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.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Furious Magic comeback in fourth stuns 76ers

It certainly didn't look good for the Magic, as they trailed Philadelphia 84-73 with just under ten minutes remaining in the game. They then went on an offensive explosion, outscoring the 76ers 33-16 the rest of the way to go on to win 106-100. The Magic made 10 of their final 15 field goals, including their last five three point attempts. Courtney Lee, Hedo Turkoglu, Rashard Lewis, and Marcin Gortat all played a big part in the comeback.

The Sixers led the entire first half, 32-26 at the end of one and 57-45 at the half. They held their largest lead of the game at 13 points late in the third before settling for a 80-70 lead after three, before the Magic started their big fourth quarter comeback.

Magic leading scorers

Hedo Turkoglu: 23 points (7 of 11 field goals), 7 assists, 6 rebounds
Rashard Lewis: 23 points (8 of 12 field goals)
Courtney Lee: 18 points (6 of 18 field goals)
Dwight Howard: 12 points (4 of 7 field goals), 8 rebounds, 3 blocks
Rafer Alston: 11 points (5 of 11 field goals), 5 assists

Philadelphia leading scorers

Andre Miller: 23 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists
Andre Iguodala: 22 points, 5 rebounds
Willie Green: 19 points

Overall Game Statistics

FG%: PHI 48.1% (38 of 79) ORL 47.4% (37 of 78)
3 PT FG%: PHI 55.6% (5 of 9) ORL 40.5% (15 of 37)
FT%: PHI 79.2% (19 of 24) ORL 77.3% (17 of 22)
REB: ORL 34 (6 offensive) PHI 33 (8 offensive)
AST/TO: ORL 24/14 PHI 17/13

Other game notes and stats:

-The Magic attempted 37 three point field goals and 41 two point field goals
-The 37 three point field goal attempts by the Magic tied the team record for most three point attempts in a game, set earlier this season against Sacramento
-Turkoglu and Lewis combined for 46 points on 15 of 23 shooting, including 8 of 13 on threes, 10 rebounds, 10 assists
-Howard fouled out late, and was held to 4 points, 0 rebounds in the first half
-Anthony Johnson and Marcin Gortat performed well off the bench; Johnson with 7 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds; Gortat with 6 points and 6 rebounds
-J.J Redick received a double technical for arguing with the officials in the second quarter and was ejected
-Mickael Pietrus, after hurting his shoulder against Detroit, played 13 minutes and scored 4 points
-The 76ers once held a 28-19 rebounding edge in the second half, but the Magic grabbed 15 of the final 20 rebounds
-The Magic outscored the 76ers in the fourth quarter 36-20 and 61-43 in the second half

The Magic have two days off and begin their March schedule Tuesday hosting Phoenix.

For the complete box score, click here

Pistons keep their stranglehold on Magic

If ever the Magic were going to beat the Pistons, it was going to be Friday night. The Pistons came into the game losers of eight in a row while the Magic had won 3 of 4 games since the arrival of new point guard Rafer Alston.

The Pistons made a major change in their starting lineup, putting Richard "Rip" Hamilton at shooting guard and Henry Stuckey at point guard, while Allen Iverson was inactive with a strained back. That made a huge difference for the Pistons, with Hamilton scoring 31 points as the Pistons overcame a 47-38 second quarter deficit and a 51-43 halftime deficit to the Magic by outscoring them 50-34 in the second half to beat the Magic yet again 93-85.

The Pistons led 71-65 after their big third quarter. The Magic were able to pull within one point on a couple of occasions in the fourth, but the Pistons held off the Magic and pulled away to win by eight points.

Magic leading scorers

Dwight Howard: 21 points (7 of 12 field goals), 13 rebounds
Rafer Alston: 14 points (6 of 11 field goals), 6 assists, 3 steals
Hedo Turkoglu: 13 points (4 of 12 field goals)

Detroit leading scorers

Richard Hamilton: 31 points (11 of 18 field goals), 6 assists
Rodney Stuckey: 22 points (9 of 15 field goals)
Tayshaun Prince: 17 points

Overall Game Statistics

FG%: DET 49.3% (36 of 73) ORL 47.1% (33 of 70)
3 PT FG%: DET 28.6% (2 of 7) ORL 21.1% (4 of 19)
FT%: DET 79.2% (19 of 24) ORL 68.2% (15 of 22)
REB: DET 38 (11 offensive) ORL 28 (7 offensive)
AST/TO: ORL 16/11 DET 15/15

Other game notes and stats:

-The Pistons outshot the Magic from the field, the three point line, the free throw line, and outrebounded the Magic by ten
-Hamilton and Stuckey combined for 53 points on 20 for 33 shooting
-The Pistons' starters outscored the Magic starters 84-69
-The Magic shot 29 of 51 from on two point shots, but just 4 of 19 on threes
-Other than Rasheed Wallace, the four other Pistons' starters combined to shoot 31 of 55
-Wallace and Antonio McDyess combined for 23 rebounds
-After combining for 50 points Wednesday, Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis combined for just 23 points on 8 of 22 shooting
-Mickael Pietrus returned from his sprained wrist, but scored just 6 points in 30 minutes
-The Magic used a nine-man rotation, with Redick, Lue, and Richardson not seeing any action

The Magic travel to Philadelphia for a Saturday night game.

For the complete box score, click here

Friday, February 27, 2009

Magic host struggling Pistons tonight

Detroit (27-29), losers of eight games in a row, will try to avoid their first nine-game losing streak since a 13 game losing streak at the end of the 1993-'94 season as they play the Magic (42-15) Friday night in Orlando in a nationally televised affair on ESPN. The Pistons are coming off a 90-87 loss at New Orleans Wednesday.

Allen Iverson's availability is in question, as he played only eight minutes against the Hornets before having to leave the game because of a sprained back.

The Pistons are 4-12 since having Richard "Rip" Hamilton coming off the bench and Rodney Stuckey starting at shooting guard.

The Pistons have won 7 of their last 9 regular season games against the Magic, including 1-0 this season, and have dominated the Magic in the playoffs the last two years.

No line out for the game yet, due to the uncertainty of Iverson's status.

For the complete game preview from Yahoo! Sports, click here

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Magic hold off furious Knicks' second half comeback

The Knicks started off fast, going ahead of the Magic 9-4, but then proceeded to make just 3 of their next 22 shots, as the Magic held a 25-15 lead after one. The Magic attained their largest lead of the game at 45-28 in the second, and had a comfortable 57-43 halftime lead. The Magic were able to maintain a double digit lead in the third quarter, and led 81-71 going into the fourth. The Magic had a 106-97 lead with 90 seconds remaining, before the Knicks hit a flurry of buckets to cut the Magic lead to 109-107 and 111-109; fortunately, the Magic were able to make most of their free throws late and held on for a 114-109 win.

Hedo Turkoglu scored a season-high 33 points and Dwight Howard dominated with a 24 point, 21 rebound game.

