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, October 31, 2009

Game review: Magic (2-0) 95, Nets (0-2) 85

Despite Vince Carter missing the final 27 minutes of the game with a sprained ankle, the Magic rode balanced scoring and a 20/20 game from Dwight Howard as five players finished in double figures for the 95-85 victory over New Jersey.

The Magic led 29-24 after the first quarter, with Howard getting a double/double in the quarter. The Nets had their only lead of the game at 31-30 early in the second, but the Magic, despite Carter's injury, came back to lead 50-44 at the half. The Magic increased their lead to 75-62 after three, with their largest lead at 79-64 early in the fourth quarter. The Nets never got closer than nine the rest of the way.

Overall Game Statistics

FG%: ORL 49.3% (37 of 75) NJ 38.3% (31 of 81)
3 PT FG%: NJ 33.3% (5 of 15) ORL 28.6% (6 of 21)
FT%: NJ 72% (18 of 25) ORL 60% (15 of 25)
REB: ORL 48 (9 offensive) NJ 39 (7 offensive)
AST/TO: ORL 21/14 NJ 16/7

Magic leading scorers

Dwight Howard: 20 points (8 of 11 FGs), 22 rebounds, 4 blocks
Vince Carter: 16 points (6 of 8 FGs), 4 assists
Ryan Anderson: 16 points (6 of 10 FGs)
Brandon Bass (bench): 13 points (6 of 10 FGs)
J.J. Redick (bench): 12 points (4 of 10 FGs), 5 rebounds

Other game notes and stats:

-Former Magic first round draftee Courtney Lee led the Nets with 18 points, but shot just 6 of 17
-Former Magic point guard Rafer Alston scored 10 points off the Nets' bench on 3 of 9 shooting
-Jason Williams led the Magic with 8 assists; Jameer Nelson had 5 assists for a total of 13 assists from the PG spot for the Magic
-The Nets' starting backcourt combined to shoot 12 of 35
-The Nets' bench combined to shoot 8 of 23
-Only one Magic starter, Howard, played more than 30 minutes (37 minutes)
-The Magic made just one of their final ten attempts from long range
-Howard finished 4 off 11 from the FT line
-The X-Rays on Carter's ankle were negative

Here is the complete box score and recap from nba.com

Friday, October 30, 2009

First road game for Magic at Nets tonight

Here is the Magic press release regarding the game:

Friday, Oct. 30. 8:00 p.m.
IZOD Center
East Rutherford, NJ

2009-10 Television Schedule

The Orlando Magic start their first road trip of the season against the New Jersey Nets on Friday at 8 p.m. ET. The contest will mark a homecoming for eight-time All-Star Vince Carter and forward Ryan Anderson, who were dealt from New Jersey to Orlando during the 2009 offseason in exchange for point guard Rafer Alston, shooting guard Courtney Lee and big man Tony Battie. While the media’s focus will be on Lee’s first matchup against his former team, the Magic’s defensive game plan will be centered around slowing down All-Star point guard Devin Harris. “Devin is lightning quick and he’s shooting the ball extremely well,” said his former teammate, Vince Carter. “I think he’s emerging into a leader.” Another player Orlando will have its eyes on is center Brook Lopez. The second-year standout from Stanford displayed tremendous growth during his rookie campaign and is starting to become a go-to player in Nets Head Coach Lawrence Frank’s offense. “He got the opportunity to become a starter (within) the first month of the season,” Vince Carter said of Lopez’s role during his inaugural season. “He took advantage of it and really learned the game.”

For the complete preview from Yahoo! Sports, click here

The Magic are a 10 1/2 point favorite.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Opening night: Magic 120, 76ers 106

The game was nowhere near as close as the final score might indicate, as the Magic, thanks to great long-range accuracy and six players in double figures, enjoyed a 31 point bulge early in the fourth quarter before taking their foot off the accelerator and cruised the rest of the way to a 120-106 victory over Philadelphia.

