The NBA announced this afternoon that Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton have been chosen to represent the U.S. team in the newly-designed Rising Stars Challenge, which pits U.S. born rookies and sophomore against international born players in the league. The event will take place at the Barclays Center on February 13th, which is the Friday night of All-Star Weekend.Read More
The news became official yesterday evening that Victor Oladipo will be one of four participants in the 2015 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest at All-Star Weekend, where he'll go up against Giannis Antetokounmpo, Zach LaVine, and Mason Plumlee. Thankfully, the contest is returning to its original format with five judges who will score the dunks from a range of 6-10, and the contest will be two rounds long with the final one being a head-to-head showdown for the trophy. Without the fan vote -- which could have skewed the results due to an outlier like the Greek Freak's popularity -- Oladipo will have a fair shot at winning the contest if he can wow the quintet of judges.Read More
Those wins against the Bulls and Rockets sure seem like they happened ages ago, huh?
Since Orlando's two-game win streak that was thought of as a turnaround in the team's season, the Magic have lost five in a row and now find themselves at 15-32 at the end of January. Even though it wasn't all bad for the Magic in this one, their inability to play a full game crushed them in the end, as the Pacers were able to take advantage of a handful of miscues to seal the seven-point victory.Read More
We've partnered up with the good folks over at TiqIQ for a ticket giveaway to Sunday evening's game at the Amway Center between the Magic and Pacers. Entry into the contest is free, simple, and quick -- just follow these three steps and you'll be entered into the contest.Read More
After Sunday's loss to the Thunder, Jacque Vaughn challenged his team to play with more "hostility" and "nastiness." Oklahoma City did whatever it wanted against the Magic, and Orlando's coach obviously wasn't pleased. It was the most animated I had ever seen Vaughn in a press conference, and one had to assume he reiterated that same sentiment to his team.
If he did, it seemed to fall on deaf ears tonight. The Pistons effortlessly picked apart Orlando's defense en route to a 128-118 victory, and nastiness is one of the last words I would use to describe Orlando's performance. Detroit got every shot it wanted.Read More
After the first couple months of the season, it appeared as though the Pistons were too cancerous for even Stan Van Gundy to heal. But after the middle of December when the former Magic head coach decided to bite an enormous bullet that totaled more than $20 million in waiving Josh Smith, Detroit has been on a tear. Brandon Jennings has been playing the best ball of his career, seeing upticks in both efficiency and volume with all of the new space a Smith-less offense has created. Paired with one of the most promising up-and-coming big men in the league in Andre Drummond, Jennings has Detroit right back in the playoff race after sitting at the bottom of the Eastern conference standings just a few weeks ago. Now that SVG has molded this roster into one that better mirrors his great teams here in Orlando, he's enjoyed similar success and has established an incredible foundation going forward for this franchise.Read More
During the entirety of the Post-Dwight era, the Magic have been a team without an identity. Rob Hennigan has worked tirelessly to collect young, high character players, with the hope they would eventually mesh into a perennial contender. But as late as two weeks ago, that's all they were -- a collection of young players. They weren't bringing consistent effort every night, and there was no clear direction for what the future would look like. There were a lot more questions than answers.
Questions are still swirling around the team -- four games don't change that. But the way the Magic have played since last Monday's win over Chicago -- including the last two losses -- seems much more permanent than any of the other great stretches over the past two and a half seasons. Last year's back-to-back victories against the Thunder and Grizzlies showed what Orlando could become in a few years; right now, they seem to have figured out how to play.Read More
Even though the Thunder came into Orlando tonight as a sub-.500 team, everyone knew that they were far from that type of ball club. With both Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant having been back in the fold for a couple weeks now and Dion Waiters putting a few games in as a member of the Thunder, the team is as strong as it's ever been and determined to fight its way back into the playoff picture in the Western conference. For Oklahoma City, tonight was the first game of a road trip that just had to be won to set the tone for a strong stretch that could see them rise up the standings, and the team's motivation level pushed them into an early lead that proved to be insurmountable.
