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WATCH: Elfrid’s Postgame Reaction After Loss Represents Team’s Concerns

2016 January 20
AP Photo/John Raoux

AP Photo/John Raoux

Orlando Magic point guard Elfrid Payton didn’t really have a postgame interview. It was more of there being a few words mixed in with a lot of unhappy and frustrated shrugs and facial expressions. And it made complete sense. There isn’t much more that can be said that hasn’t already come out of that locker room’s mouths over the past few weeks.

This Magic are slumping. Hard! They either figure it out, or it’s another date with the NBA Lottery. It’s pretty evident that Scott Skiles is now forced to change his starting lineup for Friday, but the majority of the roster isn’t playing as well as it was in 2015. Everyone’s pissed. If that’s not enough fuel to fix the situation, then oh boy.

Elfrid Payton:

 

Scott Skiles:

 

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Orlando Suffers Most Humiliating Defeat of Season Against Sixers

2016 January 20
by Adam Papageorgiou
AP Photo/John Raoux

AP Photo/John Raoux

Well, that was embarrassing. The Orlando Magic have now dipped under .500 after losing their eighth game in nine contests, falling 96-87 in pitiful fashion to the Philadelphia 76ers. It’s an atrocious defeat that undercuts everything positive the occurred in the previous forty games of the 2015-2016 campaign.

Orlando shot 39.3 FG% in the contest. They got 21 points, 10 assists, and 6 rebounds from Elfrid Payton. 15 points and 11 rebounds from Nikola Vucevic. 15 points and 10 rebounds out of Tobias Harris. But no one played well. they allowed Philly to shoot 48.6 FG% and punk them in front of a hollow 17,746 Amway Center crowd. Five Sixers reached double figures.

Below is the game recap.

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Orlando Needs Togetherness…and Maybe Some Tweaks

2016 January 19
by Adam Papageorgiou

agmario

I know, a bit of a contradictory title. The Orlando Magic are almost halfway through this 2015-2016 season. They’re 20-20, yet there’s so much apathy/negativity surrounding the franchise that you’d think they were 2-38. This is the first time in 4 years the squad isn’t tanking. Scott Skiles and his staff have done a great coaching job so far in creating some positive buzz.

With that said, the Magic are looking like a leaky aquarium tank since the calendar turned to 2016. Plenty of water to keep the inhabitants alive, but trouble is coming if those leaks don’t get caulked. There are some legitimately tough decisions the coaching staff may need to make moving forward and it goes farther than plays out of timeouts  or defensive rotations.

I’d like to bring up a few thoughts/topics as a result of the Magic having lost 7 of their last 8 games, and how they can try and keep themselves afloat in the playoff hunt while they survive the next six weeks of a mostly rough portion of their schedule.

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Slow Start, Poor Play, Magic Skid Continues In Atlanta

2016 January 18

Photo by John Bazemore/AP

The proverbial stuff has officially hit the fan for the Orlando Magic. The team returned from its misadventure in London and found themselves smacked back to NBA reality as they fell 98-81 to the Hawks in Atlanta on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Orlando has now lost their last 3 games, slid out of the top-8 in the Eastern Conference standings and has seen their record fall all the way back to .500 for the first time since November 27th.

Elfrid Payton returned to the starting lineup in place of Victor Oladipo who was unavailable due to a sprained knee and played a spirited, aggressive style of game that should provide hope that he is finally fully healthy again. Payton finished with 16 points and 5 assists and Aaron Gordon shined off the bench as he chipped in with 18 points and 7 rebounds. Nikola Vucevic added another double-double performance (10 points and 11 rebounds) but was canceled out by the stellar play of Al Horford who paced the Hawks with 15 points and 7 rebounds of his own. Jeff Teague added 14 points and Paul Millsap showed the Magic again just what they missed out on this summer when he agreed to return to Atlanta rather than sign with Orlando, as he poured in 13 points and 12 rebounds.

Read below (if you dare) for a complete game recap.

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Magic Come Up Just Short, Fall To Raptors In London

2016 January 14

Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

 

The NBA couldn’t be happier with its decision to send the Orlando Magic and the Toronto Raptors across the pond for a regular season showcase game at the O2 Arena in London. The Magic couldn’t be more disappointed with the end result. In one of the most exciting, back-and-forth games of the season, Orlando couldn’t quite close the gap on the Raptors, losing 106-103 in overtime.

Orlando was led by Victor Oladipo‘s 27 points, double-doubles from Tobias Harris and Nikola Vucevic and a balanced scoring attack that featured five players contributing at least 16 points. Kyle Lowry poured in 24 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists for the Raptors who were also energized by newly-minted Magic Killer Cory Joseph who poured in 19 points off the bench on 9-11 shooting.

