Category Archives: Orlando Magic
They sure fought hard and stood by thier coach, but in the end it was not enough as the Orlando Magic fell to the Indiana Pacers, losing the series 4-1. Jameer Nelson certainly did all he could to avoid the outcome as he poured in a game high 27 points in the final outing of his season. Glen Davis also worked hard once more for his 15 points despite being nearly hoplessly outsized.
The Pacers got offence from Danny Granger who had 25 points but shot only 8-20 from the field, but Darren Collison was the real star with 19 points and six assists off the bench. Also, got to love this last bit from SVG
“They were a good team and I congratulate them. I’ve been through this same thing. They haven’t won a series in seven years. This was great step for them. The next round is going to be very tough. They were huge favorites in this series. They will be underdogs in the next. I have no clue how far they will go and I won’t be watching.”
— Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy
26 points and 12 rebounds from David West and a pair of game winning free throws from George Hill lifted the Indiana Pacers to one more win from the second round as they took down the Orlando Magic. Danny Granger also added 21 points as well as 7 rebounds while Roy Hibbert put in 14 points. The Magic were held to just 31 percent from behind the arc in a relatively poor shooting performance
Glen Davis continued to do everything he could possibly do to lift the Magic as he had 24 points and 11 rebounds and Jason Richardson had 25 points but only shot 4-12 from downtown to lead the Magic but received little help from their other players
“I think our team showed a lot of resilience with just the fact that (the Magic) were down 19 and they had a lot of momentum late in the fourth quarter and going into overtime. We withstood it and made shots down the stretch and got out of it.”
— Pacers forward Danny Granger.
Roy Hibbert finally took full advantage of his size as he put in 18 points to lead the Pacers to a big 23 win in Orlando. Hibbert also ripped down 10 rebounds as Danny Granger had 26 points to make up for the lack of scoring presence from David West, who only had 3 points. The Magic on the other hand had few major contributors, with Hedo Turkoglu still struggling though injury and Jason Richardson and Ryan Anderson simply disappearing.
Glen Davis was one of the few Magic players to win his match up, getting into the body of the taller Hibbert and ramming his way towards 22 points. One time ‘Big Baby’, Davis has stepped up and is seeming to thrive as the central cog for his team.
“That (Game 1) loss really woke us up. It showed us what Orlando is capable of, and we knew we had to really play in this series to win. We have been executing, especially on the defensive end. Our offense comes and goes, but defensively we’ve been there the whole series.”
Despite a brave game one victory, it look very unlikely that the Magic will get another victory in this series, let alone get through it. They simply do not have the quality, let alone the depth of quality. Look for the Magic and Stan Van Gundy to fight to the end, but expect the Pacers to win this one.
Final score: 97-78 Pacers win. (Series tied 1-1)
The Indiana Pacers bounced back in the best possible way as they took down the Orlando Magic by 19 points. David West continued to pound the paint in Dwight Howard’s absence, scoring 18 points and pulling down 11 rebounds, also getting to the line ten times. Roy Hibbert didn’t provide a huge offensive boost but his 5 offensive boards helped keep possessions alive for the Pacers.
“We can’t get too high after this victory. They still have an advantage going there. There’s room for us to improve and we know it’s going to be a tough environment going down there.”
– David West: Pacers forward
The Magic were held to just 35 percent shooting and only 32 percent from down town in a mix of good defence and missed open shots. Glen Davis especially struggled mightily, only hitting 5 of his 16 shots but got to the line 10 times, hitting 8, to score 18 points and lead the Magic. He also pulled down 10 rebounds to help plug the rebounding gap Dwight leaves. Jason Richardson especially went from 17 points in game one to just two in the second. The saying that the Magic “Live by the three, die by the three” could not be anymore relevant in this game.
Final score: 81-77 Magic win (Magic lead 1-0)
Well the Magic achieved what many thought was impossible as the Magic took down the Pacers despite Dwight Howard’s absence. Roy Hibbert dominated the pain defensively in Dwight’s absence as he recorded 13 rebounds and 9 blocks to clog up the paint. But he was not able to have a great enough offensive impact as he only scored 8 points. David West on the other hand took full advantage of the situation as he had 19 points.
The Magic scored the last 12 points of the game to achieve the difficult task. Danny Granger fumbled his way through the final quarter as he struggled down the stretch. Jason Richardson on the other hand knocked down a pair of clutch triples to help seal the game for the Magic.
” Even in games we haven’t played well, I think our guys never quit fighting. Our goal is to hang in there.”
— Orlando head coach Stan Van Gundy.
