptors from the field, made one more 3 pointer, made nine more free throws, and outrebounded them by 18.
-The Magic starting frontcourt outscored the Toronto starting frontcourt 51-28, while outrebounding them 42-14.
-Lewis and Turkoglu combined for 30 points, shooting just 1 of 10 from 3 pt range, but added 21 rebounds, 13 assists, and just 4 turnovers.
-The Magic starting backcourt outscored the Toronto starting backcourt 31-25.
-Toronto's point guards, Ford and Calderon combined for 26 points but just 9 assists to 5 turnovers.
-The Magic point guards, Nelson and Keyon Dooling combined for 28 points, 5 assists, 5 turnovers.

The Magic now get a much-deserved break as the 76ers and Pistons, tied 2-2, will have to play at least two more games, with the Magic playing the winner.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Turkoglu named NBA's most improved player

Congratulations to Magic F Hedo Turkoglu for being named most improved player on Monday for the 2007-08 season. Here's the article from CBS Sportsline:

The NBA announced that Turkoglu received 380 points, including 61 first-place votes, guard Rudy Gay of Memphis was second with 167 points and 23 first place votes, while LaMarcus Aldridge of Portland was third with 128 points and nine first-place votes.

Turkoglu, in his eighth NBA season, averaged a career-high 19.5 points per game, 5.7 rebounds per game and 5 assists per game.

Last season, Turkoglu averaged 13.3 points, 4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Magic take control of series... Game 4: Magic 106, Raptors 94

The Magic, thanks to a 58-41 second-half advantage over Toronto, including a 33-20 advantage in the fourth quarter, were able to come from behind and win 106-94 to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. The Magic had a sensational second half, shooting 18 of 32 from the field, including 7 of 12 on three point field goals. Toronto shot just 17 of 44 in the second half, including 1 of 9 on three point field goals. The Magic's largest deficit was 69-62 with just over 4 minutes remaining in the third quarter. With the Magic trailing 83-80 with 6:43 left in the game, they outscored the Raptors 26-11 the rest of the way.

Magic leading scorers:

Rashard Lewis 27 pts (10 of 19 FGs), 13 rebounds, 5 assists; Dwight Howard 19 pts (9 of 12 FGs), 16 rebounds, 8 blocks; Jameer Nelson 19 pts (6 of 10 FGs), including 12 pts in the fourth quarter, 5 assists; Hedo Turkoglu 18 pts (4 of 12 FGs), 9 rebounds, 3 steals, but 7 turnovers. Bench: Keith Bogans 12 pts (3 of 5 3 pt FGs).

Toronto leading scorers:

Chris Bosh 39 pts, 15 rebounds; T.J. Ford 12 pts, 13 assists; Anthony Parker 12 pts, 7 rebounds. Bench: Jason Kapono 12 pts.

The statistical breakdown:

FGs... TOR 40 of 92 (43.5%) ORL 37 of 75 (49.3%) ORL 85 TOR 82
3 PT FGs... ORL 11 of 29 (37.9%) TOR 2 of 15 (13.3%)
FTs... ORL 21 of 31 (67.7%) TOR 12 of 17 (70.6%)
REBs... ORL 48 TOR 42
AST/TO... TOR 24/9 ORL 22/18
BENCH... TOR 21 ORL 16

Other game stats and notes:

-Toronto's Ford and Jose Calderon combined to score just 14 points after combining for 39 points in Game 3. They also combined for an 18/2 assist-to-turnover ratio.
-The Magic starting backcourt outscored the Toronto starting backcourt 26-24 after being outscored 31-6 in Game 3.
-The Magic starting frontcourt outscored the Toronto starting frontcourt 64-49.
-Turkoglu and Lewis combined to score 45 pts on 14 of 31 FG shooting, including 4 of 13 3 pt field goals, 13 of 15 FTs, 22 rebounds, 9 assists, 5 steals.
-The Magic trailed at the end of three quarters 74-73. This was only the third time all season they came back to win a game trailing after three.

The Magic will try to close out the Raptors in Game 5 Monday night in Orlando.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Balanced scoring leads to decisive win for Raptors in Game 3... Raptors 108 Magic 94

Toronto knew they were in a must-win situation for Game 3 and played like it, as six Raptors scored in double figures as Toronto led throughout the game after falling behind briefly 6-2. Toronto held a 28-20 lead after one quarter, and their lead swelled to 61-40 at the half. The Magic attempted to get back in the game in the third quarter as they outscored Toronto 29-19 to cut the deficit to 80-69 after three. The Magic briefly cut the lead to single digits 80-71 in the beginning of the fourth quarter, but could get no closer as the Raptors cruised the rest of the way. The Magic again really struggled from 3 point range, shooting just 2 of 16 for the first half before finishing 6 of 27 from long range.

Magic leading scorers:

Hedo Turkoglu 26 pts (7 of 12 FGs), 7 rebs; Dwight Howard 19 pts (8 of 15 FGs), 12 rebs, but 6 TOs; Rashard Lewis 19 pts (8 of 15 FGs), 6 rebs. Bench... Keith Bogans 12 pts (4 of 11 FGs).

Toronto leading scorers:

T.J. Ford 21 pts, 5 rebs; Chris Bosh 15 pts, 5 rebs, 5 asts; Jamario Moon 11 pts, 10 rebs; Anthony Parker 10 pts, 6 rebs. Bench... Jose Calderon 18 pts, 13 asts; Jason Kapono 15 pts.