The 76ers went on a 14-2 first quarter run for their largest lead of the game at 24-19; the Magic led after one 29-27 before taking over the game in the second quarter. The Magic scored 41 second quarter points on 15 of 20 FG shooting and 6 of 9 shooting from three point range to take a 70-47 halftime lead. The Magic continued to extend their lead in the second half, leading 100-69 after three and still led 114-85 with five minutes remaining before the 76ers went on a final 21-6 run to cut their final deficit to 14 points.

Overall Game Statistics

FG%: ORL 55.6% (45 of 81) PHI 50% (39 of 78)
3 PT FG%: ORL 55.2% (16 of 29) PHI 38.9% (7 of 18)
FT%: ORL 82.4% (14 of 17) PHI 70% (21 of 30)
REB: ORL 37 (8 offensive) PHI 34 (8 offensive)
AST/TO: ORL 28/17 PHI 19/13

Magic leading scorers

Dwight Howard: 21 points (9 of 11 FGs), 15 rebounds
Ryan Anderson: 16 points (4 of 7 3 PT FG), 5 rebounds
Vince Carter: 15 points (3 of 5 3 PT FG)
Jason Williams (bench): 15 points (3 of 4 3 PT FG), 5 assists
Mickael Pietrus: 13 points (2 of 4 3 PT FG)
J.J. Redick (bench): 10 points (2 of 4 3 PT FG), 4 assists

Other game notes and stats:

-Marreese Speights led the 76ers with 26 points off the bench
-Only one 76ers' starter, Louis Williams with 18 points, scored in double figures
-The other four 76ers' starters combined for just 33 points on 12 of 35 FG shooting
-Jameer Nelson led the Magic with six assists, along with two steals
-No Magic starter played more than 30 minutes
-Jason Williams had all 15 points in the first half
-Howard was the only Magic player to miss a free throw
-Only Anthony Johnson did not score for the Magic; everyone else scored at least 7 points
-Seven Magic players made a three pointer
-Only Matt Barnes (1 of 3) shot under 50% from long range for the Magic

For the complete box score and recap from nba.com, click here

Opening night tonight against 76ers

Here is the Magic press release regarding the game:

After finishing the preseason a prefect 8-0, the Orlando Magic officially tip off their quest for the 2009-10 NBA championship when they open their season against the Philadelphia 76ers at Amway Arena on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET. The 76ers will certainly be looking for revenge against the Magic, after Orlando eliminated Philadelphia from the first round of the playoffs last season. However, last season’s results offer little indication towards this upcoming contest as both the Magic and Sixers feature re-tooled rosters to start the upcoming campaign. The Magic have added eight-time All-Star Vince Carter to go along with recent acquisitions Ryan Anderson, Matt Barnes, Brandon Bass and Jason Williams. The Sixers, on the other hand, are hoping for a boost by the return of power forward Elton Brand. “They are a very athletic team,” Carter said of the Sixers. “I think (Andre) Iguodala has emerged into a young star and I think that Thaddeus Young is now emerging.” If the preseason has been any indication, the Magic’s reshaped roster has helped put them on pace for another Finals run. Orlando erupted for an NBA-best 109.62 points per game, while allowing only 91.87 ppg. That’s a point differential of +17.75, the best in league by a full 10 points. But the Magic aren’t putting any stock into preseason performances and they’re eager to get their regular season campaign tipped off right. “For us, once again, we have to make our mark on the game immediately, come jump ball,” Carter explained. “That’s our goal.”

The Magic are favored by 9 1/2 points.

The over/under on the Magic's win total this season is 58 1/2, and the odds of the Magic winning the East are 3/1 (Cleveland's odds are 1.2/1 and Boston's odds are 1.8/1).

The odds of the Magic winning the NBA championship are 7/1, with the Lakers being the favorite.

For the complete preview of tonight's game from Yahoo! Sports, click here

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Why the Shaq/LeBron pairing is doomed to fail

Here are excerpts from an article written by covers.com associate editor Ashton Grewal as to why the pairing of Cavaliers' superstar LeBron James with Shaquille O'Neal won't work:

...there are still some basketball followers out there that think (O'Neal's) addition to the Cavaliers automatically makes Cleveland the front runner for this year’s title.