Glen Davis played big in Howard’s absence, scoring 16 points and pulling down 13 rebounds despite being blocked 6 times throughout the game. Jameer Nelson also had a near double double with 17 points and 9 assists as the Magic got the win they needed to be competitive in the series.
(All times American)
Game 1 – Sat. April 28, Philadelphia at Chicago, 1 p.m., TNT
Game 2 – Tue. May 1, Philadelphia at Chicago, 8 p.m., TNT
Game 3 – Fri. May 4, Chicago at Philadelphia, 8 p.m., ESPN
Game 4 – Sun. May 6, Chicago at Philadelphia, 1 p.m., ABC
Game 5 * Tue. May 8, Philadelphia at Chicago, TBD
Game 6 * Thu. May 10, Chicago at Philadelphia, TBD
Game 7 * Sat. May 12, Philadelphia at Chicago, TBD, TNT
Not to long ago, this playoff series didn’t really seem likely. The Sixers were much higher in the standings then their current 8th seed position and were looking to prove that a team could win without a true superstar in their lineup. This does not look likely to present much of a challenge to the Bulls, as there really is no “No Rose, no Bulls argument”. If Rose does start to prove a factor, as he surely will, Andre Iguodala may play some defence on him, much like LeBron James did at times. Perhaps one of the keys here will be that. Elton Brand against Carlos Boozer will be another key match up, with the two veteran forwards likely to have to score highly for their respective teams. Bulls will get the win here
Game 1 – Sat. April 28, New York at Miami, 3:30 p.m., ABC/R
Game 2 – Mon. April 30, New York at Miami, 7 p.m., TNT
Game 3 – Thu. May 3, Miami at New York, 7 p.m., TNT
Game 4 – Sun. May 6, Miami at New York, 3:30 p.m., ABC/R
Game 5 * Wed. May 9, New York at Miami, TBD
Game 6 * Fri. May 11, Miami at New York, TBD
Game 7 * Sun. May 13, New York at Miami, TBD
Possibly one of the more exciting match ups of the Eastern Conference. Great contests at multiple positions and superstars littered all over the place. The highlight will no doubt be the competition between LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, the two 2003 alumni likely wanting the win over their compatriot. Both teams love to get out on the fast break, but its not secret that a big step towards stopping the Miami Heat is halting the run of Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. Amare Stoudemire’s play against Chris Bosh will be interesting to see, with Bosh having to deal with the physicality of Stoudemire, something he has shown in the past to dislike. Tyson Chandler’s shot blocking and ability to fill up the paint will also be essential in stopping the drives of Wade and James. Possible upset, but Miami likely to get the win.
Game 1 – Sat. April 28, Orlando at Indiana, 7 p.m., ESPN
Game 2 – Mon. April 30, Orlando at Indiana, 7:30 p.m., NBA TV
Game 3 – Wed. May 2, Indiana at Orlando, 7:30 p.m., NBA TV
Game 4 – Sat. May 5, Indiana at Orlando, 2 p.m., ESPN
Game 5 * Tue. May 8, Orlando at Indiana, TBD
Game 6 * Fri. May 11, Indiana at Orlando, TBD
Game 7 * Sun. May 13, Orlando at Indiana, TBD
Injuries will definitely be the determining factor in this series. The Pacers have quietly gone about having a good season as they secured the number three seed and Dwight Howard’s injury will make their playoff run much easier. David West, Danny Granger and co. will have a much easier time scoring in the paint without Dwight’s intimidating presence in the middle. Howard is really the only defensively minded player on the Magic team and they will struggle without him. Hedo will have to turn back to clock and Ryan Anderson will need to play out of his skin to force David West to play defence all the way out of to the three point line if the Magic are able to fit the series win here. Unlikely though.
Game 1 – Sun. April 29, Boston at Atlanta, 7 p.m., TNT
Game 2 – Tue. May 1, Boston at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m., NBA TV
Game 3 – Fri. May 4, Atlanta at Boston, 7:30 p.m., ESPN2
Game 4 – Sun May 6, Atlanta at Boston, 7 p.m., TNT
Game 5 * Tue. May 8, Boston at Atlanta, TBD
Game 6 * Thu. May 10, Atlanta at Boston, TBD
Game 7 * Sat. May 12, Boston at Atlanta, TBD, TNT
Boston’s charge at the end of the season has them well place in this years playoffs. They avoid Miami and Chicago in the first round but the Hawks are no small hurdle to overcome in the first round. The Hawk duo of Josh Smith and Joe Johnson have been playing some of the best basketball of their careers, especially Josh Smith. But the suffocating defence and the inability of the Hawks to match up with Rajon Rondo should allow the Celtics to get the win here. Ray Allen could play a key role as he comes back from extended injury, and if he’s playing off the bench will provide a huge spark. Celtics to get the win here
Western Conference previews up before too long!