The statistical breakdown:

FGs... TOR 42 of 85 (49.4%) ORL 34 of 73 (46.6%) TOR 96 ORL 74
3 PT FGs... TOR 12 of 34 (35.3%) ORL 6 of 27 (22.2%)
FTs... ORL 20 of 27 (74.1%) TOR 12 of 14 (85.7%)
REBs... TOR 42 (13 offensive) ORL 34 (10 offensive)
AST/TO... TOR 31/12 ORL 15/14
BENCH... TOR 42 ORL 24

Other game stats and notes:

-The Magic starting frontcourt outscored the Toronto starting frontcourt 64-35.
-The Toronto starting backcourt outscored the Magic starting backcourt 31-6.
-The Raptors' guards outscored the Magic guards 56-28 on 20 of 38 FG shooting. The Magic guards shot just 7 of 25.
-Jameer Nelson did not score until 2:27 was left in the game.
-After the Magic made 9 of 11 3 pt FGs in the first quarter of Game 1, the Magic have made just 19 of 76 3 pt FGs since.
-The Magic, other than Lewis, shot 3 of 19 from 3 point range.
-Dwight Howard scored 13 pts on 6 of 9 FG shooting in the first quarter. The final three quarters, he scored just 6 pts on 2 of 6 FG shooting.
-The Toronto PGs, Ford and Calderon (or "Forderon") combined for 39 pts on 13 of 22 FGs, including 5 of 9 from three pt range, along with 16 asts and 4 TOs.
-The Magic PGs, Nelson, Dooling, and Arroyo, combined for 16 pts on 6 of 15 FGs, including 1 of 6 from 3 pt range, along with 8 asts and 2 TOs.
-Jamario Moon, starting for the first time in the series for Toronto, scored 11 pts with 10 rebounds.
-The Raptors outshot the Magic from the field, 3 pt range, and from the free throw line. The Raptors also outrebounded the Magic, and had a much better assist/turnover ratio.
-The Magic made eight more free throws than Toronto, but the Raptors outscored the Magic by 22 points from the field.

The Magic will try to get their act together for Game 4 Saturday afternoon in Toronto to avoid going back to Orlando tied 2-2.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Magic hang on in Game 2... Magic 104, Raptors 103

The Magic got off to another blazing start in Game 2, leading 26-8 in the first quarter and settling for a 35-18 lead after one quarter on 13 of 24 FG shooting. The Raptors caught fire in the second quarter, outscoring the Magic 39-24 to pull within 59-57 at the half. Toronto's Chris Bosh scored 16 points in the second quarter. The Raptors pulled out to their first lead early in the third quarter at 64-59, but the Magic came back to lead 83-78 after three. Jameer Nelson and Dwight Howard each scored 11 points for the Magic in the third. In an exciting final period, Toronto took the lead 101-100 with just over a minute left, but Hedo Turkoglu's layup put the Magic ahead to stay, as Bosh's 19 foot jumper fell short at the buzzer as the Magic held on for a 104-103 win to take a 2-0 series lead.

Scoring summary...

Magic leading scorers... Dwight Howard 29 pts (12 of 17 FGs), 20 rebs, 3 blocks; Jameer Nelson 18 pts (6 of 10 FGs), 6 rebs, 3 asts; Rashard Lewis 18 pts (7 of 21 FGs), 6 rebs, 5 asts; Hedo Turkoglu 12 pts (4 of 15 FGs), 9 rebs, 5 asts. Bench... Keith Bogans 9 pts (3 of 8 FGs)

Toronto leading scorers... Chris Bosh 29 pts (9 of 19 FGs), 10 rebs, 6 asts. Bench... Jason Kapono 20 pts (8 of 12 FGs), 5 rebs; Jose Calderon 18 pts (7 of 11 FGs), 5 asts; Carlos Delfino 16 pts (6 of 10 FGs), 6 rebs

The statistical breakdown:

FGs... ORL 38 of 89 (42.7%) TOR 37 of 81 (45.7%) ORL 85 TOR 85
3 PT FGs... TOR 11 of 29 (37.9%) ORL 9 of 31 (29%)
FTs... ORL 19 of 23 (82.6%) TOR 18 of 20 (90%)
REBs... ORL 48 (16 offensive) TOR 40 (7 offensive)
AST/TO... TOR 21/13 ORL 19/13
BENCH... TOR 57 ORL 18

Other stats...

-The Magic starters outscored the Toronto starters 86-46.
-Other than Bosh, the four other Raptors' starters combined to score 17 points on 6 of 22 FGs.
-Kapono, Calderon, and Delfino, all coming off the Raptors' bench, combined to score 54 points on 21 of 33 FGs.
-Turkoglu and Lewis combined to score 30 pts on 11 of 36 FGs for the Magic, including 0 for 13 on threes. However, they did combine for 15 rebounds and 10 assists.
-Anthony Parker, who scored 24 points in Game 1 for Toronto, was held scoreless in Game 2 on 0 for 4 FGs in 38 minutes.
-Rasho Nesterovic, who scored 16 points in Game 1, was held to 2 points in Game 2 in just 5 minutes.
- In the final three quarters, Toronto outscored the Magic 85-69, as the Magic made just 25 of 65 FGs during that time, while the Raptors made 30 of 60 FGs.

Game 3 coming up Thursday night in Toronto.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Questions to ponder before Game 2

As we await Game 2 between the Magic and Raptors tonight, here are some questions to ponder before the game:

-Will Dwight Howard be as dominant as he was in Game 1?
-Will Jameer Nelson play as outstanding offensively and defensively?
-Will the Magic's hot outside shooting continue?
-Will Rashard Lewis continue to play outstanding defense on Chris Bosh?
-Will Toronto coach Sam Mitchell start Andrea Bargnani at SF again?
-Will the Raptors' point guards shoot as poorly as they did in Game 1?
-Will the Raptors continue to shoot lights out from the free throw line?
-Can the Magic defense force the Raptors into more than 7 turnovers?
-Can the Magic do a better job defensively on Anthony Parker and Jason Kapono?

Magic are 6 pt favorites to take a 2-0 series lead (www.pinnaclesports.com).

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Success in Game 1! Magic 114, Raptors 100

The Magic led from start to finish, with a spectacular first quarter of 43 points on 16 of 20 FG shooting, including 9 of 11 three point FGs. The nine three pointers tied an all-time NBA playoff record for the most threes in a quarter. The Magic's largest lead was 57-33 with 4:21 remaining in the second. However, the Magic went scoreless the final 4 minutes of the second quarter as TOR cut the Magic lead to 60-47 at the half. The Raptors continued to cut into the lead in the second half as the Magic cooled off from the floor, as they made only 4 of their final 16 three point FG attempts. After three, the Magic lead was cut to 7 points, and the Raptors got as close as 88-83 early in the fourth before the Magic scored 10 points in a row and held on from there.

