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Magic Fan

Magic Hang Tight With Cavs Before Falling Short posted by Magic Fan

Midway through Friday’s second quarter, the Magic were in possession of a feel-good 10-point lead on the star-studded Cleveland Cavaliers, confetti inexplicably starting falling from the rafters.

It was a case of premature celebration considering LeBron James’ propensity for taking games over late and the Magic’s struggles in the clutch in recent weeks.

Orlando started strong and matched the Cavs blow for blow most of the night only to see James come alive in the fourth quarter as the Magic went cold at the wrong time. James ended up with 29 points – one more than the Magic over the final 12 minutes of the game – to lead Cleveland to a 98-89 victory that wrecked Orlando’s hopes of capturing a signature win.

``You just watch the film on the game and you will see two different teams. One from the first three quarters and one from the last quarter, especially the last five minutes of the game,’’ frustrated forward Tobias Harris said.

``A big part of this league is at the end of the game having the ability to put the basketball in someone’s hands and that person makes a play,’’ Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said. ``How many possessions at the end of the game was the ball in LeBron’s hands? He made the plays for himself and for his teammates.

``We’re still growing and understand where we want the ball and in whose hands,’’ Vaughn continued. ``And we’re still learning how to finish once the ball is in that person’s hands.’’

Continue reading "Magic Hang Tight With Cavs Before Falling Short"

Cavaliers Fan

Cavs rally to beat Magic 98-89 without Kyrie Irving; Kevin Love sits fourth quarter posted by Cavaliers Fan

LeBron James had 29 points and eight assists, Kevin Love scored 22 points despite sitting out the fourth quarter and the Cavs beat the Orlando Magic 98-89 Friday without Kyrie Irving.

Irving was a late scratch with his bothersome left knee. Coach David Blatt thought he would be able to play, but Irving tested the knee prior to the game and determined he couldn’t go.

The Cavs’ defense was terrible throughout the first half when the Magic shot 60 percent, but the effort improved in the second half to win after trailing by 10 in the third quarter.

Love scored 13 points in the first quarter, including a pair of 3-pointers then was relatively quiet the rest of the night. That has been a recurring trend with the third member of the Cavs’ Big Three.

Love played the entire third quarter, shot 1-for-6 and struggled at times defensively. He started the fourth quarter on the bench and didn’t return to the game.

James put the game away in the final minute. With the Cavas already leading92-89, James blew past Tobias Harris for a basket and foul. He made the free throw to extend the lead to six with 40 seconds left.

Tristan Thompson had nine points and 13 rebounds as the new starting center and Dion Waiters scored 17 points off the bench for the Cavs, who rebounded from Thursday’s disappointing loss at Miami.

The Cavs have been playing hurt lately. James’ left knee has been bothering him, Irving aggravated his knee in Thursday’s loss at Miami and Anderson Varejao has been lost for the season with a torn Achilles.

Continue reading "Cavs rally to beat Magic 98-89 without ..."

Magic Fan

Orlando Magic Preseason Report 2014 posted by Magic Fan

The starting of the 2013-14 season might have looked promising for the Orlando Magic, but they went into a downward spiral very soon, and ended with 23-59, which was the third worst NBA record. Nikolar Vucevic in spite of his athletic abilities was not able to deliver, and Victor Oladipo, who in spite of being best rookie since January could not win Rookie of the Year. The veterans were quite ineffective and they did not seem comfortable playing together.

For 2014-15 season, Orlando Magic might need to implement major changes. Willie Green, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo might be given PG positions. Oladipo has gained good experience compared to Payton in the last season. Even though Payton has good potential, he has a weak offense, and has issues moving the ball. For the offense, Aaron Gordon would be ideal at small forward, paired with Tobias Harris at PF.

