Thursday turned out to be a very good day for both Orlando Magic Summer League teams.
With Championship Friday just a day away, both the Orlando Magic Blue and White team had something to play for on Thursday.
The Orlando Blue team was looking for their first victory of the week, while also trying to avoid playing in the last place game, and they did just that with a hard-fought 96-94 win over the Dallas Mavericks.
Devyn Marble, who struggled in the first couple of games, had his best game by far, knocking in 21 points on 50% shooting and also adding 6 assists and 5 steals for the Magic. Marble has been fighting for a roster spot, and could possibly be one of the Magic’s Training Camp invitees.
While Marble was the star for the Magic team, Nick Johnson also continued his solid play, filling up the stat sheet with 19 points, 9 assists and 5 rebounds. Johnson also knocked down a huge three-pointer with under a minute left to give the Magic some breathing room against the Mavericks.
Orlando’s second-round pick, who was signed to a deal Thursday, continued his solid play with 12 points and 5 blocks on Thursday. The one negative for the rookie was that he committed seven fouls against the Mavs.
For Dallas, Vander Blue had a team-high 17 points, but he did most of his damage at the free-throw line as he shot 4-for-12 on Thursday. A lot of that had to do with Marble’s defense.
While the Magic Blue avoided playing in the last place game, the Magic White squad looked to stay undefeated and move on to the championship game, which will be played Friday at Noon.
The Magic White have been very efficient distributing the ball this week, and that continued on Thursday, having four guys reach double-figures in their 79-69 win over the Los Angeles Clippers.
The win secured the Magic White playing in the Championship game on Friday against either Detroit or Miami.
Treveon Graham was the star yet again for the White team, pouring in 24 points on 7-for-11 shooting. The former VCU standout appears to be playing his way into a training camp invite with the Magic, or perhaps another team. Graham is averaging 17.3 points per game for the Magic, which is among the leaders this week.
Graham did a lot of the damage, but Arinze Onuaku also continued his strong play with 15 points, while hauling in 7 rebounds. Justin Dentmon also added 15 for the Magic.
Friday will be the last day of the 2016 Summer League team and the Magic White, will once again, have an opportunity to win the tournament. On the other hand, Stephen Zimmerman and Marble will try to keep impressing when the Magic Blue team plays at 2 p.m. Friday.
For the first time in his NBA career, Jeff Green, 29, was a free agent, but it didn’t take long for him to sign a reported one-year, 15-million deal with the Orlando Magic hours after free agents were allowed to talk to teams.
“When you’re a free agent .. when the team wants you, when you want to be part of the organization and the team, it makes it easier to make the decision,” said Green in his introductory press conference Thursday. “When the time came and Orlando called, I was ready to say yes right then and there.”
The 29-year old said during his introductory press conference Thursday, that he has a lot of things to prove on the court, but he is also ready to embrace a new leadership role for a young team, given that he experienced something similar in his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“Most definitely because I’ve been where they’re trying to get, and that’s the playoffs,” he said. “You know, I’m looking to get further from where I have been with this team that we have and it starts with communication and chemistry.
“I’ve talked to a bunch of guys on the team already and they’re all eager to get started, all eager to try and get it to the next level. With myself and Serge being there, we can give our experience and we know what it takes, so by them watching how we come into the gym every day, work, and to get better and to try and accomplish that, they’ll just follow our lead.”
One player, in particular, that Green believes he can have a big impact on is talented swingman, Aaron Gordon.
Gordon is entering his third year with the Magic and improved in every major category last season for the Magic. Green has been impressed with Gordon’s growth, and he believes he can help Gordon elevate his game.
“Just by my actions, coming into the gym everything and working,” Green said Thursday. “You can only say so much, but I know Aaron is a hard worker. Seeing his growth through the couple of years that he’s been in the league, and you know, I watched him in college, so I know he’s going to work hard to be the best player he could be and to help this team. My job is just to lead by example and that’s to come in and work, and work, and work to get better.”
Frank Vogel and the Magic were looking to get more versatile this offense. The three biggest moves for the team this offseason were the signings of Green, Bizmack Biyombo and Serge Ibaka. All three of those players are expected to play a big role next season, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
Green has already started to think about how good this Magic team can be defensively, but he knows there is still work to do.
“When you think about it, it’s scary. It’s scary,” said Green. “But it’s all about transferring, it starts day one when we enter the gym altogether and we start practice and then transfer that into the games. It’s going to take time.