Six Magic players scored in double figures, led by Dwight Howard, who had a monster game with 25 points (8 of 13 FGs), 22 rebounds, and 5 blocks. He even made 9 of 11 free throws. Jameer Nelson scored 24 pts (7 of 13 FGs), including 12 pts in the final quarter and added 7 assists; Hedo Turkoglu 21 pts (9 of 15 FGs), 6 rebs, 6 asts; Mo Evans 14 pts (4 of 6 3 pt FGs), including 11 pts in the first quarter; Rashard Lewis 13 pts (5 of 14 FGs), 5 asts. Keyon Dooling led the bench with 10 pts (4 of 8 FGs).

Four TOR players scored in double figures, led by Anthony Parker with 24 pts, 7 rebs. Chris Bosh scored 21 pts, but struggled from the field shooting just 4 of 11. He hit all 13 FTs. Rasho Nesterovic added 16 pts. Jason Kapono came off the bench to score 18 pts. Andrea Bargnani, the 2006 number one draft pick, started in place of Jamario Moon at SF, was not a factor, scoring just 5 pts.

The statistical breakdown:

FGs... ORL 41 of 77 (53.2%) TOR 32 of 85 (37.6%) ORL 95 TOR 73
3 PT FGs... ORL 13 of 29 (44.8%) TOR 9 of 20 (45%)
FTs... TOR 27 of 28 (96.4%) ORL 19 of 23 (82.6%)
REBs... ORL 42 (9 offensive) TOR 35 (8 offensive)
AST/TO... TOR 24/7 ORL 21/10
BENCH... TOR 29 ORL 17

The Raptors' PGs, T.J. Ford and Jose Calderon, combined to shoot just 4 of 20 from the field for 14 points, though they also combined for 14 assists with 0 TOs.

The Magic starting frontcourt outscored the Raptors' starting frontcourt 59-42, and outrebounded them 32-17. The Magic starting backcourt outscored the Raptors' starting backcourt 38-29.

The Raptors did well at the things they usually do well at... 96% from the free throw line, 45% from three point range, and a 24/7 assist/turnover ratio. Despite all that, the Magic were still able to win, thanks to a great team effort offensively and defensively.

Game 2 coming up Tuesday evening at Amway Arena.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Magic/Raptors individual statistics

Here are some of the relevant statistics involving the individual players at each position with the Magic player first and the Raptors' player second:

PG... Jameer Nelson... PPG... 10.9... FG%... 46.9%... 3 PT FG%... 41.6%... FT%... 82.8%... REB... 3.5... AST/TO... 5.6/2.0
PG... T.J. Ford............ PPG... 12.1... FG%... 47.0%... 3 PT FG%... 29.4%... FT%... 88.0%... REB... 2.0... AST/TO... 6.1/2.0

SG... Maurice Evans..... PPG... 9.3.... FG%... 48.9%... 3 PT FG%... 39.6%... FT%... 69.1%... REB... 3.1
SG... Anthony Parker... PPG... 12.5... FG%... 47.7%... 3 PT FG%... 43.8%... FT%... 81.6%... REB... 4.1

SF... Hedo Turkoglu... PPG.... 19.5... FG%... 45.6%... 3 PT FG%... 40.0%... FT%... 82.9%... REB... 5.7... AST/TO... 5.0/3.0
SF... Jamario Moon..... PPG...... 8.5... FG%... 48.5%... 3 PT FG%... 32.8%... FT%... 74.1%... REB... 6.2... AST/TO... 1.2/0.7

PF... Rashard Lewis..... PPG... 18.2... FG%... 45.5%... 3 PT FG%... 40.9%... FT%... 83.9%... REB... 5.4... STL... 1.2
PF... Chris Bosh.......... PPG... 22.3... FG%... 49.4%... 3 PT FG%... 40.0%... FT%... 84.4%... REB... 8.7... BLK... 1.0

C... Dwight Howard...... PPG... 20.7... FG%... 59.9%... FT%... 59.0%... REB... 14.2... TO... 3.2... BLK... 2.2
C... Rasho Nesterovic... PPG... 7.8..... FG%... 55.0%... FT%... 75.5%... REB... 4.8.... TO... 0.9... BLK... 0.7

Key reserves:


PG... Jose Calderon......... PPG... 11.2... FG%... 51.9%... 3 PT FG%... 42.9%... FT%... 90.8%... AST/TO... 8.3/1.5
F/C... Andrea Bargnani... PPG... 10.2... FG%... 38.6%... 3 PT FG%... 34.5%... FT%... 84.0%... REB... 3.7
SG... Carlos Delfino........ PPG.... 9.0..... FG%... 39.7%... 3 PT FG%... 38.2%... FT%... 74.4%... REB... 4.4
SF... Jason Kapono.......... PPG... 7.2..... FG%... 48.8%... 3 PT FG%... 48.3%... FT%... 86.1%... REB... 1.5
PF... Kris Humphries....... PPG.... 5.7.... FG%... 48.4%... FT%... 60.5%... REB... 3.7


SG... Keith Bogans........... PPG... 8.7... FG%... 41.0%... 3 PT FG%... 36.2%... FT%... 73.6%... REB... 3.2... AST... 1.3
PG/SG... Keyon Dooling... PPG... 8.1... FG%... 46.8%... 3 PT FG%... 33.9%... FT%... 84.5%... REB... 1.4... AST... 1.9
PG... Carlos Arroyo.......... PPG... 6.9... FG%... 45.1%... 3 PT FG%... 34.5%... FT%... 85.3%... REB... 1.8... AST/TO... 3.5/1.2
SG... J.J. Redick................ PPG... 4.1... FG%... 44.4%... 3 PT FG%... 39.5%... FT%... 79.4%
PF... Pat Garrity................ PPG... 2.1... FG%... 33.8%... 3 PT FG%... 21.6%... FT%... 80.0%... REB... 1.4
C... Adonal Foyle............. PPG... 1.9... FG%... 45.8%... FT%... 47.1%... REB... 2.5

NOTE: Magic PF Brian Cook will miss the first round of the playoffs still recovering from a broken right finger.