At this stage in his career, the 37-year-old center is more of a sideshow than a low post force. O’Neal’s dedication to his sport has come into question since he first arrived in the league.

He admitted to the L.A. Times just the other day that he still isn’t familiar with most of Cleveland’s playbook.

OK, so the Cavs now have an out-of-shape, $20-million space eater, who isn’t in shape and doesn’t know the offense. And we haven’t even got to the real reasons why Shaq’s partnership with LeBron James will not work out.

On the court, O’Neal no longer bothers to play defense. Forget those stats he accumulated last year with Phoenix. The Big Fella's numbers were artificially augmented by the Suns’ fast-paced offense.

Shaq's unwillingness to aggressively defend the pick ‘n’ roll cripples his team’s chance of winning games. We’re talking about the most basic offensive set that every coach likes to run with his two best players.

The guy still can’t hit free throws and is a liability late in games because of it.

His addition only slows Cleveland’s offense, which is a big mistake. The Cavaliers would serve themselves and their star player much better by pushing the ball up court.

James is an elite athlete with unreal skills in the open court. Why do the Cavs insist on running a system that lets opponents get set and put five defenders between LBJ and the hoop?

Things aren’t going to go smoothly in Cleveland.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Yahoo Digs the Magic

See them finishing 64-18 and legit contenders.

But they've seen prettier dunkers than Dwight.

Link here

Friday, October 23, 2009

Drunk Blogging from 35,000 Feet

I'm sitting in first class on a Delta flight from Salt Lake City to Orlando, on my 3rd Rum & Coke, iPod blasting, and watching the Magic dismantle Atlanta on ESPN. On top of it all, Delta handed out free WiFi for the flight.

Despite all the economic turmoil, it's still an amazing time we are living in. And what's more cool?

1. watching ESPN at 35,000 feet plus free drinks?
2. WiFi on a plane?
3. The Magic are the best NBA team on the planet?

Remember last year when ATL used to give the Magic fits with their youth and athleticism? Ain't happening this year. Maybe it's luck, maybe it's the rum talking, it's absolutely way too early, but so far Otis gets an A Plus for his work this summer. And as much as it pains me, kudos to the DeVos family for stepping up and finally putting a championship run ahead of cash considerations. Old man rich is worth about $2 billion, it's nice of him to cough up the extra $10 or $20 million this year will cost him.

It's currently Magic 46, ATL 29. So far I've been impressed with Howard (duh), VC (best wing since T-Mac), Anderson (this guy will make us forget Lee [who missed that damn shot anyway]), Bass (rebound, rebound, rebound), Williams (says he's no longer White Chocolate but looking inspired tonight) and more. Love Barnes too!

We are about to watch the best Magic team ever this year. Better than last year. Better than ever.


SVG -- he's done a super job getting this retooled team to gel so quickly, Plus he has championship run experience. The only coaches who are probably better are Jackson and Popovich. But SVG is capable of getting there.

Howard '09 vs. Howard '10 -- expect him to be even better this year. The outside shooting is even better with VC, Anderson, Barnes. He is going to kill teams that double him by passing out to the open wing and if they don't double him he is going to kill them inside. What a beast.

Lewis '09 vs. Lewis '10 or Turk-- He was always a little over-matched at PF. He'll kill at SF and can still move to PF where the advantage is in Magic's favor. Lewis is a better SF than Turk. Better defender, better shooter, and there are plenty of playmakers and players who can create their own shot now to make up for Turkoglu's passing.

Bass vs. Lewis -- Bass has a wide body to help rebounding. I won't be surprised if Howard's rebound numbers are down a bit this year. He'll also get left alone for interior passes for dunks while the opposing defenses are trying to figure out who of the four all-stars to guard.

VC vs. Lee -- C'mon. Really? Carter is going to average around 21 points a game this year and is MOTIVATED. Lee may become very good player. But how good? And is he really going to be better than Anderson will be in a Magic uniform? Carter looks comfortable tonight and that's not good for the rest of the league.