“Putting together a team, great things aren’t going to happen overnight, so you know, it’s going to take time, we just have to come into the gym and get better each day, and just trust the process.”
Going into yet another contract season, Green believes that taking on this challenge was the right move for himself.
“I think it’s a great fit for myself,” said Green. “With the team we have, I think we can do some damage in the Eastern Conference, I’m looking forward to it.”
The Orlando Magic White squad continues their impressive play in the 2016 Summer League, staying undefeated after a 95-90 win over the New York Knicks’ Summer League team.
One of the reasons that the White team has had success this week is because of a balanced scoring attack. The Magic had five players reach double-figures on Wednesday, led by Treveon Graham’s 19.
The Orlando White defense has been inconsistent in the tournament, and wasn’t good today, allowing the Knicks — who have been awful offensively — to shoot 45% and score 90 points, but the Magic have shown great continuity on offense for the second straight summer.
Magic shot just under 50% from the floor on Wednesday and despite never taking a huge lead over the Knicks, the Magic were in control for the most part.
Arinze Onuaku continued his strong week with a double-double Wednesday, scoring 16 points and hauling in 13 rebounds for the now 3-0 Orlando Magic White team. Brandon Fields continued with 18 points, while Patricio Garino chipped in with 14 of his own.
For the Knicks, Ron Baker caught fire in the second half, finishing with a game-high 22 points on 8-for-15 shooting. Chasson Randle finished with 17 for New York.
With just one game left before Championship Friday, the Magic are in third place, just one point behind the Detroit Pistons for second place, and two points behind the leader Miami Heat, which stand at 22 points through three games.
The Magic are back at it on Thursday at 3 p.m. against a Los Angeles Clippers Summer League team that has yet to win a game.
For the third straight game, the Orlando Blue team ran into a team with NBA talent, this time running into a Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson led Miami Heat team, who defeated the Magic, 84-68, on Tuesday.
Winslow and Richardson combined for 37 of Miami’s 84 points, while the other contract player on the Miami Summer League roster, Briante Weber, chipped in with 9 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists and 6 steals.
For the Magic, Stephen Zimmerman was the lone bright spot for the team offensively, leading the team with 10 points on 5-for-10 shooting. Zimmerman, however, struggled to contain Winslow in the first half, but did a better job of staying active in the second half.
“He’s really strong,” said Zimmerman on Winslow. “The fact that he’s not a seven footer and that strong is big .. he’s already super low. The fact that he stays in there and fights with the big guys and he’s still explosive enough to grab rebounds and stuff like that is a huge plus for him.”
Throughout the three games, Zimmerman has been very active and has definitely made his presence felt, despite not being able to get going offensively. On Tuesday, he was able to have a good offensive game, mostly because of his aggressiveness.
“I’m trying to be more aggressive,” Zimmerman said after being asked what the biggest difference between his first and third games have been. “I don’t want to say I’ve been more mature with my game, but more patient, you know, being smarter, and not turning the ball over so much.”
Zimmerman mentioned that he got elbowed in the face a couple of times and jammed two of his fingers, but he said that he will be alright for the Magic Blue’s remaining two games this week.
Nick Johnson, Devyn Marble and Tyler Harvey didn’t have good games for the Magic, which definitely won’t help their case in trying to make the NBA roster.
Marble only played 12 minutes on Tuesday, while Harvey continues to struggle with his shot, going 3-for-10 on Tuesday. He is now 6-for-27 in the Magic Blue’s three Summer League games.
Despite losing their third straight game, the Blue team picked up one point in Tuesday’s game, as they outscored Miami 26-24 in the first quarter. The Blue team now has two points and are in ninth play with just one more game left before Championship Friday.
The Magic Blue team will have the day off on Wednesday before returning to action on Thursday against the Dallas Mavericks’ Summer League team, who has yet to win a game this week.
The Orlando Magic Blue team dropped their second straight Summer League game, this time to a Stanley Johnson-led Detroit Pistons team, 73-68.
After having the day off on Sunday, the Magic Blue team returned to action and they put up a much better performance in their second game than they did in their opener, where they were routed by the Indiana Pacers’ Summer League team.
The Magic couldn’t find their shooting touch in the first half, shooting a woeful 20% in the first half, but they had a better second half and showed some improvement.
“We definitely wanted to show better than we did the first game and I think we did that,” said Magic Blue guard Nick Johnson, who is trying to make the training camp roster. “We were right there, just a few plays didn’t go our way, a couple of rebounds at the end, but we had a good effort.”