Keys to a Magic series win: 1) Establish Howard down low on offense. 2) Perimeter players must hit from the outside to keep pressure off Howard; also Turkoglu and Lewis should look to drive toward the basket if they see an opening. 3) Magic must keep their turnovers at a reasonable rate. 4) Bench has to be strong. 5) Must be aggressive rebounding the ball. 6) DEFENSE DEFENSE... don't let the Raptors' PGs do whatever they want and don't let Bosh go off.

PREDICTION: I really respect this Raptors' team, as their assist/turnover ratio was among the best in the NBA, along with their free throw percentage and 3 point field goal percentage. Bosh being healthy really helps them also. I still like the Magic to advance; I think Hedo Turkoglu will be the X-Factor in this series and that the Raptors will have a very difficult time matching up with him and stopping him. Dwight Howard will be ready for this series and he appears to be very intense and focused judging from some of his comments. MAGIC IN SIX.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Magic Finish 52-30

Call it writers block, laziness, or whatever you want, but it hasn’t been easy for me to write or talk about the Orlando Magic. I’m not exactly sure why. I think it’s because they’re situation has bored me. I mean, the Magic have been third in the East for how long? Nobody has challenged their position, but the Magic were not good enough to challenge the Pistons or Celtics either. So the way it played out made me feel like we were standing still and just going through the motions.

Now I won’t say that I’m not “happy” with the Magic’s season. After all, we finished third in the East, won the Southeast Division, and 52 games which was the third most in franchise history. We also set a couple franchise records by winning 27 road games and making 801 3-point field goals.

And still, I feel I should be more excited than I am. I know most would say I should be thrilled for the season the Magic had, but I’m not. I said this team would win 50 games last off season, so they haven’t done anything I didn’t expect.

Here is what I think it comes down to. After watching all 82 regular season games, I think the Magic are still a player or two away from contending. The 2004 Detroit Pistons come to mind. They were a very good team, but Joe Dumars still felt they were missing something so he made a great move to land Rasheed Wallace. Of course we know how that turned out.

That’s pretty much how I feel about Orlando. We’re a really good team, and the future is bright, but I still think we’re missing something. I’ve had to watch our backcourt get abused to many times this season to honestly say that I think we can truly contend.

Now that doesn’t mean this regular season hasn’t been a successful one, because it has. This organization is defiantly going in the right direction. I just wish Otis Smith would have made a deal instead of waiting it out and doing nothing. Hopefully he’ll redeem himself this off season.

All in all, I’m still satisfied with the Magic’s regular season. While it was no where near as entertaining as watching the Western conference towards the end, it still has plenty of exciting moments and can be chalked up as a success.

Up next, the 2008 NBA playoffs…

Magic/Raptors team statistics

Here are some of the relevant offensive and defensive stats for TOR and the Magic from the season:


PPG......... ORL 104.5... TOR 100.2
FG PCT... ORL 47.4%... TOR 46.8%
FT PCT... TOR 81.2%... ORL 72.1%
3 PT FG PCT... TOR 39.2%... ORL 38.6%
3 PT FGS MADE... ORL 801 (9.8 per game)... TOR 572 (7.0 per game)
AST/TO RATIO... TOR... 23.8/11.7 (2.0/1)... ORL 20.8/14.3 (1.5/1)


OPPONENT PPG......... TOR 97.3... ORL 99.0
OPPONENT FG PCT.... ORL 44.6%... TOR 45.8%
OPPONENT FT PCT.... ORL 75.4%... TOR 77.6%
OPPONENT 3 PT FG PCT... ORL 35.8%... TOR 36.8%
REB...........ORL 42.0... TOR 40.1
STEALS..... TOR 7.0... ORL 6.3
BLOCKS.... ORL 4.1... TOR 4.1

Offensively, the Magic average more points, have a better FG percentage, and make more 3 pointers per game. The Raptors have a superior FT percentage, slightly better 3 PT percentage, and the better AST/TO ratio.

Defensively, even though TOR allows fewer points per game, and makes more steals per game, the Magic hold their opponents to a lower FG percentage, a lower FT percentage, and a lower 3 PT percentage. The Magic also outrebound the Raptors per game.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A breakdown of the Magic's 52-30 record

Here is how the Magic did in various categories recordwise this season, with last season's records in parenthesis for comparative purposes:

The Magic's W/L record: 52-30 (40-42)
Home: 25-16 (25-16)
Away: 27-14 (15-26)
vs East: 38-14 (26-26)
Home vs East: 20-6 (17-9)
Away vs East: 18-8 (9-17)
vs West: 14-16 (14-16)
Home vs West: 5-10 (8-7)
Away vs West: 9-6 (6-9)
OCT-NOV: 14-4 (12-4)
DEC: 8-7 (6-10)
JAN: 7-7 (6-8)
FEB: 8-5 (4-9)
MAR: 10-4 (6-8)
APR: 5-3 (6-3)
Games decided by 3 points or less: 6-6 (10-7)
between 4-5 pts: 1-5 (2-6)
between 6-9 pts: 11-7 (8-10)
between 10-14 pts: 11-8 (8-12)
15 pts or more: 23-4 (12-7)
Record vs teams that finished season .500 or better: 19-19 (17-25)
Record vs teams that finished under .500: 33-11 (23-17)
Home record vs teams that finished season .500 or better: 8-11 (10-11)
Home record vs teams that finished season under .500: 17-5 (15-5)
Away record vs teams that finished season .500 or better: 11-8 (7-14)
Away record vs teams that finished season under .500: 16-6 (8-12)

On an interesting note, 20 of the final 21 Magic wins this season came in double figures, 15 of those wins coming by 15 points or more. The only win during that span that didn't come in double figures was by 9 pts against the Heat. The last time the Magic beat a team by 8 or fewer points was FEB 2, against IND by 6 points.

