41 games down. 41 more to go. The Orlando Magic sit at 14-27 in this 2014-2015 season. It’s crazy that despite a full month of struggles, the Magic are only 3.5 games out of the 8th seed in the East. Back in October, I made a checklist of 8 items that Orlando needed to check off in order to make the playoffs. Let’s see how the Magic have done so far.
1. The Magic Must Shoot 2,000 Free Throw Attempts
Well, you would hope Orlando would have 1,000 attempts at this point. Not quite there. 780, which puts them near dead last in the Association. It’s a big reason why Orlando had lost 13 of their last 17 before the win in Chicago. It doesn’t help that Orlando is converting 72.4% at the charity stripe, which is also near the very bottom. Victor Oladipo leads the team in FTAs at 4.1 per contest. Then it’s Tobias Harris at 3.9 and it gets worse after that. You make it that much difficult on yourself when you can’t get free points.
Below are #2 through #8.
This is going to be on a loop for a while. Orlando Magic big man Nikola Vucevic was clearly frustrated that Pau Gasol was getting away with a lot of contact in Monday night’s Magic victory, but the Montenegrin mammoth would break the Spaniard in half on this glorious dunk that brought coroners out to the United Center.
The Bulls broadcast was impressed as well. And enjoy the GIF version.
The Orlando Magic got a signature victory on Monday night in Chicago. While the majority of the country may have been watching college football, the Magic took down the Bulls 121-114 and ended a 6-game losing streak. Most Orlando points scored since the double overtime win over the Knicks last year. I’ve criticized Victor Oladipo a lot, but he closed out the win on his own. Orlando is now 14-27 as the Magic burst through their scoring woes and moved to 10-1 when dropping 100+ points. Oladipo had 33 points, his second-highest total ever. Coincidentally, Vic’s career-high of 35 points came against Chicago on January 15th of last year. Oladipo dropped 11 points in the third period and thirteen in the 4th.
Not to be ignored, Nikola Vucevic followed up his career-high 34 points in Portland with 33 points and 11 rebounds in what was a phenomenal showing against Pau Gasol. Rookie Elfrid Payton added 10 points, 7 assists, and 4 rebounds. Orlando was out-rebounded 43-34, but shooting 59.8 FG% from the field negated that. Chicago was led by Pau Gasol who had 28 points and 14 rebounds, but Vooch beat the Spaniard soundly. Derrick Rose added 18 points while Jimmy Butler contributed seventeen. This is a massive confidence booster for this Magic squad.
Below is the full game recap.
You’ve still got time, Orlando Magic fans. Papa John’s is partnering with the Magic today (January 12th) to help support the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation (OMYF). Papa John’s is donating 50% of the sales from online orders placed with the online promo code “OMYF” to the foundation.
“Papa John’s is happy to support the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation,” said Charles Peters, President Papa John’s Orlando Co-op. “Papa John’s is proud to continue to give back to the community we all share by donating to the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation and the youth of Central Florida.”
To order and make a difference, customers in the Central Florida area should visit papajohns.com and enter promo code “OMYF.” Fifty percent will be donated back to the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation, which raises money to be distributed to non-profit organizations that support children in the Orlando/Central Florida area. The foundation has raised nearly $19 million to date and has impacted more than one million children.
“We are honored to work with our partner Papa John’s on this exciting initiative,” said Orlando Magic Youth Foundation President Linda Landman Gonzalez. “It is partners like Papa John’s that allow the OMYF to impact so many children in the Central Florida area. We are incredibly grateful for their generosity.”
2. Get Nikola Vucevic more touches towards the end of the game
Despite the Montenegrin center scoring a career-high 34 points on 15-of-23 shooting and grabbing 16 rebounds – 8 came on the offensive glass – Nik easily deserved more touches, especially late in the contest.
As you can see, Vucevic tied the game at 85-85 with just over 4 minutes left. Unfortunately, Victor Oladipo chose to play ‘hero’ ball and Nik didn’t get another touch until almost 2 minutes later, a putback off a ‘Dipo miss. By then, Portland already had a strong hold on the end result of the contest. Nik was by far the best Orlando offensive weapon the entire evening, and should have gotten more looks.
Over the past week, Vooch has surpassed Bo Outlaw for 8th place on the Magic’s franchise defensive rebounds list and Nik surpassed Tracy McGrady for 8th place on the franchise offensive rebounds list. His averages of 18.4 ppg and 11.1 rpg on 52.5 FG% can’t be ignored.
Despite the team’s struggles, Nikola Vucevic deserves to be an All-Star. Vooch won’t get voted in by fans, but he’s still got a few more weeks to put up monstrous outings like in Portland to grab the attention of coaches who will select the All-Star Game reserves.
The bad vibes the Magic brought into the Moda Center on Saturday night to take on the Portland Trail Blazers were as palpable as the adversity stacked against them going into the match-up. Losers of five straight games, playing on the second night of a back-to-back, against the second best team in the entire NBA, and without two of the team’s top players (Tobias Harris-sprained ankle, Evan Fournier-sprained knee) all signs pointed to it being a long night for the visiting ball club.