Last season, Andrew Nicholson seemed buried at the PF position, and he would do much better at center. He was not able to defend effectively at PF last season, and his playing time was not much. Center would be a good position for Nicholson, as he can shoot jumpers and 3's, and he can be good at immediate offense, which Dedmon was not able to deliver. The remaining PF could go to Marvin Williams as free agent, and Kyle O' Quinn. For SG positions, Bend Gordon, Roy Deyvn Marble, and Evan Fournier would be ideal, whereas for SF, Moe Harkless and Aaron Gordon would be more suitable. Dewayne Dedmon, Andrew Nicholson, and Nik Vucevic would do well in C.

With this overall lineup, Orlando Magic might be able to deliver much better games, compared to what they did last season. Seth Curry would be a good inclusion to the team as a PG third-string, and Osby being a versatile player would suit the team as well.

Continue reading "Orlando Magic Preseason Report 2014"

Johnny Matheis

Opening day Keeneland 2012 Fall meet posted by Johnny Matheis

One is never sure about the odds the public will choose. I will give the odds as a combination of what I think they should be and what they probably will go off at. I may think a runner is a 15-1 long shot, but he may have big names and money, so even though I figure he'll go off 4-1, I will split the differece and call it about 8-1 or 12-1.

It's important to look at the odds. You don't want to bet a large bankroll at 2 minutes till post, because you're betting down your own odds. You're actually picking your own pocket for others to take your money. But you still want an idea of the odds. 8 minutes till post is a comfortable margin. When I give picks, look at the odds. If the odds are much lower than I give, it isn't a good bet.

For example, in the second race I consider number 8 AT THE FINISH a strong bet at 2-1, but I myself wouldn't bet it unless he was 5-2. If he's 3-2, he shouldn't be bet at all. He may win, but he doesn't win this race 2 times out of 5 (barring scratches).

If my second pick, Number 10 SWEET JODY, whom I list at 10-1, goes off at 26-1, I would probably bet on that one. I will be busy working, and taking your bets at the window, though, so it's your baby.

Incidentally, if you do come to a window whie they're loading the gate, to bet a hundred dollars, don't be surprised if our machines jam. We're used to thieves who do this to steal from us, simply making the bets without paying, and the race runs while they argue, then they don't pay up if their horse loses, and we're paying to work.

Which is why I only take small bets at post time. Only an idiot or a thief bets his odds down at post time.

Continue reading "Opening day Keeneland 2012 Fall meet"

Johnny Matheis

Do people really really want a triple crown that bad? posted by Johnny Matheis

Do people really really really want a Triple Crown that bad? I'm not sure people do. When I hear "people will be disappointed", I keep thinking it's an imaginary group, maybe .01% of the people, like most other "they" groups that exist only in cliches.

The good news is that the trainer did the right thing. The horse and the stable come first. You don't take chances. An owner would take Zero chances. Maybe owners should do the entering into races, if we could make sure they could have 100% of the veterinarian reports.

O'Neill proved to be classier than trainers of Westrern Playboy, Barbaro, and others who were run into the ground.

The bad news is that whomever you liked will now pay less than half as much. Well, those are the breaks.

 Confidentially, it's probably no secret I would bet against a Triple Crown prospect, because of my system. I like a horse who isn't "run into the ground", one that comes off softer surfaces, and probably in the best condition.

Which is how I'm handicapping the Belmont.



7 FIVE SIXTEEN 20-1 Only one upset possibility to beat Paynter, one off softer slower tracks, should be fit.

9 PAYNTER 6-5 With Baffert and the best pedigree in race, obvious pick. Probable heavy favorite. Very obvious.

12 MY ADONIS 20-1 Should be in hunt with 1 1/2 fractions easier to relax with

6 RAVELO'S BOY 20-1 Pretty well bred, and Tampa runners usually outrun later odds.  Would need best to contend. 

Continue reading "Do people really really want a triple ..."