The seemingly endless drama in Magic-land is continuing, with rumours that recently resigned Dwight Howard has demanded that long time coach Stan Van Gundy be fired.
In yet another twist, both parties have denied any knowledge of the rumour. Whether this is a media creation or not, it is really necessary for this to be played out in public?
Many believe this to be a more or less done deal, with Van Gundy expected to be out. However one unnamed player still thinks that Van Gundy will be around next season.
In a franchise defining season next season, with the Magic trying to survive another year of Dwight drama, the last thing the Magic need is another distraction. They need a stable platform to build off, and losing a coach at the start of the season will not help.
Unless this is what Dwight wants. In which case, no other person is more important to this franchise, and management should bend to accommodate him
There isn’t much competition for the top two “true” centers in the NBA- simply because there aren’t many left.
Gone are the days of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain. Now we have an era dominated by guards and forwards but rarely the center. However, up the top of the pile are two absolute gems- two dominant big men- two players who can truly change the face of the game.
There can be no doubt surely that these two players are Andrew Bynum and Dwight Howard. Both were All-Stars in their positions this season, both have been putting up phenomenal numbers. But who is better? Who would you rather have protecting the paint?
You will see the Lakers occasionally use Bynum in the pick and roll, but the majority of his offensive touches will come on the low block where he will go to work on the mainly shorter man guarding him.
One on one, he is becoming more and more difficult to stop, yet his passing out of the double team is still something that needs to
be worked on.
Howard on the other hand is a much more athletic center, who uses his speed to get around the many heavy footed big men around the league. He can still back you down, but doesn’t seem to have the same touch or foot skills that Bynum does.
He looks to be much more comfortable facing up to the defender, or taking a couple of dribbles and then going to his highly favored running hook. We have seen glimpses of a developing jump shot close to the ring, but it is not a weapon that is often used by the All-Star center.
The pick and roll is something the Magic and Dwight take great advantage of. Excellent passers such as Hedo Turkoglu and Jameer Nelson able to thread the needle and get the ball to Dwight on the alley-oop or open in the paint.
The threat of Orlando’s three ball also means that the defence is constantly being shifted to chase down shooters.
The development of Ryan Anderson especially, often means that there are holes in the defence and usually one less big guy to deal with.
Dwight’s passing is also something that has greatly improved, meaning that he can find those open shooters who can then knock down the wide open shot, which keeps the team’s shooters a threat.
Defensively there is no competition. Dwight is the three-time winning Defensive Player of the
Year and doesn’t look like giving up the title any time soon.
He blocks more shots, gets more rebounds and is just a defensive monster. Bynum also has a tendency to get a bit hot headed, as shown by the elbows he threw all over the place in the playoffs last year.
Bynum is far from a problem on the defensive end, and certainly makes his presence felt, but Dwight Howard is definitely the main man in the middle.
In the end it really depends on your team. Both are probably perfect big men for their teams. Bynum fills the hole that Shaq leaves, and fits well into the Lakers’ offense. That said though, Dwight Howard still has the advantage in the head to head category, and in my books is far and away the best center in the NBA.
Andrew Bynum may be closing the gap and is no doubt a great player, but is not yet on the same level as Dwight.
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With the Dwight Howard drama over for now, the question that is on many lips is whether or not Dwight can bring a championship to the other part of Florida. It’s a difficult question to answer. Could they go through both Miami and Chicago to get out of the East? It’s doubtful really. Both teams have suffocating defences, they defend in swarms, and they both have great defensive anchors with Noah and Anthony in the middle that can match up with Howard one on one to at least an extent. Dwight will still dominate the games he does, and will put up 15 points at the very least every game, but the key will probably rest with the perimeter play. Turkoglu will need to rediscover the Hedo of old, which may just not be possible anymore, when he was a pivotal figure in Orlando’s march to the Finals.
Many are crying out for them to pick up Steve Nash over the offseason. This will probably be a good move on the court, with Steve Nash still handing out 10 dimes again, and has proven to be deadly in a pick and roll, which could work to great success with Dwight Howard. Whether or not he’s actually an upgrade over Jameer Nelson is debatable, but if one thing is certain about all this, is that they need to do something, they have to be active. Dwight won’t be happy if they sit back and do nothing. If Ryan Anderson can keep up his great play, maybe they have a chance. But there is a great deal of ‘ifs’ here. They will always be a threat as long as they have Superman in the middle, and they will be at the very least the 3rd seed in the East. Whether they can truly make an impact on the seeming inevitable plot of the Eastern playoffs is another thing entirely.