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Elfrid Payton and Victor Oladipo Already Are Owning All-Star Weekend

2015 February 13
Photo by Gregory Shamus/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Gregory Shamus/NBAE via Getty Images

The young Orlando Magic starting backcourt duo of Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton has not even participated in an All-Star event yet, and they’re owning the weekend up in New York City. Since arriving in the Big Apple on Thursday, the 22 and 20-year-old have been covering a lot of ground.

 

  

These are my dudes. I have front row bandwagon seats. A photo posted by Bill Simmons (@sptguy33) on

 

Can’t wait for that ESPN/Grantland show.

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Victor Oladipo to Donate Earnings From Slam Dunk Contest to 3 Charities

2015 February 12
by Adam Papageorgiou
Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

As part of the Dunk Cancer Social Media Fundraiser during NBA All-Star Weekend, Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo will donate earnings from the Slam Dunk Contest to three charities: Florida Hospital Cancer Institute, Children’s National Medical Center, and the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center. In addition to his personal contribution, Oladipo will assist the non-profit Dunk Cancer by hosting their social media fundraising campaign during All-Star Weekend to encourage fans to donate as well.

Oladipo is asking fans to join in his charitable efforts by participating in his 72-hour fundraising campaign on Twitter and Instagram. The campaign will launched on Thursday at noon with Oladipo using his Twitter and Instagram accounts (@VicOladipo) and the hashtag, #dunkcancer, to encourage fans to support his fundraising efforts by purchasing specially designed “Dunk Cancer” T-shirts ($30, including shipping, choice of three colors representing the teams he’s played on), and hoodies ($50, including shipping). T-shirts and hoodies can be purchased at www.dunkcancer.com.

During the campaign, Vic will retweet/repost, share details from his All-Star Weekend experience, and announce surprises and giveaways for participants using the hashtag #dunkcancer.

“It’s an honor and privilege to be chosen for the Slam Dunk Contest and what better way to celebrate than share my good fortune with others through my partnership with Dunk Cancer,” said Oladipo. “It was difficult to choose one charity to donate my earnings to and ask fans to help raise money for, so I chose three based on locations close to my heart—Maryland because that’s where I was born and grew up; Indiana because I’m a Hoosier for life; and Florida because they believed in me on draft night two years ago. I hope fans join me in such a worthy cause.”

Oladipo’s contribution and proceeds raised during the social media campaign are dedicated to treating and finding cures for various types of cancer: Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., earmarked for pediatric cancer; The Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center in Indianapolis, IN, earmarked for breast cancer research; Florida Hospital Cancer Institute in Orlando, FL, earmarked for its Multiple Myeloma Center, which Magic Senior Vice President Pat Williams launched through a fundraising campaign in 2013 to help build the center.

Oladipo could use all the popularity points he can get. Zach LaVine, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Mason Plumlee will not be easy to defeat. Victor and Elfrid Payton will be in the Rising Stars game Friday night. Oladipo will officially lift off on Saturday evening. Dwight Howard is the only Magic man to have won the dunk competition. That was back in 2008.

 

It’s almost that time #WEAREJORDAN

A video posted by Victor Oladipo (@vicoladipo) on

 

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

Elfrid Payton Will Participate in Saturday’s Skills Challenge at All-Star Weekend

2015 February 12
Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Good news! Orlando Magic rookie point guard Elfrid Payton will have an even busier weekend at All-Star Weekend in New York City. Payton will be participating in Saturday’s Taco Bell Skills Challenge as he is replacing Philadelphia’s Michael Carter-Williams. Coincidentally, MCW is the reason why Victor Oladipo didn’t advance in the competition last year. Payton has played all 56 Magic games this season, having started in 37 of them. Elfrid has averaged 7.9 ppg, 5.7 apg, and 1.6 spg on a decent 42.3 FG%.

No Magic player has won the event before. Thankfully, the ‘team theme’ has been ditched this year. It’s an 8-player knockout bracket head-to-head style tourney. The course is different too. It’s literally, head-to-head. Two guys could be maneuvering the course in unison at certain spots.

tacobellskillsmap

Obviously, the biggest worry for Elfrid will be that 3-point shot. The #5 point on that map is the lay-up/dunk. In year’s past, that’s how the contest ended. Now you have to make the lay-up/dunk and sprint back to the other end and drain a 3-pointer. I have a big feeling they’re doing that due to last year’s clock/timing controversy that involved Oladipo and MCW getting hosed.

Look, Elfrid is 4-of-21 (19.0%) from 3-point range this season. Not good. Crazier things have happened in these types of competitions. The winner will have done the course 3 times, so stamina and some good luck are always important.

Based off the bracket when the original 8 players were picked, Elfrid will be going up against Jeff Teague first. Challenging, but Payton has proven he won’t back down from any on-court fight. I’m not making any predictions, I just want Elfrid to have fun and let that hair flow.

Payton and Oladipo will have already played in Friday’s Rising Stars exhibition, representing the U.S. Elfrid will be in this skills contest, and then Payton may or may not be helping Oladipo out in the dunk contest at the end of Saturday’s festivities. Payton is 20 years old and is going to get enormous global exposure this week. Savor it, and let it fuel your drive to play in that Sunday game one day.

 

 

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

Magic Men Talk All-Star Break Following Knicks Victory

2015 February 11
by Adam Papageorgiou
Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

I’d be surprised if James Borrego doesn’t finish this season as Head Coach. This Magic team has gone from coughing 100+ points in 14 straight games with Jacque Vaughn to 4 consecutive games of allowing less than one hundred to their opponents. Dewayne Dedmon is earning a greater role as a defensive terror. Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton get to shift their focus to the All-Star festivities up in the Big Apple. Let the dunk contest speculation begin.