Magic leading scorers

Hedo Turkoglu: 33 points (11 of 17 field goals)
Dwight Howard: 24 points (8 of 15 field goals), 21 rebounds, 4 blocks
Rashard Lewis: 17 points (6 of 17 field goals), 6 rebounds
Courtney Lee: 15 points (6 of 9 field goals), 6 rebounds
Rafer Alston: 15 points (4 of 9 field goals), 4 steals

New York leading scorers

Nate Robinson (bench): 32 points (11 of 26 field goals)
Wilson Chandler: 27 points, 5 rebounds
Al Harrington: 26 points, 7 rebounds

Overall Game Statistics:

FG%: ORL 51.3% (39 of 76) NYK 41.4% (41 of 99)
3 PT FG%: NYK 44.8% (13 of 29) ORL 30.4% (7 of 23)
FT%: ORL 76.3% (29 of 38) NYK 73.7% (14 of 19)
REB: ORL 46 (8 offensive) NYK 42 (15 offensive)
AST/TO: NYK 21/11 ORL 15/14

Other game notes and stats:

-The Magic starters outscored the Knicks' starters 104-63
-The Knicks outscored the Magic from the field 95-85
-The Magic outscored the Knicks from the free throw line 29-14 and had twice as many attempts (38-19)
-The Magic starting frontline outscored the Knicks' starting frontline 74-36, and outrebounded them 31-17
-Turkoglu and Lewis combined for 50 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 assists
-Harrington and Chandler combined to shoot 21 of 39 for the Knicks; the rest of the Knicks' starters shot a combined 4 of 20
-The Magic used a nine-man rotation, with Tony Battie and J.J. Redick leading the reserves with 4 points each
-The Magic allowed 66 second half points to the Knicks, 38 in the fourth
-Howard had 12 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 blocks in the first quarter
-Howard made 8 of his 9 free throws

The Magic host the struggling Pistons on Friday evening.

For the complete box score, click here

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hot-shooting Bulls torch Magic

Chicago came out on fire, hitting 8 of their first 9 shots, and stayed hot the rest of the game, outshooting the Magic 56.5% to 44.9%, as the Magic had their worst effort of the year defensively in a 120-102 loss to the new-look Bulls, as new acquisitions Tim Thomas, John Salmons, and Brad Miller combined for 37 points off the Bulls bench.

The Magic had only two leads in this game, at 21-20 and 23-22. The Bulls led 63-54 at halftime, but the Magic made a run late in the third quarter, cutting the Bulls' lead to 83-82. The Bulls scored the last four points in the quarter to lead 87-82 going into the fourth, where they put the game away by outscoring the Magic 33-20.

Magic leading scorers

Dwight Howard: 26 points (10 of 18 field goals), 12 rebounds
Hedo Turkoglu: 16 points (6 of 14 field goals)
Courtney Lee: 14 points (6 of 9 field goals)

Chicago leading scorers

Derrick Rose: 22 points, 5 assists
Ben Gordon: 20 points, 5 rebounds
Tim Thomas (bench): 17 points

Overall Game Statistics

FG%: CHI 56.5% (48 of 85) ORL 44.9% (40 of 89)
3 PT FG%: CHI 36.4% (4 of 11) ORL 34.6% (9 of 26)
FT%: CHI 90.9% (20 of 22) ORL 72.2% (13 of 18)
REB: CHI 44 (9 offensive) ORL 38 (11 offensive)
AST/TO: CHI 25/11 ORL 18/15

Other game notes and stats:

-The Bulls outshot the Magic by nearly 12 percentage points from the field, 18 percentage points from the free throw line, outrebounded the Magic by 6, had 7 more assists and 4 fewer turnovers than the Magic
-Mickael Pietrus sat out his second straight game with a sprained wrist, as Courtney Lee started at shooting guard
-Rafer Alston scored 10 points, but shot just 4 of 12 and had a 5/4 assist/turnover ratio
-Seven Magic players finished in double figures, with four players scoring ten points each
-Anthony Johnson and J.J. Redick led the reserves with 10 points each
-Seven Bulls' players scored in double figures also
-Four of the Bulls' starters shot at least 55% from the field
-The Magic starting frontline outscored the Bulls' starting frontline 52-35
-The Bulls' starting guards outscored the Magic starting guards 42-24
-Rashard Lewis and Alston combined to shoot 7 of 24 from the field
-Lewis scored all ten of his points in the first quarter

The Magic will need to regroup in time for Wednesday night's game at the Knicks.

For the complete box score, click here

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Magic travel to Chicago to take on new-look Bulls tonight

The Magic (41-14) will look to extend their winning streak to three games since they obtained point guard Rafer Alston from Houston last week as they take on the Bulls (25-31) in Chicago tonight. The Bulls are 1 1/2 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the East, and are coming off a 98-91 loss to the Pacers Sunday.

The Bulls were big players at the trade deadline last week, obtaining C Brad Miller, G/F John Salmons, and F Tim Thomas.

The Magic have won six games in a row against the Bulls, and are 3 point favorites tonight.

For the complete game preview from Yahoo! Sports, click here

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Magic overcome career night from Wade to romp over Heat

Seven Orlando Magic players scored in double figures, led by Dwight Howard's 32 points and 17 rebounds, which was well than more enough to overcome Dwyane Wade's career-high 50 points, as the Magic led from start to finish in a 122-99 rout over Miami. Rafer Alston made his first start with the Magic and had another successful game with 12 points and nine assists.

The Magic started out quickly, scoring 39 first quarter points to lead 39-24 after one and had their largest lead of the game at 62-37 in the second quarter before going into the half with a 64-46 lead. The Heat were able to cut their deficit to as little as 11 points at 72-61 in the third, but could get no closer as the Magic led 91-72 going into the fourth, and cruised the rest of the way.

Magic leading scorers

Dwight Howard: 32 points (11 of 14 field goals), 17 rebounds
Hedo Turkoglu: 20 points (6 of 9 field goals), 9 rebounds, 6 assists, 6 turnovers
Rashard Lewis: 18 points (6 of 10 field goals), 7 rebounds
Courtney Lee: 14 points (4 of 7 three point field goals)

Miami leading scorers

Dwyane Wade: 50 points (17 of 30 field goals), 5 rebounds, 5 assists
Michael Beasley: 14 points

Overall Game Statistics

FG%: ORL 54.7% (41 of 75) MIA 41.6% (37 of 89)
3 PT FG%: ORL 53.1% (17 of 32) MIA 28.6% (6 of 21)
FT%: MIA 95% (19 of 20) ORL 76.7% (23 of 30)
REB: ORL 53 (10 offensive) MIA 28 (7 offensive)
AST/TO: ORL 22/17 MIA 14/5

Other game notes and stats:

-Mickael Pietrus was not active for the game due to his sore wrist; Courtney Lee started at shooting guard once again
-Anthony Johnson with 12 points and J.J. Redick with 10 points led the Magic reserves
-The Magic starting frontline dominated the Heat starting frontline 70-13, and outrebounded them 33-11
-Even with Wade's 50 points, the Magic starters outscored the Heat starters 96-65
-Other than Wade, the four other Miami starters combined to score 15 points on 6 for 25 shooting
-Wade made 17 of Miami's 37 field goals
-Alston had 7 of his assists in the first quarter, and now has an outstanding 17/5 assist/turnover ratio in his two games with the Magic
-Lewis and Turkoglu combined for 38 points, 16 rebounds, and 8 assists

The Magic travel to Chicago Tuesday to play the Bulls.

For the complete box score, click here

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Alston makes successful debut in Magic win over Charlotte

Rafer Alston was cleared to make his Orlando Magic debut against the Bobcats Friday night, and made an immediate difference. Even though he shot just 1 of 9 for three points, he had a terrific 8/1 assist/turnover ratio and added three steals on defense, as the Magic led by as many as 22 points in the third quarter and went on to a 92-80 victory.