I would go into the X's and O's of why the Magic lost this game, but what happened tonight was pretty simple. The Thunder came rumbling out of the gate on a mission to end this game early, which they accomplished with ease; Orlando's lackadaisical defensive effort did the team no favors in this regard. An efficient, quick scoring onslaught from Durant, Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka put Orlando into a 17-point hole at the end of the first quarter that pretty much killed any chance at a Magic comeback. The 37-point first quarter barrage continued to an even worse extent in the second period, where the Thunder secured the highest scoring output in a half ever against an Orlando team -- yes, ever -- with 79 points to Orlando's mere 45.Read More
Despite falling to the Grizzlies on Friday night, the Magic are still playing great basketball right now, and they look to continue that against Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight. Injuries to the Thunder's two stars have led to a slow start on the season, and at 19-20, OKC sits out of the Western Conference playoff picture right now. Despite that, most pundits expect them to sneak in when all is said and done, since they have one of the highest ceilings of any team in the league. They will be another great test for the Magic tonight, so I'm interested to see how Orlando deals with them.Read More
This past offseason, the Magic signed Seth Curry -- along with Peyton Siva, Kadeem Batts, and Drew Crawford -- to training camp deals with the intent of having the quartet play on the franchise's new D-League affiliate, the Erie Bayhawks. Since going on assignment at the beginning of the year, all of the players have done quite well, but Curry has stood out in the group as the D-League's current leading scorer at 25.5 points per game.Read More
The Magic played well tonight. Although they fell to the Memphis Grizzlies 106-96, Jacque Vaughn's squad delivered a strong effort on both ends of the floor. Ultimately, there's a reason why Memphis is one of the best teams in the league, and they showed that tonight.
Orlando initially was the team that dictated the pace, as they pushed the ball and found open looks before Memphis' defense was set. Channing Frye was once again a part of that success, scoring 8 points in the first quarter and looking like the player so many were hoping he would be when the Magic signed him. Elfrid Payton was picking apart the Grizzlies to the tune of six first quarter assists.
Yet, as good teams usually do, Memphis figured it out. Whether it was making the Magic fight for rebounds harder, hedging on screens to slow down penetration, or drawing fouls in the third quarter, they mucked up the game and played to their strengths.Read More
The Magic look to continue their fantastic stretch of up tempo basketball tonight against another Western Conference contender in the Memphis Grizzlies. Dave Joerger's squad relies on Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph control the paint and has the underrated Mike Conley running the team. At 27-11, they are having a better season than many people expected, and a recent trade for Jeff Green gives them another scorer who can play stretch-four when needed. Memphis is known for a slow and methodical pace; they grind out wins. It will be interesting to see if they set the tempo tonight, or if Orlando is able to get out and run like they have over the past two games.Read More
Last night's win over the 27-12 Houston Rockets was arguably Orlando's most impressive victory of the season, and it was probably the most entertaining one too. With fast-paced wins from a young and athletic group comes incredible highlights, which we have provided for your viewing pleasure below.Read More
"Good win. We have work to do."
That's what Channing Frye said after the Magic's extremely impressive 120-113 victory over Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets. There were so many positives tonight -- Elfrid's phenomenal fourth quarter, Victor Oladipo's duo of amazing dunks, and Frye's three point resurgence, among other things -- but Frye wanted to make sure that everyone knew it was just one game. (Well, two if you include Monday's equally eye-opening victory over the Bulls.)
From the opening tip, the Magic played with tempo, as they raced out to a 29-19 lead after the first quarter. Frye was 3-of-3 from downtown in that quarter alone, and the former Phoenix Sun ended his ugly slump by going 5-of-9 from deep.Read More
No words can justify what Victor Oladipo just did to the Houston Rockets' souls. Just watch on loop again and again AND AGAIN.Read More
The Magic welcome a familiar face in Dwight Howard when the All-Star center's Houston Rockets visit the Amway Center tonight for the first matchup of the season between the two teams. Another season of James Harden and Dwight Howard has spelled increased success for Daryl Morey's ball club, which currently sits in third place at 27-11 in the bloodbath which we call the Western conference. James Harden has continued to flourish in Kevin McHale's score-happy system, averaging 26.9 points per contest, but where he's improved the most this year has been the other facets of his game. The former Oklahoma City Thunder reserve is posting 6.6 assists and 5.7 rebounds per game, which are figures that have propelled the guard into the MVP conversation as we cross the halfway point of the 2014-15 season.Read More
Wednesday night at the Amway Center, the Orlando Magic will host the Houston Rockets in what will be Dwight Howard’s third appearance at his former home arena. Orlando was Howard’s NBA home for eight seasons before he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2012. Howard is now in his second season with the Houston Rockets after spending just one season with the Lakers, and will play his former team on their home floor for the third time. However, since his initial appearance at the Amway Center after leaving the Magic franchise, Magic tickets on the secondary market have plummeted slightly in average price when they play against their former franchise player.Read More
THE VOOCH IS LOOSE THE VOOCH IS LOOSE THE VOOCH IS LOOSE!!!!!!!!!!!Read More
The losing streak lives on. A 103-92 loss to the Portland Trailblazers makes it six straight for the Magic, and although they lost, there were many positives to take from this game.
I’ll skip the mumbo-jumbo and go straight to the takeaways.Read More
I’m beginning to sound like a broken record; the Magic lose again. This time they fell to the Los Angeles Lakers, 101-84. That brings the losing streak to five games.
If you’re in need of some good news, Aaron Gordon was seen working on his 3-pointers before the game and could be returning within the next two weeks. The Magic have been without their prized first-rounder for about 6 weeks now.
And here are your takeaways:Read More