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Tag:Orlando Magic
Posted on: January 27, 2012 11:30 am
Edited on: February 3, 2012 5:24 pm
 

Friday 5 with KB: A Magical Time

By Matt Moore



In this week's edition of 
the Friday 5, we look back on extensions week, ask if the Celtics are back, and of course, check in on Dwight Howard. You can follow Ken Berger on Twitter @KBergCBS

1. After two games between Orlando and Boston this week, is Boston "back?" 

Ken Berger: I still think they're going to be OK. What a difference when Pierce has it going. He's clearly getting his confidence back. What happened Thursday night was as much about the Magic's fragility as it was about the Celtics' resilience. But to come back like that on the road, without Rondo or Allen, is a great sign for Boston. The Celtics' bench is still way too thin, and they don't have enough size. But one thing they need more than anything is some young legs and youthful exuberance, not to mention those attributes coming with meaningful contributions. They got that Thursday night from E'Twaun Moore. A much needed jolt for Boston's elders.

2. What extension decision, signed or unsigned, surprised you the most?

Ken Berger: I don't know that any surprised me, but the most interesting case was Eric Gordon. Given his knee situation, it's difficult to make a largely unnecessary long-term commitment now. But clearly the Hornets can't afford to lose the most significant asset they received in the Chris Paul trade. But much like Kevin Love's shorter extension with Minnesota, this arrangement could work out in Gordon's favor. If he comes back healthy and continues to put up big numbers, he'll command a bigger deal as a restricted free agent. And New Orleans knows they control the situation because they can match.

3. The Pacers have an interest in Eric Gordon. With his future in the air, is there any chance teams make a run at him in trade at the deadline?

Ken Berger: It would be logical for Gordon, the IU product, to wind up only a short drive from Bloomington. But I don't expect the Hornets to entertain in-season trade offers for him. There's no reason to panic since they have the right to match next summer.

4. We hear a lot about the Magic waiting to make a decision on Dwight Howard. But how about the Lakers? Are they going to give this team a chance to gel or will they pounce at the first opportunity for improvement?

Ken Berger: It always depends on the deal. If Howard can be had for a price that's less than Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, then the dialogue could catch fire pretty quickly. But unless Orlando completely goes in the tank -- and they haven't been playing well lately -- I see no signs that Otis Smith and Alex Martins are going to consider anything less than an all-out blockbuster offer for Howard. There's one caveat: If the realization of losing Howard for nothing hits the Magic organization like a freight train on March 14, it's impossible to predict now how they'll react.

5. Explain why the Minnesota Timberwolves not signing Kevin Love for as many years as possible is in any way a good decision on their part, please.

Ken Berger: I got into this in Postups yesterday. Basically, it's a good deal for both sides. Love has three years to determine if the Wolves are, in fact, going in the right direction. The Wolves, in turn, get to preserve their five-year designated player extension for Ricky Rubio. But Minnesota also will be able to get Love on a five-year extension after he opts out of the fourth year of this deal. And Love will get more money, too. With seven-plus years of service at that point, he'd be eligible for 30 percent of the cap.
Posted on: January 27, 2012 10:34 am
 

Dwight Howard: Magic have to 'change'

Howard is an unrestrictred free agent in the summer of 2012. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore

The circumstances were pretty complex Thursday night. The Orlando Magic blew a 27-point lead, at home, to the Boston Celtics, who had come up as a new possible landing place for Dwight Howard. So while one regular season win or loss is not going to sway Howard one way or the other, it's definitely not the message you want to send if you're Orlando trying to keep the most dominant center in the league playing in your laundry. Especially when afterwards he says things like this, from the Orlando Sentinel:  
Howard intimated that teammates didn’t stick to their roles Thursday night’s loss to Boston.

“We didn’t play the right way and we have to change,” he said.“Everybody just can’t come down the floor and feel like they have to take the game over. You just have to play team-ball and play the way we want to play. We didn’t do that.”

Howard included himself in the meltdown inwhich the Magic lost a 27-point lead.
via Dwight Howard calls out teammates to “change” – Orlando Magic BasketBlog – Orlando Sentinel.

