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Tag:Stan Van Gundy
Posted on: November 24, 2010 1:06 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:03 pm
 

Van Gundy: Phil Jackson's comments 'ignorant'

Former Miami Heat head coach Stan Van Gundy called speculative comments made by Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson about Pat Riley and the riley-van-gundy Heat "inappropriate" and "ignorant." Posted by Ben Golliver

Yesterday, we noted comments made by Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson, in which he speculated about the future of Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra and the possibility of Heat president Pat Riley taking over the coaching reigns like he did back in 2006. We wondered at the time how and whether the Heat would respond to the comments, given Jackson's notoriety for getting inside his opponent's heads. Interestingly, the strongest reaction so far has come from Stan Van Gundy, who currently coaches the Orland Magic and was the coach of the Heat who was replaced by Riley. According to Hoopsworld.com, Van Gundy teed off today, in advance of tonight's game between the Magic and Heat in Orlando.
"To comment on a situation he knew nothing about is inappropriate and it's also ignorant. I don't mean that commenting on Phil's intelligence; he's obviously a very smart guy. I mean that as ignorant because he doesn't know what that situation was and he doesn't know what the situation in Miami is now. I don't think, unless their relationship has changed drastically, that he and Pat talk on a regular basis so I doubt he would have any information whatsoever on what's going on in Miami," Van Gundy said.
Van Gundy went on to claim that he had gotten past his firing, but he sure sounds wound up and touchy about it, letting the media know they have no idea what's really going on.
"Look, I've gotten way past what people think," Van Gundy said. There are a lot of people who think they know what was going on and it's a little bit funny. A lot of the people who are sure of what went on don't know Pat at all and they certainly don't know me. I mean, I love all of the media people who 'know what's going on.' I don't think there are any of you here who I confided in at that point or at any point since but somehow you guys know things. I don't know, you're omniscient."
There were some hints at the time of Van Gundy's departure that private family situations played a large role in the decision to leave the bench. That's par for the course in tricky transfers of power, but perhaps there was more truth to that here than in other similar situations. Like Van Gundy says, outsiders are not omniscient. One thing we do know, however, is that Phil Jackson's victim list just added another name: Van Gundy's, as he comes off whiny and petulant as always, his thoughts a dull spork compared to the samurai blade cutting of Jackson's statements yesterday.  When will coaches and players learn to completely ignore Jackson's comments? Not today, apparently, so Jackson wins again.
Posted on: November 7, 2010 1:21 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:34 pm
 

Vince Carter slips on wet spot, strains hip

Magic forward Vince Carter was injured when he slipped on a wet spot during Orlando's game against the Charlotte Bobcats Saturday night. Posted by Ben Golliver Look, it's not exactly news when perpetually injured Orlando Magic forward Vince Carter goes down in a heap. "Half Prone, Half Amazing" is really the best way to describe the second part of Carter's career, as he always seems to be dealing with this or that minor injury, and you're as likely to see a grimace on his face as you are a smile. This was the familiar scene in Charlotte on Saturday night.   vince-carter But this time it was different. This time it wasn't Carter's fault. As the Orlando Sentinel reports, Carter took a nasty slip on a wet spot on the court, collapsing to the ground in horrific fashion, even by Carter's standards. Magic coach Stan Van Gundy sounds like he's so angry his mustache is about to fly off of his face.
Van Gundy said Vince Carter injured himself after slipping on a wet spot. Carter hobbled off after falling with one minute and 45 seconds left and did not return. He said he has a sore hip and knee.
"We got a guy hurt simply because they wouldn't dry a damn wet spot," said Van Gundy, who added that a Bobcat player slipped in the spot earlier. "When a player goes down they're supposed to do it. They didn't care. That's ridiculous. I'm just ticked off."
Here's a rough cut of the video replay. It's hard to watch.   OrlandoMagic.com reports on Twitter that Carter suffered a "strained right hip flexor. He's officially listed as day-to-day."  That's good news, because this one had disaster potential written all over it.  Surely the Charlotte Bobcats will be reviewing procedures with their sweat mopping staff, if they haven't already. On the bright side, at least Carter didn't get lung cancer from the asbestos at Madison Square Garden.
Posted on: November 5, 2010 9:37 am
Edited on: November 5, 2010 9:38 am
 

Shootaround 11.5.10: Like That

Posted by Matt Moore

  • The Sonics mascot showed up with a sign that said "Homeless" last night. Which is adorable. I do wonder where the sign is that reads "Homeless because people didn't think it was a good idea to build me a new home" but I'm a stickler for accuracy like that.
  • Mikael Pietrus and Stan Van Gundy got into a shouting match over Pietrus being yanked in the third quarter against the Wolves. One would think in a 40 point annihilation that everyone would be happy. It's also bizarre that SVG continues to have trouble with Pietrus considering that he's been a big part of the team's success and I don't see any yelling or screaming at Vince Carter, but I'm a stickler for fairness like that.
  • Twitter has not been kind to the Celtics. Twitter is a remarkably easy interface to control, you just have to be sure to think about what you're posting before you post it. Then, if you do post something that isn't great, you need to be prepared to take responsibility for it. Or blame it on hackers. You know, either one.
Posted on: October 29, 2010 11:55 am
Edited on: October 29, 2010 2:48 pm
 

