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@Kyle Lindemann I guess by "ego" I mean a will to take over a game and be "the man." Duncan always had that. Durant still developing it (it comes and goes and Westbrook overpowers him sometimes). The thought on Wiggins at Kansas was that he deferred to the older guys on the team too much.
1 month ago on Conversation @ http://bloguin.com/crossoverchronicles/2014-articles/nba-draft-instant-analysis.html
@ReyHenry I would normally agree. But LeBron is a different kind of player. He has a photographic memory about specific plays and does not have the same kind of ego as other superstar players. I don't think James would be an amazing coach, but for this exercise, I think he could do it given the chance.
1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://bloguin.com/crossoverchronicles/
@slapdoghoops If Saric, Stauskas and McDermott are off the board, I think Hood might be the best option. Don't see them going with Nurkic this high. What probably happens though is the Magic take a big -- Vonleh or Randle -- at 4 and then use the 12th pick to take a point guard like Elfrid Payton or Tyler Ennis.
1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://orlandomagicdaily.com/
@davcar Hmm... that is not how I remember it. Very well could have gone down that way. I was too young to remember specific details like that. I think the Magic probably made the right decision in the end. Hardaway was not a max player at that point.
3 months, 4 weeks ago on Orlando remains Anfernee Hardaway's basketball home
@davcar Part of the reason the Magic wanted to get rid of Hardaway was just a desire to move on. He was taking up a lot of cap and was not nearly the player he was and had the injury history. The Magic were fireselling everyone to clear cap room for the summer of 2000 -- in which they signed Grant Hill and Tracy McGrady. The Magic were not going to give Penny the max at that point.
@DruovanniDefoe No arguments from me. I felt this was a must-win game for the Magic just for confidence's sake. This team deserves some tangible results for their progress. Unfortunately, nothing is given in the NBA. Been a frustrating month as a fan, writer and (hopefully) member of this team.
4 months, 1 week ago on Magic run in place against Lakers
Ghostbusters and Men In Black already had some success on TV as Saturday morning cartoons. Could easily see them adapted to TV as they can be episodic and serial, important elements for shows like these. Just don't remake Ghostbusters, it is perfect the way it is.
7 months, 3 weeks ago on 10 Movies That Need to Be Turned Into TV Shows
@JeffAtFSOhio That one was not so crazy, in my opinion. I was not looking for a run-of-the-mill buzzer beater. Magic played good defense on the play, he hit the shot. His team lost the series anywhere, so it does not register for me.
Then again, I am a Magic fan and it was already asking a lot of me to put Game 1 of the 1995 Finals in the 10.
8 months ago on The 10 craziest finishes in NBA history
It was just an impressive performance from the Spurs. They were so in tune and so connected on both ends of the floor (minus those 19 turnovers). They turned it on with that 17-0 run in the second and it was game over. The Magic were frustrated trying to figure out how to crack the defense. Never could do it. They were, like me, kind of at a loss for words after the game when talking about the Spurs.
8 months ago on San Antonio Spurs 109, Orlando Magic 91: Tim Duncan emerges
@knickfan212 That is what I have read from all reports. Can't tell if Mike Woodson was right or if someone mis-tweeted that Felton was starting at shooting guard. That might be until Shumpert gets back.
1 year, 10 months ago on Ray Felton: "I've got a big chip on my shoulder"
@MTH I think we will see Ayon and Vucevic competing for that center spot all year long. Vucevic has more long-term potential (because of age). Ayon spent the majority of his professional career overseas. So I think Ayon knows who he is as a player. Vucevic could really be a part of the plan for the future (likely as a backup, but still a good piece).
1 year, 10 months ago on What can we expect from Nikola Vucevic? | September
@CollegeWolf Yeah, I don't think he will change. So much talent and potential wasted. I have no idea why things didn't work out for him in Miami. Another reason why these kids should stay in school and learn a bit more.
1 year, 10 months ago on It's not easy being Beasley
@Jeff Fox Do you have a link, Jeff? Would love to hear more about Jerami.
1 year, 10 months ago on 54 Days to Tip Off | September
@Virginia Perkins Kobe certainly will not take what Dwight pulled last year in L.A. Unfortunately, Stan is enjoying his free time in Orlando. Not coaching the Magic.
1 year, 10 months ago on Behind the awkward Stan Van Gundy/Dwight Howard press conference
@jtshoopsblog It might have been because I was young, but my memories of Horace Grant are a lot fuzzier. He was dealing with a nagging injury from the conference semis and was in there more for his defense. The loss in the 1995 Finals was more of Hakeem just destroying Shaq.