This isn't anything new. Howard, like a lot of stars, is often critical of his team after a particularly bad loss. It just doesn't come at a great time with his impending free agency hanging over the Magic, just hours after he told reporters he'd answer a call from the Celtics about acquiring him. 

Howard has told reporters in the past that not having his input weighted more heavily by the front office is part of his decision to ask for a trade. When Howard says the Magic have to "change," he probably has some ideas about how that change should occur. The Magic's fate with regards to Howard has been sealed for months. But Thursday night certainly didn't help.
Posted on: January 27, 2012 1:01 am
Edited on: January 27, 2012 1:10 am
 

Kevin Garnett interview: 'It was a bar fight'

Posted by Ben Golliver

Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett once told us that "anything is possible," and "anything" certainly includes mounting a comeback from 27 points down to defeat the Orlando Magic on the road without Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen.

That's what Garnett's Celtics did on Thursday night and you can probably imagine that he was pumped up about it afterwards.

In what will go down as one of his most memorable post-game interviews, Garnett got emotional with TNT's Craig Sager immediately following Boston's 91-83 victory.

"Goddamn bar fight! Goddamn bar fight, man! It's a bar fight, Craig," Garnett shouted, shifting his weight back and forth as he often does when the adrenaline is flowing. "Bar fight! Tonight was a bar fight, man! We knew they were going to come in with a lot of energy, tonight was a bar fight. Have you ever been in a bar fight? Ask Charles [Barkley], he's been in a bar fight. This is what it was tonight." 

In case you weren't counting, that was eight "bar fights" in less than 20 seconds.

"We won in the second half," Garnett continued. "In the first half, they came out with a lot of energy, put ourselves in a hole, then we simplified our offense, came out... I forgot you were doing the interview. Go ahead."

He then paused to catch his breath. "Woo man."

Sager then asked if he believed Celtics coach Doc Rivers, who said earlier in the game that a comeback was possible.

"Absolutely. Since I've been here in Boston, Doc has never told me nothing that wasn't true.  We were in the Finals one time, we were down whatever it was, he told me we could come back, I believed it and we did. Tonight was no different. Woo."

Sager attempted another question but Garnett started to veer into incomprehensible statements, shouting out to Ray "Ray Ray" Allen to congratulate him on the birth of his child and then telling Sager, "you look good tonight, dog." 

Before saying "go to bed, boo boo," and simply leaving the interview to go to the locker room, Garnett admitted: "I'm all over the place."

No doubt about that. Good times.

Here's the video courtesy of YouTube user The Ultimate Jordan.



Hat tip: @TasMelas
Posted on: January 26, 2012 11:56 pm
Edited on: January 27, 2012 1:03 am
 

Report Card: Magic make a lead disappear

The Magic blew a 27-point lead at home to the Celtics Thursday. (Getty Images)

Posted by Matt Moore

Your nightly report card wraps up the performances of the NBA night and provides grades on a curve. The Magic blew a 27-point lead to lose at home to the Boston Celtics, who were without Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen. The loss comes just days after the Magic only scored 56 points to the Celtics in Boston.

Boston Celtics

If the Celtics aren't back, they're doing an impressive job of faking it. The Magic had more to do with the collapse, but make no mistake, Boston earned this one after a terrible first half. Their second-half effort was dominant in classic Celtics style. They cut off all passing lanes, challenged each shot, and attacked the ball handler at every turn. E'Twuan Moore scored 16 points, while Kevin Garnett repeatedly found his 18 footer open and shut down Dwight Howard. The first half it looked like the Celtics were still the useless club they've been for much of this season. But these two performances against Orlando show they can still win a playoff series. Especially if it's against Orlando.

Stan Van Gundy

Surrendered a 27-point comeback at home to a conference rival that was without its starting backcourt and has struggled the entire season with age and speed. 


Dwight Howard

Surrendered a 27-point comeback at home to a conference rival that was without its starting backcourt and has struggled the entire season with age and speed. 


Jameer Nelson

Surrendered a 27-point comeback at home to a conference rival that was without its starting backcourt and has struggled the entire season with age and speed. 


Jason Richardson

Surrendered a 27-point comeback at home to a conference rival that was without its starting backcourt and has struggled the entire season with age and speed. 


