The Orlando Magic are hosting the Detroit Pistons on Friday night. The game may not matter as much as the return of former Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy to Amway Center. SVG was in the arena for Summer League when Detroit hired him, but this will be the first time he’s truly facing his ex-employer. A lot changes in 2 years. There are no Magic players and little staff still in Orlando from the last time SVG was with the Orlando franchise. Stan is still determined to wear flip-flops and shorts until Thanksgiving. Something tells me Detroit weather won’t allow that.
Anyway, on to Magic news. Jacque Vaughn is planning to rest certain players tonight while sitting others Saturday night in Allentown, PA when Orlando takes on the Philadelphia 76ers. Aaron Gordon talked dribbling and how he would love to participate in the All-Star Weekend dunk contest, so get the campaign going. Elfrid Payton does indeed love to wear hats. If I had that hair, I wouldn’t cover it up. Evan Fournier also mentions how he and Nikola Vucevic do communicate in French while on the court A French Connection indeed.
Stan Van Gundy:
Below are interviews of Aaron Gordon, Elfrid Payton, Evan Fournier, and Jacque Vaughn.
I’m optimistic and crazy enough to peg the Orlando Magic as a playoff team. Yeah, this 2014-2015 team. This is in response to Philip Rossman-Reich of Orlando Magic Daily seeking anyone who believes this Magic squad can make the playoffs. Well I’m here to reassure everyone that it can happen. I believe Orlando is capable of grabbing the 8th seed in an improved Eastern Conference. However, I have an 8-item checklist that I hope everyone references throughout the season. These eight things very well can occur. If Jacque Vaughn’s squad checks off these 8 items, the Magic will be a playoff team. So let’s get to it.
1. The Magic Must Shoot 2,000 Free Throw Attempts
The 2012-2013 Orlando Magic roster attempted an NBA-worst 1,359 free throw attempts. Last season, Orlando improved to 1,714 free throw attempts. The 20.9 FTAs per contest was only good enough for 26th-best in the Association.
Through 4 preseason games so far in Jacque Vaughn’s third year at the helm – 3 of those exhibition contests being played on the road – the Magic are averaging 24.5 free throw attempts. Based on last season’s league statistics, that would be 9th-best currently. Multiply 24.5 by 82 games and that’s 2,009 FTAs. Boom. More free throw attempts means more chances at easier points, it also means getting opposing players in foul trouble.
If 2,000 FTAs seems like too much. Divide that by 82 and the average is 24.39 per contest. That 0.11 difference from what the Magic are averaging right now in the preseason isn’t so small. 24.39 FTAs per contest was 12th-most in the NBA last season. That’s just a bit better than middle-of-the-pack.
Orlando’s three players that have shot the most free throws in the preseason are Tobias Harris, Evan Fournier, and Aaron Gordon. Two of those guys are new and I’d expect Elfrid Payton to get to the line in bunches as well based on his college history. Don’t count out veteran Ben Gordon either finding some of his past form. In his prime days in Chicago, the 31-year-old averaged about 5 FTAs per contest. Let’s also not forget the return of Victor Oladipo that’ll occur soon. Vic averaged 4.0 FTAs per contest last season (same as Tobias) which was only second to Arron Afflalo. This group of guys can get to 2,000 attempts. It won’t be easy, but becoming good never is.
Below is the rest of the checklist.
Following last night’s victory at Amway Center against Flamengo and their loud Brazilian fans, the Orlando Magic held practice Thursday morning in preparation for Stan Van Gundy and his Detroit Pistons visiting on Friday. Coach Jacque Vaughn has been pleased with Andrew Nicholson and how his game is beginning to fine a proper balance. Jacque also discussed what it’s like having four ball-handlers on the floor at times for his squad. Kyle O’Quinn talked about his new 3-point shot while Ben Gordon isn’t yet satisfied with how he’s’ progressed in the preseason. Victor Oladipo and Channing Frye will not be available for Friday’s contest against Detroit.
Below are interviews of Jacque Vaughn, Andrew Nicholson, and Kyle O’Quinn.
Orlando Magic rookie point guard Elfrid Payton will have his roller coaster performances throughout his first NBA campaign. It’s expected. But don’t let that prevent him from providing extraordinary assists such as the one he gave Tobias Harris last night against Flamengo. You see Elfrid driving into the paint with his familiar diligent nature. Payton tried to give a side bounce pass to Nikola Vucevic that Walter Herrmann was able to get a hand on. Elfrid immediately gets on the ground and wins the loose ball. The instant Elfrid lifts his head up, he knows T12 is cutting to the basket. Here’s the bounce pass assist result:
Can you feel it? Your Orlando Magic are 3-1 in the preseason. Exhibitions or not, having a winning record feels outstanding. Head Coach Jacque Vaughn has been overall pleased with the progress of his squad. Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton continue to get comfortable with NBA speed situations. Nikola Vucevic and Tobias Harris continue to display their growing contract extension value. Everyone was pleased at a job well done in front of home and festive Brazilian fans.
