The Orlando Magic look to rebound from a tough loss against the Golden State Warriors when they travel to Indianapolis to take on the Pacers tonight at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Once Paul George went down with a horrific leg injury at the Team USA scrimmage this summer in Las Vegas, the Pacers knew that their chances at a deep playoff run this season were shot. On top of PG's ailment, an array of his Indiana teammates have been plagued by the injury bug to start the 2014-15 campaign; Roy Hibbert, David West, George Hill, Rodney Stuckey, and C.J. Miles have all missed time this season.Read More
The Warriors are one of the best teams in the league. They have beautiful, creative passers, killer shooters, and stout interior defenders. Orlando was fighting an uphill battle from the opening tip.
But that doesn't excuse the poor ball movement and lackluster defense from the Magic tonight in a 111-96 loss. After the game, Evan Fournier called the team "selfish" for failing to move the ball and said that if things don't change soon, it's going to be "a long ass road trip."
Look, I'm fine with the Magic losing to the Warriors. They shouldn't be expected to win a game like this. But the way they played is troublesome, and I agree with Fournier for the most part. This team is struggling to find its rhythm on offense, and the meeting with Golden State definitely didn't help that.
Let's get to the takeaways.Read More
Fresh off a 32 point drubbing at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Magic return to the Amway Center for a quick one game homestand against the 11-2 Golden State Warriors tonight. New coach Steve Kerr has made some tweaks to the starting lineup (namely, inserting Harrison Barnes while moving Andre Iguodala to the bench), and as a result, the Dubs are firing on all cylinders. Last night's game against the Heat was just another example of how great Steph Curry is, and Orlando will surely have its hands full with the former Davidson standout.Read More
After losing four straight games, LeBron James was not a happy man. The four-time MVP came out of the gates with a monster first quarter, scoring or assisting on every field goal in the first quarter. There was no letting up as he scored 29 points to go along with 11 assists in 31 minutes. Now, that’s enough talking about LeBron; this is Orlando Magic Stuff, not Sportscenter.
I’ll let the 106-74 scoreboard do the talking and go straight to the takeaways.Read More
The Magic travel to Cleveland to take on a struggling Cavaliers team tonight; it's the team's first road stop on a stretch where they'll play eight of their next nine games away from the Amway Center. LeBron James is clearly frustrated with the team's cold start to the year, and players such as Kevin Love have already come out and stated that this a a "must-win" for Cleveland. While it will be important for Blatt and Co. to find their footing fast, I'm not sure I'd go to those lengths to describe the implications of a home game against Orlando in November. Nevertheless, Cleveland will be playing desperate basketball tonight, and an already injury-depleted Magic roster will surely have its hands full with the Cavs' talented group.Read More
A lot of times in the NBA, it just comes down to making your shots. We can talk about coaching blunders, poor defensive rotations, and who should be running the offense, but at the end of the day, you have to make your shots to win. And tonight, the Magic didn't do that.
Orlando fell 99-92 to the Chris Bosh-led Miami Heat, as they shot 3-16 from three-point range. It's not like they had bad looks -- Channing Frye and Evan Fournier both had plenty of open looks -- but they just weren't falling. Sometimes that happens, and Frye and Fournier were both expected to regress after great starts to the season. But unfortunately, it's why the Heat left the Amway Center with a victory.
Here are the takeaways from an understandable yet disappointing loss for Orlando.Read More
It'll be tough to top a 23-point comeback against the Charlotte Hornets, but Orlando looks to beat the Miami Heat for the first time in a few years when they take on Erik Spoelstra's squad at the Amway Center tonight at 7:00 PM. After deciding to buck the "Big Three" trend and sign in Miami over Houston, Chris Bosh has re-asserted himself as a number one option, averaging 20.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. Although Miami is staying afloat at .500, they're still adjusting to playing without the best player in the world on their side, which is understandable. The Magic always seem to be able to keep it close against these guys, so don't be surprised if they are able to build off of last night's win with a victory at home tonight.Read More
Last night's win -- a 23 point comeback against the Charlotte Hornets -- is the ultimate sign of growth from the Magic. If they faced a similar scenario last season, one of two results would have occurred; there would have been a mini-run, but it would have been an innocuous attempt to get back in the game, and Orlando would have lost by at least 15, or they would have made a full-fledged comeback -- maybe even regaining the lead -- but wouldn't have been able to pull the victory. In the latter scenario, which happened a few times -- a game against the Knicks comes to mind -- Orlando would be lauded for its "fight" and "hustle" in the ill-fated comeback attempt.
However, in both scenarios outlines above, the result would be the same -- a loss. Tonight was different, as the Magic left Charlotte with a 105-100 victory. It was the fourth largest comeback in Orlando's history, and it was keyed by unlikely sources. With his back against the wall, Jacque Vaughn turned to veterans Ben Gordon and Willie Green, and they were able to deliver, scoring 11 and 9 points, respectively.
Here are the takeaways from a phenomenal win for the Magic.Read More
The Magic look to bounce back from a putrid 24-point loss against the Clippers when they take on the Charlotte Hornets tonight in Buzz City. Steve Clifford's group has struggled to mesh so far; the team's 4-8 start is not what management expected following an offseason that got them Lance Stephenson, Noah Vonleh, and a competent Michael Kidd-Gilchrist shooting form. Nevertheless, this is a talented bunch that can get it done on both ends of the floor, so a winning streak is in their midst.Read More
Well folks, it looks like we all got a bit too ahead of ourselves after Monday night's tremendous win over the Pistons. Orlando fell back to earth in tonight's 114-90 loss at the hands of Doc Rivers's talented Los Angeles Clippers squad, which shot 53.6% from the field and 57.1% from deep to topple the Magic. The offense, defense, and pretty much everything in between was pretty ugly for Orlando tonight; as Willie Green repeated to his teammates in the locker room following the game, the Magic must have an "on to the next one" mentality, whether they win or lose big. Another day, another lesson learned for a young group.
