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Magic to Host Orlando Summer League July 4th-10th

2015 May 21
by Adam Papageorgiou

summerleague

The Orlando Magic will host the Southwest Airlines Orlando Pro Summer League at the team’s practice court at the Amway Center from July 4th through the 10th. The 25-game, seven-day event will feature two teams from the Orlando Magic (‘Blue’ and ‘White’), along with the Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, and Oklahoma City Thunder.

Each team will play five games over the seven-day event, with a championship day being played on the final day of the league. A point system will establish the standings leading up to the final day, with 8 points awarded each game based on: 4 points for winning the game and 1 point for winning a quarter (in the event of a tied quarter, each team will receive 0.5 points). In the event of ties in seeding heading into championship day, three tiebreakers will be in place: 1) total point differential; 2) total points allowed; 3) coin flip.

Due to space limitations, the event is not open to the public. NBA TV will televise the Southwest Airlines Orlando Pro Summer League games. Fans will once again be able to watch every game live on NBA.com and on the NBA Game Time app.

A complete game schedule for the Southwest Airlines Orlando Pro Summer League is listed below. The Magic’s rosters will be released at a later date.
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Orlando Will Face Miami Heat in October 7th Preseason Game

2015 May 21
by Adam Papageorgiou

wadedipo

We already know the Orlando Magic will play a preseason contest in Brazil on October 17th. You can add a meeting with the Miami Heat in Louisville, Kentucky on October 7th to the exhibition calendar.

 

 

The Heat played last year at the KFC Yum! Center against Kentucky NCAA champion Anthony Davis as well as Louisville NCAA champion Russ Smith and their New Orleans Pelicans. Maybe the event organizers believe the Magic or Heat will select a Wildcat product with their #5 and #10 NBA Draft selections. Victor Oladipo is an Indiana Hoosier, and Bloomington is only a 100-mile drive to Louisville.

The contest will be treated as a Miami Heat home game, so the Magic will be designated as the ‘visitors’.

Louisville has for a while now had the facilities and the fans to support an NBA franchise on a full-time basis. It’s the matter of being awarded a team that has proven challenging as there are no signs of expansion from the current 30-team model.

 

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO and Founder of Orlando Magic Greek

 

***Join Magic Basketball Online on Twitter and Facebook!***

Nikola Vucevic Receives All-NBA Votes

2015 May 21
by Adam Papageorgiou

vooch

The Orlando Magic didn’t have any of its players get named to the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd All-NBA teams on Thursday, but center Nikola Vucevic did receive 6 votes.

 

 

 

It’s nice to see the Magic’s best player during the ’14-’15 campaign getting a little bit of national recognition despite the team posting a disappointing 25-win season.

 

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO and Founder of Orlando Magic Greek

 

***Join Magic Basketball Online on Twitter and Facebook!***

Ben Gordon Revived His NBA Career in Orlando

2015 May 20
by Adam Papageorgiou

bg

This is an MBO series of 2014-2015 Orlando Magic seasonal player recaps and evaluations. As the NBA Draft and free agency approach, we’ll dive into statistics, highlights, and more as we dissect the 15-man roster and figure out who should stay and who should go as we enter a very important offseason in the franchise’s history. 

Previously in the series:
#2 O’Quinn

#9 Vucevic
#11 Marble
#12 Harris
#13 Ridnour
#44 Nicholson

 

Ben Gordon last summer looked like he was an NBA outcast. He was a walking expiring salary in Charlotte, making over $13 million in the ’13-’14 campaign where he played only 19 games and made some enemies with that franchise. It got so bad that he was waived on March 2, 2014. That prevented him from joining any playoff team looking to add roster depth.

Then the lifeline came in the form of Rob Hennigan, Scott Perry, and rest of the Magic front office. The basketball world scoffed when it was found out that Orlando gave Ben a 2-year, $9 million contract. From the moment he and Willie Green showed up to town, Ben took up the mentoring role management wanted him to hold.

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Orlando Holds Steady and Claims 5th Pick in NBA Draft

2015 May 19
by Adam Papageorgiou

balls

The Orlando Magic finished with the 5th-worst record in the NBA this season. In a bit of a surprise though, the Magic didn’t improve or fall in the Draft Lottery and will be selecting with the #5 selection in the June 25th NBA Draft. The Magic organization has already announced their Draft Party.

As reported here, coming into the lottery, the team with the 5th-worst record had only ended up with the #5 choice once in the past decade. If the Magic keep the 5th selection, the Magic will most likely be paying that athlete $3.74 million in the 2015-2016 campaign as that is 120% of the rookie salary scale for that position.

For the first time since the Magic won the #1 pick in 2004, the worst team in the NBA actually ended up with the #1 selection. The Minnesota Timberwolves will most likely make NBA history by having the last three #1 consecutive choices on their roster (Anthony Bennett, Andrew Wiggins). The New York Knicks were the biggest losers, falling from second down to the #4 pick. While the Lakers leaped from fourth up to #2.