The Magic were down one with under a minute to go, but two straight offensive rebounds by Detroit and a costly Johnson turnover with the Magic down three late in the game, sealed the game for the Pistons.
Lorenzo Brown led the Pistons with 19 points on Monday, while Johnson matched him with 19 for the Orlando Blue team.
The Magic wanted to play much better defense in this second game and held the Pistons to under 30% shooting, which is a positive sign for the Blue team as they head into the last four days of the Summer League.
“We were disappointed with Saturday’s effort based on our defense and our competition,” said Magic Blue head coach Chad Forcier. “We were really disappointed in ourselves as competitors with our defensive effort which is what we’re trying to hang our hats on this week.
“Offense is going to be offense, shooting is shooting, you know, a group of new guys that are trying to get to know each other, it’s not always going to look great, but we can play defense together and we can always compete every time down the court, so we were a lot better today.”
One player that was extremely active for the Magic on Monday was second-round pick Stephen Zimmerman, who struggled with his shot — going 2-for-11 — but was active on the offensive boards, finishing with 5 offensive rebounds for the Magic.
Seeing Zimmerman continue to develop in the next couple of months is important to the Magic.
“He’s brand new to this and it’s going to be a slow road and that’s true for all rookies,” said Forcier on Zimmerman’s play in his second game. “I don’t expect anything to happen in an accelerated fashion, but he’s out there trying, he’s out there trying to figure it out and learn on the fly. Sometimes you’re going to miss easy shots, he had a few of those that didn’t go in. I thought he turned down a few looks that he probably should’ve just caught and shot, but he’ll learn as he goes.”
Devyn Marble continued to struggle on Monday, going 2-for-11 from the floor with four turnovers. He did, however, play some solid defense on 2015 first-round pick Stanley Johnson, who scored just 8 points on 2-for-14 shooting.
While the Magic Blue dropped their second straight to start Summer League play, the team was able to win the third quarter against Detroit, giving them their first point of the 2016 Summer League.
The Magic Blue team returns to action Tuesday afternoon as they take on the Miami Heat at 1 p.m. to start off Tuesday’s games.
Perhaps the Magic’s ‘varsity’ squad to learn a thing or two about effort and (summer league) defensive execution from the scrappy group of unattached free agents that make up the 2016 Orlando White Summer League squad, as they returned to action after a day off to wallop the Dallas Summer Mavericks 92-85.
By way of winning the first and third quarters, and the game, the White squad adds 6 points in the overall standings to the 7 points they accrued on Saturday, and find themselves in prime position after three days of action to make an appearance in the Summer League Championship game at the end of the week.
After the Orlando Magic White team took down the Charlotte Hornets, the Orlando Magic Blue team fell to the Joe Young led Indiana Pacers, 93-66.
The Magic Blue team, which is led by Devyn Marble and second-round pick Stephen Zimmerman, had no answers for a Pacers team that was as stacked as a NBA Summer League team could possibly get.
The Pacers were led offensively by their 2015 first-round pick Young, who had a game-high 22 points on 8-for-12 shooting. Young had a scary fall in the game, but he was able to come back and finish it in which is likely his last summer league game.
Young also got some help from Georges Niang and Glenn Robinson III, who pitched in with 17 and 16 points respectively.
For the Magic, Marble led the Blue team with 12 points on 10 shots in just 19 minutes of play. The second leader scorer for the Magic was Ryan Anderson, who finished with 8 points.
Zimmerman finished with 7 for the Magic and had a good start to his first career game in an NBA setting.
“I felt great,” said Zimmerman after the game. “Unfortunately we played a hot team in the Pacers and they couldn’t miss, but I feel like it was a good game to get everybody’s jitters out of the way and get ready for another game on Monday.”
With the Pacers dominating all of the game, the Magic’s Blue team was unable to pick up any points in the first Summer League game. They’ll be back at it on Monday against the Detroit Pistons.
Some observations & quotes from the game.
- Devyn Marble might not have a room in Orlando, but he definitely has NBA talent just because you know what you’re going to get with him. With all the moves Orlando is making right now, it’s unknown if Marble will be sticking around. Marble did talk after the game that he was looking to improve his finishing at the rim, to go along with his energy on the defensive side of the ball. He looked really sharp defensively on Saturday.
- Zimmerman, who was the talk around the gym during the Magic game, looked good and mobile during the first quarter. Zimmerman looked exhausted after the first quarter, but that’s normal for a young player. There’s no doubt that Zimmerman needs to continue to get stronger.