The other thing to remember about that Rockets team is that they were not a true 6-seed. I believe they had a few injuries early on in the season that really put them behind the 8-ball. Then they acquired Clyde Drexler mid-season for Mario Elie. They came back from a 3-1 deficit in the second round against the Suns too. That was not a bad Rockets team.
@jtshoopsblog The Magic are putting a premium on the draft, so they want to have as much information as they can. If Noel or Mohammad are deemed ineligible, they lose some information. I have a feeling Hennigan will tread lightly.
1 year, 11 months ago on Two top prospects under NCAA investigation | August
@Florida Fred I don't think you are in the minority. Most people recognize that Otis Smith is the one that got this team into this mess. A new GM is likely to bring in a new coach. Plus the Magic are all in with Dwight Howard... and Dwight and Stan seem to be a no go. It sucks.
2 years, 2 months ago on Magic Wands: Stan Van Gundy's swan song? | May
@MattBostian I asked this question of a few people. For as few ping pong balls as you would get for being the last team out, you might as well take the extra money you get from the Playoffs and have virtually the same pick. Right now the Magic would pick 20th in the Draft. Most would argue there is not much of a difference between 15-25 in the Draft.
2 years, 3 months ago on Missing Superman | April
@Magician1378 Don't know why Wafer did not play. SVG expressed regret after the game in not playing him more. Don't know what good it would have done. the team just looked lifeless in general.
Duhon is still clearing up some things in "his house" as he describes it after his suspension. Don't really know what is up there. But Van Gundy wanted to give Ish Smith a look at the backup point guard. This was a good chance to do it. He played real well. Dribbles and freelances too much, but that might be what this second unit needs.
2 years, 3 months ago on Back to Earth, one brick at a time | April
Game 6 of that series was one of the worst officiated games I have seen in my lifetime. The building was just as loud with hatred that night. Thanks for sharing the memory Eddy. There are far too many good memories in the O-Rena to recount. Still sad to see it go. I forgot to even look at the remains when I was down in Orlando this weekend. :'-(
2 years, 3 months ago on Au revoir, O-rena
@roberts1966 Otis is very much on the chopping block this summer too. He definitely has not escaped fault here. We will see what happens this offseason.
2 years, 3 months ago on Distractions, questions of effort lead to Van Gundy's murky future | April
@MattBostian Yeah, it is all about how you define improved. And I think Ryan should be considered -- it takes something special to go from bench to starter like this. I am taking Greg Monroe. He has taken a lot of leaps this year and looks like a legitimate post player for the Pistons.
Probably it comes down to Anderson and Lin though. They have the raw numbers and buzz.
2 years, 3 months ago on Ryan Anderson is not the Most Improved Player | March
@JAYoung I think these are all very fair points. I think Stan's greatest shortcoming as a coach is one of his biggest assets -- his perfectionism. You can't blame a coach for feeling a little hesitant to go with lineups and players he is unfamiliar with when his clear object is to win a championship. There are not many teams that could win at the level the Magic want to win at with an assortment of young players.
It is not that Stan Van Gundy has any animus toward rookies or young players -- look at Courtney Lee -- he just does not have confidence in them to perform at the level he needs them to. He has more certainty of what he can get out of Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson than he does out of Earl Clark and DeAndre Liggins. If he had a full training camp and normal practice time, maybe things would have changed.
This is not to say that perhaps SVG should have tinkered with his lineup a bit or been more willing to try guys. He just doesn't have the comfort with some of the new players.
The real problem is that the roster is poorly built. There are not many players who can do more than one thing and the ones that can are underperforming.
2 years, 4 months ago on Magic Wands: Leadership Questions in Orlando | April
@Sherrod I don't remember exactly how I voted (clearly I did vote for Reggie), but I definitely feel like his position on the list is really shaky. He was the best player on his team, but had just one Finals appearance (when he wasn't the best player on his team). Yeah, Jordan was there the same time, but you can't tell me Reggie was at the same level as Jerry West or George Gervin.
Miller had one elite skill. Probably the best shooter of all time. But I don't have a problem leaving him off a top 10 list. He was a fairly one dimensional player when you look at his career.
2 years, 4 months ago on Top Ten NBA Shooting Guards of All-Time | Basketball
@RCognition Explain Courtney Lee then. Or J.J. Redick.
Players can earn Stan's trust. Younger players have a longer way to go than veterans, for sure. But it is not impossible. Not having any practice time is not helping guys like Liggins. Van Gundy does seem to like him a lot though. Will be interesting to see how the team handles him this summer.