The Magic men return home from their international business trip with a bruised ego and a sense that their season is continuing to slide in the wrong direction.

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Orlando Helps Out Cleveland with Trade; Will Waive Joe Harris

2016 January 13
by Adam Papageorgiou
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Orlando Magic on Tuesday decided to help out the Cleveland Cavaliers by making a trade. The Magic acquired second-year wing player Joe Harris, but it seems that GM Rob Hennigan will be waiving the 33rd pick of the 2014 NBA Draft as Harris is having season-ending surgery. This transaction had nothing to do with the 24-year-old, but rather money. Orlando receives cash, Cleveland earns a roster spot and luxury tax relief.

 

 

 

 

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WATCH: Orlando Reacts to 4-Game Season Sweep by Wizards

2016 January 9
AP Photo/John Raoux

AP Photo/John Raoux

It’s awesome that we’re all expecting more and more out of the Orlando Magic, but we are beginning to forget how rapid their growth has been in six months. Saturday was their sixth game in nine days. As frustrating as it is to get swept by the Wizards yet again, we need to take a step back and savor the fact that the Magic are currently still overall playing like a postseason team.

I think Evan Fournier puts it best though, the trip to London will either add to their chemistry or possibly cause damage to the team’s progress. Would a loss to the Raptors be the end of the world? No. Especially with their two best point guards unavailable at the moment. But the schedule is continuing to remain difficult through the All-Star Break, and the Magic will have to grow a bit more and find ways to beat great teams moving forward. Win-loss record wise, it may get worse before it gets better for O-Town this season.

Coach Randy Wittman on his Wizards beating Orlando 12 games straight:

“Scott (Skiles), I told him before the game, he’s doing a hell of a job in changing this team around. This is not an easy team to play against. All 4 games have been hard-fought. Sometimes there’s no rhyme or reason. Listen, Toronto’s gotten us three times, two of them one possession games where it’s just a dogfight. We’ve been lucky enough. I’m glad we’re done with it to be honest with you.”

 

Scott Skiles:

 

Nikola Vucevic:

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Orlando Loses Against Wizards for 12th Consecutive Game

2016 January 9
by Adam Papageorgiou
AP Photo/John Raoux

AP Photo/John Raoux

It’s definitely mental. The Orlando Magic have now lost 12 straight contests at the hands of the Washington Wizards after a 105-99 defeat at Amway Center on Saturday night. John Wall again ripped apart Orlando with his dribble penetration, finishing with 24 points and 10 assists. D.C. now has 25% of their sixteen wins on the season courtesy of the Magic.

Despite shooting fourteen more free throws than their guests, the Magic were torched by 3-pointers yet again. Washington shot 13-of-23 from long range, while O-Town managed 5-of-13 from deep. Orlando shot 51.4 FG%, but coughed up 55.3 FG% to the Wizards.

Nikola Vucevic had a slow first half, but finished with 23 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists. Victor Oladipo tallied 17 points but also 6 turnovers as every day without Elfrid Payton on the floor is a bad one. Aaron Gordon played well off the bench, notching his 2nd career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. You wonder now if ‘AG’ should finally get the starting nod over Channing Frye who had 12 points, but gave up a lot of buckets on the other end.

Below is the game recap.

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Ejim Buzzer Beater Gives Erie NBDL Showcase Victory Over Spurs

2016 January 9
by Adam Papageorgiou
Jack Arent/Getty Images

Jack Arent/Getty Images

The Erie BayHawks improved to a 6-11 record on the season after defeating the Austin Spurs 93-91 at the NBA Development League Showcase in Santa Cruz, California. Melvin Ejim won the game on a put-back to beat the final buzzer off a Jordan Sibert jump shot miss that came up short.

That coming after Bill Peterson’s team forced a 24-second violation with 3.5 seconds remaining on the game clock.

Ejim was one of 7 BayHawks to score in double figures, finishing with 10 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists. It’s not the most exciting game-winner in the world, but it’s still a buzzer beater in Erie’s first game of this year’s Showcase. This is the perfect week for D-League guys to gain extra attention from NBA front offices and international scouts. A good performance at the Showcase can certainly help earn you a 10-day contract in the league as well.

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Victor Oladipo Earns December 2015 NBA Cares Community Assist Award

2016 January 9
by Adam Papageorgiou
Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo on Friday was named the December 2015 NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente recipient. The honor is in recognition of his work with the hearing impaired and other charitable efforts throughout Orlando.

With the help of Channing Frye, Oladipo presented Sonora Walker and daughter Taylor on Christmas Eve with gifts for the holidays and a check to aid their transition out of a local women’s shelter. Oladipo then stunned them with a new Kia to help Walker with transportation to and from her new job.

That’s not all.

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