Magic/Raptors playoff schedule

The NBA has announced the dates, times, and television coverage for all the first round playoff games. Here's what it looks like for the Magic/Raptors:

Game 1... Sunday, April 20th, 12:30 PM, TNT
Game 2... Tuesday, April 22, 7:30 PM, NBA TV
Game 3... Thursday, April 24, 7:30 PM, NBA TV
Game 4... Saturday, April 26, 3:00 PM, TNT
Game 5 (if necessary)... Monday. April 28, 7:30 PM, NBA TV
Game 6 (if necessary)... Thursday, May 1, TBA
Game 7 (if necessary)... Saturday, May 3, time TBA, TNT

Brian Schmitz notes in his basketblog today that Sun Sports may pick up the games also that are on NBA TV, since not everyone has NBA TV.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Redick, Gortat score career highs as Magic wind up regular season with win

In a meaningless game that saw both teams play their reserves for the majority of the game, the Magic came out on top over WAS 103-83. The only Magic starter to play over 20 minutes was CArroyo who played 32 mins.

Five Magic players scored in double figures, led by JRedick with his career high of 18 pts (7 of 14 FGs, 4 of 8 3 pt FGs); RLewis 15 pts (5 of 10 FGs); MGortat a career high 12 pts (5 of 11 FGs), 11 rebs; HTurkoglu 11 pts (5 of 8 FGs); KBogans 10 pts (4 of 9 FGs). Arroyo added 11 asts.

The statistical breakdown:

FGs... ORL 41 of 88 (46.6%) WAS 36 of 76 (47.4%) ORL 94 WAS 76
3 PT FGs... ORL 12 of 30 (40%) WAS 4 of 16 (25%)
FTs... ORL 9 of 16 (56.2%) WAS 7 of 13 (53.8%)
REBs... ORL 43 (16 offensive) WAS 41 (11 offensive)
AST/TO... ORL 29/7 WAS 20/12
BENCH... ORL 59 WAS 54

The Magic finish the regular season with a 52-30 record. DHoward becomes the youngest rebounding champion ever, and the Magic become the only team in NBA history to make at least five 3 pt FGs in all 82 games.

The Raptors in the first round of the playoffs are next!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sizzling second half leads Magic over Hawks

Seven players scored in double figures for the Magic (51-30, 27-14 road) as they overcame a 5 pt halftime deficit to ATL (37-44) and scored 70 pts in the second half on 28 of 42 FG shooting, including 8 of 14 on 3 pointers, winning 121-105. Both teams already had clinched their seeds, so there was liberal substitution throughout the game.

The Magic were led by MEvans, scoring his Magic career high with 27 pts (11 of 16 FGs); HTurkoglu 17 pts (7 of 9 FGs), 8 asts; DHoward 15 pts (6 of 12 FGs), 13 rebs; JNelson 14 pts (6 of 7 FGs), 5 asts; RLewis 12 pts (5 of 12 FGs), 5 rebs, 5 steals. KDooling (3 of 8 FGs along with 9 asts) and JRedick (4 of 6 FGs) each scored 11 pts to lead the reserves. Redick scored all his points in the final period. Only two Magic starters played over 30 minutes, with Evans playing 36 mins and Lewis 31 mins; the Magic starters still outscored the Hawks' starters 85-53.

Six ATL players scored in double figures, led by Marvin Williams and reserve Salim Stoudamire with 16 pts each. Only two Hawks' starters played over 30 mins.

The statistical breakdown:

FGs... ORL 47 of 82 (57.3%) ATL 41 of 88 (46.6%) ORL 105 ATL 88
3 PT FGs... ORL 11 of 23 (47.8%) ATL 6 of 18 (33.3%)
FTs... ATL 17 of 22 (77.3%) ORL 16 of 22 (72.7%)
REBs... ATL 39 (12 offensive) ORL 39 (6 offensive)
AST/TO... ORL 29/12 ATL 28/16
BENCH... ATL 52 ORL 36

With this being the final road game of the regular season, the Magic wound up going a franchise-record 27-14 away from home. The Magic are also the only team in the NBA to have more road wins than home wins. The final tuneup before the playoffs comes WED night hosting WAS.

It's official... Magic to face Raptors in the first round

With TOR's 91-75 win over MIA and PHI's controversial 91-90 loss to CLE MON night, that ensures the Raptors will finish as the sixth seed in the East and will therefore face the number three seed Magic. TOR has a record of 41-40 and PHI has a 40-41 record, with TOR holding the tiebreaker in case the two teams finish tied.

A quick recap of the three games between the Magic and TOR this season:

NOV 7... ORL 105 at TOR 96
FEB 20... at TOR 127 ORL 110
MAR 4... at ORL 102 TOR 87

Raptors' C Chris Bosh was injured and did not play in the third game. Bosh scored 40 pts against the Magic in FEB.

Dates and times for the games will be announced.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Magic reach 50 win plateau with win over Bulls

After their disheartening 1 pt loss to MIN FRI night, the Magic (50-30, 26-14 road) bounced back and for the first time since the 1995-'96 season, reached 50 wins with a 104-84 victory over CHI (31-49). The Magic led from start to finish, shooting 11 of 14 in the first qtr while leading 36-24. CHI cut the Magic lead to 3 early in the third qtr before the Magic quickly pulled away in the fourth qtr outscoring the Bulls 22-10.

Four players scored in double figures for the Magic, led by HTurkoglu with 24 pts (9 of 17 FGs), 8 asts, 3 steals but 5 TOs; DHoward 19 pts (13 of 17 FTs), 5 rebs, 4 TOs; RLewis 18 pts (6 of 11 FGs), 6 rebs; and MEvans 10 pts (4 of 7 FGs), 6 rebs. KBogans and KDooling led the Magic reserves with 8 pts each. 11 of the 12 Magic players to play scored with only JRedick going scoreless.

Reserve Andres Nocioni led CHI with 22 pts. Larry Hughes, who scored 40 pts against the Magic in FEB, and Ben Gordon, who scored 39 pts against the Magic in DEC, were held to a combined 7 pts on 3 of 10 FGs.