2 years, 4 months ago on The tough search for Liggins' opportunity | March
@Magician1378 Yes, the only free agents this summer will likely be Anderson, Liggins and Orton. Nelson has an ETO, but I don't think he will exercise it. Liggins, I would expect to sign the qualifying offer the Magic will give him (for the minimum).
The stretch provision is still very theoretical. But it is going to play a role. I have asked some people about it, and nobody still knows how it will be used.
The stretch provision is a new tool in the collective bargaining agreement that allows teams to get out of bad contracts. What happens is you can waive a player under this provision and stretch out the cap hit over two times the remaining years plus one.
So, for example, let's say the Magic want to waive Jason Richardson after next season. He has 2-years, $12 million left on his deal. The Magic could stretch his cap hit when they waive him so that their cap hit is $12 million over five years instead of $12 million over two. That is $2.4 million per year rather than $6 million per year. Big difference in cap hit.
2 years, 4 months ago on Now what? | March
@Magician1378 Well, if the team is willing to go deep in the luxury tax, anything is possible. With the luxury tax kickers getting set to come in, though, I doubt the team wants to spend. It is going to be very difficult to acquire Williams. Orlando still doesn't have the assets teams want. If they are looking to get rid of Turkoglu next year they will have to dump him on someone (again, contract is much friendlier thanks to that non-guaranteed year in 2013-14).
Arenas' deal no longer counts against the cap. So that offered some relief. To get the max space, the Magic would have to renounce their free agents and maybe stretch the remaining deal on J-Rich and/or Glen Davis.
At this point, while it is possible to free up that cap space, the Magic are probably going to be looking at trades again. Should be active on the trade market around the Draft.
@Magician1378 Monday night was definitely not Davis' night. A lot of things going on in his personal life.
He is still learning when the right time for him to assert himself offensively. The thing is, he has to be better around the rim more than anything. Someone has to get through to him and say your job is to rebound, don't even think about shooting.
2 years, 5 months ago on Bench blitz and energy tops Timberwolves | February
@MattBostian I get the feeling re-signing Dwight is going to come first. The second superstar comes second. This team just doesn't have the assets to swing that deal. 2013 is the year the Magic will have cap room again. ... potentially.
2 years, 5 months ago on Dwight Howard down to two? | February
@Magician1378 I am with you. But you can't leave the game in the hands of officials. Orlando did that last night and failed to execute down the stretch. It was a strong effort otherwise though.
2 years, 5 months ago on Magic's execution falters in overtime loss to Clippers | February
@MattBostian I think there is an added layer here too in addition to what @Aaron Torres said too.
I get the sense that if all things were equal and the Magic were a good team, he would stay. And Dwight is wavering and trying to give the Magic every chance to keep him. That is the wrong approach. You cannot waffle and still be considered the good guy.
And Dwight really does care, it seems, about being the good guy. For whatever reason though, he thinks you can have a trade request hanging over your team and still run it like everything is OK. It is incredibly naive.
2 years, 6 months ago on Memo To Dwight Howard: Please Just Shut Up | NBA
Needed to be said... Great post, Eddy. Stan Van Gundy is trying to build a house with lincoln logs and sandbox shovels. He needs some bulldozers, wrecking balls and cranes.
2 years, 6 months ago on Stan Van Gundy is coaching bad players
Great column, Aaron. I know I am tired of it. Dwight, to me, is playing this like someone who hasn't made up his mind but knows he has to use his leverage to get what he wants. Howard is also the kind of guy that does not want to offend anyone and wants to be liked still after this is over. Pretty safe to say, he has failed on that front. He is torpedoing this team and, as much as they want to deny it, it is clear the players are starting to tune him out (especially as they get tired with this schedule and things get tough).
2 years, 6 months ago on Memo To Dwight Howard: Just Shut Up And Focus On Basketball. Please. | Baskeball
@MattBostian I have had so many great interactions with Nick. He really is a great guy to talk to and be around.
In 2010, at the last regular season home game, my mom and I brought some photos from the first practice (when I was a baby!) that we took. We wanted to do a before and after photo (21 years later). We showed the photo to Nick and he had a blast reminiscing and seeing a photo of himself as a rookie. He was showing it to everyone -- his friends, even Ms. DeVos! -- he really enjoyed it and was gracious enough to take an updated photo with me.
He really is a great guy and just embodies what we want from a team representative.