Heat vs. Magic: This could get nasty



Posted by Matt Moore


The central rivalries in the NBA this season are going to be ones that are easy sells. Celtics-Lakers is as easy as it comes, that's the McDonald's of NBA rivalries. There's always one around the corner. (And if you watch too much, you might get sick.) Celtics-Heat is your classic old-school vs. new-school approach. Which is, again, easy. Thunder-Lakers, Spurs-Mavericks, Bulls-Knicks, all the hits are easy to find on your local radio station.

But the actual best rivalry in the NBA is actually contained within one state's borders. That's right. The Magic Kingdom vs. South Beach Camelot. The Mouse Vs. The House Riley Built. Superman Vs. the Three Kings. OK, I'm done. It's freaking Heat vs. Magic. And the first of this new rivalry tips tonight.

Think it's forced just because the two occupy the same state boundaries? Try talking to the two of them. I had a chance to a few weeks ago at the Gatorade Replay event. But the thing that struck me more than anything is the underlying tension whenever you say the word "Miami" to Dwight Howard. Our own Ken Berger found this out first hand in his interview with Dwight before the season. An example:

"We heard it all summer: 'The Miami Heat  are going to win. They're going to do this and do that,'" Howard said. "In our minds we're like, 'Hey, they haven't played a game yet so what makes them champions?'"

Well, OK, then, Mr. Cranky Pants, how did you react to the whole Miami Triad thing?

"My first reaction was, 'I cannot wait for this season to start,'" Howard said. "Not, 'Oh, they're going to be so good.' I don't think anybody's afraid of those guys. Everybody's looking forward to playing them. They're looking forward to playing everybody else. They still have to dress up and play."

That's a pretty positive reaction. When I talked to Howard in Chicago for the Gatorade Replay event , with Triad member Dwyane Wade close by? There was a similar tone.

"They're going to be great. But they gotta play games. We're looking forward to that challenge. It's go-time. "

After talking to Howard this summer? I immediately started predicting he would average over 30 points a game against the Heat. And I'm still convinced that will happen.

That's pretty much what you get out of Howard when you bring up the Heat. As he has dealt with the talk of this team all. Summer. Long . Howard has heard no end to the talk about Miami and the new super core. It started plaguing him right after it happened, prompting him to decline questions about Miami for a time, until he realized it was pointless. In Chicago, he was friendly with Wade, the way superstar NBA players are. It's a brotherhood, after all, and in the end these guys know that one another helps them get paid. But there were still moments where you could tell Howard's motivation has grown and expanded after listening to the Heat hype for three solid months.

Make no mistake, behind the lighthearted superhero facade is a man who is very bitter over the way three players have supplanted themselves not only above him in the preseason rankings, but butted him out of his own state. Florida is supposed to be Howard's home, and instead all he hears about are his neighbors to the south. This has disturbed him, compounding the anger and frustration left over from a postseason where the Celtics took the bite out of the dog and left his team whimpering as they advanced to the Finals. Boston returned Orlando to where most people consider it: also-ran status. Miami has made it a sideshow.

Howard doesn't like that. Howard Smash.

Howard worked with Hakeem Olajuwon in the offseason, which was one of the biggest stories of the summer . Howard told me that footwork was the biggest thing he learned from "The Dream" but that a lot of what he learned wouldn't translate to today's game. Still, the impact has already been evident, as Howard looks lighter, quicker, and more agile in the post than he has in the past. He's going to need it and want that edge.

After watching the very visible agitation on Howard's face throughout the summer at all the attention the Triad have gotten, it's clear. Howard is taking this personally, and is determined to put his stamp on the situation by showing that it's been his team in the Eastern Conference Finals the past two years. His team that is loaded top to bottom not just the top. And if the Heat weren't aware of that, maybe they should stop making commercials and check out the games. Not just the preseason where they ran every team out of the building, but the season opener in Orlando Thursday night where the Magic blistered the Wizards. It's a lottery team, no doubt. But the Magic are still dominating to such a degree that it should be noted: they are locked, loaded and seem to be even better than they were last year.

Jameer Nelson is getting over his growing pains. Ryan Anderson looks poised to take a step forward with Rashard Lewis spending more time at the 3. J.J. Redick continues his progression, the team chemistry is improving from a shakier situation last year and though it's early, Vince Carter is attacking the basket. This team is set up to compete deep into the playoffs and provided they stay healthy and don't encounter a team on an unstoppable roll like the Celtics got on, it's a wonder they're not considered the favorites, even with South Beach's new three favorite sons. And all of this is before we get to the Supeheroic Destroyer of Worlds, Dwight Howard.