Magic leading scorers

Hedo Turkoglu: 24 points (7 of 13 field goals), 7 rebounds
Rashard Lewis: 18 points (5 of 9 three point field goals), 6 rebounds, 3 blocked shots
Dwight Howard: 13 points (5 of 8 field goals), 16 rebounds, 7 turnovers, 6 blocked shots

Charlotte leading scorers

Raymond Felton: 16 points, 5 assists
Boris Diaw: 15 points, 8 rebounds
Emeka Okafor: 13 points, 11 rebounds

Overall Game Statistics

FG%: ORL 42.5% (31 of 73) CHA 37.5% (30 of 80)
3 PT FG%: CHA 38.5% (5 of 13) ORL 32.4% (11 of 34)
FT%: ORL 79.2% (19 of 24) CHA 68.2% (15 of 22)
REB: CHA 45 (15 offensive) ORL 42 (9 offensive)
AST/TO: ORL 20/16 CHA 14/16

Other game notes and stats:

-Courtney Lee started at shooting guard, with Mickael Pietrus coming off the bench
-Pietrus hurt his wrist late in the game, but X-Rays proved negative
-The Magic starting frontline outscored the Bobcats' starting frontline 55-36
-Lewis and Turkoglu combined for 42 points on 8 of 17 three point shooting along with 13 rebounds
-The five players who played off the Bobcats' bench combined to shoot 7 of 24 from the field
-The Magic used a ten-man rotation with Tyronn Lue and Jeremy Richardson not seeing action
-Marcin Gortat led the reserves with 8 points and 9 rebounds in 13 minutes
-Alston and J.J. Redick combined to shoot 1 for 15 off the Magic bench
-Redick had a career-high three steals
-The Magic attempted 21 three pointers in the first half, making eight

The Magic next play Sunday evening in a nationally televised home game against Miami.

For the complete box score, click here

Thursday, February 19, 2009

It's official... Magic trade for Houston point guard Rafer Alston

Magic trade Brian Cook for Rockets' Rafer Alston

Brian Schmitz
Sentinel Staff Writer
6:26 PM EST, February 19, 2009

Looking for a point guard who can help them shake their slump and turn them into a legitimate playoff threat, the Orlando Magic have acquired Houston Rockets point guard Rafer Alston.

It's a three-way deal with the Memphis Grizzlies, as the other team sends Magic power forward Brian Cook and Grizzlies point guard Kyle Lowry to Houston, with the Grizzlies landing the Magic's 2009-2010 first-round pick.

To make the salaries work, the Magic sent center Adonal Foyle and Mike Wilks to Memphis.

The Magic's problems at the spot since the loss of Jameer Nelson to a shoulder injury two weeks ago have been apparent.

Alston is an upgrade over Anthony Johnson and Tyronn Lue, whom the Magic acquired from the Milwaukee Bucks recently.

Alston, 6-2, 175, is 32 and in his 11th season.

He has averaged 10.2 points and 4.5 assists for his career. This season with the Rockets, he is averaging 11.5 points, 5.4 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game.

In addition to Brian Schmitz's article, let me also point out that Alston has 24 assists in his last two games, with a brilliant 24/3 assist/turnover ratio. In his last five games, he is shooting a solid 12 of 26 from three point range. I would say that's better than anybody the Magic have as point guard right now, wouldn't you?

With this trade, GM Otis Smith has shown he hasn't given up on the season, and he's provided the Magic with a solid backup at PG when Jameer Nelson returns next season.

For a further statistical and financial analysis of the trade, check out this very informative post from Third Quarter Collapse

Rumor: Rafer Alston to Magic for Brian Cook

Magic give up: Brian Cook, First Round Pick

Get Rafer Alston who is expected to become the starter.

Memphis somehow involved as well.

The Orlando Magic are on the verge of acquiring one more point guard -- Houston's Rafer Alston -- to fill the void created by Jameer Nelson's potentially season-ending shoulder injury.

NBA front-office sources told ESPN.com that Orlando, Houston and Memphis have reached agreement on a three-way trade that was submitted before the league's 3 p.m. ET trade-deadline buzzer sounded Thursday.

After acquiring Tyronn Lue from Milwaukee earlier this month as its first Nelson fill-in, Orlando has managed to land Alston by agreeing to surrender a first-round pick to the Grizzlies.

The Rockets are expected to receive Grizzlies guard Kyle Lowry, Orlando forward Brian Cook and perhaps two other minimum-salaried players to make the finances work.

The deal is expected to be announced later Thursday after receiving formal league approval. Deals can be approved after the deadline as long as they were submitted to the league office before 3 p.m.

Chris Paul leads Hornets to easy win over flat Magic

Coming off Tuesday night's emotional overtime victory against Charlotte, the Magic had nothing left as the Hornets led from beginning to end in an old-fashioned whipping 117-85 over the Magic, as Chris Paul scored 26 first-half points on his way to a game-high 36 points.

The Hornets led 35-20 after one, and upped their lead to 41-21 in the second before settling for a 56-43 halftime lead. The Magic had a glimmer of hope in the third quarter as they cut their deficit to 58-50. That was as close as they would get, though, as the Hornets outscored the Magic 28-12 the rest of the way to lead 86-62 going into the fourth. The reserves from both teams played heavy minutes in the last quarter as the Hornets continued to build on their already big lead.

Dwight Howard saw his streak of 18 double-doubles in a row come to an end, as he had just 8 rebounds. The Hornets elected to foul Howard as much as they could, and as a result, Howard attempted just four field goals and 15 free throws.

Magic leading scorers

Rashard Lewis: 17 points (6 of 14 field goals), 8 assists, 5 rebounds
J.J. Redick (bench): 14 points (4 of 8 three point field goals)
Dwight Howard: 12 points (2 of 4 field goals), 8 rebounds

New Orleans leading scorers

Chris Paul: 36 points, 10 assists, 6 rebounds
Rasual Butler: 15 points, 8 rebounds
David West: 14 points

Overall Game Stats:

FG%: NO 58.2% (46 of 79) ORL 37.1% (26 of 70)
3 PT FG%: NO 50% (8 of 16) ORL 39.4% (13 of 33)
FT%: NO 60.7% (17 of 28) ORL 55.6% (20 of 36)
REB: NO 46 (7 offensive) ORL 35 (7 assists)
AST/TO: NO 23/7 ORL 17/14

Other game notes and stats:

-The Magic starters were outscored by the Hornets' starters 77-46
-The Hornets' starting guards, Paul and Butler, outscored the Magic starting guards, Johnson and Pietrus, 51-10
-Six Hornets scored in double figures as all 12 Hornets scored
-11 of the 12 Magic players scored; only Marcin Gortat failed to score for the Magic
-Johnson and Tyronn Lue had 3 assists between them
-Lewis and Turkoglu combined to shoot just 8 of 24 for 24 points
-Turkoglu is now 5 for 23 shooting the last two games
-The Magic started out 5 of 25 from the field
-The Magic made just 9 of their final 23 free throw attempts
-The Magic starting frontline of Howard, Lewis, and Turkoglu combined to score just 36 points

For the complete box score, click here

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Career game from Howard, clutch three from Redick help Magic overcome Bobcats in OT

Dwight Howard scored a career-high 45 points, along with 19 rebounds and 8 blocks, as J.J. Redick hit the game-tying three with eight seconds remaining in regulation as the Magic downed Charlotte 107-102 in OT. The Magic were also helped by a 20 point margin over the Bobcats at the free throw line.

