When the season began, Tobias Harris was the hot name for Magic fans to point to ask someone who could “make the leap”. After being traded to Orlando on deadline day, the former Bucks forward looked superb at the end of last season, averaging 17 points and 8 assists in pinstripes. But his season got off to an extremely rocky start, as an ankle injury in the preseason kept him out for 21 of the first 22 games. Luckily, he was able to stay healthy for the remainder of the season, but he didn’t have the same “shiny new toy” feel that made him so much fun to watch last season. His flaws were more clearly diagnosed, as he needed the ball in his hands to make something happen on offense. And his lack of a three-point shot made it almost impossible to play him as a small forward, which is what Orlando was trying to do while Glen Davis was still a member of the team. He looked better when Coach Vaughn moved him into a sixth man role, but it still felt like we weren’t seeing the amount of growth from Harris that we had hoped to. Am I right to feel like he stagnated a bit during his first full year in Orlando?Read More
Here we are in the year 2014, still talking about Jameer Nelson in an Orlando Magic jersey. It’s been a rollercoaster run of sorts for the ten-year floor general, with playoff success in the middle of his tenure here and now a grueling rebuild that has many thinking that he won’t be retained by the team this summer. But before we talk about what the Magic will do with Nelson in the future, let’s reflect on his performance this season. Statistically, Nelson had highs and lows in his tenth campaign in the Association: although he finished 8th in the league in assists with seven dimes per contest, his 39.4 shooting percentage from the field was the second-lowest clip of his career. That figure, combined with his already lackluster defensive ability, made it seem as though this wasn’t peak Jameer Nelson in any way, shape, or form. Any thoughts to add on what Nelson did this season (besides the fact that he has large kahunas)?Read More
The Magic spoke to the media one final time before beginning the offseason today. Here are videos of all of the interviews that took place, along with some quotes.Read More
Well, it's over. The second season of the post-Dwight era has been completed. It's been rough, but we saw a lot of growth. The worst days of the rebuild are behind us. Now, it's time to start winning some games.
Orlando dropped tonight's game to the East-leading Pacers 101-86, though Indiana was much more focused on the road that lies ahead rather than a meaningless game against the third-worst team in the NBA. They rested three of their starters -- Paul George, Lance Stephenson, and David West -- for the whole game, and the other two -- Roy Hibbert and George Hill -- only played sparingly in the first half. Instead we were treated to some big games from Chris Copeland, Donald Sloan, and Rasual Butler. Seriously, check out this dunk from Butler, who averaged a meager seven minutes a game this season.Read More
The Implications of Tonight's Game
Despite their troubles since the All-Star break -- which Grantland's Zach Lowe detailed here -- the Pacers locked up the number one seed in the East with a huge win over the Thunder on Sunday. As a result, they will rest Paul George, Lance Stephenson, and David West tonight before their playoff matchup with the Hawks, since they have nothing to play for tonight.Read More
After an impressive sophomore season, Nik Vucevic was expected to make some noticeable improvements to his game, and for the most part, he delivered. Vucevic looked much better on the defensive end this year, and his post footwork improved by leaps and bounds. His season, however, was also be marred by injuries, and the Magic announced on Sunday that he would miss the final three games with a sore achilles tendon (he had already missed the previous four). In some ways, it’s fitting that Vucevic’s second season in Orlando was cut short due to injury. He will finish the year having only played 57 games, as he dealt with a multitude of ailments, whether it be his foot, achilles, or a scary bout with a concussion. Yet, despite his absence, Vucevic’s value to the team was never in doubt. Prior to tomorrow's finale against the Pacers, Orlando is a horrid 4-21 without its Montenegrin center manning the middle.Read More
Tonight's game in the Barclays Center went almost exactly the way one would expect it to. The Nets, the clearly superior team and the one who will play in the postseason, won, but not without a fight from the pesky Magic. Orlando jumped out to an early lead against a team that they have given fits in their three previous meetings, winning the first quarter 28-25. They actually had the lead up to eight in the first half, but Brooklyn grabbed the lead in the third quarter and didn't look back.Read More
We basically said everything that needed to be said about the Nets when they visited Orlando earlier this week, and nothing major has happened in the five days since that game. Brooklyn is still at the fifth spot in the East, and they'll likely stay there for the rest of the season, which means that an inter-division first round matchup with the Toronto Raptors is looming in the near future. The Nets still have reason to win this game so that they can secure the fifth seed, which means that the Magic probably won't be facing a team that'll be resting most of its major components. Jason Kidd has had this team playing some fantastic ball on its home floor since the All-Star break, so I'm not expecting a four-win road team to be able to go into the Barclays Center and steal one.Read More
Due to a personal conflict, tonight's recap/game story will look a bit different: we have random game notes, Jacque Vaughn's post game press conference, and a gallery of photos taken for you to peruse through. We went over the most important facets of the game and included some highlights in our "random notes" section, so make sure to check that out if you want to know how the night played out for both teams.Read More
Just stop, Magic. Stop winning. Wednesday night was fun and all, but in the grand scheme of things, do you really care if you win a meaningless April game against the Nets? I always root for you guys to win, but it's going too far. The lottery system is undoubtably flawed, so please start taking advantage of it. There is a reason the Celtics have lost nine in a row. It's because they know what they are doing. Magic, please figure it out and start losing. Now that you are tied with Boston, these last four games are must-lose. The difference between the third and four best lottery odds is a big deal. Don't screw it up.Read More
With only four games still to be played, there's not much intrigue left in the Magic's season. They were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs long ago, though it's not like anyone expected them to get there this year. This year was about growing, and I highly doubt anyone is going to make serious leaps over the final four games.
