Skip to content

Steph Curry Steals Spotlight as Magic Fall to Warriors

2016 February 25
by Adam Papageorgiou

currydipo

The basketball planet is currently run by Stephen Curry right now. His 51 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds on 20-of-27 FGs and 10-of-15 on 3s puts that performance as one of the best ever from a Magic opponent. The ten triples are a franchise opponent record against O-Town. What’s maybe most remarkable, is that Curry only took 1 free throw attempt. In the past 50+ years of the NBA, no one has ever dropped 50 points while shooting 1 free throw or less. That’s bonkers.

Orlando made it a seesaw battle for the first 34 minutes of Thursday’s contest, but Curry’s greatness vaulted the Warriors over the Magic to a final score of 130-114. 24 of Curry’s 51 points came in the third period. In a game where his teammates were kept in check, curry proved why his the MVP. Just give him the award now.

Golden State shot 60.2 FG%, including 13-of-25 on 3s. They only shot 4-of-14 in the first half. They were 9-of-11 in the second as Curry made seven of his 3s then. Orlando only mustered 45.6 FG%, but were in the contest because they attempted 12 more free throws. Golden State’s 36-12 fast break points advantage is what truly separated the two squads.

Orlando got little bench production, but all 5 Magic starters played decently as they reached double figures. Evan Fournier led the home side with 20 points. Aaron Gordon has a career-tying 19 points as well as 8 rebounds. Nikola Vucevic tallied 17 points and 9 rebounds. A hobbled Victor Oladipo had 14 points on just 5-of-16 shooting. Elfrid Payton rounded out the five with 12 points and 6 assists. It was all about Steph though.

Steph joins LeBron James as the only other opponents to score 51 points in Amway Center. They’re also the one two men in Magic history to post a line of at least 51-8-7. The 19,189 in attendance at Amway Center was a season-high, and the fifth-most ever for a Magic game since the building opened in 2010. Many of those people cheered for Curry and the champs.

Below is the game recap.

read more…

J.J. Redick Discusses Orlando Trading Him at 2013 Trade Deadline

2016 February 24
by Adam Papageorgiou

jjmagic

I’ve said it a few times on Twitter, but all Orlando Magic fans should listen to J.J. Redick and his weekly podcast on The Vertical. The 31-year-old Los Angeles Clipper is having his best year in now his 10th season in the NBA. It’s fantastic to listen to an active – and great – player on a playoff contender let basketball fans inside the world of a professional athlete. More importantly though, Magic fans should tune in because J.J. mentions his days in Orlando a lot. He already discussed the Dwight Howard ‘Dwightmare’ stuff in a previous podcast.

This week’s podcast was no different as far as O-Town importance goes. Redick had Charlotte Hornets big man Spencer Hawes and Toronto Raptors All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry join his program. From the get-go when talking with Hawes, Redick goes deep into the details of what February 21, 2013 was like when the Magic dealt him to Milwaukee at the trade deadline. I’ll go through some of the quotes, but you should really hear it.

 

 

read more…

Orlando Claims “Must-Win” Victory in Philadelphia

2016 February 23
by Adam Papageorgiou
Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant

Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/GettyImages

You knew it, the players knew it, and Scott Skiles wasn’t about to shy away from it. Tuesday night in Philadelphia was a “must-win” for the Orlando Magic. They’d already lost once to the bottom-dwelling Sixers this ’15-’16 campaign. Orlando couldn’t afford another defeat to them. It got a little scary in the third quarter, but Orlando claimed a 124-115 victory at the Wells Fargo Center.

Orlando was led by Nikola Vucevic who tallied a season high 35 points – two shy of his career-high – as the Montenegrin shot 13-of-21 and added 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Evan Fournier contributed 21 points. Victor Oladipo provided 22 points and 3 steals. ‘Dipo and Vooch each shot 9-of-9 from the free throw line. Aaron Gordon had an energetic 11 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 steals. Ersan Ilyasova kept the Magic bench steady with 10 points and 8 boards.

The last time the Magic scored 124 points in a 48-minute regulation contest was on January 13, 2011 when they actually lost in Oklahoma City 125-124. The Magic lost 139-136 in double OT to the Thunder at Amway Center back on October 30th, the second contest of the season. Orlando notched season highs in free throws made (35) and attempted (41). Orlando had not attempted 41 free throws in a contest since Dwight Howard broke a record in Golden State back on January 12, 2012.

The Sixers scored exactly 31 points in the first, second, and third period. Orlando finally played some defense and held Philly to just 22 points in the final session. That’s all it took, some momentary spurts of defense. Philadelphia still shot 54.4 FG%, while Orlando shot a decent 48.2 FG%. The main difference was Orlando scoring 28 points off 22 Philly turnovers. Orlando’s 13 turnovers only turned into 13 Sixers points.

Below is the game recap.

read more…

Orlando Officially Waives Jared Cunningham

2016 February 22
by Adam Papageorgiou

jcun

The wait was longer than anyone anticipated, but the Orlando Magic on Monday finally officially waived Jared Cunningham. The 24-year-old never reported to the team because Orlando was expected to waive the Oregon State University guard product immediately after the trade was completed on Thursday. The Magic roster is now at 14 players.

The delay had nothing to do with the Magic. Orlando acquired Cunningham, a second-rounder, and a Traded Player Exception valued at around $8.19 million from Cleveland in exchange for Channing Frye at Thursday’s trade deadline. This was mostly a great cap space move for Orlando. The Magic give away Frye’s contract while Cunningham’s $947,276 only impacts this ’15-’16 payroll.

Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com reported this afternoon that Frye did indeed pass his physical at last, thus cementing the trade. Shortly after, Orlando’s front office waived Cunningham.

Once a trade gets completed, the physicals that need to be completed seem to be an afterthought in your casual NBA fan’s mind.

Well, not after Detroit voided a 3-way trade hours before the good news about Frye. The Pistons rescinded their 3-way deal with Houston and Philadelphia because Donatas Motiejunas‘ back is in worse shape than originally thought. Detroit acquired him after getting Tobias Harris from the Magic last Tuesday. The Rockets and Sixers get harmed in a variety of ways now that Motiejunas gets returned to Houston.

Cleveland dragged out the process of evaluating Frye’s health. Channing had that heart scare while he was a Phoenix Sun a few years ago. There were none of those issues that popped up during Frye’s time in Orlando, but Cleveland wasn’t going to take any chances. So they took their time. The Motiejunas news certainly made me nervous about Frye’s situation, but thankfully that fear only lingered for a few hours.

Depending on how you look at it, Orlando has about $45 million in cap space that will be available to them this summer. That’s enough to sign 2 big name players/talents.

Had Frye’s trade been rescinded due to health worries, Orlando’s hopes at making a big offseason splash would have taken an enormous hit because Frye’s $8 million per season contract would have eliminated a good portion of that cap space. Rob Hennigan probably would not have trade Frye without dealing away Tobias’ $16 million per season contract first.

No need to fret though, Frye’s physical went well and Orlando waived Cunningham. We can continue keeping one eye on this current Orlando squad, and another on the July free agency period.

 

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO. 

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

L.A. Clippers Assign Branden Dawson to Erie BayHawks

2016 February 22

bdaw

The Los Angeles Clippers on Monday announced that they have assigned forward Branden Dawson to the Erie BayHawks through the D-League’s Flexible Assignment System. As you know, Erie is Orlando’s hybrid NBADL affiliate.

This is the 3rd D-League assignment for Dawson. He played in 21 games this season for the Bakersfield Jam and Grand Rapids Drive, averaging 6.6 ppg and 3.7 rpg in about 17.5 minutes per contest.

The 56th overall pick of the 2015 NBA Draft has appeared in 3 games for the Clippers this season, scoring just two points and grabbing three rebounds on 1-of-3 shooting in his limited NBA career so far.

It’s an interesting arrangement for Erie because it’s yet another Michigan State Spartan on that Erie squad. See Keith Appling and the Timberwolves’ Adreian Payne. Magic coach Scott Skiles is a Spartan alum as well. Earlier this year, Erie also obtained Payne’s services. It’s not known if Erie volunteered to take on Dawsen, or if the lottery system took care of that.

No competitive advantage can be gained by the Clippers since they don’t face Orlando again this ’15-’16 campaign. So Bill Peterson will be able to run all of the sets he wants with Dawson.