Nelson vs. Nelson/Rafer Alston. Nelson was really really good before his injury and he had to be because he only had Johnson backing him before the Alston trade. This year he has Williams and Johnson backing him up. Also is surrounded by lots of scorers. He'll be able to pick his spots.


Gortat vs. Gortat -- He really came into his own in the playoffs last year, and deserves to eventually start. Right now he is easily a top ten center in the East. SVG needs to get him more minutes this year. His energy is great when he comes in for Howard. He's no Howard, but the team hardly misses anything when he replaces Howard.

Anderson vs. Battie. Not even close. Anderson is really good, great 3 point range. The team doesn't lose anything when he comes in for Bass.

Barnes vs. Pietrus at SF -- Given that Pietrus will mostly backup VC at SG and Barnes is nothing but upside. Probably even a better defender than Pietrus, who isn't bad. Barnes is the type of role player that helps teams win championships.

Pietrus vs. Redick at SG -- Again, Redick is still around as the 11th man. Pietrus had a poor regular season last year due to injury. Should be much improved this year.

Williams vs. Johnson -- Williams looks fresh and energized. He has a ring. He seemingly doesn't care about anything anymore than liking his teammates and winning. Why or why didn't the Magic sign him last year? As great as the acquisition of the new guys Carter, Bass, Anderson, & Barnes are, Williams is huge.


Plus Redick, Johnson

Given the ease of the preseason it's hard to see that Turk is going to be missed. Turk at a year older was a risk, no matter the cost. Lee's contributions last year were good, but nowhere near all-star capable. At this point he's more likely to have zero All-Star appearances than one. Alston is just as likely to be a head case as a contributor. I have not like Batties knees for four years now and never thought the Magic should have extended a contract for those knees.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Magic continue on preseason roll with win over Pacers

The Magic scored 72 second half points to break open a close game against Indiana as the Magic continued their preseason dominance to remain unbeaten with a 117-87 rout over the Pacers.

The Magic are 7-0 and will try to complete their first unbeaten preseason Friday night against Atlanta.

Overall Game Statistics

FG%: ORL 46.8% (37 of 79) IND 39.8% (35 of 88)
3 PT FG%: ORL 45% (9 of 20) IND 11.5% (3 of 26)
FT%: ORL 69.4% (34 of 49) IND 60.9% (14 of 23)
REB: ORL 56 (10 offensive) IND 38 (5 offensive)
AST/TO: ORL 20/14 IND 15/15

Magic leading scorers

Vince Carter: 21 points (4 of 12 FGs), 5 rebounds
Marcin Gortat: 15 points (5 of 8 FGs), 8 rebounds, 3 blocks
Dwight Howard: 14 points (4 of 8 FGs), 7 rebounds
Brandon Bass: 13 points (5 of 6 FGs), 9 rebounds
Jameer Nelson: 11 points (4 of 12 FGs), 5 rebounds, 4 assists
J.J. Redick: 11 points (3 of 9 FGs)
Jason Williams: 11 points (4 of 5 FGs), 5 assists

For the complete recap and box score from nba.com click here

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Magic edge Bulls to remain undefeated in preseason

The Magic received their biggest challenge of the preseason from the Chicago Bulls, but prevailed 101-98 as Ryan Anderson's three pointer with 40 seconds remaining gave the Magic the lead for good, as the Magic made their free throws the rest of the way to hold off the Bulls.

The Magic are now 6-0 this preseason and are the only unbeaten team remaining.

Derrick Rose, nursing an ankle injury, did not play for the Bulls, while Rashard Lewis and Jason Williams sat out for the Magic.