Hedo Turkoglu

Surrendered a 27-point comeback at home to a conference rival that was without its starting backcourt and has struggled the entire season with age and speed. 


Ryan Anderson

Surrendered a 27-point comeback at home to a conference rival that was without its starting backcourt and has struggled the entire season with age and speed. 


Glen Davis

Surrendered a 27-point comeback at home to a conference rival that was without its starting backcourt and has struggled the entire season with age and speed. 


J.J. Redick

Surrendered a 27-point comeback at home to a conference rival that was without its starting backcourt and has struggled the entire season with age and speed. 


Chris Duhon

Surrendered a 27-point comeback at home to a conference rival that was without its starting backcourt and has struggled the entire season with age and speed. 


Quentin Richardson

Surrendered a 27-point comeback at home to a conference rival that was without its starting backcourt and has struggled the entire season with age and speed. 


Earl Clark

Surrendered a 27-point comeback at home to a conference rival that was without its starting backcourt and has struggled the entire season with age and speed.  


Posted on: January 26, 2012 7:03 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2012 7:59 pm
 

Allen, Rondo out vs. Magic

By Matt Moore

Rajan Rondo and Ray Allen will miss Thurday night's game against the Orlando Magic, via the Boston Globe. Allen and Rondo have missed several games. Allen is struggling with an ankle, while Rondo has missed several games with a sprained wrist. The Celtics were missing both players earlier this week when the Celtics dismantled the Magic, holding them to just 56 points. 

Avery Bradley and Mickael Pietrus will start for Rondo and Allen respectively. Bradley in particular wreaked havoc on Jameer Nelson in their last matchup, pressuring him full-court and taking him completely out of rhythm.
Posted on: January 26, 2012 12:10 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2012 12:11 pm
 

Howard would listen to offer from Celtics

Howard says he would consider playing for Boston. (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore


OK, so now all of a sudden Dwight's OK with Boston. This is getting hard to keep track of. For months, it's been assumed that Howard would not consider Boston on his list of teams to go to. Multiple reports have indicated he's expressed that he will not re-sign there if traded to the Green Team. But now there's different information... from Howard's own mouth.  
And if Howard is still available — if the Magic don’t blink and move him before the March deadline — C’s president Danny Ainge will undoubtedly put in a call to Team Dwight.

The question is whether he’ll answer.

“Always. Always,” Howard told the Herald. “I’d always listen to a team like that.

“My thing is I want to win. It’s not something like I’m doing this for money. I win. I want to do it my way.”

There may be two problems for the Celtics in that last paragraph. Howard may question whether the club can win with him, Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, a collection of minimum salary veterans and a few children. And his “way” likely means a bigger stage.
via Dwight Howard to Hub? - BostonHerald.com.

This does not mean that Boston is at the top of, or near the top of the list for Howard. He's made his choices pretty clear. But Boston has continually dogged him in the playoffs. Joining them would be joining an organization all about winning, who he knows will be able to build around him. He'd likely have Rajon Rondo as well, since the trade package would probably include the Big 3. The Magic have reportedly been looking for veteran players who can help them win now instead of younger players. If they want old guys, Boston's got them.

(Side note: Please try and imagine Rajon Rondo's surliness next to Dwight Howard's effusive jolliness. Unintentionally funniest duo ever.)

But Howard hasn't been all about winning. He's not targeting Chicago, which gives him the best chance to win a title. He clearly wants the money and fame that comes with Los Angeles or New York. If winning is what matters, you don't put the Nets at the top, no matter how good Deron Williams is. The Celtics are a long shot, but Howard would listen to the offer. From there it would come down to Danny Ainge and if he could pull off the sales job of his life.

(HT: SI
Posted on: January 25, 2012 10:52 am
Edited on: January 25, 2012 6:40 pm
 

Lockout basketball is not good



By Matt Moore


We knew there would be effects on the quality of play in the NBA after a five-month lockout. We knew that a compacted season would lead to more fatigue, more injuries, less cohesiveness and an effect on stats. 

We just didn't know it would be quite this bad.