- Zimmerman on if getting bigger is something he’s working on hard this summer: “Definitely. Treating my body and getting bigger, I know I’m only 19 so it’s going to come naturally and stuff, but being in the weight room and eating healthy is definitely on my list right now.”
- The young Zimmerman also said that he didn’t feel like the game was moving too quickly for him. He mentioned working out with Niang and other players during the summer to prepare him for the next couple of months.
- The other player to keep an eye out with the Magic is Kentucky’s Alex Poythress. Poythress has the athletic ability and the talent to keep up in the NBA, it’s just a matter of finding a place for him to play in the league. He had some good spurts on Saturday, but didn’t necessarily stand out as one would have hoped. He’ll be more involved in future games this week.
The Orlando Summer League got underway on Saturday and the Orlando Magic White team got off to a strong start, beating the Charlotte Hornets, 79-74.
The Hornets jumped out to a quick lead, but most of the game was controlled by the Magic. Orlando led 41-31 at halftime. Arinze Onuaku had 9 points and 5 rebounds in the first half, while Justin Dentmon knocked down a couple of three’s in the first half on his way to 8 first half points.
The Hornets cut the Orlando lead to 7 early in the second half, but the Magic quickly erased that with a 6-0 run in the third quarter.
In the second half, Michael Frazier II showed off his shooting ability, knocking down a couple of three’s en route to 12 points, which helped the Magic’s white team to get their first summer league win of the one-week event.
The Magic had six players in double-figures, led by Onuaku’s 16-point performance, while the Hornets were led by former Ohio State Buckeye, DeShaun Thomas’ game-high 19 points.
Orlando’s white jersey squad shot close to 50 percent from the floor, while the Hornets shot a little under 38 percent.
With the Summer League points system, the Magic picked up 7 of a possible 8 points on Saturday. The Magic won the first 3 quarters, before the Hornets outscored them 28-17 in the last frame to steal a point.
Some observations following the game:
- Justin Dentmon had a good game on the offensive end, finishing with 10 points and running the point well. Where he struggles, however, is on the defensive end.
- Nnanna Egwu got a training camp invite with the Magic last season and he had some good spurts on Saturday, especially his play in the third quarter.
- Patricio Garino could be a player to watch this week for the Magic. Showed some good defensive awareness, despite committing six fouls. He had a nice dunk in the lane in the first half and followed it up by getting a steal in the passing lane and going down the court for another dunk. The George Washington product finished with 10 points.
- Michael Frazier II can shoot the ball well, but he lacks that one elite skill in his game that could make him a serviceable NBA player. Frazier finished with 12 points on Saturday.
The 2016 NBA Draft concluded and the Orlando Magic were very active. They traded Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova, and 11th pick Domantas Sabonis to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Serge Ibaka.
Why are Magic fans so outraged by the trade? We discuss how much better the franchise is after this transaction. The rest of Orlando’s Draft gets discussed.
Which Magic free agents are staying or going? Which free agents around the league could land in Orlando? Is anyone else getting traded?
Warning: Adult Language
Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO.
At the conclusion of the 2016 NBA Draft, Orlando Magic GM Rob Hennigan and Head Coach Frank Vogel made their way down to the interview room in Amway Center to discuss the transactions they made. It was certainly a busy evening.
The Magic packaged Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova, and the 11th pick – which was Domantas Sabonis – to the Oklahoma City Thunder for big man shot-blocker Serge Ibaka. Hennigan went on to mention how tough it was to trade Oladipo, and what Vic meant to the franchise on and off the court. But that Serge is such a defensive talent that Orlando badly could use, that it difficult to ignore such a deal.
Vogel certainly seemed excited to insert Ibaka into his defensive scheme. It sounds like they want him playing next to Nikola Vucevic. That may mean Aaron Gordon gets pushed to the bench, but there are still plenty of minutes for the young forward. Oladipo being dealt also opens up minutes for Mario Hezonja, and also confirms that the Magic certainly plan on re-signing Evan Fournier at whatever cost.
There’s also mention of the Magic selecting UNLV center Stephen Zimmerman with the 41st pick, and what he brings. The trade involving Portland and Orlando’s 47th pick – which became Maryland forward Jake Layman – was not mentioned because the deal had not quite been officially announced at that moment.
It was indeed an exciting night for an Orlando franchise that is looking to make big splashes this offseason. So far so good. We’ll see whatever noise the team can make come free agency.
Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO.