The Orlando Magic are now 5-16 at Amway Center after falling to the Milwaukee Bucks 115-100. It wasn’t that close. Bucks led from start to finish and Orlando players appear to have quit on the season. It’s sad with all that talent on the court. Magic lost the turnover battled 24-15. Milwaukee had a 29-14 assists advantage. Bucks knew how to share the ball better.
Milwaukee had 7 Bucks score in double figures. Nikola Vucevic snubbed from making the All-Star Game finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds. Victor Oladipo led Orlando with 21 points. Willie Green had a season-high 16 points. Elfrid Payton added 15 points and 6 assists.
Below is the full game recap.
I already made an argument about why Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic deserves to be selected for his first career NBA All-Star Game. That was on January 1st of this young 2015 calendar year. Since then, the Montenegrin has raised his scoring average and efficiency even more. Through 47 games, Vucevic is averaging 19.5 ppg and 11.2 rpg on 53.6 FG%. Beastly.
Unfortunately, about 80% of the large national media don’t seem to view Nikola Vucevic as an All-Star. They’d rather see guys like Chris Bosh, Al Horford, and even Kyle Korver get in over a great center on a bad team. So I’m back to change minds even though I know the coaches have already submitted their reserve votes. 4 ATLANTA HAWKS??? SERIOUSLY?! Atlanta is having a nice season, but it’s one part of the season. They don’t have the longevity.
Chris Bosh is averaging 21.3 ppg and 7.5 rpg on 47.1 FG%. Bosh has 7 double-doubles. VUCEVIC HAS 27! Nik leads the entire Association in double-doubles. Bosh has a 21.04 PER. Nik? 22.17. Stats don’t lie.
Atlanta is going to have Jeff Teague and Paul Millsap already in the All-Star Game. Well-deserved. Mike Budenholzer is going to coach the East All-Stars. That’s reward enough. Horford has been an All-Star but is only averaging 15.2 ppg and 6.7 rpg. He’s got a slight edge in shooting at 54.6 FG%. Horford’s PER is 21.37. Again, Vooch has Horford beat.
I get it, Kyle Korver is a freak of nature from behind the 3-point line. That’s why he’s being rewarded with the 3-point shootout invitation. HE’S ONLY AVERAGING 12.9 POINTS PER GAME! With a PER of 15.80. At the end the day, Korver is just a specialist. Not an All-Star. The only guys that get into the All-Star Game scoring less than thirteen points per game, are dominant big men and amazing point guards. Not shooters.
Here’s my final statistical fact for why Nikola Vucevic is an All-Star. Below is a list of the most recent NBA seasons where players posted a 19+ points per game average, and 11+ rebounds per game average, all while also shooting 53.0+ FG%.
Look at that list. Stare at it. Embrace it. Drool at it. Just soak it in. Dwight Howard, Shaquille O’Neal, Tim Duncan, Karl Malone, David Robinson, Charles Barkley. Nikola Vucevic is part of that. Right now. Not bad for a 24-year-old.
The only guy on that list who didn’t make it to the All-Star Game that season was 2009-2010 Carlos Boozer (the ’06-’07 version got in). A big reason for that was because Boozer before the All-Star Break only averaged 19.4 ppg and 10.8 rpg. He’d perform better in the season half of that ’10 campaign. Well that and he had guys like Pau Gasol, Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, and Zach Randolph get voted in front of Carlos.
Vucevic doesn’t have anywhere near that type of competition for an ASG invite. Also, Nik would be an All-Star lock if the center position still existed in voting.
Get that weak garbage ‘4 Hawks in’ mentality out of here. Vooch is an All-Star and it should enrage any basketball fan, player, coach, media member, whomever, that can appreciate statistics and a high-caliber season of production. The 15-33 Magic team win-loss record should mean nothing in this argument. It’s not like Nik is shooting a bad percentage or stat-padding. He’s out there doing everything he can to try and win for his franchise.
I’m mentally prepared for Vucevic to be robbed by the coaches’ vote come Thursday night. I can see it coming, and anyone who didn’t vote Nik should feel ashamed of themselves. I don’t hope for injuries, but I expect karma to kick in from the basketball gods and I am anticipating – one way or another – that Nikola Vucevic will be on the court in New York City at the All-Star Game on February 15th. Reward the 7-footer for his phenomenal work.