From the Miami Herald:  
Field-goal shooting, free-throw shooting and three-point shooting in the NBA are all down... . Turnovers have increased by an average of .8 per game, the largest jump in 29 years.Bosh said that in addition to the increased miscues, players have less time to learn from their mistakes.“We have to really pay attention to film, you have to pick things up on the fly, you’re not always able to go through live situations all the time,” Bosh said. “It’s a moment where you have to use your experience as a basketball player and pick things up without actually practicing them.”
via Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade will travel to Detroit but playing status unclear - Miami Heat - MiamiHerald.com.

The biggest problem seems to be that when things go badly for a team, they don't just go bad, they turn into an abject disaster. The Magic's 56-point outburst Monday is a prime example. The Celtics' defense definitely deserves credit, but that kind of output stands alongside a handful of Charlotte and Sacramento games in terms of how bad things can get. Tuesday night the Grizzlies only scored three field goals in the third quarter. The signs are everywhere. The exhaustion is hammering teams' abilities to recover, especially when it's not just games on back-to-backs, but often road trips that involve multiple games on a different coast. 

There's no solution to be held this year, but the standards for the league need to be re-evaluated. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has a clue about such things and has said that stats this year are "an aberration." It makes you wonder what teams are benefiting and what teams are struggling more than they would have in a normal season. At this pace, March could be a basketball snuff film.
Posted on: January 24, 2012 11:42 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2012 12:31 am
 

Report Card: Like a Bosh

Posted by Royce Young

Chris Bosh scored 35 for the Heat Tuesday, including 17 in the fourth. (Getty Images)

Your nightly report card gives you a big picture look at what happened each night in the NBA. Grades are granted based on team or individual performances, and are graded on a curve for each element. Leave your own grades in the comments.

Chris Bosh


Bosh did the heavy lifting for the Heat against Cleveland scoring 35 points, including 17 in the fourth quarter. He did it on 10-16 shooting and 14-14 from the free throw line. It was a nice game to see from Bosh who picked his spots wisely, took open shots when he had them and didn't waver throughout the game in his aggressiveness. That's been the problem with Bosh, is him fading out after a good half or quarter. But he stayed with it against the Cavs, putting together a very complete game.

Orlando Magic

A night after completely embarrassing themselves by shooting 24 percent and scoring only 56 points in Boston, the Magic bounced back by whipping the Pacers by shooting 46 percent from the field and hitting 13 3-pointers. So it really was just an off night against the Celtics. Ryan Anderson led the way hitting 5-7 from deep.


Marcus Camby

Camby led the way to a nice Blazer win over the Grizzlies pulling in 22 rebounds while also holding Marc Gasol to only seven points on 2-7 shooting. It was one of those classic Camby games where his box score is almost entirely out of whack. The 22 rebounds but only two shots, three points and then five blocks to go with it. Every now and then we all tend to forget that Camby is still one of the best defensive and rebounding big men in basketball. Marc Gasol won't forget that for a while.

Carmelo Anthony


OK, that's sort of a sarcastic grade. Carmelo had said recently he needed to re-evaluate his shot selection and he did that in a big way against the Bobcats. Melo went 0-7 from floor and scored only a single point in 30 minutes in the Knicks 111-78 blowout of the Bobcats. The Knicks got balanced scoring across the board with 20 from Tyson Chandler, 18 from Landry Fields, 18 from Amar'e Stoudemire and 51 points from the bench. The Knicks aren't a better team getting that little from Melo, but it certainly worked fine for a night.

Toronto Raptors

The losing streak is over! After eight consecutive losses, the Raptors finally got on the high side with a win in Phoenix. Andrea Bargnani had 36 and James Johnson 18. But here's the sobering reality: Toronto is still just 5-13 and are not very good.



LeBron James


LeBron's team won, but he played one of his most mediocre games of the year. He went 8-21 from the floor, turned the ball over five times, made only a single basket in the fourth and only had five assists. He wasn't great. He didn't really need to be because the Heat were playing an overmatched Cavs squad. It's not like LeBron to not be the best player on the floor during a game, but that was the case Tuesday.

Indiana Pacers

The Pacers are a bit hard to figure. Granted, they were getting a pretty angry Orlando team, but getting worked against another Eastern contender doesn't speak well for a team that's trying to be taken seriously. The Pacers sometimes can look crisp and clean offensively and other nights completely at a loss for consistent scoring.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com