2 years, 6 months ago on Conversation @ http://orlandomagicdaily.com/2012-articles/january/nick-anderson-history-012512.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
@MattBostian I have a feeling you are right about adidas trying to pull some strings with Dwight up for an extension to his shoe deal too. It just doesn't make sense to me that whole angle as a major driver in this whole story.
adidas has not put up its money to make Dwight the focal point of its advertising. When adidas had the top two candidates for MVP last year, they failed to use both in advertising. All the attention was put on Rose. I asked a few people about this and it sparked some debate. The issue is: big men don't sell shoes and adidas is not putting the money behind it.
The bottom line is, Howard should be the kind of player that advertisers flock to. He should not need to go to them. And it is clear that adidas will not be featuring Howard the way I am sure that he wants.
2 years, 6 months ago on Conversation @ http://www.orlandomagicdaily.com/2012-articles/january/media-descended-on-orlando-012112.html?utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=br_magic&utm_source=twitter.com
@Magician1378 I agree, a Nash trade is not a cure-all. You assume that in a Nash trade one of our two young assets are gone and it probably is Redick (his contract next year is partially guaranteed). Nelson probably is better as a backup, but I doubt that will be done here.
Honestly, I see a move to acquire Nash as a rental pickup. You bring him in to try and win a championship this year and then let him walk or bring him back for less and try to go after someone with the extra cap space in 2012 or 2013 (when the class is a little bit better when it comes to complementary pieces for Dwight).
In a Nash deal, Orlando would have to try and get rid of Chris Duhon or one of the larger contracts on the roster. The team is just locked in with no flexibility in players that are inconsistent (like J-Rich is making about how much he should make in the market, but four years is too long). Orlando is in a tricky spot. But it is not impossible... it just depends on what Dwight does.
@MattBostian I am actually getting ready to post on that... I think Redick has a good spot coming off the bench and finishing games. I don't know how Richardson would be affected coming off the bench. Both are pretty OK options defensively, and that is why I think Richardson might still get the edge in the end.
2 years, 6 months ago on Conversation @ http://orlandomagicdaily.com/2012-articles/january/magic-knicks-011612.html
@Magician1378 Yes, this next stretch over the next week, week and a half is going to be critical. So far so good though. It gets tougher from here.
2 years, 6 months ago on The Power Of The West Coast Trip | January
@JordanEvans Yeah, you could really tell it hit him hard being traded from a contender like Orlando to a rebuilding team like Washington. He is a consummate professional though, trying to make the best of it. I am still a big fan of what Lewis does.
2 years, 6 months ago on Appreciating Rashard Lewis In His Return | January
I believe this is a play Dwight spoke about particularly after the game. Howard said, Van Gundy drew the play up and he suggested to Van Gundy that Redick pop up to the top of the key for an open 3-pointer. Van Gundy agreed and Redick executed it perfectly.
2 years, 7 months ago on Stan Van Gundy’s tactical genius on display
@MattBostian I think that might be right. It is tough to be a leader when you don't have the ball.
As good as Dwight is (as good as Shaq or Kareem or Russell were), they always need star guards to take the game at the end. Orlando has lacked that. What made those Magic teams great was that they could win games by a wide margin. It was the close games that became trouble. It was closer by committee.
The Magic needed someone who could take charge. The team has not had that. Even Vince Carter deferred to Howard too much. There needs to be some of that clash of ego. Howard honestly might have developed an ego too late.
2 years, 7 months ago on Conversation @ http://orlandomagicdaily.com/2011-articles/december/what-does-dwight-want-part3-122011.html
It is tough to even talk about it with other Magic fans, but I do agree that making the 2009 Finals might have raised expectations too much. I thought in 2009 we were still a year away as constructed and felt getting the Celtics to Game 7 was good enough. So too did the eight straight wins and 33-8 finish in 2010. Yes, Orlando has to expect championships at some point. And we shot for the stars. No blame in that. If Dwight is truly gone, it was a great run. Management made one too many mistakes and couldn't accept a comparatively bad season to keep future flexibility to improve. You live and you learn, I guess.
2 years, 7 months ago on Hardwood Paroxysm Presents: The Orlando Magic Season Preview 2011-2012. REMEMBER 2009? ANYONE? ANYONE?
@Pnut78 I agree. The market size argument does not make sense to me either. If you are a good enough player, advertisers will seek you out. Dwight Howard is near that level, that is for sure. It is an excuse to "placate" fans, I guess. The Magic are on national TV plenty of times and are in the spotlight plenty. There is definitely something going on underneath the surface here.
2 years, 7 months ago on What Does Dwight REALLY Want? Part 2: The Destination | Baskeball
@KWAPT He is/did. Thanks for the update!
2 years, 7 months ago on The Masked Rip Rides Again, But When? | December
@Tragic again Again, this series is supposed to be determining what Dwight wants and where Orlando fits into that. Clearly, you can see from the first two posts in the series that the Magic do not fare well.