The Magic led 25-21 after one quarter, only to see the Bobcats take control in the second to lead at the half 50-43. The Bobcats continued to lead going into the fourth 74-68, before the Magic finally took the lead 90-89 late in the fourth before the Bobcats scored six of the next eight points to go up three before Redick tied it late.

Charlotte scored the first two points of the OT before the Magic took control and outscored the Bobcats 12-7 in the OT for the final five point margin of victory.

Magic leading scorers

Dwight Howard: 45 points (16 of 23 field goals), 19 rebounds, 8 blocks
Rashard Lewis: 17 points (5 of 14 field goals), 6 rebounds
Hedo Turkoglu: 13 points (3 of 13 field goals), 7 assists, 5 rebounds

Charlotte leading scorers

Raymond Felton: 22 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists
Emeka Okafor: 14 points, 9 rebounds
Boris Diaw: 14 points, 7 rebounds

Overall Game Stats:

FG%: CHA 46.3% (44 of 95) ORL 43.8% (35 of 80)
3 PT FG%: ORL 37.5% (9 of 24) CHA 35.3% (6 of 17)
FT%: ORL 75.7% (28 of 37) CHA 47.1% (8 of 17)
REB: CHA 51 (17 offensive) ORL 49 (13 offensive)
AST/TO: CHA 21/14 ORL 21/15

Other game notes and stats:

-Howard outscored the other four Magic starters combined 45-38 and outrebounded them 19-18
-The other four Magic starters combined to shoot 11 of 37
-Turkoglu and Lewis combined for 30 points but shot a combined 8 of 27
-The Magic starting frontline outscored the Bobcats' starting frontline 75-36 and outrebounded them 30-20
-The Bobcats starting guards, Diaw and Bell, outscored the Magic starting guards, Johnson and Pietrus, 35-8
-The Bobcats outscored the Magic from the field 94-79
-The Magic outscored the Bobcats 28-8 from the free throw line and had more than twice as many attempts 37-17
-The Magic turned the ball over just three times in the second half and OT after 12 first half turnovers
-The Magic used a ten-man rotation with Redick leading the reserves with 10 points on 3 of 5 shooting
-Pietrus attempted six field goals, with five of those three point attempts

The Magic are now 39-13 as they travel to New Orleans for Wednesday night's game.

For the complete box score, click here

After five-day break, Magic back in action against Charlotte

After their worst offensive performance in three years, scoring just 73 points in last Wednesday's home loss to Denver, the Magic (38-13) return from the All-Star Break to take on Charlotte (21-31) in Orlando Tuesday night.

The Bobcats are coming off a 101-89 win against Washington last Wednesday as D.J. Augustin scored 24 points to lead five players in double figures.

Newcomer Vladimir Radmanovic has been impressive, averaging 17 points in two games since he was acquired from the Lakers for the disappointing Adam Morrison.

Guard Raja Bell and forward Gerald Wallace are both questionable for tonight's game.

The Magic are 7-1 lifetime at home against the Bobcats.

For the complete game preview from Yahoo! Sports, click here

Monday, February 16, 2009

Howard has decent All-Star game despite West romp over East

Due to a significant size advantage, the West All-Stars easily beat the East All-Stars 146-119.

The Magic's Dwight Howard finished with 13 points on 5 of 11 shooting and 3 of 5 free throws. He led all rebounders with nine, and also had the most blocked shots with three. Howard even attempted two three point shots, just missing on one, and connected on a long jumper with one of his feet on the three point line.

Magic forward Rashard Lewis, who guarded Shaquille O'Neal some of the time due to the East's lack of size, finished with 8 points on 3 of 6 shooting, including 1 of 4 on three point attempts. Lewis also grabbed six boards.

For the complete box score, click here

For the complete game summary from Yahoo! Sports, click here

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Howard, Lewis both finish second in All-Star Saturday Night events

The Knicks' Nate Robinson is the new slam-dunk champion, while Miami's Daequan Cook is the new three point shootout champion.

For the complete recap of the three point shootout, click here

For the complete recap of the slam-dunk contest, click here

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Magic's offensive woes without Jameer Nelson

The Magic, in the four games since Jameer Nelson's injury, are 2-2. The Magic have scored 125, 102, 101, and 73 points in those games. Not counting the game against the Clippers, who weren't remotely interested in playing any defense, the Magic are averaging just 92 ppg in the last three games on 41% shooting, and 31.3% three point shooting. Compare that to their season average of 102.2 ppg on 46% shooting and 39.6% three point shooting. The Magic are averaging ten fewer points, shooting five percentage points worse from the field and eight percentage points worse from three point range in their last three games.

Let's take a look at how some individual Magic players have done the last three games, and compare that to their season averages in parenthesis:

Anthony Johnson... PPG: 6.0 (4.8); FG%: 35.3% (39.1%); 3 PT FG%: 14.3% (40.5%); AST/TO: 7/7 (133/48)
Mickael Pietrus...... PPG: 9.7 (11.9); FG%: 35.7% (45.8%); 3 PT FG%: 42.1% (37.0%); AST/TO: 5/5 (33/38)
Dwight Howard...... PPG: 22.3 (20.5); FG%: 55.2% (56.4%); AST/TO: 1/11 (64/141)
Rashard Lewis........ PPG: 14.0 (18.5); FG%: 35% (44.2%); 3 PT FG: 39.1% (41.5%); AST/TO: 5/9 (136/108)
Hedo Turkoglu....... PPG: 15.3 (17.1); FG%: 36.8% (40.1%); 3 PT FG%: 20% (36.2%); AST/TO: 24/13 (246/136)
Courtney Lee...........PPG: 6.7 (7.1); FG%: 42.1% (46.4%); 3 PT FG%: 16.7% (42.1%); AST/TO: 3/4 (53/41)
J.J. Redick................PPG: 8.0 (5.8); FG%: 35.7% (42%); 3 PT FG%: 30% (40.2%); AST/TO: 2/2 (37/31)

Some observations:

-In the last three games, Lewis, Pietrus, and Turkoglu are well off their season averages
-Howard is nearly two points above his season average the last three games
-Redick and Johnson are also above their season averages, Johnson because he is playing more minutes and Redick thanks to a 17 pt effort against Indiana
-All the Magic players have shot worse their last three games than their season average, with Lewis and Pietrus having the largest difference
-Only Pietrus has a higher shooting percentage from three point range than his season average the last three games
-Howard may be scoring more, but his AST/TO ratio is a disaster the last three games at 1/11
-Lewis and Johnson's AST/TO ratios are considerably worse than their season average the last three games
-Turkoglu is doing a great job dishing the ball, but that's taking away from his scoring and shooting percentages
-Subtracting Howard, the Magic have shot a dismal 38% from the field their last three games

I know three games is a rather small sample, but the Magic have been consistent in their mediocrity the last three games without Nelson, who they miss big-time.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bad shooting, turnovers, doom Magic against Nuggets

The Magic had no answers for Denver's ferocious, scrambling defense which forced the Magic to shoot 30.4% and caused the Magic to commit 24 turnovers in a low-scoring, painful to watch 82-73 loss.

