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3-Point Struggles Too Much to Overcome as Magic Fall to Pacers

2016 January 6
by Adam Papageorgiou
AP Photo/John Raoux

AP Photo/John Raoux

The Orlando Magic struggled mightily to find offense in their second consecutive game of the season without Elfrid Payton running the point guard spot. The Magic fell 95-86 to the Indiana Pacers in front of a sellout Amway Center crowd on Wednesday evening.

Orlando shot 6-of-31 from 3-point range. Shooting 4-of-8 in the fourth masked their terrible 2-for-23 from long range in the previous three quarters. The 31 attempts are two shy of their season-high. 19.4 3PT% won’t get it done. Pacers weren’t much better at 6-of-22 from long range, but they made 9 more free throws than Orlando. That was the difference, folks. Orlando’s defense improved, but the lack of ball movement without Elfrid on the parquet floor is beyond noticeable.

Paul George led Indy with 20 points while Monta Ellis added 19 and George Hill tallied 16 points as that Pacers trio carried them to the victory. Other than 20 points out of Victor Oladipo, and 17 points from Nikola Vucevic, the Magic were having problems finding offense. Aaron Gordon had 8 points and 8 rebounds in 17 minutes, and you wondered if he should have seen more court time.

Below is the game recap. 

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Orlando Gets Demolished by Detroit in Road Blowout Loss

2016 January 4
by Adam Papageorgiou
AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

The Orlando Magic finished their 3-game road trip winless as 2016 isn’t looking great so far. Believe it or not, the Magic were only trailing by 2 points with seven minutes to go in the third period. Orlando lost 115-89 in Detroit on Monday night at the hands of Stan Van Gundy’s good Pistons squad. The hosts had seven players in double figures and dominated the boards, 54-30 including 18-5 on the offensive glass. Awful.

Detroit drained 14 triples, two shy of their season-high. Their 14-of-30 from long range made Orlando’s 6-of-30 on 3-pointers appear abysmal. No Elfrid Payton certainly made a difference, but too many Magic men are having flawed performances of late and it’s starting to accumulate into bad basketball. Evan Fournier was scoreless and Channing Frye only had 2 points.

Andre Drummond had an easy 17 points and 12 rebounds. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 21 points. Brandon Jennings poured in 17 off the bench. Balanced and deadly Detroit attack. Orlando got 18 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists as he started at point guard. Nikola Vucevic had 16 points, but only 3 boards. Andrew Nicholson poured in 14 points off the bench. Jason Smith notched a season-high 12 points. Detroit won the assists battle 25-17.

Back-to-back 25+ point losses. Apparently that’s happened four times (now 5) in Magic history, all occurring in the franchise’s first 2 seasons of existence. That’s not encouraging as the January schedule only gets tougher.

Below is the game recap.

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Scott Skiles Named NBA Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for December

2016 January 4
by Adam Papageorgiou

skiles

It’s nice to earn any honors if you’re the Orlando Magic. Scott Skiles was named the NBA Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for the month of December. The league made the announcement Monday afternoon. It’s now the 4th time Skiles has won Coach of the Month: January 2005, April 2006, and February 2010. Obviously this is his first as Orlando’s leader.

The Magic went 10-5 in December, including earning a 5-2 road record. Both records were best in the Eastern Conference. It’s the franchise’s first 10-win month since February 2012. It’s also the first time since February and March of 2012 that the team had back-to-back winning months.

In December, Orlando ranked #1 in the East in FG% and steals. Also, #2 in opponents points per game and point differential. Hopefully Orlando can regain that form after a rough start to their January.

It’s the 6th time a Magic man won Coach of the Month. Stan Van Gundy did it three times. Brian Hill got it once. And Johnny Davis of all people got the other one. Congrats to coach Skiles. Hopefully he earns much more hardware.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich took the Western Conference award for December.

Skiles Stare

 

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

 

***Join Magic Basketball Online on Facebook and our post-only Twitter profile***

Who Else Belongs in the Orlando Magic Hall of Fame?

2016 January 3
by Adam Papageorgiou

patnickshaq

We’re at the start of a new calendar year. You know what that means? Figuring out the next person(s) to be inducted into the Orlando Magic Hall of Fame. You’ve seen the permanent pedestals. They can be found on the Terrace level of the Amway Center along with other Magic memorabilia and moments.

