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Tag:Orlando Magic
Posted on: October 15, 2010 12:16 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 7:50 pm
 

Stan Van Gundy apologizes to Magic fans

Orlando head coach Stan Van Gundy personally apologized to Magic fans for benching his starters. Posted by Ben Golliver
There's a good reason most NBA head coaches are stubborn: indecision can be easily misread as weakness in a competitive field like professional sports. Once you start waffling as a coach, whether it's about strategy, rotations or lineups, players, media and fans alike take it upon themselves to start questioning every last decision or non-decision you make during the course of a game. This fishbowl atmosphere is what makes Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy's comments after tonight's preseason game between the Magic and the Charlotte Bobcats so unexpected, and refreshing. Van Gundy decided to start five bench players in front of the home crowd in Orlando's Amway Arena. The Orlando Sentinel's Brian Schmitz writes that Marcin Gortat, J.J. Redick, Chris Duhon, Ryan Anderson and Mickael Pietrus started over first-stringers like Dwight Howard, Vince Carter, Jameer Nelson, Rashard Lewis and Quentin Richardson.  It's fairly common to rest starters during the preseason, but not all at the same time, of course. Given the risk of injury and the meaningless nature of the exhibition, surely most Magic fans would understand the decision, even if they left disappointed. But that didn't stop Van Gundy from calling Schmitz after the game to pass on his personal apology to Orlando fans for his decision.
"It's been bugging me," he said. "I want to say I'm sorry and I was wrong. I thought I reasoned it through, but I can't justify it. If it was the first game that somebody came out to see, you bring your kids … I'd be upset, too. "I won't do it again." Van Gundy pledged to never bench his entire starting group at home again in the preseason.

Kudos to you, Stan Van Gundy, for seeing the error of your ways and for reaching out to the fans in such a direct and personal manner. But be forewarned. You just set a dangerous precedent.
Posted on: October 14, 2010 10:20 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 7:50 pm
 

Could Michael Jordan score 100 points?

Michael Jordan said recently that he could score 100 points in today's NBA. Is that claim as ridiculous as it sounds? Posted by Ben Golliver If you've spent more than 27 seconds on Basketball-Reference.com  (or were alive and able to watch television during the 1980s or 1990s), you already know that Michael Jordan put up crazy numbers. How does a 47-point, 11-rebound, 13-assist, 4-steals, 2-blocks effortsuit you? Just ridiculous.
Jordan made some waves today claiming that he could score 100 points in a game if he played in the modern era, as part of a marketing effort for the NBA 2K11 video game
Kelly Dwyer of Yahoo! Sports offers the definitive takedown of Jordan's claim, noting the absurdity of Wilt Chamberlain's push for 100 points.
Wilt was a 7-2 dominant force going up against a 6-10 backup center on the New York Knicks back in 1962. He was able to put up 63 shots and attempt 32 free throws mainly because the pace was so, so much faster back in that era, and because his Philadelphia Warriors team was intentionally fouling the Knicks down the stretch in order to get Wilt the ball every time down court in a contest that was a 16-point game at the end of the first quarter. It was an absolute joke of a "contest," and though Wilt is to be commended for his brilliance, there's a reason why nobody has come very close in the 48 years since Wilt's 100-point game.

We all know Jordan's career-high was 69 points against the Cleveland Cavaliers, a far cry from his imagined target of 100. But a little Basketball-Reference digging and a stretch of the imagination reveals that perhaps 100 wasn't as untouchable for Jordan as it might appear at first glance.
  • In 1993, Jordan made a career-high 27 field goals in a loss to the Orlando Magic. He finished with 64 points; 26 of the 27 field goals were two-pointers, which was also a career high. 
  • In 1990 , Jordan made a career-high seven of 12 three-point attempts in a win over the Golden State Warriors, going for 44 points on the evening.  
  • And, in a 1987 win over the New Jersey Nets, Jordan converted a career-high 26 (out of 27) free throws on his way to 58 points.
So what if we combined all of these career-highs into one ultimate Jordan performance for the ages?   The 26 two-point field goals would be good for 52 points. The seven treys would add on an additional 21 points, totaling 73 points. Add in the 26 freebies and you've got ... wait for it ... 99 points.  Our mythical Jordan night still wouldn't quite match Wilt Chamberlain's perfect 100. But it would come pretty dang close.
Posted on: October 11, 2010 9:36 am
Edited on: October 11, 2010 9:36 am
 