The Magic took their only lead of the game at 2-0, then Denver took control and led 24-17 after one and 46-29 at the half, the Magic's lowest scoring half of the year. Denver's largest lead came in the third at 51-31 before the Magic started connecting on a few threes and cut the Nuggets lead to 63-51 at the end of three. The Magic made a run late in the fourth, as they had a chance to cut the Nuggets lead to two points with under a minute left, but missed two good looks on three point attempts as the Nuggets went on to a 82-73 win, their first win in Orlando since March of 1992.

Magic leading scorers

Dwight Howard: 16 points (4 of 7 field goals), 15 rebounds, 6 turnovers
Rashard Lewis: 12 points (4 of 13 field goals), 5 rebounds, 5 turnovers
Hedo Turkoglu: 11 points (2 of 12 field goals), 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 turnovers
Courtney Lee (bench): 10 points (3 of 7 field goals)

Denver leading scorers

Carmelo Anthony: 29 points, 8 rebounds
Kenyon Martin: 13 points
Nene: 12 points

Overall game stats:

FG%: DEN 40.9% (27 of 66) ORL 30.4% (21 of 69)
3 PT FG%: DEN 33.3% (5 of 15) ORL 29.0% (9 of 31)
FT%: DEN 82.1% (23 of 28) ORL 75.9% (22 of 29)
REB: ORL 42 (11 offensive) DEN 38 (3 offensive)
AST/TO: DEN 13/17 ORL 12/24

Other game notes and stats:

-The Magic were outshot from the field, the three point line, the free throw line, and had more turnovers than the Nuggets
-The Magic shot 10 of 34 in the first half, 11 of 35 in the second half
-The Magic scored just 12 second quarter points on 3 of 18 shooting
-The Magic scored 29 first half points and committed 15 turnovers
-The Magic shot 7 of 17 on three point attempts in the second half to help them get back in the game
-The Magic starters were outscored by the Nuggets' starters 65-52
-Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups combined to score 40 points on 11 of 40 shooting, but Anthony went 15 for 18 from the free throw line
-Anthony Johnson and Mickael Pietrus combined to score 13 points on 4 of 17 shooting
-Other than Howard, the Magic starters shot just 10 of 42
-Turkoglu, Lewis, and Howard combined to commit 16 turnovers
-New Magic reserve PG Tyronn Lue scored 5 points, but was just 1 of 5 from three point range

The Magic lose ground on both Boston and Cleveland, who won Tuesday night.

The Magic have five days off for the All-Star Break before they get back into action next Tuesday night.

For the complete box score from Yahoo! Sports, click here

Magic look to continue home dominance against Denver

The Magic come into tonight's game against Denver with a 15 game home winning streak against them, not having lost to the Nuggets in Orlando since March of 1992.

Denver (35-17) has won 8 of their last 10 games and is coming off a 99-82 win at Miami Tuesday, with Chauncey Billups scoring 23 points.

The Magic beat the Nuggets in Denver last month 106-88, but Carmelo Anthony was unavailable for that game recovering from a broken hand; he will play tonight.

The Magic's Rashard Lewis has been struggling in his last five games, averaging 12.8 ppg on 37.3% shooting, including 37.5% on three point attempts, and 66.7% free throw shooting, all well below his season averages.

The Magic, 20-5 at home, are 8 1/2 point favorites over the Nuggets.

For the complete game preview from Yahoo! Sports, click here

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Howard's big game leads Magic past Nets

Playing without Vince Carter, out with a hyperextended elbow, the Nets only had the lead once in the game, and that was at 8-7. The Magic outscored the Nets 25-10 after that to lead 32-18 after one. The Magic increased the lead to 54-35 in the second quarter, before settling for a 59-45 halftime lead. The Magic's shooting cooled off in the second half, but they still owned a 79-65 lead after three. The Nets attempted to make the game close in the fourth quarter, as they pulled within 9 points with under four minutes remaining, but the Magic, led by Dwight Howard's 30 points and 16 rebounds, pulled away for a 101-84 victory.

Magic leading scorers

Dwight Howard: 30 points (9 of 13 field goals, 12 of 18 free throws), 16 rebounds
Mickael Pietrus: 17 points (6 of 10 field goals, 4 of 5 three point field goals)
Hedo Turkoglu: 15 points (6 of 10 field goals), 8 assists, 5 rebounds
Rashard Lewis: 14 points (4 of 12 field goals)

New Jersey leading scorers

Devin Harris: 28 points, 12 assists
Brook Lopez: 19 points, 12 rebounds

Overall game stats:

FG%: ORL 47.9% (35 of 73) NJ 39.5% (34 of 86)
3 PT FG%: NJ 35.7% (5 of 14) ORL 30% (6 of 20)
FT%: ORL 67.6% (25 of 37) NJ 64.7% (11 of 17)
REB: ORL 45 (11 offensive) NJ 39 (13 offensive)
AST/TO: NJ 19/12 ORL 17/13

Other game notes and stats:

-Former Magic guard Keyon Dooling played his first game against the Magic, going scoreless on 0 for 7 shooting in 32 minutes off the bench; he did have 3 assists and 2 rebounds
-Harris and Dooling combined to shoot just 9 of 32
-Starting Magic PG Anthony Johnson chipped in with 6 points, 8 rebounds, along with a 4/1 assist/turnover ratio
-New Magic PG Tyronn Lue saw his first action with the Magic, making two free throws in three minutes
-The Magic starting frontline outscored the Nets' starting frontline 59-30 and outrebounded them 25-18
-The Magic attempted more than twice as many free throws (37) as the Nets (17)
-The Magic used a ten-man rotation, with Tony Battie leading the reserves with 6 points and 6 rebounds
-Brian Cook and Jeremy Richardson did not see action
-The Magic made 17 of their first 23 shots, then made only 18 of their remaining 50 shots
-Pietrus and Lewis were a combined 6 of 10 from the three point line; the rest of the Magic were a collective 0 for 10.

The Magic now trail Boston by 2 1/2 games, and Cleveland by 1 1/2 games; both teams lost at home Sunday.

For the complete box score, click here

Friday, February 06, 2009

Granger's 33 points leads Pacers over Magic

In addition to the 33 points from Danny Granger, five other Indiana Pacers scored in double figures to overcome a 20/20 game from Dwight Howard and beat the Magic 107-102.

The Magic trailed through most of the game; their last lead came at 20-19 in the first quarter, with the Pacers holding a 32-29 lead after one, and 61-51 at the half. The Magic started fast in the third quarter, going on a 12-2 run to tie the game at 63 before the Pacers went on a huge 17-2 run to lead 80-65 late in the third before the Magic scored the last nine points of the quarter to trail 80-74 going into the fourth. The Magic managed to tie the game at 87 in the fourth, but never could retake the lead, as the Pacers made their free throws for the five point final margin.

Magic leading scorers

Dwight Howard: 21 points (8 of 18 field goals, 5 of 12 free throws), 20 rebounds
Hedo Turkoglu: 20 points (6 of 16 field goals), 11 assists, 6 rebounds
J.J. Redick (bench): 17 points (4 of 7 field goals)
Rashard Lewis: 16 points (6 of 15 field goals)

Indiana leading scorers

Danny Granger: 33 points, 5 rebounds
T.J. Ford: 21 points, 5 assists
Troy Murphy: 20 points, 8 rebounds

Overall Game Stats:

FG%: ORL 43.8% (35 of 80) IND 43.8% (35 of 80)
3 PT FG%: IND 37.5% (9 of 24) ORL 34.4% (11 of 32)
FT%: IND 90.3% (28 of 31) ORL 63.6% (21 of 33)
REB: ORL 50 (10 offensive) IND 38 (4 offensive)
AST/TO: ORL 19/16 IND 18/10

Other game notes and stats:

-Despite the 20/20 game, Howard shot under 50% from the field and free throw line, and had seven of his shots blocked by the Pacers
-The Magic starting guards, Anthony Johnson and Mickael Pietrus, combined to make just three field goals the whole game and were outscored 31-11 by the Pacers' starting guards
-Pietrus attempted just six shots in 30 minutes, five of them three pointers
-After Turkoglu's 11 assists, Johnson was second with 3 assists
-The Magic starters were outscored by the Pacers' starters 95-68 and combined to shoot just 23 of 59
-11 of the 15 field goal attempts by Lewis were three pointers
-The Magic reserves combined to shoot 12 of 21
-Turkoglu and Redick combined to make 13 of 14 free throws; the rest of the team went 8 of 19 from the line
-The Magic outscored the Pacers 81-79 from the field but were outscored 28-21 at the free throw line
-Tony Battie made his first three point field goal of the season at the end of the first half

New backup PG Tyronn Lue was unavailable for this game, but will be available for Sunday's home game against New Jersey.

For the complete box score, click here

Thursday, February 05, 2009

A closer look at Lue's season numbers

So what kind of numbers has Tyronn Lue, the Magic's new backup PG, put up this season with Milwaukee?

MIN... 13.1
PPG... 4.7
FG%... 45.4%
3 PT FG%... 46.7%
FT%... 75.0
AST/TO... 1.5/0.7

Lue has a high game this season of 14 points (coincidentally, against the Magic on Nov. 24th), and also has games of 13 and 10 points. His high mark for assists in a game this season is 5.

Compare those numbers to current Magic PG Anthony Johnson. Even with Johnson's great effort against the Clippers, he is averaging 4.8 PPG on 39.4% shooting and 43.1% 3 point shooting along with a 2.6/0.9 assist/turnover ratio in 18.5 minutes a game. Comparing the two, Lue is the better shooter, and has the better per-minute numbers, though Johnson is more adept at passing the ball.

Obviously, Lue's numbers are nothing to get excited about, but they aren't exactly terrible, either.

The Magic and GM Otis Smith got what they felt they needed... a serviceable backup PG who can shoot the three effectively. Lue also has an expiring contract, like Keith Bogans did, so the Magic don't lose any of their flexibility there.

Sure, KBo was a hard worker and a good defender, but he completely lost his shooting touch and fell completely out of the Magic's rotation. At least the Magic have someone who can help them more who will play every night.

Best wishes to Bogans, as he will receive much more playing time in Milwaukee with Redd being out for the year.

I'm in complete disagreement with the "gloom and doom" people who think this trade will hurt the Magic.

And the News Gets Worse!

Magic trade hard working veteran Bogans for nonathletic, slow, short Tyronn Lue. Lue was last here in Orlando as a starter in 2003-04 leading the Magic to a memorable 20-62 record by appearing in 76 games (69 as a starter.)

Nelson's injury has now moved from tradegy to farce. And Otis Smith has now moved from doing a good job to a horrible one in a mere 72 hours. What a disaster.


I googled our site, and here is what I had to say about Lue September 19, 2006:

(Let me take a moment to comment on Tyronn Lue. I blame him personally for the Magic falling apart 3 years ago. He sucks. Slow, un-athletic and no discernable playmaking skills absolutely killed the Magic and tore the heart out of T-Mac. Every time I see Lue play I think of how awful a GM John Gabriel was. And yes, he looks like he belongs in the WNBA.)
Fuck You Otis.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Life without Jameer Nelson begins with a Magic pounding of the Clippers

The new starter at point guard, Anthony Johnson, had one of the best games of his career as three Magic players scored 20+ points and 11 of the 12 Magic players scored as the Magic led from start to finish in a resounding 125-96 victory.

The Magic led 34-22 after one and 72-48 at the half. They continued to pile it on as they led 104-71 after three and had their largest lead of 119-83 late in the game.

Magic leading scorers

Anthony Johnson: 25 points (9 of 11 field goals, 6 of 8 three point field goals)
Courtney Lee (bench): 21 points (9 of 10 field goals)
Hedo Turkoglu: 20 points (7 of 12 field goals), 6 assists
Dwight Howard: 12 points (4 of 11 field goals), 15 rebounds

LA Clippers leading scorers

Al Thornton: 27 points
Eric Gordon: 14 points

Overall Game Stats

FG%: ORL 56.6% (47 of 83) LAC 42.4% (36 of 85)
3 PT FG%: ORL 61.5% (16 of 26) LAC 21.1% (4 of 19)
FT%: LAC 87.0% (20 of 23) ORL 60% (15 of 25)
REB: ORL 48 (13 offensive) LAC 32 (10 offensive)
AST/TO: ORL 26/10 LAC 21/9

Other game notes and stats:

-Johnson scored more than 20 points in a game for the first time since April of 2006 when he was with Indiana
-Johnson finished two points off his regular-season career high of 27 points, and finished with a career high six three pointers
-Mickael Pietrus took over the starting shooting guard spot and scored 8 points
-Lee, coming off the bench, finished with a career high of 21 points
-Tony Battie also scored in double figures off the bench with 10 points
-Marcin Gortat scored 8 points with 8 rebounds in 8 minutes
-The Magic shot 24 of 36 in the first half, including 12 of 16 on threes
-Johnson, Lee, and Turkoglu combined to score 66 points on 25 of 33 field goals, including 13 of 17 from three point range
-Johnson outscored opposing point guard Baron Davis 25-9
-Zach Randolph, Fred Jones, and Ricky Davis combined to shoot just 4 of 26 off the Clippers' bench
-Keith Bogans was the only Magic player not to score

The Magic have a day off before their next game at Indiana on Friday.

For the complete box score, click here

What Does Orlando Do?


Jameer is likely done for the season. If he opts to try a comeback without surgery he puts next year at risk as well. It took Dywane Wade 15 months to come back to form after a similar injury with postponed surgery. So the Magic need to go shopping, unless they think they have a backup point guard amongst Lee, Redick or Turk.

Most Likely:

Carlos Arroyo knows the system and has the ability to return from Israel. Can be signed for rest of year without upsetting the salary cap situation too much.

Somewhat Likely:

Jason Williams knows the coach and is retired. His rights are owned by the Clippers but could probably be had for a second round pick. If interested he could be had cheap and short term. Comes with great playoff experience and can match Jameer tattoo for tattoo.

Available, but unlikely:

Keyon Dooling for Cook.

Beno Udrih, Kings. Has a contract similar to Jameer. And would be expensive.

Jamaal Tinsley, Pacers. Hated by Larry Bird. But owed $14+ million over next 3 years. Tinsley has played with Anthony Johnson before. Unfortunately, there are both more guns and strip clubs in Orlando, making this a poor fit.

Earl Watkins

Chucky Atkins

Steve Nash -- Hey why not throw this one out. Phoenix is about to be broken up (due no doubt to the curse that is Grant Hill) and no one has been complaining more publicly about the changes that have happened than Nash. So why not be bold and offer Turk and an extra contract for Nash. Pietrus moves to small forward, Nash to PG. Lee stays at SG. And we are off to the races. Nash's contract expires July 2010, by which time Nelson is fully recovered and better than ever. I can dream, can't I?