Below are interviews of Jacque Vaughn, Nikola Vucevic, Elfrid Payton, and Tobias Harris.
This is just a sampling of what’s to come from Orlando Magic rookie Aaron Gordon. Start pushing for ‘AG’ to be jamming at All-Star Weekend. It’s nice to have a 19-year-old freak of athletic nature on your squad.
#00 says he dunked around the Flamengo defender. I’m not so sure.
The Orlando Magic made their 2014-2015 home debut on Wednesday night with a preseason victory against the Brazilian powerhouse Flamengo. Despite the home opener, it often seemed like the Flamengo cheers and chants were overtaking the building. While the chants were energizing, it wasn’t enough to propel the visiting Rio squad who ultimately fell to the Magic 106-88.
Nik Vucevic led the Magic on the night with 20 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks, Tobias Harris scored 14. Both players are having strong preseasons and continue to show their worth at a key point in contract extension negotiations.
“I’ve been able to be at some international games, and just the livelihood of the crowd and unison of the chants is pretty cool” – Magic Head Coach Jacque Vaughn on the atmosphere of the Flamengo fans.
Aaron Gordon had 15 points on the night including a thunderous dunk late in the 4th quarter. His scoring opportunities tonight came all around the rim and that will continue to be that way throughout the year – but if he hustles and converts the garbage opportunities, he will earn his playing time at a crowded position. Coach Vaughn specifically called out and praised Aaron’s aggressiveness on the floor and his obvious hunger.
The young point guard Elfrid Payton had a bad scoring night (2-5 shooting for 5 points, 30 minutes), but continues to impress with the way he creates for his teammates and pesters the opposing team on the defensive end. While he did have five assists and four rebounds, the six turnovers are what jumps out – and is the only thing holding him back from locking in the starting PG spot on opening night.
The Orlando Magic are hosting their first preseason home game of the season tonight. Their opponents are Brazilian powerhouse Flamengo. Coach Jacque Vaughn says Willie Green is available to play in his first contest as a member of the Magic. Green had hyper-extended his left knee in training camp. That means Orlando has 13 available players with Victor Oladipo and Channing Frye still out. Coach Vaughn says he WON’T give his players a scouting report of Flamengo. Orlando will focus more on their own defensive strategy and wants his guys to figure things out on the court.
Expect a free flowing game. Flamengo has had almost a week to prepare for the Magic after losing in Phoenix to the Suns last Wednesday. They actually held their own before the Suns prevailed thanks to transition chances. It’s the first time a Brazilian team is in the U.S. to play preseason friendlies. Walter Herrmann is the most recognizable player on their roster. Herrmann along with solid 24-year-old point guard Nicolas Laprovittola played for the Argentinian national team at the recent FIBA World Cup. Flamengo’s captain, Marcelinho Machado, played for Brazil’s national team at that tournament and even faced off against France and Evan Fournier in the first group stage contest. Flamengo has a rich soccer and basketball history, and their Twitter account has almost 2 million followers, which is almost a million more than the Magic’s official account. The game will be broadcast live across Brazilian televisions. This Flamengo teams may be one of the strongest South American teams ever. A few weeks ago they took down Euroleague champion Maccabi Tel-Aviv to claim the Intercontinental Cup.
FOX Sports Florida is the regional television home of the Orlando Magic. Well today the network announced that they will premiere a new preseason special before the start of the Magic’s preseason home opener on Wednesday October 15th versus Brazilian side Flamengo.
The “Orlando Magic Preseason Special” will start at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday – prior to tip-off of the Flamengo contest – as David Steele hosts a panel discussion with FOX Sports Florida Orlando Magic analysts Jeff Turner, Brian Hill, Tony Battie and Nick Anderson. Viewers at home will get direct insight of this year’s Magic roster that includes seven returnees and eight new additions in pinstripes. The panel will also analyze how the rest of the NBA is shaping up, and provide their expectations for the coming season.
“Orlando Magic Preseason Special” Re-air Schedule:
Wed 10/15/2014 9:30 p.m.
Tue 10/21/2014 6:30 p.m.
Sat 10/25/2014 10:00 a.m.
Tue 10/28/2014 7:00 p.m.
All Magic regular season games will be shown by FOX Sports Florida this season.
The Orlando Magic are back in town following a tight defeat in Charlotte to the Hornets. Head Coach Jacque Vaughn continues to pleased with his team’s offensive and defensive improvements heading into Wednesday’s home preseason opener against Brazilian side Flamengo. JV talked about Evan Fournier playing three positions, his squad’s increased free throw attempts, Dewayne Dedmon getting better, and more.