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Elfrid Payton Talks Near Triple-Double and More Cavaliers-Magic Postgame Interviews

2015 March 15
by Adam Papageorgiou

 

AP Photo/John Raoux

AP Photo/John Raoux

Elfrid Payton says he wasn’t really aware he was close to a triple-double. To that, I put that on the Orlando Magic bench for not reminding him. Obviously the main focus is to try and win, but it’s not often you see a Magic man rack up a triple-double. In fact, there have only been 19 in history. The Magic locker room talked about all of the 3-pointers Cleveland rained in.

Elfrid Payton:

 

Below are interviews from James Borrego, Victor Oladipo, Tobias Harris, and Aaron Gordon.

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Scorching Hot Cleveland 3-Point Shooting Trumps Magic

2015 March 15
by Adam Papageorgiou
Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

The Orlando Magic were not in a 3-point defending mood on Sunday night. Cleveland sank a ridiculous 18-for-35 3-pointers in their 123-108 defeat of the Magic at Amway Center. Kyrie Irving had 33 points on 5-of-6 3-point shooting. LeBron James had a smooth 21 points, 13 assists, and 8 rebounds. J.R. Smith notched 25 points on 6-of-11 3-pointers.

The Magic missed 12 free throws (15-of-27) and gave up way too many open triples. Tobias Harris tallied 24 points and 8 rebounds. Nikola Vucevic notched 22 points and 15 rebounds. Victor Oladipo contributed 25 points and 7 assists. Elfrid Payton racked up his 7th double-double of the season of 10 points, 9 rebounds, and 10 assists. Just 1 shy of his first career triple-double. Luke Ridnour had a season-high 15 points, that’s the most points he’s scored in 2 years.

 

Below is the full game recap.

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Austin Daye Signs 10-Day Contract with Atlanta Hawks

2015 March 15
by Adam Papageorgiou

austindayebayhawks

The Atlanta Hawks have signed Austin Daye to a 10-day contract as per an official announcement on Sunday from the Erie BayHawks, who are the NBDL affiliate of the Orlando Magic. Daye becomes the second BayHawk player to receive a GATORADE Call-Up this season and the 13th in franchise history. Adrian Wojnarowski had the report on Saturday as it coincides with Hawks forward Mike Scott being out 4-6 weeks with a broken toe.

Daye, who was acquired by Erie on February 16th via the waiver wire, appeared in 10 games for the BayHawks and averaged 16.0 points per game. Daye’s NBA Development League season-high was 27 points at the Iowa Energy in a win. A night later, his tip-in at the buzzer tied the game at Sioux Falls where the BayHawks eventually went on to win in overtime.

Daye was drafted by the Detroit Pistons with the 15th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. During his fourth season with Detroit, he was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies and eventually spent time with the San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors before eventually landing back in San Antonio in February of 2014. He played six minutes in the Spurs’ playoff run en route to an NBA Championship. Daye was waived by the Spurs on January 17th this year. It’d be crazy if Daye was on Atlanta’s playoff roster than the Hawks won the title.

Daye has appeared in 285 NBA games throughout his career and the Hawks are the fifth NBA team he will play for.

 

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

Magic Fans Are in a Frustrating Economic and Supportive Dilemma

2015 March 14
by Adam Papageorgiou

ocscnycfc

If you haven’t noticed, the Orlando Magic’s 26-year stretch of being the only big time professional sports franchise in the City Beautiful has come to an end. The Orlando City Soccer Club has shed its ‘minor league’ label and is in Major League Soccer…and the Lions did it with a bang. 62,510 energized and purple-wearing people packed the refurbished Citrus Bowl on that historic March 8th Sunday. That’s more people than any of the 1994 World Cup matches hosted in the same venue – 2 of which I went to and weren’t nearly as loud as Orlando City’s MLS debut – and it’s the largest home game ever for any Orlando home sports town team. Ever.

That photo above is from my two season ticket holder seats. There were a few moments where I got goosebumps, something that used to only happen at Orlando Magic games in years past. Orlando was united for one wonderful evening. The entire country, Brazil, and Europe took notice. Orlando is becoming known for soccer as well.

Meanwhile, about a mile East of the Citrus Bowl, the Magic were hosting the Boston Celtics. Whether the attendance was 17,000 or 12,722, it doesn’t matter. The point is that an NBA team that for two and a half decades was the main show in town…is no longer that. Instantly, the Magic have significantly been overshadowed by soccer.

Why?

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WATCH: Aaron Gordon Catches Tyler Zeller’s Weak Shot Attempt

2015 March 14
by Adam Papageorgiou
Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon has had much of his rookie campaign taken from him due to injuries. The 19-year-old has only played 32 games this season, starting six of them. Friday night in Boston proved to be Aaron’s best contest in a while as he tallied 11 points, 8 rebounds, and this fantastic block against Tyler Zeller.