Stephon Marbury -- will be cut by Knicks, but likely after he can't qualify for post season play.
Steve Francis -- cut again.

Another Bold Move (via Brian Schmitz from Chad Ford/ESPN):

Trail Blazers trade Steve Blake, Channing Frye and Sergio Rodriguez for Hedo Turkoglu and Anthony Johnson

While neither Blake nor Rodriguez is a star, they are solid players who would give Orlando an instant point guard rotation. (Blake is currently out with his own shoulder injury, but he's expected to return with a week.) Rodriguez has more upside than Blake, but he's younger and more erratic as well. Both players could come off the books for the Magic next year -- meaning no long-term hit on their cap.

Just as important would be the acquisition of Frye, whose size and rebounding ability would give the Magic some much needed help on their front line.

The cost would be high for the Magic. Turkoglu's been solid and sometimes spectacular for the Magic the past two seasons. But they have enough talented wing players, particularly Mickael Pietrus and Courtney Lee, to fill the shoes of Turkoglu, who is a risk to opt out of his contract and leave Orlando this summer anyway.

The Blazers have been looking for a small forward, and Turkoglu would be a good, low-risk option. Portland might have to pay him to keep him, but a trade now would give the team a few months to see how he fits as he contributes to the Blazers' drive to make some noise in the playoffs this spring.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Otis Smith's press conference regarding Nelson's injury

Here are excerpts from Brian Schmitz's BasketBlog on orlandosentinel.com regarding the afternoon press conference GM Otis Smith held Tuesday about Jameer Nelson's torn labrum:

Opening statement…

Anytime you lose one of your starters, a point guard in particular, you don’t replace an All-Star, just by saying, ‘OK,’ picking up the phone and calling one of them up and they’re available. So, we have to do what we have to do in the short term and go from there

On his sense of the injury…

At some point and time he’s going to have to have surgery. That’s a given. There are no if’s and’s or but’s about it. There are two schools of thought here: one, you rehab it, you get the range of motion back, the strength back and you go out and play and then you do surgery in the off-season. The second school of thought is you do surgery immediately and you are done for the year. Either way, he’s going to have to have it repaired.

On what school of thought he is in…

It’s a decision we are going to have to come to as a group. He’s going to have to decide and we are going to have to talk about it. Jameer is not a non-contact basketball player by any stretch of the imagination. He s a pretty physical basketball player so it’s something we are going to have to look at. He’s going to have to explore and talk about it.

On the long-term effects…

The long term effects are that, if he rehabs it and plays, you’ve known the players that have gone through this: Lamar Odom, Dwyane Wade. If you rehab it and play, the likelihood that it comes back out again is pretty significant. So, then you start dealing with other issues from there. There have been guys that have rehabbed it, played and dealt with it in the off-season, both Lamar (Odom) and (Dwyane) Wade from that standpoint. If you just do rehab, you are talking anywhere from two to six weeks, if he does the rehab then goes back on the floor.

On winning a championship without Nelson…

That actually makes it tougher. I find that kind of funny, because just a couple of days ago, we couldn’t win one with him. Now we can’t win one without him! So, I just kind of find that interesting in and of it self. So, we’ll see. I think we have enough guys on our team to get the job done. Are we going to miss Jameer? Sure. You don’t really replace an All-Star as I’ve said, by just picking up the next guy that’s available. But we have some pretty talented guys on our team and I have a lot of confidence in our coaching staff given time, they could put things into place to get us by.

On making a deal for the end of the season or getting by with what you have…

I think you explore all those opportunities. I don’t think there is anything that’s off the table yet. You look at ways of making our team better. We lost a point guard, a position at which we were already shorthanded at this point. It’s a matter of trying to make the best deal that’s available for us. Whether it’s to find a free agent that’s available or do it through a trade. We are actively [considering options] and have been, since last night.

On second guessing himself for not signing a third point guard…

Zero. I don’t think that’s an issue. I don’t think that’s an issue at all. Had we signed another point guard which we did in Mike Wilks, you’d still be sitting there saying, ‘you lost your starting point guard.’ And we still have an issue there. So I don’t think you can second guess yourself there. He (Jameer Nelson) still has had an all-star season to this point, so that did not change our thought process going into it.

On weighing a trade for a veteran...

You have to look at everything. I don’t think its just one option. I think you look at the opportunity to make a trade for it. I think you look at an opportunity to find a free agent. I don’t think it’s a one single, ‘this is what you do’ and you move forward from there. There are still 14 guys in that locker room over there that we believe in and have confidence in to be able to do this. We are just missing a major cog right now and we have to try to move forward from there without the major cog.

On the extent of Nelson’s injury…

From what I understand, there’s not a bad or medium tear to your labrum. If you tear your labrum, you tear your labrum and it needs to be repaired. That’s the only thing I know about it. To what degree, I don’t think it really matters. At some point and time it’s going to need to be repaired. Whether it’s in the short term or long term, at some point and time it has to be repaired.

On signing a guy with character issues…

I think you have to evaluate everything but some things we’ve stood by. We’ve stood by the type of guys that we like to have on our team. It’s about changing the culture and winning for years to come. It’s not about changing the culture and winning one year and you go away. We still have a plan in place and we’re going to stick to that plan. That hasn’t necessarily changed.

MRI shows torn labrum for Nelson

From cbssports.com:

ORLANDO, Fla. -- All-Star point guard Jameer Nelson could miss the rest of the season for the Orlando Magic because of a torn labrum in his right shoulder.

An MRI exam revealed the injury Tuesday, the team announced.

Nelson will decide over the next week whether he will have surgery or attempt rehabilitation. If surgery is the option, his season is likely over. If he passes on the surgery, he'll still most likely be out at least several weeks.

Nelson left the Magic's 105-95 loss to the Mavericks on Monday night in the third quarter after he was fouled by Dallas center Erick Dampier and hit the floor. Nelson came up bent over and clutching his right shoulder before heading to the locker room in pain.

The injury leaves the Southeast division-leading Magic (37-11) with a major hole.

Orlando does not have a third point guard behind backup Anthony Johnson. The Magic will likely have to sign another point guard, or covert shooting guards J.J. Reddick and Courtney Lee. Magic general manager Otis Smith had a news conference scheduled for later Tuesday.

"It's a big blow for us," center Dwight Howard said after Monday night's loss. "I'm trying not to even think about it because he had been playing so well for us. It's a sad day for us all."

Nelson was having a career season, averaging 16.7 points and 5.4 assists per game. He was selected to his first All-Star Game and was also slated to compete in the skills challenge on Feb. 14 in Phoenix.

The Magic host the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night.

Nelson missed five games earlier this season with a right hip injury, and Orlando managed to go 4-1 behind Johnson.

A longer stretch against significantly better competition will provide a tougher test.

"We've done it before so we'll do whatever we have to do," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said.

If the Magic can take any comfort in the loss, it's that they have time to regroup before the playoffs.

Orlando has a stranglehold on the Southeast division, beginning Tuesday with a nine-game lead over Atlanta. The Magic were three games behind Boston for the NBA's best record.

Still, Orlando's hopes for locking up home-court advantage in the East took a major hit.

"We don't change expectations at all," Lee said. "We can't say that we're losing because Jameer is out. We all have to step it up so that there's no drop off."