Overall Game Statistics

FG%: CHI 50% (37 of 74) ORL 46.5% (33 of 71)
3 PT FG%: ORL 42.1% (8 of 19) CHI 30% (3 of 10)
FT%: CHI 77.8% (21 of 27) ORL 69.2% (27 of 39)
REB: ORL 36 (9 offensive) CHI 32 (5 offensive)
AST/TO: CHI 20/14 ORL 16/18

Magic leading scorers

Ryan Anderson: 18 points (4 of 7 3 PT FGs)
Dwight Howard: 18 points (10 of 17 FTs), 10 rebounds
Vince Carter: 17 points (6 of 10 FGs)
Jameer Nelson: 12 points (5 of 8 FGs), 4 assists
Mickael Pietrus: 11 points (3 of 7 3 PT FGs)
Matt Barnes: 10 points (3 of 7 FGs)
Brandon Bass: 10 points (5 of 8 FGs)

For the complete box score and recap from nba.com, click here

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Magic continue to impress with rout of Hornets

The Magic, now 5-0 in the preseason, shot a blistering 61%, including 63% from long range, as they led by as much as 40 points in a 121-86 blowout of New Orleans in a game played at Wichita, Kansas.

Ryan Anderson, starting at power forward, led the Magic with 22 points and shot 6 of 9 from three point range.

Hornets' star Chris Paul was held to just 13 points on 2 of 8 shooting.

Overall Game Statistics

FG%: ORL 60.9% (39 of 64) NO 38.9% (28 of 72)
3 PT FG%: ORL 63.3% (19 of 30) NO 33.3% (7 of 21)
FT%: NO 85.2% (23 of 27) ORL 72.7% (24 of 33)
REB: ORL 44 (8 offensive) NO 25 (4 offensive)
AST/TO: ORL 27/23 NO 19/14

Magic leading scorers

Ryan Anderson: 22 points (8 of 12 FGs)
Mickael Pietrus: 19 points (5 of 6 3 point FGs)
Vince Carter: 18 points (6 of 9 FGs)
Rashard Lewis: 15 points (4 of 7 FGs)
Jameer Nelson: 12 points (5 of 8 FGs), 9 assists
Brandon Bass: 12 points (3 of 7 FGs), 9 rebounds
Marcin Gortat: 9 points (2 of 2 FGs), 11 rebounds

For the complete box score from nba.com click here

Nelson, Carter rest in Magic win over Grizzlies

The Magic used a starting backcourt of Jason Williams and Mickael Pietrus, with Pietrus scoring a Magic game-high 19 points and Williams adding six assists along with four points and two steals as the Magic ran their record to 4-0 in the preseason with a 102-83 win over Memphis.

Allen Iverson and Mike Conley sat for the Grizzlies, as did Brandon Bass for the Magic, along with Jameer Nelson and Vince Carter.

Overall Game Statistics

FG%: ORL 48.0% (36 of 75) MEM 43.1% (31 of 72)
3 PT FG%: ORL 37.9% (11 of 29) MEM 25% (4 of 16)
FT%: ORL 67.9% (19 of 28) MEM 65.4% (17 of 26)
REB: ORL 46 (12 offensive) MEM 32 (7 offensive)
AST/TO: ORL 24/23 MEM 15/23

Magic leading scorers:

Mickael Pietrus: 19 points (7 of 13 FG), 5 rebounds
Dwight Howard: 15 points (5 of 10 FG), 11 rebounds
J.J. Redick: 15 points (5 of 9 FG), 5 assists
Rashard Lewis: 14 points (3 of 8 FG)
Matt Barnes: 14 points (5 of 9 FGs), 9 rebounds
Marcin Gortat: 12 points (6 of 7 FGs), 7 rebounds

For the complete box score from nba.com, click here

For more details on former Magic point guard Carlos Arroyo's signing by Miami, click here

Friday, October 09, 2009

Magic make it three in a row in preseason with win over Rockets

Marcin Gortat, starting at center in place of a resting Dwight Howard, scored 14 points with 14 boards and six blocks and was one of seven players in double figures for the Magic, who were down by two entering the fourth quarter, but scored 37 points in that final quarter to beat Houston 113-104.

Former Magic star Tracy McGrady rested, while former Magic Trevor Ariza scored 12 points for Houston.