Oladipo, the 2013-14 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year runner-up, has increased his scoring average from 13.8 points in his first season to 16.5 points in his second season and improved his field goal percentage from 41.9 to 45.9. He has scored in double figures 35 times, had 20+ points 11 times, and had 30+ points twice, including a season-high 33 points on January 12th at Chicago.
Payton, the 10th selection in the 2014 NBA Draft, leads all rookies and ranks 18th in the NBA in assists (5.8 apg.) and ranks in the top-10 in rookie rankings in scoring, rebounding, FG%, steals and minutes played. He also became only the third player in NBA history to record 7+ assists in his first four career games (Oscar Robertson, John Wall). Payton has led (or tied) the team in scoring once, in rebounding twice and in assists a team-high 35 times.
The league’s annual showcase of premier young talent will debut a format that pits 10 first and second-year NBA players from the United States against 10 first and second-year NBA players from around the world. The game, set for Friday February 13th at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, will be televised live by TNT at 9 p.m. EST, part of Turner Sports’ 30th year of All-Star coverage.
This year’s edition showcases 10 of the top 15 picks from the 2013 NBA Draft presented by State Farm, and all four participants in the 2015 Slam Dunk contest (including Victor), which will be held during State Farm All-Star Saturday Night at Barclays Center.
Hopefully both Elfrid and Victor get selected for the skills contest as well.
Elfrid in January is averaging 10.8 ppg, 7.2 apg, and 4.4 rpg on 45.4 FG%. Oladipo has made a big jump in production as well this month, averaging 20.6 ppg, 3.8 apg, and 3.8 rpg on 46.6 FG%.
Below are the rosters for the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge:
Any time I see Alvin Gentry, I always think of this:
Orlando Magic Director of Retail Operations, Doug Smith was recently awarded the “Full Nelson Award” at the NBA Retail Summit that occurred January 11th through the 15th. The award is presented annually to the person demonstrating passion, leadership and dedication to improving the collective team business. Smith is in his sixth season with the Magic overseeing the team’s retail operations including in-arena, the team shop and e-commerce initiatives.
The Magic, under Smith’s leadership in a collaborative marketing initiative, were recognized for their innovation with the unveiling of the team’s “Pride Jersey” at the beginning of this season. As part of the announcement, the jerseys were available for purchase for a limited-time online presale prior to the team wearing them in game action. Every fan who purchased a jersey at the team’s online retail site during the presale also received two tickets to a Magic game.
In addition, the Magic and Smith were recognized for their 25th anniversary retail approach during the ’13-’14 campaign. As part of the Magic’s 25th anniversary celebration last season they offered fans the opportunity to purchase the team’s inaugural uniforms along with other collectibles and 25th anniversary products. The retail area also enhanced the team’s online offerings via the team website, www.orlandomagicshop.com and the Magic’s mobile app.
To further the team’s retail innovation, the Magic recently became the first NBA team to install Apple Pay at arena retail shops and concessions.
It’s not getting any easier for the Orlando Magic. After coughing up 67 points in the first half, Orlando lost 103-94 to the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night. 6 straight losses and the Magic have dropped 12 of their last 14 contests. Orlando’s defensive inconsistencies continued to get exploited. Zach Randolph led Memphis with 24 points and 10 rebounds while Marc Gasol notched 16 points and 10 boards.
Nikola Vucevic had a mediocre evening and still managed to tally 18 points and 12 rebounds. Dewayne Dedmon had a career-high 10 points and notched his first ever double-double with 10 rebounds. Well-deserved. Elfrid Payton added 12 points and 6 assists while Victor Oladipo had 18 points but still struggled dealing with screens on defense.
Below is the full game recap.
They’ve lost 11 of their last 13 games, of course the Orlando Magic know they’re in a horrible rut. Aaron Gordon may be the key to get out of it. Head Coach Jacque Vaughn looks beyond deflated at this point.
Just another frustrating Amway Center loss for the Orlando Magic who are now 5-15 at home after a 106-99 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Sunday night. Damjan Rudez scored 16 of his career-high 18 points in the fourth period to lead the Pacers to victory. Stunning. Orlando lost that fourth period 31-17 after they held a comfortable advantage entering the final 12-minute session. Orlando got out-rebounded 47-33 on the glass, 9-3 on the offensive boards.