 

 

That’s a veteran-level stare by ‘AG’ as the catch-block is becoming a signature move for the rookie. You feel bad for him. He still doesn’t know if he’s an SF or a PF. He had the foot fracture that sidelined him for 2 months just as Aaron was getting a hang of NBA game play. Aaron last night scored 11+ points for the first time since January 31st against the Mavericks. Previous to that Dallas contest, Gordon had previously not reached double digit scoring since his career-high 17 points that Aaron dropped on November 7th against the T-Wolves.

We hope Aaron can stay healthy, continue racking up minutes, and grow his confidence in this final month before the offseason. The new Head Coach that comes in will understand quickly that he’s got a phenomenal athlete and a great character guy in Aaron.

 

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

Magic Lose in Boston, Allow Another Winnable Game to Slip From Their Grasp

2015 March 14
by Adam Papageorgiou
AP Photo/Charles Krupa

AP Photo/Charles Krupa

You know it’s not a good evening when Evan Turner scores 16 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter. Despite being up by 10 points at halftime and as many as 11 points in the contest while owning a decent lead early in the fourth period, the Orlando Magic lost in Boston 95-88 on Friday evening. Free throws doomed them. Orlando shot 14-of-28 from the ‘charity stripe. Elfrid Payton may have tallied 20 points, 9 assists, and 5 rebounds, but the rookie finished an awful 4-of-15 on free throws. Not good enough. Orlando got out-scored 29-16 in the fourth period. Orlando held a dominant 14-2 second chance points advantage, but it wouldn’t be enough to earn the positive result.

  • The Magic were again without Willie Green and Evan Fournier due to injuries.
  • Orlando only managed to score one field goal in the first five minutes of the contest, but their defense only had them down 6-3 at the 6:58 mark of the first period.n
  • Nikola Vucevic will be carrying the marks from this contest for a long time, courtesy of Tyler Zeller. Vooch did pick up his 37th double-double of the season as the Montenegrin mounted 16 points and 11 rebounds on the night.
  • Tobias Harris would also add 16 points while Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon would add 11 points each.
  • It was great seeing the 19-year-old ‘AG’ have one of his best games of his rookie campaign as Aaron gobbled up 8 rebounds. He got to show off a lot of offensive and defensive range which has been rare of late.
  • Boston would utilize an 8-0 run to tie the contest at 79-79 with 5:15 left in regulation.
  • Orlando would go ahead before Boston finally took an 85-83 advantage on an Evan Turner crazy behind-the-back off-balanced and-1 with 2:33 left. The Magic never truly recovered from that as Turner stayed hot through the finish.
  • Once Brandon Bass got his and-1 to put Boston up 91-85 with 53 seconds left, it was done with.
  • Orlando still hasn’t won in Boston since Febuary 7, 2010. They’ve now lost 9 straight there.

The Magic head back to Orlando at 21-46 following this 3-game road trip, and will host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday.

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

Shaq Deserves His Magic Hall of Fame Induction

2015 March 12
by Adam Papageorgiou

PedestalsPatNick

The Orlando Magic’s team-specific Hall of Fame was unveiled last April with the inductions of franchise founder Pat Williams as well as the team’s first ever NBA Draft pick Nick Anderson being the first members honored. Shaquille O’Neal on March 27th will become the third man to join the H.O.F. before the current Magic team hosts Stan Van Gundy – oh the irony – and the Detroit Pistons.

The Magic gave a video teaser for the 43-year-old’s ceremony.

Selected by Orlando with the first overall pick of the 1992 NBA Draft, O’Neal spent four seasons with the Magic from 1992 to 1996. He appeared in 295 regular season games (293 starts) with Orlando, averaging 27.2 ppg, 12.5 rpg, 2.4 apg, and 2.79 bpg. in 37.8 minutes per contest while shooting .581 (3,208-5,522 FG) from the floor. O’Neal was named an NBA All-Star all four times as a member of the Magic, named to the All-NBA Second Team once (1994-1995) and All-NBA Third Team twice (1993-1994, 1995-1996). He was also named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team in ’92-’93 and was the NBA’s Rookie of the Year. O’Neal ranks among the franchise’s all-time leaders in several categories including rebounding (second, 3,691), blocked shots (second, 824), field goals made (third, 3,208), and points scored (fifth, 8,019). His 27.2 points per game average is the second-highest in team history. Numbers never lie, and the stats say Shaq was a beast of a young man in O-Town.

Shaq made the world forget that Orlando wasn’t just all about theme parks. He was the team’s first big star and he dominated in his brief 4-season stay. He transcended sports to where a new level of celebrity and entertainment opportunities were created. You go to any country around the globe and I will bet you money that depending on the length of your stay, you will find some type of mid-’90s Orlando Magic merchandise. Shaq did that. For 4 glorious seasons Shaq not only made the Magic relevant worldwide, he along with Penny, 3-D, Nick, Horace, and others almost won an NBA title in 1995. A nightmare Game 1 against the Houston Rockets combined with Hakeem Olajuwon having an outrageously phenomenal postseason was too much for a young Orlando franchise to handle. Had injuries not plagued the team, the Magic very well could have done it in ’96 as well.