Richard Kagan

Likely Cutler's Out For Season posted by Richard Kagan

Jay Cutler talked to a reporter in Chicago and didn't offer great optimism about returning to play this season.  The man has a broken thumb.  Could you play with a broken thumb in 5-6 weeks?  Unlikely.  It is pretty safe to say that he is out for the season.  If Caleb Hanie doesn't work out, the Bears need another guy.  It's a bummer, but those are, the pardon the pun, breaks of the game. 

We don't know how Hanie will do.  Cutler said the man is feeling his way in the game.  Let's hope that Hanie can weave some magic for a few weeks, so the Bears can qualify.  I'd rather see them in the playoffs even without Cutler, heck, they were a good team a few weeks ago.  That shows you how important the QB position is.  Look at the Colts, they lost Manning to an injury and are 0-11!  That is mighty tough. 

Continue reading "Likely Cutler's Out For Season"

Richard Kagan

Bulls Are Tops in East posted by Richard Kagan

This has been an amazing year for the Chicago Bulls and the post-season hasn't started yet.  Last year, the Bulls clinched a playoff berth on the last day of the season.  This year, the Bulls are looking to clinch home court throughout the playoffs.  Chicago is 60-20 with two game remaining to be played.  60 wins is a milestone.

The Bulls will have homecourt advantage for the first 3 rounds.  That is, the road to who plays in the NBA title series, goes through Chicago.  That is a great accomplishment.  Derrick Rose, living up to his MVP hype, scored 39 points to lead the Bulls in a win against the Orlando Magic. 

Now, Chicago has done some great things.  The crowd is buzzing.  The United Center resembles that roarin' house on Madison St, the old Chicago Stadium.  There MJ and Company made NBA history.  The Bulls are hard to beat at the United Center, and this post-season will be one to remember.

Continue reading "Bulls Are Tops in East"

Richard Kagan

The Bulls Are for Real posted by Richard Kagan

The Chicago Bulls beat the Orlando Magic 99-90, despite Dwight Howard's 40 point night.  The Bulls won with Derrick Rose and Luol Deng making great contributions.  Deng led the team in scoring with 26 points, Rose scored 22.  The Bulls won the game without injured center Joakin Noah.  When Noah comes back in a few weeks, look out, the Bulls will be scary good. 

As it is, this is perhaps the strongest team, yet assembled since the glory years of MJ, Pippen, and Horace Grant.

You could add the years since MJ, Pippen, and Dennis Rodman.  Whatever, Phil Jackson was the coach, who pulled the right strings.  This year's team is legit.  They win despite losing key players to injury.  Kurt Thomas has been a revelation coming off the bench.  Despite his age, one of the older players in the league, Thomas is getting it done.  The other night, he dropped 22 points and had mutliple boards.  Terrific night for him.  Kyle Korver has supplied points in the clutch.

Carlos Boozer has played like an alll-star.  He deserves to be picked as a reserve.  He playes tough minutes, scores big and brings in rebounds.  He is a consummate pro.  He adds a lot of toughness to the lineup.

Luol Deng has been great all year.  He must lead the team in minutes played.  He goes all out, scores, plays great defense, and gets rebounds, if needed. 

The Bulls are a fun team to watch.  They play hard.  They play tough.  And, this year, they are winning. 

Continue reading "The Bulls Are for Real"

john howard

Miami Destroys Rival Magic posted by john howard

Miami destroys rival Orlando.   The Magic shot a horrible 30% as D-Wade lead the Heat with 26.   Miami's bench had 7 3's and Haslem had 11 rebounds.

 Last night was a scarry indicator to the rest of the league how it may be this year.  Miami crushed the Magic 96 to 70.  Wade was the only player who scored over 20 points.  And, to top it off, the Heat still aren't playing with Mike Miller. 

Continue reading "Miami Destroys Rival Magic"

Sports Fan

Can the Charlotte Bobcats be a contender in the East? posted by Sports Fan

I really like the direction this team is going but I'm not so sure they can really be a contender in the East this year.  The East has gotten a lot stronger over the last few years and while I think they can make the playoffs I don't really see any chance that they can really beat The Magic, the Heat, the Celtics, of the Bulls.  And I'm skeptical they can even beat teams like the 76ers or the Hawks.