Shootaround 10.11.10: Ins and Outs

Turtlenecks are in for SVG, Splitter is out for the Spurs, Ron Artest's second ring is already on its way out, and Ryan Anderson is in gear for the Magic, all in today's Shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore


When the NBA announced a rule regarding coaching dress codes, which presumably would outlaw turtlenecks, everyone immediately thought of Stan Van Gundy. Van Gundy himself actually said they should name the rule after him. But the Orlando Senitinel went out and discovered that SVG will be able to wear turtlenecks this season due to how the rule works. I don't know whether SVG should be happy or sad about his development.

Greg Oden says he can be an All-Star , when healthy. Honestly, no one doubts that out of Oden. He's tall, a huge advantage in the sport of basketball, and bulky, a big deal in the NBA. But he needs to not say things like this because it only attracts more attention to the fact that he hasn't proven he can stay healthy, or rehab effectively, or that his head's in the right place. He just needs to not talk about it, go out, and do it. Anything else is just going to bring the vultures.

Tiago Splitter continues to miss time with a leg injury . In the myriad of ways that his NBA career could have started, this isn't the worst, but it's up there. Nagging small injuries aren't just obnoxious and painful, they're hard for coaches and players to sympathize with, and call into quiestion a player's toughness. That's what Splitter's facing in preseason with a tough veteran Spurs club.

The Blazers are adding Steven Hill due to their lack of big men, which is awesome, because he's from Branson, Missouri. Hill should instantly be the leader in mini-golf handicaps .

Anthony Mason Jr. son of the former Knick star has been cut from the Heat. Too bad, he showed some flashes in limited time, but that roster's kind of full-up if you haven't noticed.

Ready for a storyline you can bank on this year? Raptor fans are going to go from feeling disdain towards Andrea Bargnani to outright hatred. He's going to get all the blame for the Raps , even while he probably leads the team in scoring. He's overpaid, but that guy needs a fresh start somewhere else more than anything.

The New York Daily News reports that the Bulls are investigating Carlos Boozer's fall to see if he really did injure himself tripping over a bag . Bulls by the Horns says that the investigation is neither surprising nor troubling , just business as usual. It's still not the way the Bulls wanted to start the era of their marquee free agent from the biggest FA summer in history.

Ron Artest is offering his second championship ring to whoever writes the best essay on how to improve the country. In case you're confused, no he has not won that second ring yet. Ron is not lacking for confidence on this team.

Vince Carter is beaming about Ryan Anderson, which is a good sign for the Magic. It really looks like Orlando will be in a position to use him more this season.

This is probably the last season for Antonio McDyess, and might be the last one for Marcus Camby. Bizarre to think of an NBA without those two vets, and sad to think they'll probably wrap up their careers without a ring.

Posted on: October 8, 2010 10:10 am
 

Shootaround 10.8.10: Denver scouting Favors?

Posted by Royce Young
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: "I watched in open-mouth amazement after Thursday's practice as Howard drained bank-shot after bank-shot, then made some turnaround jumpers. He worked for about 20 minutes with assistant coach Patrick Ewing and center Daniel Orton, catching and shooting. I'm not crazy about his turnaround J. But anything that doesn't make him as predictable as he has been in the crowded paint and draws in defenders can't be all bad."
  • Jeff Pendergraph had a pretty nasty injury last night and today he tweets: "Thanks for the well wishes everyone. Gonna b heading back to Portland tomorrow to get checked out by doc but so far word is nothing major... Keep praying y'all. We will get through this. God doesn't put you through anything he knows you can't handle."
  • Blazersedge looks at Portland's options: "Another option would be to grant Rudy Fernandez's release request, which Cho has repeatedly said he will not do.  He could also release another player. Rookie Armon Johnson, picked in the second round and earning just $473,604 this season, would be the cheapest player to release, but this would be extremely unlikely to happen given how high the team's brass is on Johnson's future and how well he has looked during training camp."
  • Larry Brown on OKC: "I look at him and some of our young guys in the NBA and I think our league's in pretty good shape," Brown started. "And this team (the Thunder) probably is a testimony to that. Look at their young kids. Their not only terrific talents, they're better kids. They've done the greatest job of bringing in good kids that represent the league well. When they're talking about respect for the game, that team's a poster child for that. So the West better watch out."
  • Brian Robb of CelticsHub: "Luke Harangody has yet to show me something besides hustle. We should have just kept Scal if we needed that." Ah, missing Brian Scalabrine. What are the chances you thought you'd see someone say that?
  • What will the Hornets rotation look like? Ryan Schwan of Hornets24/7 says Willie Green has the edge to back up CP3: "It appears Willie Green has locked up the backup position at the point.  Color me surprised.  Every statement out of training camp has indicated he is leading the charge as the backup point guard and relegated DJ Strawberry and Mustafa Shakur to purely end-of-the-bench roles.  I won’t lie.  I worry about Green being able to pull this off.  He’s been a swingman for 95% of his career."
Posted on: October 7, 2010 11:30 am
 