With All-Stars Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldirdge on the floor, Nik Vucevic proved to the best player for either team on Saturday night. He posted a career-high 34 points to go with a game-high 16 rebounds. But it wasn’t to be enough as the Trail Blazers edged the Magic 103-92. Aldridge led the way for Portland with 25 points, Wes Matthews contributed 18 points and 8 rebounds, and Damian Lillard chipped in with 16 points and 5 assists. Portland had five players score in double figures compared to just two for Orlando. Victor Oladipo tallied 18 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists for the Magic, Devyn Marble added a career-high 6 points and 5 steals, but the team could not get enough points from the rest of the supporting cast. Channing Frye would like to forget his Portland-homecoming as he shot just 1-10 from the field, including a lousy 1-8 from downtown.
Read below for the complete 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.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen the Magic 8-Ball, and that’s because this squad hasn’t given us many good moments.
#1: Andrew Nicholson Became a Clipper…and Then He Didn’t
So either that’s a very nicely photoshopped article title or somebody got their sources mixed up and quickly retracted an article that would have the Canadian being sent to a new employer. This is very strange.
Below are #2 through #8.
Bad enough to want to poke your own eyes out. Since winning Sacramento on December 6th, the Orlando Magic have now lost 12 of their last 16 games after falling 101-84 on Friday night to the Los Angeles Lakers. It’s the worst month of Magic basketball seen in a decade. Between the numerous Magic players slipping on the floor and the grotesque rebounding gaps, Orlando had no right winning at Staples Center. This is the worst effort seen out of a Jacque Vaughn‘s team during this season-worst 5-game losing streak.
The Lakers owned an 18-4 offensive rebound advantage. 60-36 total rebound Magic deficit. Inexcusable. Jeremy Lin led all scorers off L.A.’s bench with 18 points. Victor Oladipo had 17 points for the Magic. Tobias Harris added 15 points while Nikola Vucevic tallied a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double. Luke Ridnour had a season-high 12 points and Evan Fournier finished with eleven. Ed Davis had a 10 & 10 double-double while Carlos Boozer poured in 12 points and 14 rebounds. Tarik Black even had 14 points and 9 rebounds. Just way too much big man production out of a bad Lakers team that looked great in comparison to Orlando tonight.
Below is the full game recap.
As part of the Orlando Magic and UnitedHealthcare’s commitment to a healthy community, the two are teaming up to host Fit Fest 2015 on Saturday January 10th from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Amway Center on the Magic practice court. Guests can enter through the doors located on Division Avenue. Fit Fest 2015 is free and open to the public. Space is limited and participants must reserve a spot and download a ticket to enter at www.orlandomagic.com/fit.
The event will feature timed skills and drill activities on the Magic practice court, a clinic with Orlando Magic Dancers, healthy eating tips from Levy Restaurant chefs, along with special appearances by Magic Community Ambassadors Nick Anderson and Bo Outlaw. In addition, all participants will receive a complimentary ticket to the January 25th game at Amway Center when the Magic take on the Indiana Pacers.
Participants will register for one of two sessions:
· 10 a.m. – noon
· 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
UnitedHealthcare is the title sponsor of Orlando Magic Youth Basketball Camps and the community gym clinic series each summer, as Orlando Magic celebrities and camp coaching staff host 90-minute basketball clinics at each of the six Orlando Magic Orange County community gyms. The Magic and UnitedHealthcare also partner to provide full scholarships to attend summer basketball camps to 100 kids who would otherwise not have the means to attend.
The Orlando Magic had their chances to steal one in Denver on Wednesday evening. Unfortunately, familiar inconsistent play prevented the Magic from getting off to a proper start on their 4-game road trip. Orlando lost 93-90 to the Nuggets as Orlando somehow had a chance to tie the contest. Off a Denver miss, the Magic had possession with 17 seconds late. They had a timeout left but Jacque Vaughn let his team decide it on their own. Unfortunately, Orlando didn’t get a clean 3-point look as Evan Fournier ended up hoisting a step-back triple at the buzzer that was off the mark. The Nuggets went 14-of-14 in the fourth quarter which proved to be a huge factor in the end. Orlando finished at 39.8 FG% for the contest. The Magic didn’t even play one good quarter and still almost won. 11 steals off 21 Denver turnovers kept Orlando in it.
Nikola Vucevic led Orlando with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Victor Oladipo tallied 17 points while Andrew Nicholson had a season-high 11 points off the bench. Nice to see the Canadian play well. Evan Fournier added 14 points against his former team while former Magic man Arron Afflalo had seventeen. Ty Lawson led all scorers with 23 points while J.J. Hickson had an 11 & 10 double-double. Magic killer Nate Robinson notched 13 points, ten of which were off fourth period free throws.
Below is the full game recap.