Posts Tagged ‘Orlando Magic

At Magic PPG: A win, but nothing to be proud of; No excuse for that defence; DeRozan/Lowry again wouldn’t let loss happen; Valanciunas’ growth heartening but where’s Ross?

- March 31st, 2014

Perhaps it can be considered progress that a Raptors win is no longer a cause for celebration the way it was when victories were harder to come by. Now, a win in a game played so wretchedly by the Raptors can only be slagged. Orlando’s horrible, worse than the Boston team that gave Toronto some trouble. There’s no excuse for letting that group shoot 55% from the field, collecting 24 assists (to Toronto’s 13, a low number not seen since the Rudy Gay trade). Only a huge edge at the line (27 attempts to 14) and an 18-9 edge on second chance points allowed the Raptors to escape after blowing a 21-point lead.

- The positives first: DeMar DeRozan wasn’t going to let the Raptors completely blow this one. He was in attack mode again, just as he had been against the Celtics, drawing more trips to the line than the entire Orlando team (Orlando head coach Jacque Vaughn, who is crusty on a good day, wasn’t too pleased about that fact). He also hit a clutch three. Backcourt partner Kyle Lowry did his usual thing as well, upping his workload considerably in the fourth, mostly driving the ball into the heart of the Orlando defence.

- Jonas Valanciunas continues to be a first half all-star. More often than not, he’s excellent early in games, than doesn’t see much of the ball when DeRozan and Lowry take over (Valanciunas has averaged 7.1 points in the first two quarters of games since the all-star break, half of that in the final two). Ideally, there would be a better balance, but you can’t argue much with the results. Valanciunas is really coming along lately, averaging 13.5 points, 9.2 rebounds, 55.7% shooting from the field and 90.2% shooting from the line over his past 10 games. Going beyond those stats, he’s also been noticeably better rotating on defence.

- The bench stepped up, Landry Fields and Nando de Colo particularly. Fields has been a true vet, ready to produce when called upon. He’s earned some of the minutes given to John Salmons. Fields played twice as many minutes as Salmons on Sunday. We’ll see if that continues. With the starters struggling to defend, the bench did a good job of providing more resistance.

- The bad: The defending. The lack of ball movement. Letting a bad team keep its confidence and claw back. No Terrence Ross for the final 15 minutes of the game (even though Orlando was shooting the lights out. Ross is Toronto’s best perimeter defender …)

 

Canadian Junior Women’s team doing well; NBA luxury tax teams revealed

- July 24th, 2011

Nice to see Canada’s Junior Women’s team playing very well at the FIBA U-19 World Championship for Women.

The ladies went undefeated in the first round claiming top spot in Group A. The top three teams from each group (12 in total) will meet in the next round and the top eight will go to the quarterfinals. The tournament resumes on Monday.

In NBA news,it was revealed this weekend that the Dallas Mavericks once again paid the luxury tax – this time they got a championship for their troubles. The Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic also had to pay about $20 million U.S.

The New York Knicks actually avoided paying the tax for the first time in more than a decade.

Orlando is in terrible shape. The team has spent a ton in order to appease Dwight Howard but has a terrible roster and is nowhere close to being a contender so everybody expects Howard to leave as a free agent, unless the new CBA helps Orlando keep him.

Carter continues to disappoint

- May 25th, 2010

That Orlando-Boston game Monday night was great entertainment. Back-and-f0rth, hard fouls, determination (aside from one guy that I’ll get too) and even an overtime session. Even the usually insufferable Mark Jackson didn’t grate on me.

These playoffs have been pretty terrible, overall, so it was nice to see. Looks like the Lakers-Suns series is picking up too.

Jeff Van Gundy called out Vince Carter a couple of games ago and thousands of people have been saying it for years. What a waste of talent. Nothing separated Kobe Bryant and Vince Carter talent-wise 10 years ago. Vince could have been just as good. He was a better jump shooter at the time and an even more ridiculous natural athlete. But, he never put in the work and just doesn’t have the mental makeup to take advantage of his gifts. He was atrocious in game 4 Monday. He almost shot the Magic out of the game and he haphazardly fought through screens all game and generall let Paul Pierce have his way with him.

After five years, nobody would have said Pierce would have the better career than Carter, but pretty clearly, he has. It’s a shame for fans of the game that Carter’s will never came close to matching his phsyical gifts. He could have been an all-time great.

It’s ironic that Hedo Turkoglu, a complete flameout in year one in Toronto, yet, is exactly what the Magic is missing right now. Jameer Nelson is the only facilitator on the floor. He can’t do it all himself. When the ball was in Turkoglu’s hands, everybody else looked much better offensively, particularly Rashard Lewis and Turkoglu’s defence wasn’t any worse than Carter’s has been. If I’m both sides, I find a way to send Carter to a third team and return Turkoglu to Orlando for something like Gortat and Bass. It will never happen because Otis Smith badmouthed Turk and who really wants Carter at this point, but it would help both teams a lot.