Video: Dwight Howard learns from his sensai

Posted by Royce Young

Last season, Kobe Bryant made some headlines because he spent time working with Hakeem Olajuwon. And once people saw the dividends of Bryant's work with Hakeem (for instance, Kobe scored in post-ups more than most power forwards or centers - it's true, I have a Synergy account) there was one question most had: Why in the heck is Dwight Howard not doing the exact same thing?

Well, question answered. Because as Howard put it, he's now learning from Master Splinter.



My first thought is, "How good does Hakeem still look? My goodness, I feel like he could still be good today." My second one is, "If Dwight Howard actually starts getting some of this stuff, oh my."

Olajuwon showed Howard a few staple moves and if you watch, it's all about footwork. Hakeem's is legendary and most credit that to him playing soccer, not basketball, growing up. Howard doesn't have bad footwork. It's more about his touch. But good feet and sharp moves can eliminate a lot of the need for good touch around the basket. Sometimes you make a move so good it's almost impossible not to score.

There's only so much Howard can take from three days of training with The Dream. But that's a whole heck of a lot more knowledge than he had before. Howard may be somewhat transformed this year, but that comes down to him taking the principles he learned with him and continuing to work on them. He can't expect three days of training to make him into Hakeem Olajuwon.

But if Howard starts getting even a little bit of it? Again, oh my.
Posted on: October 7, 2010 9:28 am
 

Shootaround 10.7.10: Thinkin' 'Bout Things

Bulls thinkin' 'bout Dampier, Wizards thinkin' 'bout a name change, and Kidd thinkin' 'bout playing till he's 40, all in today's Shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore


Peja Stojakovic says health will determine if he plays past this season , the final year of his contract. He wants to get through just one year pain free. It's something we rarely consider with these players, treating injuries like they're some sort of outside clamp that prevents them from playing instead of actual pain the players are experiencing.

With Boozer on the shelf, the Bulls are taking a long look at Erick Dampier, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com . The Bulls waived Chris Richard this week, which is surprising considering their lack of frontcourt depth and the job Richard did in limited minutes.

Marcin Gortat is not going to suddenly get quiet about the issue: he wants a bigger role, now. Unfortunately for him, the Magic are pretty much like "Deal with it, baldy ." Gortat signed a huge contract with the Mavericks last summer but the Magic matched it in restricted free agenc and here we are. For some reason the Magic think having a severely disgruntled Polish guy called "The Hammer" on their team is a good idea.

So this is pretty awesome. Ted Leonsis, the new Wizards owner, posted 101 things the Wizards have put in play to try and improve the fan experience at Wizards games. Some of the smallest details are covered, like how fresh the hot dog buns are. But hidden in there is the following: Changing the name back to the Bullets. Status? "Under consideration." Hold your breath, Bullets fans.

The Hawks exercised their option on Jeff Teague, which should surprise absolutely no one. Teague's locked up through next year, if there is a next year.

Kevin Garnett "went to a dark place " after last year's Finals, which is just classic over-the-top Garnett talk. He was pretty much a wreck after losing that series, leaving you to wonder how he deals with life in any sort of way whatsoever.

Rudy Ferandez' agent went absolutely psycho-hose-beast on local radio, basically pulling a "Leave Britney alone" speech for Fernandez. The kicker is when asked why Rudy wants to go home: "There's friends, there's family, he's a shy guy. He's special." And also a Fraggle, apparently.

Josh McRoberts had an outstanding line last night and the bandwagon is starting to Heat up. McRoberts has already filled into the starting PF spot for the Pacers, and with little competition, will probably hold onto it. A star is born? Maybe?