Monday, February 02, 2009

Nelson dislocates shoulder in Magic loss to Mavericks

All-Star Magic guard Jameer Nelson left the game at the 9:11 mark of the third quarter with what was described as a dislocated right shoulder, and will have an MRI taken on Tuesday, but is expected to miss a minimum of a couple of weeks.

The Magic had their worst three point shooting game in at least a couple of years, as they made just 3 of 20 from long range. Their previous worst this season was 4 of 25 opening night against Atlanta. Last season, the Magic made at least 5 three pointers in all 82 games.

The Magic led 27-25 after one quarter and had their largest lead at 40-33 in the second when the Mavericks took control and took a 54-47 halftime lead. The Mavericks extended their lead to 77-63 after three and had their largest lead of 87-67 in the fourth before the Magic were able to cut into their deficit from the free throw line, and had a chance to get within 7 with just over a minute remaining, but Hedo Turkoglu missed two free throws. They were able to get as close as 103-95 with under 20 seconds remaining, but the Mavericks were able to avoid the season sweep from the Magic and won 105-95.

Magic leading scorers

Dwight Howard: 35 points (13 of 19 field goals), 11 rebounds
Hedo Turkoglu: 18 points (4 of 12 field goals), 6 rebounds, 4 assists
Rashard Lewis: 12 points (5 of 13 field goals), 8 rebounds

Dallas leading scorers

Dirk Nowitzki: 29 points, 6 rebounds
Jason Terry: 23 points
Jason Kidd: 13 points, 8 assists, 5 rebounds, 4 steals

Overall Game Statistics

FG%: DAL 53.4% (39 of 73) ORL 42.7% (35 of 82)
3 PT FG%: DAL 35.7% (5 of 14) ORL 15% (3 of 20)
FT%: DAL 88% (22 of 25) ORL 73.3% (22 of 30)
REB: DAL 38 (6 offensive) ORL 37 (10 offensive)
AST/TO: DAL 19/15 ORL 14/11

Other game notes and stats:

-Dwight Howard and Tony Battie (2 for 2) were the only Magic players to shoot better than .500; the rest of the team combined to shoot 20 of 61
-The Magic starters outscored the Mavericks' starters 78-67
-The Magic starting frontline outscored the Mavericks' starting frontline 65-48
-The Mavericks' bench combined to shoot 13 of 25 from the field, while the Magic bench combined to shoot 8 of 21
-The Magic used a nine-man rotation, with Mickael Pietrus leading the Magic reserves with 8 points on 4 of 10 shooting
-For the second game in a row, Turkoglu and Lewis struggled from the field, shooting just 9 of 25 (2 of 10 from three point range) for a combined 30 points
-Nelson had 6 points on 3 of 9 shooting in 18 1/2 minutes before leaving in the third with his injured shoulder
-Nelson and Courtney Lee combined to shoot just 5 of 17 from the field
-Only Turkoglu, Lewis, and Lee made a three pointer for the Magic
-The Mavericks outscored the Magic 52-36 in the second and third quarters

The schedule eases up for the Magic, as their next three games are against sub-.500 teams, with the LA Clippers coming to Orlando on Wednesday.

For the complete box score, click here

A look at the month of February for the Magic

With the month of February already off to a good start for the Magic with Sunday's win over Toronto, the Magic have 13 games remaining this month, 7 home and 6 away. Six of those games are against teams .500 or better, while seven of those games are against teams under .500.

Of the Magic's 7 home games this month, 4 are against teams over .500 (Dallas, Denver, Miami, Detroit), while 3 games are against sub-.500 teams (LA Clippers, New Jersey, Charlotte).

Of the Magic's 6 remaining away games this month, 2 are against .500 or better teams (New Orleans, Philadelphia), while 4 away games are against sub-.500 teams (Indiana, Charlotte, Chicago, New York).

The Magic play four sets of back-to-backs: 1st-2nd (at Toronto, Dallas) 17th-18th (Charlotte, at New Orleans), 24th-25th (at Chicago, at New York), and 27-28th (Detroit, at Philadelphia).

Their busiest stretch will be the 17th-28th, as they will play 8 games in this 12 day period. The Magic get a well-deserved five-day break (12th-16th) for All-Star Weekend.

No extended road trips for the Magic, as their longest road trip will be two games on two different occasions. Their longest homestand will be three games.

Optimistic view of how the Magic finish the month: 12-2
Pessimistic view: 7-5

For a complete preview from Yahoo! Sports on Monday night's Dallas/Magic game, click here

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Magic take care of business against Raptors

Toronto played probably their best game of the year last month in beating the Magic on a Sunday afternoon, but on this Sunday afternoon it was all Magic.

The Raptors never led, as the last tie of the game was at 33 all before the Magic took a 53-47 lead going into the half. The Magic then blew things open in the third quarter, outscoring Toronto 34-18, as they took a 87-65 lead into the fourth. The Magic's largest lead was 113-88 before the Raptors made the final basket to make the final 113-90 Magic.

Update: Chris Bosh is said to unhappy in Toronto and has told his GM he won't resign there in 2010 according to ESPN...

Magic leading scorers

Dwight Howard: 29 points (11 of 19 field goals), 14 rebounds
Mickael Pietrus (bench): 22 points (8 of 17 field goals), 5 rebounds
Jameer Nelson: 18 points (6 of 11 field goals), 10 assists, 8 rebounds
Rashard Lewis: 15 points (5 of 13 field goals), 7 rebounds

Toronto leading scorers

Jose Calderon: 16 points, 6 assists
Joey Graham (bench): 14 points, 12 rebounds

Overall Game Statistics

FG%: ORL 44.8% (39 of 87) TOR 40.7% (35 of 86)
3 PT FG%: ORL 43.3% (13 of 30) TOR 2 of 11 (18.2%)
FT%: TOR 94.7% (18 of 19) ORL 75.9% (22 of 29)
REB: ORL 49 (10 offensive) TOR 44 (6 offensive)
AST/TO: ORL 21/9 TOR 16/10

Other game notes and stats:

-Chris Bosh, who usually has great games against the Magic, scored just 11 points on 4 of 11 shooting along with 9 rebounds
-Bosh, Andrea Bargnani, and Jermaine O'Neal combined to score just 31 points on 10 of 33 shooting
-Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu both had sub-par games, scoring a combined 26 points on 8 of 24 shooting
-The Magic starting frontline outscored the Raptors' starting frontline 55-30
-The Magic starters outscored the Raptors' starters 84-50
-Jameer Nelson came within two assists of having a triple-double
-Keith Bogans and J.J. Redick did not see any action
-Four Magic starters had a +/- rating of +30 or over

The Magic don't gain any ground on Boston, as they already won today; they could gain ground on Cleveland, pending the outcome of their game at Detroit today.

The Magic fly home from Toronto to take on the Dallas Mavericks at Amway Arena Monday night.

For the complete box score, click here

ESPN Daily Dime gives Hedo some love

Marc Stein, the Senior NBA Writer for espn.com, recently wrote a column about the best players who have never been All-Stars. The Magic's Hedo Turkoglu is one of his choices.

Some of what Stein had to say about Turk:

Turkoglu, meanwhile, has been overlooked for a second straight season even though his fearlessness and ability to make all sorts of shots and plays would undoubtedly look good in an All-Star setting.

... Prince and Turkoglu are certifiable cornerstones of their respective teams.