That doesn't mean Magic fans don't have anything to watch for. The #WoNKWatch is coming down to the wire, and it's by far the most interesting late season storyline for fans to keep an eye on.Read More
In a game that many fans didn't want Orlando to win because of lottery implications, the Magic used a solid all-around effort from its roster to trump a Nets squad that was without several of its key contributors. Jason Kidd tried out some quirky lineups tonight that featured guard-heavy lineups that lacked any big men, and Jacque Vaughn's response to them paid off: instead of playing the matchups game, Vaughn relied on his big men to overcome their speed and athletic shortcomings against the guards, and they ended up doing fairly well in that regard.
Some fans might be ticked that Orlando is now tied with Boston in the loss column, and that is a fair standpoint to be coming from, but the bottom line is that this was a nice win for a young team trying to set a tone as it heads into the offseason and beyond. While some may view these last several games as futile and "must-loses", they serve as an important springboard that can change the collective mindset of the team if everyone can gain some confidence and motivation heading into Year Three of the rebuild.
Here are a couple takeaways from Orlando's 23rd win of the season.Read More
The Nets Rundown
What a roller coaster ride this season must have been for Nets fans. Brooklyn's came into the year with sky-high expectations, only to start out 3-10. They were, however, able to turn things around, and are 33-13 since January 1st. At 43-34, they currently hold the fifth best record in the East, and are slated to face the Bulls in a first round matchup that figures to be interesting.Read More
Orlando took down the Bobcats in the City Beautiful last week, so the recency allows for us to direct you to the preview of that game for some Charlotte background and dialogue on where they stand heading into the postseason. As it stands today, Charlotte is still set out to be the seventh seed, and they're two games behind Washington for the coveted sixth spot that gets to avoid Miami and Indiana in the first round. This makes tonight's game mean something for Charlotte, and they'll be ready to exact revenge on a squad that has been lesser than them for the majority of the year.Read More
With NCAA Tournament play coming to a close this weekend in Dallas for the Final Four, many in the basketball world will have their eyes on the action in the last three games of the collegiate season. With only one Magic player having an alma mater that is still alive in the bracket (Doron Lamb- Kentucky), it allowed for a fairly split Magic locker room in terms of who the players will be rooting for and which teams they expect to emerge victorious on Monday night in the national championship game. (Note: My apologizes for the small sample size that I was able to gather before the game tonight, but it still should be fun to read about what some of the players are thinking about with regards to March Madness.)Read More
The Magic are in a bit of a predicament. As crazy as it sounds, they may not be tanking well enough. After a 2-1 week that saw Nik Vucevic win Eastern Conference Player of the Week, Orlando is only 1.5 games clear of the Jazz for the third-best lottery odds. Lurking a half game behind Utah is the Boston Celtics, and both those teams have lost five in a row. Orlando has a home-heavy schedule the rest of the way, which will hurt them in the tank race; the Magic have been a markedly better team at home than on the road. Losing to a team like the Cavs tonight will go a long way, and it will help the Magic in another big way.Read More
The Magic have had so many chances. So many opportunities to win a close game. Tonight, for the first time in a while, they were able to actually do it, using big advantages on the glass and at the charity stripe to propel themselves to victory.
The game didn't start out well for Orlando though, and Charlotte looked like the much better team early on. The Bobcats scored 20 points in the first five minutes of the game before cooling down, as they were hitting their shots without much resistance from the Magic. On the other side, Orlando was running its offense through Nik Vucevic, who struggled mightily from the field in the first quarter, shooting 1-8. Even though he grabbed a whopping nine rebounds -- the same amount as the entire Bobcats team -- Orlando was down 30-16.Read More
The Bobcats are surprisingly in the thick of the playoff race in the Eastern conference right now, as Al Jefferson has put this Charlotte team on his back and carried them with some spectacular performances over the course of the season. They're currently locked in at the seventh slot in the East, but a move-up in the standings is quite possible, and they're scrapping hard right now to get into the top six so that they won't have to face Miami or Indiana in the first round.
We talked about some of the ins and outs of the 2013-14 Bobcats in this preview, so I'd invite you to read that if you want some more background on them.Read More
It's no secret that Magic fans are anticipating this year's NBA Draft with a lot more excitement than in years past. Orlando will have two picks in June, as they will receive the worse pick between Denver and New York along with their own. Much to Orlando's delight, both of those teams are struggling this season, which means that the Magic could potentially have two lottery picks in one of the most talent-loaded drafts in recent memory.
I decided to photoshop these top prospects because, well, people like them, and it's just exciting to see some of these guys in your team's jersey. We'll constantly update this page as we create more and more photoshops, so make sure to come back often to check out what we've added.Read More
There's been a common narrative when it comes to the 2013-14 Orlando Magic: they're decent at home and flat-out abysmal on the road. The script was followed yet again tonight, with Orlando prevailing at the Amway Center over a solid Western conference playoff team that had the hottest start to the season in the entire league. It's true that Portland has slowed down mightily since that hot start, and that's in large part to their porous and inconsistent defense, but it was nonetheless an impressive win for a reeling Magic squad on a nine-game losing skid.
It's that time of year when the veterans and the coaching staff have handed over the reins to the young crop of guys, and the last several contests will be more important than most would think to the third-worst team in the league-- confidence and development are the two things that Orlando is looking for down the home stretch, and those two things can be checked off of the list for tonight's game. The rebuild is an arduous, loathsome process, but diamonds in the rough like tonight are always nice for a fan base that needs a light at the end of the tunnel to stay interested.Read More