Jason Kidd wants to play until he's 40 , which is just ridiculous and yet completely believable on all fronts. Oddly, he's already a defensive liability, but the Mavs are thinking about moving him to shooting guard. Which could end up disastrous, but hey, you never know with Kidd. Dude's a survivor. He's going to make it. He's going to work harder. Keep on survivin'. What ?

This Nets-Knicks rivalry gets more entertaining every day .
Posted on: October 5, 2010 10:19 am
Edited on: October 5, 2010 10:44 am
 

Shootaround 10.5.10: Giving and Getting

We're getting a new guy, the Grizzlies aren't giving Conley the dough, and the Heat know they have to give to succeed, all in today's Shootaround.Posted by Matt Moore

You'll be seeing a new face around these parts soon as Ben Golliver joins the F&R staff for the season. We're excited to have Ben on board and we know you'll love the coverage you'll get from Ben on the Blazers and across the league. As an initiation, we're planning on forcing  him to dougie like Babbit .

The Grizzlies have no plans to commit to a contract extension with Mike Conley until after this season, the Commercial Appeal reports. After putting too much money into too incomplete a player in Rudy Gay over the summer, and with more important assets Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol also in need of extensions, this is an essential decision. Conley has not proven to be starter worthy despite being given all the starts the past two seasons. Conley's got to prove it.

The buzzword at Heat camp? Sacrifice . Which is exactly what you want to hear if you're hoping for the Heat to accomplish something special with the triad. That's the word that can help rehabilitiate their image, and push their game beyond video game stats and into playoff wins.

Lance Stephenson shwoed up at camp and has been working hard despite his off-court woes. The bad news is that he's such a defensive liability, coach Jim O'Brien says he wouldn't play a single minute in game . Ouch.

Brandon Bass has committed to learning the playbook which could help him, you know, play in Orlando, a problem he had last year.

The last remaining roster spot in Charlotte may be down to Javaris Crittenton versus Sherron Collins out of Kansas. It's a contrast in styles that could lead to a hard decision for Larry Brown, via the Charlotte Observer's Rick Bonnell.

Dwight Jaynes in Portland is skeptical of Nate McMillan's intention for the Blazers to run.

If you're not ready for the John Wall era, read David Aldridge's piece and you will be. I'm an advanced stats guy, and even I know that if your numbers don't support the theory that Wall's going to be incredible , you need to recheck your digits.

Michael Beasley only missed two shots! Woo-hoo Wolves fans! Except the one he made were almost all outside of the paint... oh .

Posted on: October 1, 2010 4:01 pm
 

Magic exercise Anderson option, will he play?

Magic forward locked in for next season, question remains if he'll get time.Posted by Matt Moore

Ryan Anderson should be getting rotation time on a young team, improving his skills as a rebounding power forward that can also hit from the perimeter. But he wound up on the Magic, who have Rashard Lewis and his bajillion dollar contract, so instead he's struggling for life, trying to work his way onto the rotation alongside disgruntled power forward Brandon Bass. Then again, he's on a contending team, which any player will tell you is preferable to a lottery squad. Either way, Anderson's not going anywhere any time soon.

The Magic today exercised their option on Anderson for the 2011-2012 season. Anderson spent considerable time at power forward last season, earning the backup job in front of Bass with Rashard Lewis out for a suspension. But when the playoffs got going, Stan Van Gundy predictably went to his veterans. Anderson shot 37% from the arc last season, averaging 19 points and 8 rebounds per 36 minutes, a great per-minute rate.

Anderson compares favorably to OKC's Jeff Green, as a perimeter power forward. Anderson's rebounding numbers actually are favorable to Green. Anderson still needs help at the defensive end, but even that gap in his game is closing quickly. It's no wonder the Magic are clinging to him. With the Magic talking more about moving Lewis more to the small forward spot, there will be opportunities for Anderson. The question is if they'll mazimize their use of him or if he'll continue to add to the ranks of Magic frontcourt guys who are disgruntled with their lot.

Marcin Gortat's not happy with not getting touches, and Brandon Bass could not be more stressed out with being buried on the depth chart. Lewis is still the best flex-forward player they have, but Anderson's potential was enough for the Magic to go ahead and lock him up, even as they continue to struggle with the luxury tax.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com