All that anger, disappointment, and bitterness we expect out of LeBron after losing to the Celtics last season? Howard's the poster-boy for those feelings on the Magic, and it bleeds through the organization. The team knows how close it was in 2009 when it had its chances, even in a Lakers-dominated Finals. Orlando just needed to be a little bit better, a little bit hungrier. And if any team looks it this year, it's Orlando.

So Friday night the two face off in what will undoubtedly be a blistering, physical game. Even if the Heat are as off-kilter as they were against the Celtics and at times against Philadelphia, they'll have an emotional lift from the home crowd (though apparently not that much of one - Jeez, Miami, get it together). This is the third game of the year for Miami, the second for Orlando. But it's a big game. It sets the tone for how the Battle of Sunshine will take place.

It's a chance for LeBron James to show that he can work as the distributor of a mega-talented team. It's a chance for Erik Spoelstra to show he can get the most out of this wonder-team he's been blessed with. It's a chance for Dwyane Wade to look like Dwyane Wade on national television.

And it's a chance for Dwight Howard to smash apart the preconceived notions of everyone who counts the Heat in and the Magic out.

This is going to get nasty.

Posted on: October 22, 2010 7:18 pm
 

Miami will not be taking their talents to Tampa

Preseason Magic-Heat game cancelled due to slippery floor. Grease from Pat Riley's free agent tactics not confirmed as agent. Posted by Matt Moore

A preseason game between the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic was cancelled tonight according to a league press release. Apparently a cleaning agent used on the floor left is slippery, too slippery to play on. Both Magic and Heat players complained about the floor this morning, with Stan Van Gundy saying the floor was not in suitable condition to play on. Officials at the arena insisted it would be ready, but then the NBA cancelled it all together, considering three of their most marketable stars and Vince Carter would be on the floor tonight.

The best thing about this game being cancelled, beyond it being one more painful preseason game to have to get through, is the fact that the Magic-Heat rivalry will have to be postponed until they meet in the regular season. Dwight Howard flat out does not like this team and has been very pointed in his criticisms of LeBron James.

The NBA went ahead and said the game would not be rescheduled. The bad news in all this is that with time spent on cleaning, preparations, concessions, staffing, logistics, and overall operating costs, there's a chance someone in Tampa could lose a job over this. And that's a shame because the NBA only cancelled because it's a preseason game and it doesn't hurt them to cancel it. But I wouldn't be expecting any preseason games back in Tampa without some serious hand-wringing next year.

You know, if there is a next year.


Posted on: October 17, 2010 4:36 pm
Edited on: October 17, 2010 8:34 pm
 

Brandon Bass plays well, increases trade value?

Orlando Magic forward Brandon Bass has played well in the preseason when he's gotten the chance and teams that need frontcourt help are likely taking notice.
Posted by Ben Golliver.


Once again, the Orlando Magic enter the 2010-2011 NBA season with the league's deepest roster. Coach Stan Van Gundy has loads of options when he turns to his bench, with all five positions being covered more than capably. His backup pont guard, Chris Duhon, started last season. His backup small forward, Quentin Richardson, started last season. His backup shooting guard, J.J. Redick, and his backup center, Marcin Gortat, could start for a number of teams this season. 

The only real question is at the backup power forward spot, where he has two talented but different options in Ryan Anderson and Brandon Bass. Neither possesses the top-end talent, currently, to completely settle the playing time debate that dates back to last season. 

That brings us to a piece by Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel , who notes that Van Gundy opted to start Anderson over Bass when he benched his usual starting five during a recent preseason game  and that Bass has responded by playing very well.
It’s no secret that Magic power forward Brandon Bass wants to find a place to play, whether it’ s in Orlando or somewhere else.

And the way he’s played lately, he might get his wish — and my guess is the Magic are only waiting for the right deal to come along.

Bass is showcasing his talents for other teams, such as the Indiana Pacers, who need power-forward help.

Bass was coming off a 9-point, 7-rebound, 3-block effort in the last preseason game he played, against the Pacers Oct. 8. Against the Charlotte Bobcats on Thursday night, he led the club with 16 points, nine rebounds and added two blocks in 31 minutes.

Should Anderson continue to see more minutes, I think we can agree that Bass becomes the best third-stringer in the NBA. (It's a shame there's no award voting and trophy for 11th man of the year.) 

But it's also fair for Magic general manager Otis Smith to continue to take the patient approach. Talented big man only get more valuable over the course of a season as injuries arise. That goes for both the Magic and any potential trade partners.
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 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.

 
 
 
 
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