The statistical breakdown:

FGs... ORL 34 of 69 (49.3%) CHI 32 of 80 (40%) ORL 79 CHI 70
3 PT FGs... ORL 11 of 27 (40.7%) CHI 6 of 17 (35.3%)
FTs... ORL 25 of 34 (73.5%) CHI 14 of 19 (73.7%)
REBs... ORL 43 (8 offensive) CHI 38 (11 offensive)
AST/TO... ORL 25/16 CHI 22/18
BENCH... CHI 44 ORL 30

The Magic starters outscored the Bulls' starters 74-40.

Updating the race for the sixth seed, with TOR losing to DET on SUN, the Raptors are tied with PHI at 40-40, with WAS in 5th at 42-38.

Two more games (at ATL, WAS) remain to close out the season for the Magic this week before the playoffs begin next weekend.

The battle for sixth seed goes on...

It continues to be anyone's guess as to who the Magic may face in the first round of the playoffs. Going into today's action, just 1 1/2 games separate the 7th seed and the 5th seed in the East. WAS holds the 5th seed at 42-38, TOR the sixth seed at 40-39, and PHI the 7th seed at 40-40. If things stay that way, it will be the Magic against TOR in the first round.

Meantime, the Magic play at CHI tonight, trying to get back on track after a disheartening 1 pt home loss FRI to MIN. After beating the Bulls by 32 pts last WED, the Magic are just 3 pt favorites tonight (www.pinnaclesports.com).

Friday, April 11, 2008

Magic still looking for win number 50 as T-Wolves pull off stunner

Despite coming into the game on a 6 game losing streak and the worst road record in the NBA, MIN, who was a 12 1/2 pt underdog against the Magic, pulled off the upset as Ryan Gomes' two free throws with 2.9 seconds remaining put the T-Wolves up by one as they held on for a 102-101 victory as HTurkoglu's last second 3 point attempt missed badly. The Magic could not hold a 14 point 3rd qtr lead, and MIN scored 12 of the last 14 pts of the game.

The Magic started great, shooting a scalding 78% in the first qtr (14 of 18 FGs, 6 of 7 3 pt FGs) and 69% for the half as they held a 63-54 lead after two. In the second half, the Magic turned stone cold, as they shot only 37% (15 of 41 FGs, 3 of 15 3 pt FGs), while MIN shot 9 of 10 from the FT line and hit 5 of 9 from 3 pt range in the second half to lead them to the comeback win.

Four Magic players scored in double figures, led by HTurkoglu with 23 pts (8 of 18 FGs), 7 asts; DHoward 20 pts (8 of 13 FGs), 14 rebs but 5 TOs; RLewis 18 pts (7 of 15 FGs), 7 rebs, 3 blocks; and MEvans 17 pts (7 of 9 FGs). CArroyo led the bench with 7 pts, 4 asts.

Five players scored in double figures for MIN, led by Randy Foye with 25 pts and 6 rebs. Al Jefferson added 18 pts along with 11 rebs. Rashad McCants came off the bench to score 19 pts.

The statistical breakdown:

FGs... ORL 39 of 76 (51.3%) MIN 38 of 85 (44.7%) ORL 90 MIN 85
3 PT FGs... ORL 12 of 28 (42.9%) MIN 9 of 16 (56.2%)
FTs... MIN 17 of 20 (85%) ORL 11 of 20 (55%)
REBs... MIN 46 (12 offensive) ORL 37 (6 offensive)
AST/TO... ORL 25/13 MIN 14/12
BENCH... MIN 37 ORL 14

This was the Magic's first loss at home to a team currently under .500 since JAN 2nd, when they lost to NJ. The Magic have now lost 6 of their last 10 games.

In the race for the 6th seed in the East and the right to face the Magic in the playoffs, both WAS and PHI lost FRI night, while TOR won. WAS is in 5th at 41-38, while PHI and TOR are tied for 6th at 40-39.

Magic go for 50 wins tonight against T-Wolves

The Magic (49-29, 24-15 home) will shoot for their 50th win of the season as they host MIN (19-59, 5-33 road) tonight. The Timberwolves have the worst road record in the NBA and the third worst record overall. They are coming off a 122-90 home loss WED night against NO.

G Sebastian Telfair is questionable for tonight's game with an ankle injury, while C Mike Doleac and F Antoine Walker will not play.

The projected starting lineup for MIN:

G... Randy Foye (12.1 ppg)
G... Marko Jaric (8.2 ppg)
F... Kirk Snyder (7.0 ppg)
F... Ryan Gomes (12.5 ppg, 5.6 rebs)
C... Al Jefferson (21.1 ppg, 11.2 rebs)

Top reserves: Rashad McCants (14.7 ppg); Craig Smith (9.4 ppg); Corey Brewer (5.6 ppg)

With the trade of superstar Kevin Garnett to BOS, obviously the Timberwolves are in a rebuilding mode but have some good young talent. Magic are 12 1/2 pt favorites (www.pinnaclesports.com).

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Magic click offensively in romp over Bulls

The Magic looked to be in trouble early after falling behind 18-10 and DHoward on the bench with 2 quick fouls. Howard returned to score 16 of his game high 30 pts in the second qtr, as the Magic led at the half 62-43. The Bulls came to within single digits late in the third qtr to trail 78-70, but the Magic then outscored the Bulls 37-13 the rest of the way for a 115-83 romp over the disappointing Bulls.

Eleven of the twelve Magic players to play scored, and four players scored in double figures, led by Howard with 30 pts (12 of 15 FGs), 14 rebs; RLewis 21 pts (8 of 16 FGs), 7 rebs; HTurkoglu 12 pts (4 of 15 FGs), 8 asts, 6 rebs; and CArroyo provided a spark off the bench with 13 pts (6 of 8 FGs), 6 asts. JRedick scored 5 pts in the game's final 4 minutes. The Magic starting frontcourt outscored the Bulls' starting frontcourt 63-18.

Kirk Hinrich led Chicago with 19 pts, and Tyrus Thomas added 5 blocks.