Overall Game Statistics

FG%: ORL 49.4% (39 of 79) HOU 43.5% (37 of 85)
3 PT FG%: HOU 41.2% (7 of 17) ORL 24.1% (7 of 29)
FT%: HOU 76.7% (23 of 30) ORL 70% (28 of 40)
REB: HOU 42 (9 offensive) ORL 38 (6 offensive)
AST/TO: ORL 19/9 HOU 10/12

Magic leading scorers

Rashard Lewis: 22 points (8 of 13 FGs)
Vince Carter: 19 points (8 of 19 FGs)
Brandon Bass: 16 points (6 of 6 FGs)
Marcin Gortat: 14 points (4 of 5 FGs, 14 rebounds, 6 blocks)
J.J. Redick: 14 points (3 of 8 FGs)
Jameer Nelson: 12 points (5 of 10 FGs, 7 assists)
Ryan Anderson: 12 points (4 of 10 FGs, 6 rebounds)

Click here for the complete box score from nba.com

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Newcomer Anderson leads Magic to win over Heat

Ryan Anderson, coming off the bench, led the Magic with 16 points as the Magic won their first home preseason game 90-86 over Miami.

The Magic were able to overcome 23 turnovers and combined 2 for 16 shooting (0 for 6 on three pointers) from their starting backcourt of Jameer Nelson and Vince Carter.

The Magic blocked 16 shots, including two from J.J. Redick.

Overall Game Statistics

FG%: ORL 39.7% (27 of 68) MIA 33.8% (27 of 80)
3 PT FG%: MIA 43.8% (7 of 16) ORL 39.3% (11 of 28)
FT%: ORL 86.2% (25 of 29) MIA 73.5% (25 of 34)
REB: ORL 43 (13 offensive) MIA 38 (14 offensive)
AST/TO: ORL 19/23 MIA 9/15

Magic leading scorers

Ryan Anderson: 16 points (4 of 6 3 point FGs)
Mickael Pietrus: 14 points (4 of 6 3 point FGs)
J.J. Redick: 13 points (4 of 9 FGs)
Dwight Howard: 11 points (4 of 5 FGs), 9 rebounds, 5 blocks
Brandon Bass: 11 points (4 of 6 FGs)

Here is the complete box score from nba.com

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

NBA GMs dis Magic in survey

The league executives who responded to the eighth annual NBA.com GM survey picked the Lakers to win another NBA title, with Boston and Cleveland sharing second place.

The Magic received only 7 percent to win the conference and no votes to earn its first championship.

Here is the link for the article from cbssports.com

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Magic start off preseason with win over Dallas

Vince Carter led the Magic with 21 points as the Magic, in a foul-filled game called by the new NBA replacement referees, beat the Mavericks 110-105.

Magic leading scorers

Vince Carter: 21 points (7 of 18 FGs, 3 of 12 3 PT FGs)
Rashard Lewis: 18 points (7 of 15 FGs, 4 of 8 3 PT FGS), 2 steals
Dwight Howard: 17 points (4 of 11 FGs, 9 of 17 FTs), 11 rebounds, 3 blocks
Matt Barnes: 16 points (4 of 6 FGs, 7 of 7 FTs)
Brandon Bass: 13 points (4 of 7 FGs, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks)
Jameer Nelson: 10 points (3 of 6 3 PT FGS), 4 assists

Overall Game Statistics

FG%: ORL 42.1% (32 of 76) DAL 39.2% (31 of 79)
3 PT FG%: DAL 38.9% (7 of 18) ORL 31.6% (12 of 38)
FT%: DAL 87.8% (36 of 41) ORL 66.7% (34 of 51)
REB: ORL 44 (12 offensive) DAL 44 (10 offensive)
AST/TO: ORL 18/13 DAL 17/14

Here is the complete box score from nba.com

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Magic get ready for first pre-season game Monday night

Here's a look at some of the things the Magic will try to accomplish as they take on the Dallas Mavericks Monday night, courtesy of this article from the Orlando Sentinel written by Brian Schmitz.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Who should be the go-to guy for the Magic... Howard or Carter?

Some interesting thoughts from a column today by Ken Berger of cbssports.com