What do you think? 

Continue reading "Can the Charlotte Bobcats be a contender ..."

Orlando Magic News

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Hornets Kidd-Gilchrist leaves game with shoulder injury (Yahoo Sports)

[read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Hornets Kidd-Gilchrist injured in 106-100 win over Magic

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Jeremy Lin had 17 points, Jeremy Lamb added 16 and the Charlotte Hornets held on to beat the Orlando Magic 106-100 on Saturday night in their exhibition opener. [read full article]

From FOX Sports Digital

Mario Hezonja makes solid debut in Magic's preseason loss to Hornets

Jeremy Lin had 17 points, Jeremy Lamb added 16 and the Charlotte Hornets held on to beat the Orlando Magic 106-100 on Saturday night in their exhibition opener. [read full article]

From FOX Sports Digital

BDL 25: Will the 76ers even resemble a basketball team this season? (Ball Don't Lie)

The NBA offseason has brought many changes to rosters, coaching staffs and the list of championship contenders. As we draw closer to opening night, it's time to move our focus from the potential impact of each offseason event and onto the broader issues that figure to define this season. The BDL 25 takes stock of, uh, 25 key storylines to get you up to speed on where the most fascinating teams, players and people stand on the brink of 2015-16. Eight of the 20 players pictured on the Philadelphia 76ers’official roster page are actually wearing Sixers uniforms. Four are wearing their former team’s uniform, one guy is wearing a suit, and seven don’t even have a photo on file. That’s not exactly rare for most NBA teams, as they litter their roster with camp invitees who might not be long for this league. But it wouldn’t be surprising to see the same sort of setup midseason with this squad —totally new names, old photos …or no photos at all. The 76ers haven’t been photographable since general manager Sam Hinkie blew up the team on draft night, 2013. That night, he dealt Jrue Holiday, a former All-Star, for the sixth pick in that year’s draft and what was certain to be a solid lottery pick the next year. With that No. 6 pick, Philly selected a player in Nerlens Noel who had recently torn his ACL. At the time, it seemed like a knockout rebuilding move —you deal that star you don’t need and take a chance on someone who was considered the top talent in the draft, even after he tore his knee ligament. Tank the year, bring Noel back to get him up to NBA shape late in the season, and dive into the 2014 draft with two high picks. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball ] On top of that, Philly’s own pick, late lottery selection Michael Carter-Williams, even won Rookie of the Year. So, look at all these assets! Two picks this year, two great picks next year, cap space: there’s your core. Let’s do 2014-15 right. Still, Noel sat in 2013-14. Like, the whole year. And at the 2014 draft, the team not only traded down with the Orlando Magic to secure a prospect (Dario Saric) who might not come stateside until 2016 , they again drafted an injured big man in Joel Embiid with a similar skill set to Noel —who, again, had yet to play at this point. Embiid sat all of 2014-15, all of last season, and it is questionable, 17 months later, as to whether or not he will even be healthy enough to make his NBA debut 30 months after he was drafted . The Sixers then did nothing in free agency. The team traded Carter-Williams for a future first-rounder before the 2014-15 trade deadline. Then, after another terrible season and outfitted with the second overall pick, Philly chose yet another big man in Jahlil Okafor —he's the one wearing a suit in his picture —with the top overall selection. They also bought out and waived their highest-paid player —Javale McGee, traded and paid for in order to collect a middling first-round pick along the way —and, again, did nothing in free agency. Well …#Sixers Hinkie on offseason: 'We spent probably $3 million in free agency, primarily on point guards, and we took $18 million in trade.' —Tom Moore (@tmoore76ers) September 30, 2015 So, once again, the load gets pushed back. Now, we look to the summer of 2016 for signs of anything resulting from what started in the summer of 2013, while