The statistical breakdown:

FGs... ORL 45 of 89 (50.6%) CHI 34 of 83 (41%) ORL 99 CHI 72
3 PT FGs... ORL 9 of 26 (34.6%) CHI 4 of 17 (23.5%)
FTs... ORL 16 of 27 (59.3%) CHI 11 of 14 (78.6%)
REBs... ORL 53 (10 offensive) CHI 46 (6 offensive)
AST/TO... ORL 30/15 CHI 19/19
BENCH... CHI 40 ORL 37

16 of the last 17 Magic wins have been in double digits, with 11 of those wins by at least 15 pts. Magic go for 50 wins FRI night hosting MIN.

Bulls/Magic preview

The Magic (48-29, 23-15 home), coming off a miserable loss at NY, will try to get back on track against one of the league's most disappointing teams, the Bulls (30-47, 12-27 road). CHI was officially eliminated from playoff contention with their loss to the Heat TUE night 95-88, and have the lowest FG percentage in the league.

The projected starting lineup for CHI:

G... Kirk Hinrich (11.9 ppg, 6.0 asts)
G... Larry Hughes (12.6 ppg)
F... Luol Deng (17.0 ppg, 6.4 rebs)
F... Tyrus Thomas (6.2 ppg)
C... Joakim Noah (6.3 ppg, 5.6 rebs)

Top reserves: Ben Gordon (19.0 ppg); Andres Nocioni (13.4 ppg); Thabo Sefalosha (6.8 ppg); Aaron Gray (3.8 ppg)

Former Magic F Drew Gooden has missed the last several games with a strained abdominal muscle and most likely will not play tonight for the Bulls.

CHI is averaging 96.8 ppg, while allowing 99.8 ppg. The Magic average 104.2 ppg and allow 99.5 ppg.

The Magic, having clinched the number three seed in the East, are just two wins away from 50 wins. Other than that, their only goal is to stay sharp as the playoffs near, but at the same time, not to play the regulars heavy minutes, so it will be interesting to see how much playing time Coach Van Gundy gives the reserves tonight, especially after admitting he did a poor job with his rotation against the Knicks. Magic are 10 pt favorites (www.pinnaclesports.com).

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Magic news for the day

According to an article written by Tim Povtak in TUE's online Sentinel, Tony Battie is officially out for the rest of the season, including the playoffs.

"We flirted with the idea, let him crank up his workouts, but at the end of the day, it's just not in our best interest, his best interest, to play this season," Smith sad. "His shoulder is healed, but he's not 100 percent. We have to think long term. It's a matter now of getting him prepared for next season.

Center Dwight Howard left practice early after getting hit in the mouth by Marcin Gortat during practice. The cut on the inside of his mouth required six stitches.

He is expected to be ready to play in Wednesday's game against Chicago.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Magic suffer embarrassing loss to Knicks

Even though the Magic already have clinched the third seed in the East, they still want to stay sharp in their remaining games as the playoffs approach. Against the NY Knicks, losers of 17 of their previous 19 games, the Magic played maybe their worst game of the season in an ugly 100-90 loss. The Magic trailed 26-12 after one quarter, came back in the second qtr to trail by just one at the half, and trailed 73-71 early in the fourth qtr before collapsing and falling behind by as many as 14 pts.

The Magic had just four players in double figures, led by HTurkoglu with 22 pts (8 of 17 FGs), 6 asts; JNelson 19 pts (6 of 11 FGs), but just 1 ast and 4 TOs: MEvans 16 pts (6 of 15 FGs); and DHoward 13 pts (3 of 10 FTs), 15 rebs. The Magic bench scored just 14 pts, with three players scoring 4 pts. Turkoglu and Lewis combined to shoot 2 of 16 from 3 pt range.

NY had six players in double figures, led by rookie Wesley Chandler scoring a career-high 23 pts. Zach Randolph added 20 pts, 11 rebs.

The statistical breakdown:

FGs... NY 33 of 92 (35.9%) ORL 32 of 80 (40%) NY 73 ORL 73
3 PT FGs... ORL 9 of 36 (25%) NY 7 of 23 (30.4%)
FTs... NY 27 of 35 (77.1%) ORL 17 of 29 (58.6%)
REBs... NY 55 (17 offensive) ORL 52 (11 offensive)
AST/TO... NY 20/8 ORL 17/14
BENCH... NY 29 ORL 14

This was the Knicks' first win against a team currently over .500 since FEB 19th against WAS. The Magic no longer have a chance at catching the Pistons for the second seed, but can't afford any more embarrassing losses like this one as the season winds down and the playoffs approach.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Dominant fourth quarter helps lead Magic to win over Cavs

Heading into the fourth quarter down 72-69, the Magic (48-28, 25-13 road) outscored CLE 32-14 as the Cavs only shot 4 of 23 FGs in that final qtr as the Magic clinched the third seed in the East with a 101-86 victory. The Magic were able to overcome a poor offensive game from DHoward and being thoroughly outrebounded for the second game in a row.

Five players scored in double digits for the Magic, led by HTurkoglu with 23 pts (8 of 14 FGs), 5 rebs, 5 asts; RLewis 21 pts (5 of 10 FGs), 3 steals; JNelson 16 pts (7 of 12 FGs), 9 asts, 0 TOs; PGarrity off the bench with his best game of the season with 13 pts (5 of 9 FGs), and MEvans 11 pts (5 of 12 FGs). Howard scored 4 pts (1 of 8 FGs), but did grab 12 rebs.

LeBron James, struggling with back spasms, scored just 17 pts on 6 of 22 FGs. Zydrunas Ilgauskas led the Cavs with 19 pts.

The statistical breakdown:

FGs... ORL 36 of 77 (46.8%) CLE 34 of 88 (38.6%) ORL 83 CLE 73
3 PT FGs... ORL 11 of 26 (42.3%) CLE 5 of 17 (29.4%)
FTs... ORL 18 of 20 (90%) CLE 13 of 21 (61.9%)
REBs... CLE 48 (18 offensive) ORL 33 (6 offensive)
AST/TO... ORL 24/11 CLE 25/16
BENCH... ORL 26 CLE 16

Magic beat CLE in the season series 3-1, as the Cavs still have not clinched home court for the first round of the playoffs. The Magic, with their franchise-record 25 road wins, are the only NBA team with more road wins than home wins (23). The Magic will get a chance to add to their road win total, as they take on the woeful Knicks at Madison Square Garden Sunday evening.