Magic were led by another huge 27-point night from Nikola Vucevic. Victor Oladipo‘s 18 points were negated with shaky defense down the stretch. Aaron Gordon had an efficient 9 points and 4 assists in his first career start. Elfrid Payton contributed 10 points and 8 assists in defeat. Pacers were led by David West who had 20 points. Roy Hibbert had an 11-point, 13-rebound double-double.
Below is the full game recap.
In our Magic 8-Ball you’ll find quotes, tweets, Orlando Magic player social media posts, a random prediction that sticks to the Magic 8-Ball theme, any stats or tidbits you don’t find in our other MBO postings, and more. Basically a buffet of things that may slip through the cracks that are worth bringing up.
#1: Elfrid Payton Joins a Fun Club
It was January 16th, but it needs to be pointed out that the 20-year-old rookie point guard joined a small club. Payton became the 7th player in NBA history to tally 22 points, 12 assists, and 4 rebounds in a game while being twenty years old or younger.
Below are #2 through #8.
We already know Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo will be participating in his first NBA All-Star Weekend dunk contest come the middle of February. It’s not official, but when Woj says Vic is in it’s basically fact. Oladipo hasn’t even confirmed it, and Tobias Harris on the Jim Rome Show even admitted that Oladipo hasn’t even whispered about the dunk contest. Probably because he doesn’t want to jinx it, but also because of the Magic’s losing stretch. Vic’s in. Let’s ignore the 22-year-old’s shaky defense this season and focus on ways Vic can grow his brand and the team’s during the New York City during the festivities.
It would be pretty cool if Oladipo could follow the lead of Damian Lillard. Last year, the Portland guard took part in 5 events: the Rising Stars Challenge, Skill Challenge, 3-point Contest, Dunk Contest, and the All-Star Game itself. First time an NBA player has ever done that. Unfortunately, Victor’s 16.4 ppg, 3.9 apg, 3.7 rpg, 1.6 spg, and 45.6 FG% are not quite good enough to play in the Sunday February 15th All-Star Game spectacle. But what about the others?
With the Magic’s All-Star Break being 8 full days, fatigue shouldn’t be a worry.
Friday February 13th is the Rising Stars Challenge. The first-year and second-year player showcase is changing its format again from what Oladipo participated in last year. It’s now USA players against the World. I view it as an experiment for what may occur with the actual All-Star Game in the future. The format doesn’t matter, Victor Oladipo is a shoe-in to be chosen for the Rising Stars contest. He’s got the highest scoring average among all freshman-sophomore candidates. Barring injury, Vic will be playing and hopefully with Elfrid Payton joining him as well.
Saturday the 14th is the dunk contest, but that’s the headline event for that evening. Typically there’s the team challenge, but Orlando doesn’t have a WNBA franchise and it’s unlikely to see the Magic get represented here. What about the Skills Challenge?
Well, Victor knows it. We know it. Oladipo and Michael Carter-Williams got robbed last year.
Oladipo has mentioned in the past that he’d like to get revenge with MCW in this competition. I’d much prefer if somehow Vic teamed up with Elfrid. The globe needs to see that hair speeding up and down the court.
Finally, before the dunk contest is the 3-point competition. Oladipo doesn’t look like he’ll get an invitation. Oladipo’s 3-point percentage has fallen from around the forty percent mark to 37.9 FG% currently. Stephen Curry has a 39.9 3PT% and that’s 20th-best in the entire league. Even Lillard shot 39.4 3PT% for the season last year. Vic would need to catch fire from deep in the next week to be considered as I’m sure the NBA already has an idea which shooters they want in this event. Only way the NBA would choose Vic for the 3-point contest is if they wanted to imitate the buzz that Lillard’s multi-event evening brought.
Three events are better than none, and Victor Oladipo should be primed for a fun weekend in the Big Apple. It needs to be better than his most recent 6-for-20 shooting NYC trip. He’s in for the dunk contest and a shoe-in for the Rising Stars event. Skills contest redemption also makes sense. I’ll be curious to see what the charismatic Hoosier can bring to the dunk contest. It’ll be a nice reprieve from whatever state the Magic will be in come a few weeks from now.