Here are tonight's takeaways from the disappointing loss.Read More
In the midst of a road-heavy stretch, the Magic return home tonight for a game against Chris Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers. At 5-4, the Clippers haven't quite lived up to the high expectations many pundits set for them before the year, though they have faced a tough stretch of opponents. Any time Doc Rivers returns to Orlando is an occasion, and in addition to former fan favorite JJ Redick, Magic fans will see Glen Davis's first return to the Amway Center since he was bought out last season.Read More
Orlando's offense has been better than expected this season, but I'm not sure it has ever looked as good as it did tonight, as the Magic defeated Stan Van Gundy's Detroit Pistons 107-93. Led by Nik Vucevic's 25 points and 14 rebounds and Tobias Harris' 24 points and career high 5 steals, the Magic used great spacing and ball movement to wear down the Pistons defense. On the other side, Caron Butler kept Detroit in it during the third quarter, and finished with 20 points.
Here are the takeaways from a spectacular night in Detroit.Read More
Orlando looks to bounce back from a loss in the nation's capital when they take on Stan Van Gundy's Detroit Pistons in the Motor City at 7:30 PM. While SVG's crew hasn't gotten off to the hottest of starts -- they're 3-7 and in third-to-last place in the East -- there's an expected adjustment period that comes with the hiring of a new coach. One can attribute some of Detroit's struggles to franchise center Andre Drummond, who is only shooting 41.4 percent from the field through the team's first ten games. Although he's a stalwart on the defensive end, Drummond will need to be a consistent contributor on the offensive end if this team wants a chance at the postseason.Read More
The Orlando Magic announced this morning that rookie forward Aaron Gordon suffered a fractured fifth metatarsal in his left foot and will be held out indefinitely. The injury occurred in the closing minutes of Orlando's loss last night against the Washington Wizards, and a beat writer from the nation's capital hinted at a possible injury after the game, when he tweeted that he had seen Gordon in a walking boot.Read More
Orlando's tough schedule caught up to it tonight. Playing their fourth game in five nights, the Magic looked tired in a 98-93 loss to the Washington Wizards.
After falling behind early, Orlando was able to fight back in the third quarter and cut Washington's lead to just one. However, the Wizards regained control, and the end result never looked to be in doubt.
Tobias Harris led the Magic with 19 points and 8 rebounds, and Victor Oladipo finished with a line of 18 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists. It just wasn't enough against one of the best teams in the East.
Here are the takeaways.Read More
Orlando finishes up a stretch of four games in five nights tonight, as they take on the John Wall and the Washington Wizards in DC. The Magic lost to Randy Wittman's squad in their home opener a few weeks ago, but they are playing much better right now, having won four out of their last six games. None of those victories, however, have come against a team as good as the Wizards; the Sixers, Timberwolves, Knicks, and Bucks surely don't strike fear into their opponents. A win against Washington, a team will one of the best records in the league at 6-2, would make a statement.Read More
Winning is fun, or at least most of the time it is. Orlando's recent victories against Philadelphia and New York fit into the aforementioned small percentage that isn't necessarily the definition of "fun", but nevertheless still welcomed as ticks in the W column. But that wasn't the case tonight. Orlando piggybacked off the energy of Victor Oladipo to snatch the lead from Milwaukee at halftime, then proceeded to do something that they haven't been able to accomplish much in the past few years: finish.
In the end, there were impressive stats like Tobias Harris's 26 points, Orlando's 77.8 percent clip at the free throw line, and limiting a lengthy Bucks team to just five offensive rebounds. Pretty much everybody added to the cause tonight, and the mood in the locker room after the game reflected that fact. Orlando has won four of its past six games; as players have become more and more comfortable with each other and Jacque Vaughn's style of play, they've started to realize the fact that a team as talented as this one could do some damage in the Eastern conference. Whether or not they can make the playoffs is another question, but for tonight, let's appreciate a stellar performance out of the young crew.Read More
Despite going 1-2, it's fair to say that Orlando's three game road trip to the Northeast was fairly successful, as its two losses came in close games to teams that are playing really well right now.
The Magic return home tonight for only one game, and they will face off against another lottery team in the Milwaukee Bucks. Jason Kidd's squad is a fun team to watch, as fans love Giannis Antetokounmpo and second overall pick Jabari Parker. The Bucks enter tonight at 4-4, and they have been a competitive team that doesn't roll over. Having said that, this is a game that the Magic are expected to win, and probably need to win, since they won't have many home games over the next few weeks.Read More
A win is a win. A win is a win. A win is a win.
No matter how many times I type that, I'll still be frustrated with Orlando's performance tonight. The defense was horrendous at points, and when it wasn't, the offense couldn't seem to find high-percentage looks. Nevertheless, Jacque Vaughn's club was able to show resilience tonight in the Big Apple after last night's downer in Toronto, and that proved to be enough for a victory.
Let's just say that this team is lucky that the Knicks are the definition of "meh" this season.Read More
Orlando travels to the Big Apple tonight to take on a reeling New York Knicks squad that is currently struggling to grasp Phil Jackson's triangle offense. Carmelo Anthony is having one of his worst starts to the season in recent memory, and New York's offense ranks in the bottom ten in the league as a function of his struggles. Even though Jacque Vaughn's club is playing on the second leg of a back-to-back following up last night's disappointing loss in Toronto, they should have a solid chance at getting the third win of the season at Madison Square Garden.Read More