Magic try to clinch third seed against Cavaliers today

The Magic (47-28, 24-13 road) will try to clinch the third seed in a SAT afternoon nationally televised game on ESPN at CLE (42-34, 25-12 home). Both teams have lost 4 of their last 6 games, and the Cavs are coming off a home loss to CHI 101-98 THU night, as LeBron James scored 33 pts. The Magic lead the season series 2-1.

The probable starting lineup for CLE:

G... Delonte West (7.8 ppg)
G... Devin Brown (7.3 ppg)
F... LeBron James (30.4 ppg, 8.0 rebs, 7.3 asts)
F... Ben Wallace (5.1 ppg, 8.6 rebs)
C... Zydrunas Ilgauskas (14.0 ppg, 9.4 rebs)

Top reserves: Wally Szczerbiak (11.8 ppg); Daniel Gibson (10.9 ppg); Joe Smith (10.3 ppg, 5.3 rebs); Sasha Pavlovic (7.8 ppg); Anderson Varajao (7.0 ppg, 8.5 rebs)

CLE is averaging 97.0 ppg while allowing 97.3 ppg; ORL is averaging 104.4 ppg while allowing 99.7 ppg.

After FRI night's action, WAS and PHI are tied for the 5th seed in the East at 39-37, while TOR is the 7th seed at 38-38.

JNelson should be back in the starting lineup after sitting out a few games with concussion-like symptoms after his collision with DHoward in the game against the Spurs.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Playoff positioning update

The positioning between the three teams fighting for the sixth seed and the right to face the Magic in the first round of the playoffs continues to be very tight. WED night, Gilbert Arenas' return failed to help WAS, as MIL stunned the Wizards at the buzzer 110-109; suddenly hot ATL beat TOR 127-120 in OT, and PHI had the day off. WAS, TOR, and PHI now have the same 38-37 record! The Hawks, who have won 8 of their last 10 games, now need to be mentioned as a slim possibility to finish as the sixth seed, as they are 35-40 and trail WAS, TOR, and ATL by just 3 games with seven remaining.

CLE, currently the fourth seed, is 42-33, 5 games behind the Magic for the third seed. The "Magic Number" for the Magic to clinch the third seed remains at 3.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Hornets edge Magic by a point

The Magic (47-28, 23-15 home) started off strong in the first half on their way to a 9 pt halftime advantage over the Hornets, but NO (51-22) proved why they have a legitimate chance to win the West as they came back in the second half and held on for a 98-97 win, despite Chris Paul's two missed FTs with 6 seconds remaining, as KDooling's last-second jumper for the Magic would not go. NO outrebounded the Magic 51-30, including an astounding 21-2 on the offensive boards.

The Magic had 5 players in double figures, led by HTurkoglu with 26 pts (10 of 19 FGs), 7 asts, 5 rebs, but 5 TOs; RLewis 24 pts (9 of 12 FGs); DHoward 17 pts (7 of 9 FGs), 15 rebs; MEvans 11 pts (3 of 7 FGs); and KBogans off the bench with 11 pts (4 of 10 FGs). JNelson and BCook did not play due to their injuries. CArroyo, starting on place of Nelson, was scoreless (0 for 5 FGs) in 23 mins of action, with 4 asts and 2 TOs.

NO also had 5 players in double figures. All-Star G Paul had 19 pts, 12 asts; SG Mo Peterson also scored 19 pts; All-Star F David West scored 18 pts along with 11 rebs; and sharpshooter Peja Stojakovic scored 10 pts on just 2 of 11 FGs, but his 3 pt FG with under a minute left put the Hornets ahead to stay. Paul, Stojakovic, and West combined to shoot just 14 of 46 (30.4%) from the field, including 1 of 10 3 pt FGs.

The statistical breakdown:

FGs... ORL 37 of 74 (50%) NO 35 of 86 (40.7%) ORL 87 NO 77
3 PT FGs... ORL 13 of 29 (44.8%) NO 7 of 18 (38.9%)
FTs... NO 21 of 27 (77.8%) ORL 10 of 15 (66.7%)
REBs... NO 51 (21 Offensive) ORL 30 (2 Offensive)
AST/TO... ORL 20/11 NO 18/11
BENCH... NO 20 ORL 19

The Magic continue a worrisome trend of not being able to pull out close games. The Magic have lost their last 5 games decided by 8 pts or less, and have not won a game decided by less than 8 pts since way back on FEB 2nd when they beat the 76ers by 6 pts. Magic have three days off before beginning the closing stretch of the season SAT at CLE.

Wizards lose big to Jazz; Magic clinch SE

With UT's 129-87 romp over WAS MON night, that allows the Magic to officially clinch the SE division for the first time since the 1995-'96 season. WAS is 38-36 and can finish no better than 46-36. The Magic are 47-27, and can finish no worse than 47-35.

The Magic finish up the regular season with 8 games in APR, including 7 games in 12 days from APR 5th through APR 16th. They have 4 home games and 4 away games. At home, the Magic play 2 teams currently over .500 (NO, WAS) and 2 teams under .500 (CHI, MIN). On the road, the Magic play 1 team over .500 (CLE) and 3 teams under .500 (NY, CHI, ATL).

It may be difficult for the guys to have serious focus for a few games, because after they clinch the third seed and get to 50 wins, they won't have anything to play for except pride. I still expect the Magic to finish with no worse than a 5-3 record in APR, which would give them a 52-30 final record.

There are two remaining goals for these final few weeks... 1) to clinch the third seed over CLE, which is currently 41-33 and 6 games behind the Magic. The "Magic Number" for the Magic to clinch the third seed is 3. The Magic are a distant 5 1/2 games behind second seed DET. 2) not to incur any serious injuries to any of the players. BCook will miss the rest of the regular season, but should be ready for the playoffs. He is an effective weapon off the bench when he brings energy and accurate long-range shooting.