Everywhere you read about the Orlando Magic these days, or any team for that matter, someone will have an opinion about the Coach, GM, starting lineup, who the team should trade or trade for and which dancer is the hottest. But the talk of starting lineup changes are heating up for the Magic. Even the "legit" media outlets are starting to speculate on who might be replaced and for what reason. So, why should OrlandoMagicFan.com sit around while all the experts throw out hunches.
January 2007 Archives
The losing was so bad that Matt Goukas summed the evening in one sentence. Goukas at one point in the first half says, "Arroyo travels and Brian Hill has a headache." He was referring to the call on the floor after an obvious traveling violation by Carlos Arroyo and the camera switching to Brian Hill with his head pointed down and rubbing his forhead. There was uncontrollable laughter for at least 2 minutes in my household until reality set in. The team sucks right now. About the only thing going for the Magic right now is the minor miracle that J.J. Redick was on the floor for more than 2 minutes.
The Magic finally end the losing streak by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers, 80-79. The Magic did a better job getting the ball to Dwight Howard tonight. While Howard only had 10 field goal attempts on the night, the offense was consistent in working the ball in and out from Howard. The difference in this win compared to the recent losses, the team distributed the ball well and kept turnovers down. The overall effort was tremendous and Grant Hill played more like he had in the beginning of the year.
The game was so bad last night that we make bad teams look good. Take a look at the recap on NBA.com. The artile is titled, "Hornets’ Stifling Defense in OT Slows Magic". Ouch. I'm not sure what game they were watching, but it wasn't the Hornets' defense that slowed the Magic. The Magic's inability to run the offense late in the game is what slowed the Magic to a crawl. Seriously, had it ever crossed your mind that Dwight Howard and Darko Milici would go 2 of 4 from the free-throw line just to get the Magic in OT?
Can someone explain to me why we had three point guards on the active list tonight? How does Pat Garrity keep getting minutes over J.J. Redick? And don't give me the lame explanation that Garrity is a power forward. He fits that description about as well as I do. This game was flat out ugly. During one very ugly stretch in the fourth quarter, I had plenty of time to reflect on the fact Dwight Howard was still on the Magic bench with under 4 minutes remaining in the game. Are you kidding me? Come on Coach!
According to a blog entry over at the Orlando Sentinel, Fran Vazquez is a wimp. GM Otis Smith has been over in Spain catching up with the 11th overall pick in 2005. The report out of most media outlets is that Vazquez has virtually no interest in playing for the Magic or in the NBA. As I have said in the past, I seriously doubt we will ever see Vazquez in a Magic uniform. Without a doubt, that 11th pick by the Magic in 2005 was the worst yet. And we're comparing this against Steven Hunter and Jeryl Sasser - so that tells you how much of a stinker it was.
I was checking out NBA.com earlier and came across the latest Rookie Rankings. I think it's a damn shame that J.J. Redick is not even on the radar. In the past, I have spoken out against rookies the Magic have selected and wasted time on (Steven Hunter, Jerryl Sasser). I've also spoken up and pleaded for more playing time for those that really deserve it (Zaza, Bogans, Nelson). Today, I think it's time for us, as fans, to step up and start calling for more Redick. The lack of playing time this kid has received is ridiculous. Now, no one can be certain what goes on behind closed doors or whether the kid plays hard in practice. But I doubt that is the case for Redick who was the College Player of the Year in 2006. If you look over the list, you will notice that most nominated for the award are stand-up players in the NBA. Magic - it's time to do something with Redick. He's put in his four years in school when most try to avoid college. Let's get the kid on the floor consistenly, or get him somewhere he can play. Next year will be too late.
Another close game for the Magic. Tonight, they lose by only six to the high-scoring Phoenix Suns. The Magic were down by as many as 18 in the second half before putting together a solid run to close the gap late. I thought the Magic did just about everything well tonight - even the coaching staff put together a decent effort. Dwight Howard only had 10 points and 5 rebounds - well below his averages. Jameer Nelson, however, bounced back into form scoring 26 points - but he only dished 2 assists. The entire team only has 15 assists on 38 made field goals. The Magic were also out-rebounded by the Suns 43-38.
The Magic fall to the Los Angeles Lakers in a very close game, 109-106. Grant Hill had a big game with 20 points, but the Magic couldn't ride the hot hand in the fourth. What also surprised me about the fourth quarter was the decision to keep Tony Battie off the floor. I thought Battie played very well in the third and was fighting for every loose ball. Dwight Howard had an average game with 25 points and 10 rebounds (well, that's average for Dwight).
Ouch! Trevor Ariza will be out 6-8 weeks with a Grade 2 sprain of the MCL on his right knee. Ariza fell in the first half of the Golden State game and spent several minutes on the floor before getting up and continuing to play. On the next trip down the floor, Ariza fell again. This time, he had to be helped off the floor. Ariza is quickly becoming one of my favorite Magic players not named Dwight Howard. However, this could open the door for J.J. Redick to get a few minutes as the rotation is adjusted to account for Ariza's absence.
According to recent articles on the Orlando Sentinel, the Magic are interested and still interested in forward Chris Webber. Webber was recently released by Philadelphia after agreeing to a buyout. My question to the Magic is why? Why would a team aquire a player with questionable heart and desire to do what is best for the team? The second article states what we all know, Webber will not come off the bench for any team. And he's already had problems with the coaching staff in Philly as well as playing second fiddle to Allen Iverson. So why would he fit any better into our rotation of players? If the Magic do end up with Webber, I sure hope it's for the league minimum for a veteran and only for one year. Not only could Webber screw up this team's chemistry, but any contract other than a one-year deal could limit options in the summer for the Magic. Personally, I'd be positioning myself for the VC sweepstakes. I think Carter is ready to settle down on a team and play for a championship. And Orlando is quickly assembling the players and flexibility to do so.
30 point. 25 rebounds. Dwight Howard leads the Magic to the first win on their four game road trip. Not much to complain about in this game. I thought the Magic did a great job tonight and easily beat the Golden State Warriors, 91-76. Hedo Turkoglu missed the game due to his flu-like symptoms he has been experiencing all year long. Keyon Dooling was back on the bench tonight and came up big in the fourth quarter with a couple timely shots. Keith Bogans also played really well tonight. Actually, Bogans had a couple Grant Hill like moments - just when the Magic were starting to look uneasy, Bogans nailed a three or a jumper to help steady the team.
For kicks, I went over to YouTube and grabbed a couple links of Trevor Ariza dunking. That dunk on Okafor was my inspiration.
I'll keep an eye out for the Okafor clip over the next couple days and post a link if I can find one.
Dwight Howard for three as time expires in the second half. Trevor Ariza throws down a vicious dunk - somebody will need to stay late and scrape Okafor up off the floor. Simply put, the Magic were clicking well tonight and disposed of the Charlotte Bobcats rather easily tonight, 106-74. The Magic really poured it on in the fourth quarter.
With Grant Hill in and out of games this season, do you think we should explore trade offers for him? Personally, I'd like to keep Hill in Orlando for several more years - especially if we can get him to sign for the minimum after this year. Hill is a good influence to have in the locker room and a great role model for Orlando. Besides, I just get that feeling thinking about him playing out his career in Orlando. I think it just sucks for an ankle injury to take so much from a guy like Hill.
Magic win a close game over the Clippers, 91-86. The score was close most of the game and the Magic tried to put it away in the final minutes but the Clippers made things difficult. Jameer Nelson had a huge game, scoring 29 points and dishing out 4 assists with only 1 turnover. This was definitely an improvement for Nelson compared to the last few weeks. Dwight Howard dropped in 14 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to help the cause.