Refresher: The Magic Hall of Fame was created at the start of the 2013-2014 campaign during the franchise’s 25th anniversary ‘silver season’. It’s a separate honor from if and when the Magic retire player jerseys. This is basically the best honor the organization can offer for those who have served the Magic franchise well since it began playing basketball in 1989.

Pat Williams and Nick Anderson were the initial inductees in Spring 2014. You have the patriarch of the franchise, and also the franchise’s first ever NBA Draft selection who played the most games ever in a Magic uniform and currently serves as community ambassador.

The Magic Hall of Fame though truly didn’t hit home and ‘take off’ as a really big deal until they brought Shaquille O’Neal back last March. It was Shaq who put the Magic on the global map in his short 4 years in O-Town. His shadow though has loomed over the team for almost two decades since his departure in the Summer of ’96. Fans had booed Shaq since. Until the Magic brought him back for the H.O.F. induction. If this can repair the relationship with Shaq, it can help heal other past wounds.

So who gets inducted into the third-year class? Will it be one person or multiple folks? Alex Martins and his decision ‘committee’ will have an answer within the next few months.

I’ve decided to put a list together of possible candidates, not just for this year, but for the coming years.

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Orlando Gets Victimized by Cavaliers’ Passing Death Machine

2016 January 2
by Adam Papageorgiou
AP Photo/Tony Dejak

AP Photo/Tony Dejak

The Orlando Magic have now lost their last 13 straight regular season meetings with the Cleveland Cavaliers. This following a 104-79 bludgeoning on Saturday night at Quicken Loans Arena. Cleveland carved up Scott Skiles‘ squad with precision passing. David Blatt’s team lifted their foots off the gas pedal, but still notched 24 assists on 34 field goals.

The sad thing for Orlando is that Cleveland really didn’t shoot the ball well by any means in the second half, but Orlando couldn’t cut into the deficit. Magic shot 38.2 FG% while the Cavs shot 41.5 FG%. LeBron James had a calm 29 points in 29 minutes of action. Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson notched double-doubles with ease. No Magic starter shot over 40% or reached double figures. Elfrid Payton was scoreless and just doesn’t look his spry self.

Below is the game recap.

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Orlando Falls in D.C., Lose 11th Straight Against Wizards

2016 January 1
by Adam Papageorgiou
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

This seems like a similar script. The Orlando Magic had plenty of chances to beat the Washington Wizards on Friday night, but had too many stretches of playing bad basketball. The Magic lost 103-91 despite the Wizards having injury problems. Orlando is 0-3 against Washington this season, and have now lost 11 straight to their Southeast division foes. It has to be mental at this point.

Both teams shot about 47%, but the Wizards were 8-of-26 on 3-pointers while Orlando was 5-of-20. Orlando got out-rebounded 46-39. It didn’t help that the Magic were just 6-of-8 at the free throw line.

Orlando was led by 20 points from Victor Oladipo. Nikola Vucevic had 14 points and 7 rebounds, struggling in the second half. Tobias Harris made up for a quiet first half and finished with 13 points and 10 boards to notch his 8th double-double of the season.

The Wizards got 24 points and 13 assists from John Wall. Otto Porter notched 21 points and 14 rebounds. Marcin Gortat racked up 10 points and 14 boards. Oh, and Kris Humphries killed Orlando yet again in the fourth quarter with 11 points. The defense on the perimeter wasn’t good enough for the Magic.

Below is the game recap.

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Back to Erie for Devyn Marble to Open 2016

2016 January 1
by Adam Papageorgiou

dev

Happy New Year, Orlando Magic. The team has begun January by assigning Devyn Marble to their D-League affiliate, the Erie BayHawks. Devyn had returned to Orlando on December 23rd after an 8-game stint in Erie.

The 23-year-old Iowa Hawkeye product only got a rebound – not even a shot attempt – in 2:02 of action in the victory against the New Orleans Pelicans. That was his only Magic minutes in the week the wing player had been with Orlando.

There’s just no room for playing time in Scott Skiles‘ rotation unless the games are blowout scenarios. And even then, Mario Hezonja and Shabazz Napier could use those minutes too. Devyn has played in 6 Magic games this 2015-2016 season. He’s made 1-of-5 shot attempts while wearing the pinstripes, and only played about 14 minutes total.