There’s little doubt that the top two choices will be Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor. It’s all about what order that will occur in now.

We’ll get deeper into the potential choices at #5, but the Magic are looking at a potential pool of guys including: Justise Winslow, Willie Cauley-Stein, Mario Hezonja, and Kristaps Porzingis.

There are already rumors that the Knicks will trade the #4 pick, so anyone looking to leap up in front of the Magic to grab a guy like D’Angelo Russell, Emmanuel Mudiay, or even Justise Winslow will have to pay a price.

 

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO and Founder of Orlando Magic Greek

 

***Join Magic Basketball Online on Twitter and Facebook!***

Grab Your Lucky Charms, It’s Ping Pong Ball Time

2015 May 18
by Adam Papageorgiou

nbapingpongset

It’s here, Orlando Magic fans. Hopefully this is the last time this franchise is in the Draft Lottery for several years. Winning the #1 pick very well could assure that. If you need a reminder, below is my chart of the last decade of lotteries:

magiclottery

The Magic have the 5th-best odds at winning the lottery. 8.8% chance at the #1 pick. 9.7% at the 2nd selection. 10.7% chance at the 3rd pick. To stay put at #5, it’s a 26.1% chance. 36.0% at dropping to the 6th choice (most likely scenario). To slide down to 7th, it’d be an 8.4% chance. If the basketball gods really want to create chaos, it’s 0.4% odds of falling all the way to #8.

Checking out the results for what happens at the #5 pre-lottery spot, there’s a lot of randomness.

Only once in the past decade has the #5 spot ended up with the 5th pick. 4 times the pick has jumped into the top 3 (twice to #1, once to #2, and once to #3). However, four times the pick has dropped to #6. It’s also fallen to #7 once.

The last time the worst team in the NBA won the #1 pick was the Magic back in 2004. The Dwight Howard era would begin at that point. If you’re the Minnesota Timberwolves, you’re hoping that the odds are in your favor. Three times in the last 21 years has the worst team actually won the #1 pick.

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Elfrid Payton Makes NBA All-Rookie First Team

2015 May 18
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando Magic guard Elfrid Payton has been named to the 2014-2015 NBA All-Rookie First Team. He received 121 First Team votes out of a possible 130.

Payton becomes the ninth player in franchise history to be named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team. Victor Oladipo received the honor last year. Payton was joined on this First Team by Minnesota’s Andrew Wiggins, Chicago’s Nikola Mirotic, Philadelphia’s Nerlens Noel and Jordan Clarkson of the Los Angeles Lakers.

You can see how the 130 people who had a ballot voted here. Along with the 121 First Team votes, Elfrid also got 8 Second Team votes. That means ONE person out of 130 didn’t vote for Elfrid on either team. Mike Rice of Comcast SportsNet Northwest didn’t include Elfrid on his ballot. That’s outrageous considering he voted in guys like Dante Exum, Jerami Grant, and Tyler Ennis over the Magic point guard. Rice has apologized for the mistake.

 

 

Payton played in all 82 games (63 starts) during his rookie campaign, averaging 8.9 ppg., a team-high 6.5 apg., 4.3 rpg. and a team-high 1.73 spg. at 30.3 minutes per contest. He also had a respectable assists-to-turnover ratio of 2.63 (533/203). Payton was the only Magic player to appear in every regular season game. He ranked 13th in the NBA in steals, 14th in assists and 16th in assists-to-turnover ratio. Payton also ranked among all NBA rookies in scoring (eighth), rebounding (tied for eighth), assists (first), field goal percentage (seventh), steals (second) and minutes played (fourth).

Payton led (or tied) the Magic in scoring four times, in rebounding six times, and in assists a team-best 64 times. On March 18th at Dallas, he became the third rookie in Magic history to record a triple-double (Anfernee Hardaway, Victor Oladipo). Then on March 20th vs. Portland, Payton tallied his second straight triple-double, becoming the first player in Magic history to ever post consecutive triple-doubles. He also became just the seventh rookie in NBA history and the first since April 1997 (Antoine Walker) to accomplish the feat.

 

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO and Founder of Orlando Magic Greek

 

***Join Magic Basketball Online on Twitter and Facebook!***

Andrew Nicholson Badly Could Use a Reboot Right Now

2015 May 15
by Adam Papageorgiou

drewnich

This is an MBO series of 2014-2015 Orlando Magic seasonal player recaps and evaluations. Throughout this month of May – as the NBA Draft and free agency approach – we’ll dive into statistics, highlights, and more as we dissect the 15-man roster and figure out who should stay and who should go as we enter a very important offseason in the franchise’s history. 

Previously in the series:
#2 O’Quinn

#9 Vucevic
#11 Marble
#12 Harris
#13 Ridnour

 

You know that experience after you’ve bought a new computer/laptop? Everything is running efficiently, you’re pleased, but you’ll be happier once you start adding more programs and extra software to it. Well eventually you get to a point where you may have overdone it. Your computer begins to run slower. Programs start giving you error messages. You realize you ruined a good piece of machinery.