The 6’7″ 23-year-old was a Second-Team All-Big Ten performer in his final season at Michigan State. Dawsen is the Spartans’ as the all-time leader in blocks (142), fifth in starts (121), sixth in steals (163), and seventh in rebounds (902).

The 11-23 BayHawks are at the bottom of the Atlantic division, and are just struggling mightily. They’ve been blown out in their 3 games following the All-Star Break. Erie heads to Nevada to take on the Reno Bighorns on Tuesday. Keith Appling, Tyler Harvey, and Melvin Ejim continue to perform fairly well.

 

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO. 

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

 

WATCH: Magic Locker Room Reacts After Loss to Pacers

2016 February 21
AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.

AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.

This wasn’t your typical late-game Orlando Magic loss. Overall, the squad executed a decent game plan against Indiana. Little mistakes did them in on this evening. You can live with missed free throws and lay-ups because those can be corrected. It’s all about how they respond now in Philadelphia that will determine if this team has hopes at the postseason.

Evan Fournier:

 

Scott Skiles:

read more…

Missed Free Throws and Lay-ups Lead to Magic Loss Against Pacers

2016 February 21
by Adam Papageorgiou
AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.

AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.

 

The Orlando Magic had their chances in crunch time, but could not overcome an Indiana Pacers squad that shot 50.0 FG% for the contest. Orlando lost to Indiana 105-102 on Sunday. First loss after the trade deadline for the pinstriped patrol. The Magic actually played a pretty decent contest, holding Paul George to 7-of-19 shooting and George Hill to 2-for-11 from the field.

It was Indiana’s big men though that hit shots when they came open. Ian Mahinmi scored 14 points. Myles Turner had 12 points. Jordan Hill poured in 13 points off the pine. Monta Ellis led the Pacers with 21 points as Paul George added twenty.

The main reason Orlando lost though was missed lay-ups (I believe it was 7), and only hitting 19-of-29 free throws. Six of those misses came in the 4th period. The worst Magic miss coming when Nikola Vucevic split a pair of free throws that would have tied the contest with 30.2 seconds remaining in regulation. Orlando forced 17 Pacers turnovers in the first half, but Indiana only coughed up 4 turnovers the rest of the way.

Evan Fournier defended Paul George well, and the Frenchman also had a game-high 23 points. Nikola Vucevic notched 19 points and 13 rebounds. Victor Oladipo had 17 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds, and 3 steals. Brandon Jennings added 12 points and 7 assists of the bench. Both ‘Dipo and Jennings had questionable moments down the stretch.

Free throws and missed lay-ups. That’s the ticket to undoing a lot of hard effort and preparation.

Below is the game recap.

read more…

Orlando is Seeking a Historic Comeback Run to the Playoffs

2016 February 21
by Adam Papageorgiou
AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.

AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.

It’s so far so good for the Orlando Magic following their trade deadline deals that sent Tobias Harris and Channing Frye away, and brought back Brandon Jennings, Ersan Ilyasova, and plenty of cap space in the summer. While the rest of the league focuses on the Magic’s offseason plans, don’t count out a run to the postseason just yet. 12% or not, there’s a chance.

They’re 1-0 in this final 30-game stretch so far, a concluding portion of the season that Scott Skiles says Orlando has to finish around 20-10 or 18-12 in order to reach the postseason. That’s 43-39 or 41-41. It’s a daunting task for your 24-29 Magic, but not impossible. It’s just something the franchise has never pulled off before.

The Magic enter Sunday’s meeting against the Eastern Conference’s 6th-best team in the Indiana Pacers. Frank Vogel’s team just won in Oklahoma City on Friday too. The Pacers own a 29-25 record. Below them are the 7th-seeded Charlotte Hornets and 8th-seeded Chicago Bulls, each owning a 28-26 record. Orlando is 3.5 games back of those two. Not an insurmountable gap, especially since Chicago is very vulnerable due to injuries.

The Detroit Pistons are in 9th at 27-28, having lost on Friday. Tobias played well in is debut with his 21 points on efficient shooting, but Detroit – like Chicago – has lost 7 of their last 10 contests.