Sixers fans stare down another nine months of misery until next year’s free-agency turn starts. And what will Philly have, entering that offseason? Noel, hopefully coming off of a much improved second season. Okafor, hopefully having proven that his low-post scoring game can translate to this level. Saric, as a rookie with a lot to learn about this pro game. Probably the Los Angeles Lakers’lottery pick, provided the Lakers don’t fall on even harder times in 2015-16. Their own high lottery pick, because they will most assuredly be awful this year. Probably the Miami Heat’s middling-at-best first-round pick. Probably the Oklahoma City Thunder’s middling-at-best first-round pick. Cap space! The team could also have a recovered Embiid, though it’s important to note what Hinkie said about his top 2014 pick during training camp : Joel Embiid was back in Philly today after attending yesterday’s practice. The injured center still has a cast on his right leg and can’t do much rehab at all because of it. “The things he can do, which are limited —nutrition, medication, sleep, staying off it, and all of that —that’s been really good,”Hinkie said. “Sleep.”He said “sleep.”So that’s five or maybe six (depending on how much rest Embiid gets this year) high-end prospects, plus two more picks, and some cap space, and that’s a good start, right? (After three years of this crap, it better be.) Really, the real question should be whether or not the Philadelphia 76ers will field an actual team in 2016-17, instead of this season. Because they most certainly will not in 2015-16. Noel and Okafor would seem to be a perfect pair, filling the bumps in one’s head with the bruises in another’s, but they still have quite a bit to work on. The lottery could be cruel, and Hinkie might not make it through the season without firing ahead and rolling over for more assets in coming years; the Sixers could get an unprotected first-round pick from the Sacramento Kings in 2019 and 10 second-round selections from various teams between 2016 and 2021. Hinkie has basically taken all the shouts that us basketball wonks had been screaming at teams during the 1990s and early aughts —DON’T EMBRACE MEDIOCRITY, DRAFT THE BEST PLAYER AVAILABLE AND FIGURE THE REST OUT LATER, DON’T TRUST A PLAYER PUTTING UP BAD STATS ON YOUR BASKETBALL TEAM, BOTTOM OUT AND START OVER —and taken it to a ridiculous extreme. It’s fascinating. Mostly because we’re not 76ers fans. Previously, on BDL 25: Kevin Durant is back to score at will and dominate headlines What the heck will the Dallas Mavericks even look like? Paul George tries to reclaim stardom and Indiana's contender status Will DeMarcus Cousins and the Kings even make it to January? Can the Golden State Warriors be that perfect again? Are the Cleveland Cavaliers going to price themselves into oblivion? The Grizzlies know exactly who they are, and that might be enough Kevin Garnett's last run Are the Knicks building something or just biding time before a blow-up? Paul Pierce, journeyman Russell Westbrook searches for an encore to an overwhelming season Can the Atlanta Hawks do *that* again? Kobe Bryant takes on what could be the last of his many battles The rise of Rudy Gobert and the Utah Jazz Just how *excellent* are these Miami Heat, anyhow? Is Dwight Howard still a superstar? The fun, probably still terrible, Timberwolves Will Kevin Love 'fit in' better in Year 2 in Cleveland? Is DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul's relationship built to last? Anthony Davis, nascent destroyer of worlds How, exactly, will LaMarcus Aldridge fit in with the Spurs? The rise of Brad Stevens and his starless Celtics The perpetually aching Chicago Bulls Greg Monroe’s arrival, Jabari Parker’s return, and the weird, wild Bucks - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Magic enter training camp hoping to build defensive identity (Yahoo Sports)

The Orlando Magic want to establish a new identity this season. If new coach Scott Skiles has his way, it will be all about defense. Orlando posted its third straight season of 25 or fewer victories last year, and ranked in the bottom third of the NBA in both points allowed and opponent field goal percentage. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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