Andrew Nicholson is that computer, and he’s on a downhill performance trend. That’s not ideal when you’ve just completed your third season in the NBA and are 25 years old. Things won’t get better until someone cleans out the cookies, removes some unnecessary programs, and reboots Andrew. Whether a different NBA destination can do that, or if it’ll be the new Magic coaching staff, we’ll find out in a year or less.

2012-2013: 7.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 52.7 FG%, 16.7 minutes per contest

2013-2014: 5.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 42.9 FG%, 31.5 3PT%, 15.4 minutes per contest

2014-2015: 4.9 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 43.7 FG%, 31.7 3PT%, 12.3 minutes per contest

Adding the 3-point shot in his second season ended up ruining Andrew. He’s got the talent. Nicholson was a first round Draft pick for a reason, and you see how great of a rookie campaign he had. Andrew even managed to improve his defense (both 1-on-1 and help) during this latest inconsistent season, but his offense is failing him now and it’s difficult to imagine the incoming coaching staff utilizing the Canadian more than ten minutes per night.

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Design for Orlando Magic Christmas Jersey is Revealed

2015 May 13
by Adam Papageorgiou

There were two things I despised growing up: decreased recess time and cursive. The latter is being adopted by the NBA in their Christmas jerseys for the upcoming 2015-2016 season, and the Orlando Magic are getting one as well apparently. Credit to Paul Lukas of Uni Watch for the scoop.

christmasjersey

christmas shorts

Now this does not mean that the Magic are playing a game on Christmas. That will be determined later in the summer when the actually 2015-2016 season schedule comes out. All 30 teams seem to be getting a version of this jersey.

I’m not a fan of these uniforms. Hate the font and the cursive. The only thing that make this redeeming are the pinstripes. Again, Orlando is the only NBA franchise that uses pinstripes. Keep riding that monopoly. Also, the numbers do remind me a bit of the mid-’90s Magic jerseys, but their placement on the front of these Christmas jerseys isn’t ideal as it leaves way too much blank space.

avent

 

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO and Founder of Orlando Magic Greek

***Join Magic Basketball Online on Twitter and Facebook!***

Luke Ridnour Looked Semi-Retired in Orlando

2015 May 12
by Adam Papageorgiou

luke ridnour

This is an MBO series of 2014-2015 Orlando Magic seasonal player recaps and evaluations. Throughout this month of May – as the NBA Draft and free agency approach – we’ll dive into statistics, highlights, and more as we dissect the 15-man roster and figure out who should stay and who should go as we enter a very important offseason in the franchise’s history. 

Previously in the series:
#2 O’Quinn

#9 Vucevic
#11 Marble
#12 Harris

 

Luke Ridnour played in 47 contests in the ’14-’15 campaign, by far the least he’s played in 12 NBA seasons. It was also Luke’s first and most likely last season in a Magic jersey. His $2.75 million salary for the ’15-’16 season is not guaranteed, and it’s very possible he gets waived this summer. The Northwest native is only 34 years old, but the veteran point guard appears to be at the end of the road of his solid professional career.

When Ridnour was on the court, Luke’s effort level was great. But he just wasn’t on the court nearly enough to be satisfied with his offseason acquisition. 4.0 ppg, 2.0 apg on 42.6 FG% and 31.7 3PT% in 14.5 minutes per contest just isn’t worth keeping around at his price tag. I will say I was pleasantly surprised at how consistent his midrange jumper was, shooting 55.4 FG% in between the 3-point line and 16-feet away from the basket. Luke unfortunately offered little defensive resistance, which is why both Jacque Vaughn and James Borrego played Luke in tiny spurts to shield his inadequacies.

He reached double digits in scoring only 3 times, that included a season-high 15 points. You can check YouTube and it’s difficult to find any evidence that Ridnour wore a Magic jersey on the court.

Injuries were never a big issue. He missed more contests due to personal reasons and the addition of a new child to the family. At the exit interviews in April, Ridnour mentioned he’s contemplating retirement but that he has the ‘OK’ from his family to continue playing in the NBA. That just doesn’t sound like a guy – no matter how nice he may be – you want on a team that will be desperate to make the playoffs next season.

 

Future Team Outlook

I’d be stunned if Rob Hennigan hangs onto Luke. I know Elfrid Payton learned a decent amount from the Oregon Duck, but Luke’s heart doesn’t seem to be in playing another season with the Magic. Orlando needs to bring in a new backup veteran PG who can play every game for 15-20 minutes a night. This franchise could use the extra $2.75 million cap space.

They can bring in a young/hungry guy like Peyton Siva to build up third string point guard depth at a much cheaper price. I appreciate Luke’s time in O-Town and wish him a happy retirement if/when that occurs. Ridnour has racked up about $45 million in career salary earnings, and there’s no shame in hanging up his low-top sneakers now. Few men in their mid-’30s can say they never have to worry about money again.

 

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO and Founder of Orlando Magic Greek