Victor Oladipo:

 

Below are interviews of Elfrid Payton, James Borrego, Dewayne Dedmon, and Nikola Vucevic.

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Magic Enter All-Star Break on Winning Note

2015 February 11
by Adam Papageorgiou
Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Few teams could use an All-Star Break more than the Orlando Magic. The pinstriped patrol beat the Knicks 89-83 on Wednesday night, but it wasn’t easy. At least Orlando’s defense seems to be in the middle of a resurrection. Dewayne Dedmon tallied a career-high 6 blocks to go with his 2 points. Huge energy from him and Willie Green (13 points) off the bench. Jason Smith had 25 points, and that was New York’s entire offense. Knicks shot 34.2 FG% on the night.

Nikola Vucevic had a beastly 28 points and 18 rebounds. Victor Oladipo added 19 points including a career-high 11 free throw makes (perfect at the stripe. Rookie Elfrid Payton added 12 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists in the victory. It wasn’t pretty at times, but any win you’re happy about at this point. Knicks continue to have the worst record in the NBA.

 

Below is the full game recap.

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Magic and Florida Blue Build Healthy Minds with New Reading Corner

2015 February 11
by Adam Papageorgiou
Photo courtesy of Gary Bassing.

Photo courtesy of Gary Bassing.

As a part of the Orlando Magic’s commitment to literacy and education, the team, in partnership with Florida Blue, unveiled its 26th reading corner on Tuesday at Dream Big Preschool Learning. Taking part in the build and unveiling celebration included Magic Community Ambassadors Nick Anderson and Bo Outlaw.

The Magic and Florida Blue donated children’s furniture, a bookcase, and Orlando Magic décor to the preschool. All of the books were donated by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. The reading corner was built through the volunteer efforts of Magic employees as part of the Magic Volunteer Program (MVP).

In the Magic and Florida Blue’s continuing efforts to develop lifelong learners through literacy and education, the reading corner built at Dream Big Preschool Learning is an extension of the Orlando Magic’s Baskets for Books program presented by Florida Blue. As part of the Baskets for Books program, during every Magic home game each point scored by the Magic will result in one book being donated to the Early Learning Coalition (ELC) of Orange County. More than 4,500 books have been donated to ELC through Baskets for Books. The program provides a way to continue the team’s literacy efforts, one of the Magic’s three community focus areas.

 

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

Washington Wizards complete season sweep of Orlando Magic

2015 February 9
by Brian Serra
Victor Oladipo and the Magic were chasing John Wall all night

Victor Oladipo and the Magic were chasing John Wall all night

On the bad end of a back-to-back, the Orlando Magic fell flat in Washington as the Wizards secured a 96-80 home win.

A step behind and a few airballs short all evening, Orlando struggled to keep up with both the physicality of the Wizard bigs and the speed of John Wall. A deadly combination for a team that struggles with consistent intensity.

“We just weren’t mentally or physically ready to start the game. We’ve got to be better.” -Coach James Borrego, repeating a line muttered by a Magic coach an infinite number of times

Despite struggling offensively in the first half the Magic trailed by just eight points, clinging to life in hopes of rebounding from last night’s heartbreaking loss. But three consecutive 3-point field goals at the start of the second half would push a single digit lead to 17.  read more…

Victor Oladipo: “We All We Got Right Now” and More Bulls-Magic Postgame

2015 February 8
by Adam Papageorgiou
AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.

AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.

That’s about as tough an a close Orlando Magic defeat can get. Victor Oladipo and Tobias Harris each took blame for errors late in that game. Oladipo also whipped out my favorite Glen Davis quote even though I know he didn’t mean it. They’re fighting hard for James Borrego though, and at least it’s more entertaining for fans.

Victor Oladipo:

 

Below are interviews of James Borrego, Nikola Vucevic, Tobias Harris, and Dewayne Dedmon.

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Magic Fall to Bulls Despite Leading by 6 Points in Final Minute

2015 February 8
by Adam Papageorgiou
Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

The Orlando Magic let one get away in heartbreaking fashion, falling to the Chicago Bulls 98-97. After fighting back from behind most of the night and being up 6 points in the final minute of the contest, Orlando was down a point but still had a chance to win with the final possession. Nikola Vucevic missed a good post-up look, the Tobias Harris missed the tip-in attempt and that was the game. You can argue Elfrid Payton had time to foul Pau Gasol to extend the contest. It’s a tough way to hand Head Coach James Borrego his first loss.

The Magic had 6 players in double figures including 18 points from Victor Oladipo, 15 points from Tobias Harris, and 14 off the bench from Evan Fournier. Elfrid Payton was the big reason why the Magic led late thanks to his 10 points, 9 rebounds (career-tying), 3 assists, and 2 steals. Payton made Derrick Rose look washed up. Pau Gasol led Chicago with 25 points and 15 rebounds. Rose had 10 points and 11 assists, while Jimmy Butler led all scorers with 27 points. Orlando out-rebounded Chicago 45-35, and won the second chance points battle 19-6, but the 21-11 personal foul discrepancy hurt.

 

Below is the full game recap.

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Orlando Magic Recall Devyn Marble From Erie

2015 February 8
by Adam Papageorgiou

devmarb

The Orlando Magic have recalled rookie Devyn Marble from the D-League. Marble was only with the Erie BayHawks for a swift 2-game stint, his second time with the BayHawks. The 6’6′ wing scored 15 points in a victory over Delaware on Thursday and had 13 points in a loss against Fort Wayne on Friday.

Marble has played 16 games for the Magic, starting 7 of them. The Iowa Hawkeye has averaged 2.3 ppg, 1.9 rpg, and 1.1 apg on 31.8 FG% and 18.2 3PT%. Hopefully he’s found his jump shot confidence again.

 

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