Marble has been sent to Erie to get reps. Plus, Orlando has a road-heavy January that includes that trip to London in the middle of the month. Erie has games on the 2nd, 8th, 10th, 13th, 15th, 16th, 18th, 21st, 23rd, 27th, 29th, and 30th of January. Coach Bill Peterson could have his services for a while as long as Orlando is still playing well and is staying relatively healthy.

Through 8 games – 1 start – Devyn has averaged 13.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 2.9 apg, and 1.6 spg on 35.8 FG% and 35.0 3PT% in about 32 minutes per contest. You’d like to see Devyn boost his shooting percentages as his vision is still not at what it was prior to his unfortunate eye injury last year.

The 5-10 BayHawks play in Grand Rapids, Michigan (DeVos family shout-out) to take on the 7-8 Drive on Saturday. As always with D-League games, all of them can be seen live on YouTube. Best of luck to Devyn. Hopefully he can help fuel a win streak for the BayHawks and try and make a playoff push.

 

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

 

***Join Magic Basketball Online on Facebook and our post-only Twitter profile***

WATCH: Orlando Locker Room Reacts After Defeating Brooklyn

2015 December 30
Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

It’s okay that the Orlando Magic recognize they were fortunate to nab a late victory. The main issue now is how they perform against a Washington Wizards squad that has had their number. It’s great that the home side was able to turn on a switch and dispatch of the bad Nets, but that can’t become a habit.

Elfrid Payton‘s availability during the upcoming road trip will be crucial to monitor. The Magic are not used to being without the services of their stud floor general. It’s very nice to see Nikola Vucevic posting solid numbers and being the go-to guy down the stretch. Despite his solid defending, Victor Oladipo is worrying me. He’s letting words from a bunch of nobodies potentially bother him. It’s one thing to use it as motivation, it’s another thing to have him in such a bad mood with the team winning.

Nikola Vucevic:

 

Victor Oladipo:

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Orlando Ends 2015 with 10-0 Run to Close Out Win Over Nets

2015 December 30
by Adam Papageorgiou
Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

It’s quite difficult to describe how bad the Orlando Magic played on Wednesday night, but they still found a way to defeat a terrible Brooklyn Nets squad. Brook Lopez hit a baseline bucket with 1:43 to go in the contest to put the visiting Nets ahead 93-90. Nikola Vucevic took over and fueled a 10-0 run to conclude the contest and a 100-93 Magic victory.

Vucevic scored sixteen of his 20 points in the second half to go along with 9 rebounds as the Montenegrin displayed his All-Star level form when it counted. Evan Fournier added 17 points as the Magic had to deal with no Elfrid Payton after exiting the first period with a variety of physical ailments. Tobias Harris and Victor Oladipo each tallied 12 points while Aaron Gordon poured in eleven.

Orlando won the rebound battle 50-37 despite Brook Lopez notching 24 points and 15 rebounds. Bojan Bogdanovic came up with another 20-point performance against the pinstriped patrol. Orlando only shot 43.9 FG%, but their 9-for-26 shooting from long range was a huge difference. They held Brooklyn to 42.2 FG% and just 3-of-20 on 3-pointers. It’s a game you’re thrilled to pull out if you’re Orlando. The Magic maybe played half a decent quarter and still got the job done.

Below is the game recap.

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Tyler Harvey with His Steph Curry Impression in Erie

2015 December 30
by Adam Papageorgiou

ty

Orlando Magic second-round Draft selection Tyler Harvey has not had a great D-League season with the Erie BayHawks. That was until Tuesday night in Pennsylvania when he hit an NBDL record 7 three-pointers in the fourth quarter to lead the BayHawks back from a 21-point deficit against the Texas Legends and forced overtime.

The 22-year-old guard from Eastern Washington would hit two more 3-pointers in the two extra sessions as Harvey’s 29 points gave Erie the 125-120 home double overtime victory. The 10-of-24 shooting (9-of-18 3PTs) are a reminder that Tyler had a bad first half. Way to come back though, rook. Erie now owns a 5-9 win-loss record.

In 13 games and 12 starts as a BayHawk, Harvey is averaging 11.9 ppg on 35.0 FG% and 36.7 3PT% in just under 25 minutes per contest.

Watch the clips below and tell me that some of Harvey’s shots don’t remind you of Steph Curry.

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