Orlando is the #11 East team and sit last in the Southeast division because the Wizards are a half game above O-Town at 25-29. Their Markieff Morris deal could spark a playoff run. Their front office and coaching staff are desperate to get into the postseason, or D.C. may be cleaning house.

Orlando can make the postseason though. It’s not out of the realm of possibility. As I said after Friday night’s win over Dallas, if that type of chaotic overtime victory can’t spark a comeback, then nothing else could.

read more…

WATCH: Orlando Locker Room Interviews Following “Crazy Game”

2016 February 19
AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.

AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.


 

If that amazing overtime victory over Dallas doesn’t turn around this 2015-2016 Orlando Magic season, nothing will.

Mario Hezonja was dropping Drake ‘Jumpman’ lyrics. The rookie was dancing with Victor Oladipo near the middle of the locker room. Aaron Gordon was smiling from ear to ear as his wonderful 5-foot framed dunk contest photo – gifted to him – was lying against the wall next to him.

Brandon Jennings was nestled in his chair in a cocoon of towels, soaking in a return to crunch time minutes while his badass tiger-shark jacket was hanging in his locker. That was Tobias Harris‘ old locker. French is being spoken. Spanish is being spoken. Rap lyrics are being yelled out. It was a joyous time.

Is it one game? Yes. Are there 29 left? Yes. But that victory will be the match that sparks the flame if Orlando can somehow out-race other Eastern Conference foes into the playoffs. Scott Skiles himself had to admit at how strange that game was, and yet his team found a way to come out on top. Fitting or not, it’s a hell of a welcome to Orlando for Brandon and Ersan.

Brandon Jennings:

 

Ersan Ilyasova:

read more…

New Additions Impress as Magic Claim Chaotic OT Victory

2016 February 19
by Adam Papageorgiou
AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.

AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.

There are few NBA games that are as volatile as this contest was. The Orlando Magic were up by 21 points in the first quarter against the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night. Ugly second and third periods placed the hosts down 14 points at Amway Center in the 3rd quarter. Orlando stormed back and forced overtime thanks to an Evan Fournier driving lay-up with 12.2 seconds left in regulation.

That beautiful Aaron Gordon slam you see pictured was the dagger dunk that claimed a 110-104 overtime victory for the pinstriped patrol. The 17,764 spectators inside Amway Center provided plenty of electricity in the atmosphere. Orlando is now 3-5 in overtime games this year, and they needed that one so badly. A heartbreaking loss could have dashed their playoff hopes from a mental aspect.

Dallas created havoc by draining 15 of their 19 3-pointers in the second and third quarters. Orlando prevailed with grit, some free throw luck that saw Dallas shoot 11-of-18 from the charity stripe, and just enough post-trade deadline magic to get the job done. The Magic out-rebounded their guests 63-45 and won second chance points 12-0. Orlando’s 13-of-35 on triples wasn’t bad, it’s just the Mavericks’ 19-of-41 from deep was better.

New acquisitions Brandon Jennings and Ersan Ilyasova were fantastic in their debuts. Both came off the bench. Jennings had 18 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds in about 25 minutes of action on 5-of-12 shooting and 4-of-9 on 3s. Ilyasova fouled out in 23 minutes, but not before tallying 16 points and 5 rebounds on 5-of-11 shooting and 2-of-4 on 3s). The reunion with Scott Skiles from the Milwaukee days is off to a brilliant start. For one night, Orlando looked great without Tobias Harris and Channing Frye. Jennings played the entire overtime in place of Elfrid Payton who finished with 9 points.

Dallas was led by 25 points from Deron Williams, and 24 points out of Chandler Parsons. Old Magic foes JJ Barea (15 points) and Charlie Villanueva (11 points) were the reasons Dallas came back in the first half. Orlando got 21 points, 12 rebounds , and 2 immense blocks from Nikola Vucevic. Victor Oladipo was 6-of-18 from the floor, but came up huge down the stretch when needed as he notched 17 points, a career-high 14 rebounds, and 2 steals. Evan Fournier had a career-tying 8 assists on the night to go with 9 points and 6 rebounds. Jason Smith added 11 points. Gordon contributed a career-high 6 steals to go with 7 points and 11 rebounds.

Below is the game recap.

read more…