I agree Otis Smith made some critical errors in his judgment on who to sign. But I still think it goes a little far to blame ownership. Yes, they approved the moves but they are supposed to trust Smith, the president of basketball operations. He had shown them no reason before last December not to trust his judgment.
Besides, DeVos has shown more than a willingness to spend money and a commitment to doing what it takes. So mistakes were made. Fatal mistakes. But that doesn't mean he should sell the team.
2 years, 7 months ago on What Does Dwight REALLY Want? Part 2: The Destination | December
@Tragic again Otis Smith made a lot of mistakes. He is going to get blame no matter what. And there will be more from this series examining whether Dwight Howard is actually after a championship -- a lot of people would argue that the Magic's roster is no better than the Nets after they make the trade, same with the Lakers. I also recognize fans are not going to show up and consistently sell out the building if the team is hovering around .500.
I think what Dwight feels is that the fans are something of a bandwagon group. Tracy McGrady was the best player in the league from 2001-2004 in Orlando and the team was near the bottom in attendance every year. That just can't happen. Even if the team is .500. Poor management had a lot to do with keeping that team from fulfilling its promise -- Grant Hill notwithstanding.
Where I think Dwight has it really wrong is that he believes if you won't cheer for him in another jersey, you never really loved him. That might be true. But fans are Magic fans first, Dwight Howard fans second. I don't think he realizes that. And I think that is why there seems to be something of a disconnect between Howard and the fans as this whole saga has played out.
I might be wrong. I think you bring up a lot of valid points. There is no doubt that the trades made last December were horrendous mistakes. Otis Smith is going to have to pay for those -- that might either mean his job is taken from him or he has to forever be known as the GM who let Dwight Howard get away. Honestly, Otis Smith is THE reason we are in this mess. Even if we had waited out those players we traded and still lost in the first round, I believe we would be in a better situation because we would retain all the assets -- namely Gortat, Carter's expiring contract and Lewis' expiring contract -- to get in the CP3 sweepstakes. It was clear we just did not have the pieces to even be considered.
I want to withhold final judgment on Otis Smith until we see what package he gets before we close the book on his term as general manager. He though is looking at a pretty bad record even though he built the Finals team and the very underrated 2010 team.
2 years, 7 months ago on What Does Dwight REALLY Want? Part 1: Uneasiness With Fans | December
@Magician1378 I definitely agree. Clark is still young and has a ton of potential. Van Gundy recently said he envisions Clark being a defensive stopper. We will see what he can provide when the team gets back on the floor for some game action for sure.
As far as Roy. A retired player's salary comes off the books the year after they retire if they retire in the middle of the season. So the Blazers would have still been tied on the cap to Roy. They needed to amnesty him in order to sign Jamal Crawford. I think the Trail Blazers said very often that they wanted to retain Roy but this injury issue convinced them otherwise.
The amnesty deadline is about 50 minutes away. The players amnestied so far are:
Arenas, Baron Davis (going to be out 8-10 weeks), Brandon Roy (retired, degenerative knees), Chauncey Billups (signed by Clippers), Travis Outlaw, Richard Hamilson (signed by Bulls). I believe that is it. There might be one or two more. I am sure more teams will use it next year though.
2 years, 7 months ago on Can Glen Davis Fill The Horace Grant Role? | December
@Tragic again See my above comment on Davis. We will see if he can have some positive impact on this team. There were stretches last year when the Magic looked as good as they ever were. They juts weren't consistent. Having someone on the roster who played a big role in winning a title can only help keep guys pushing forward.
I think Otis made a lot of mistakes -- the fatal mistakes did not occur until last December though, it could always have been saved until that point.
But you cannot fault the team for trying. They went for it this time. They failed big time. But they put their money where their mouth is. That is very unlike what the team did in 1996 and very unlike what the team did while Grant Hill was suffering through injuries and we were wasting Tracy McGrady's prime.
@Magician1378 I kind of view Earl Clark as a minor signing. We will see if he looks any better in the preseason games and see if he can get playing time. Might be something to keep an eye on. As far as amnestied players... I think this roster is pretty complete. They have 13 guaranteed contracts, I believe. 15 is the max. Roy is retired (the Blazers would have kept him if he were not), Davis is really hurt right now. And I don't know what to make of Travis Outlaw.
@Tragic again No disagreement there. Horace Grant is much much much much much better as a player. A lot more accomplished too. But you never know. Maybe Davis uses his experience to keep the guys more focused. I do not know if that is in his character. But it cannot hurt at this point. The team still feels like a giant mess.