Was his exit ugly? Of course. Between the infamous newspaper poll, the initial low-ball contract offer in the ’96 offseason, to the gut-wrenching press conference of his signing with L.A., to realizing the Magic got ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in return for Shaq’s exit (which changed free agency and the league forever), to the banter and hatred Magic fans had for O’Neal in the years to come, to knowing that Orlando would have had a dynasty had Shaq stayed. It still hurts thinking about it. If the Magic had won ONE championship by now, that pain wouldn’t be nearly as excruciating.

Shaq is a walking and joking reminder of what could have been. That group of Magic guys could have won SEVERAL championships. Not just one or two, an entire dynasty-worth of rings. Especially with Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon entering their decline. Those three straight early-2000s Lakers championships would have been Orlando’s. I have little doubt about it. There will always be bitterness. But at some point, positive moments must come forward. There was a lot of good that the big man did both on and off the court for this community.

Shaq belongs in that Magic Hall of Fame. Believe it or not though, it’s still not as important an honor as having your jersey number retired. Right now, no Magic man deserves that. Dwight Howard is the closest, but we probably won’t see a player’s jersey hanging in the rafters until Orlando wins a championship.

O’Neal is in the franchise’s Hall of Fame. Guys like Dwight Howard, Anfernee Hardaway, and Tracy McGrady are certain to follow in the future.

 

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

MTN DEW Cans Feature Magic Trick Shot Campaign

2015 March 12
by Adam Papageorgiou

mtndew

I guess we can’t just call it ‘Mountain Dew’ anymore. As part of the Magic and MTN DEW’s Trick Shot Challenge, MTN DEW is featuring specially branded cans to remind fans to participate in the Magic Trick Shot Challenge. The Magic Trick Shot Challenge provides fans a chance to win 2015-2016 season tickets and be featured at a Magic home game in April.

Fans can post their videos to Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook using #MagicTrickShotSweeps. In addition to a social media entry, fans can also enter the sweepstakes through an online entry by taking a video of successfully making a trick shot and completing an official entry form online. Entries will be accepted through April 1, 2015. For an entire list of official rules and submission guidelines please visit, www.orlandomagic.com/trickshot.

You can see there are already some unique submissions. The contest is open to Central Florida residents, age 18 years and over.

 

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

Questionable Big Man Decision Leads to Magic Loss in Milwaukee

2015 March 11
by Adam Papageorgiou
Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images

The Orlando Magic went scoreless in the final 2:18 of their 97-91 loss in Milwaukee. Missing from the fourth quarter crunch time was Dewayne Dedmon. His 2 points don’t scream ‘valuable’, but Dedmon’s outstanding paint and rim protection were the reason Orlando was leading late in the third period before he sat down as Orlando’s over 50% offensive efficiency began to decline all the way down to the 40.0 FG% they finished with on Wednesday night.

Dedmon went to the bench with 4:18 remaining the third quarter with the Magic up 70-64…and never returned in the game. Dedmon had played 19 minutes and only had 3 personal fouls. Dewayne was the only Magic man to finish with a positive plus/minus (+5).

Channing Frye had an efficient 13 points on 4-of-5 shooting, but he was close to invisible on the court in the final three minutes of the contest. Dedmon’s offensive and defensive rebounding and shot blocking presence would have been more appropriate.

Khris Middleton led the Bucks with 30 points, tying his career-high that he set a few nights ago. With his 36th double-double of the season for Orlando, Nikola Vucevic finished with 19 points and 14 rebounds. Tobias Harris contributed 17 points while Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton each tallied 14 points. Orlando was out-rebounded 51-33 in the contest.

 

Below is the full game recap.

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Seth Curry Signs 10-Day Contract with Phoenix Suns

2015 March 11
by Adam Papageorgiou

sethcurrymagic

Bad news, Orlando Magic fans. The Phoenix Suns have signed Seth Curry to a 10-day contract. Curry becomes the first Erie BayHawks NBDL player to receive a GATORADE Call-Up this season and the 12th in franchise history.

Curry, a two-time NBA Development League All-Star, started 36 games for Erie this season while averaging 23.5 points per game. That ranks second in the D-League. His 3.7 three-pointers per game on 48.2% shooting also both rank second in the D-League. Curry dropped a season-high 43 points at Delaware on January 2nd, his second best scoring game in his D-League career.

After participating in the NBA D-League All-Star Game in 2014, Curry signed a 10-day contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers but was later re-assigned to Santa Cruz. He was invited by the Phoenix to participate in the 2014 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas where he appeared in five games for the Suns while averaging 10.2 points per game. Just before that, Curry played for the Magic’s Summer League team in Orlando and would eventually sign with the Magic on September 29th. Seth would participate in training camp, but within a month found himself in Erie.

Curry has appeared in two NBA games; one as a member of the Memphis Grizzlies and the other with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Phoenix is the fifth team to offer Curry an NBA contract. Magic fans clamoring to see Curry playing for Orlando will have settle for watching the 24-year-old in a different NBA jersey for now. The Magic have had the same maximum 15-man roster all season.

 

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