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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.

PROJECTED ORDER OF FINISH FOR BELMONT 2012 1 1/2 MILE BELMONT RACE 11

PROGRAM NUMBER-NAME OF RUNNER-PROBABLE ODDS-COMMENTS

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 ..."


Frank Jenkins

Fired up for a fun NBA season! posted by Frank Jenkins

Hey gang!

I am excited as the new NBA season approaches. The preseason started last night and that means that we are less than four weeks away from the start of the season. I've got my Gamecenter online so that I can watch games with my computer. I'll spend time on this blog talking about what games I've watched and other exciting news and notes from the NBA. 

I have several teams that I love, but my top two teams are the Magic and the Pacers. I used to live in the Orlando area for several years and now live closest to the Pacers. If I get to any of the Pacer games live, then I'll also post pictures from those.

Let's get ready for a fun year. Over the next couple weeks, I'll give you my insights as to who might win the trophy in June.

Frank

Continue reading "Fired up for a fun NBA season!"


nbaball

Pierce is no prophet in Celtics loss to Lakers in game 3 of NBA Finals posted by nbaball


There is no doubt, Boston Celtics superstar forward Paul "Truth" Pierce is one of the top players in the National Basketball Association today.
Despite his NBA superstar status, there is one thing certain Pierce is just a heck of a professional basketball player and not a prophet.
This developed after Pierce failed in his prediction that the Celtics will sweep the next three games of the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles which would be held at the Boston Garden.
In game three of the much talked about NBA Finals, the Lakers beat the Celtics 91-84 at the home-floor of the latter through the heroics of Lakers veteran point-guard Derek Fisher.
The defeat foils Pierce prediction that the Celtics will beat the Lakers three straight in their own home-floor.
Pierce made the bold prediction earlier after Pau Gasol committed a hard foul on Kendrick Perkins with 1:12 remaining in Game 2 and the Celtics leading, 97-90, Pierce, as he
helped his teammate off the floor along the baseline near the hoop, was heard on video replays yelling, "We aren’t coming back to LA!"
The Celtics evened the NBA Finals at a game apiece with a 103-94 victory in game two of the NBA Finals.
It is not the first time that Pierce made a bold prediction regarding the outcome of an NBA playoff series.
Pierce also predicted after a Game 2 victory against the Magic in Orlando, which gave the Celtics a 2-0 series lead, that they will close the series at home.
He even posted a message on his Twitter account saying the Celtics to sweep the Magic.
Continue reading "Pierce is no prophet in Celtics loss ..."

Orlando Magic News

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BDL's 2014-15 NBA Season Previews: All 30 team previews, collected in one spot (Ball Don't

It's been 136 days since the San Antonio Spurs put the finishing touches on their five-game demolition of the Miami Heat to win the 2013-14 NBA championship. Since then, we've seen a new decision that knocked over the dominoes that shifted the balance of power in the Eastern Conference, a foot fracture that could tilt the brutal West, a long overdue change in L.A., and more movement —of players, coaches, front-office staffers and everything else —than you can shake a stick at ... except in San Antonio, of course, where the Spurs brought back their entire O'Brien-winning roster in pursuit of the repeat title that's thus far eluded them. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Basketball: Sign up and join a league today! ] It's been a long summer and early fall, and our seemingly interminable wait is now over. The 2014-15 NBA season tips off tonight, with looming monster /2014 FIBA World Cup star Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans hosting the Orlando Magic, the Spurs (and their fans ) getting their rings before taking on the retooled Dallas Mavericks, and Dwight Howard leading the Houston Rockets back to Hollywood to square off with the once-again-healthy Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. It ought to be a pretty fun night. We've spent the last month preparing for tonight, putting together in-depth looks at all 30 NBA teams —how we left them last season, what they did on their summer vacations, their big moves, big questions and all the storylines and subplots to keep an eye on this coming season. They're all collected here, in case you missed any, would like to take another look, or just want to study up before the opening buzzer. You can also find our predictions for the season ahead —our picks for the 2014-15 champion, who'll win each major individual award and more —right here . The links below point to each team's season preview, along with predicted records and playoff seeding.* Dig in, enjoy, and feel free to tell us where you think we've gone wrong —today, tomorrow, all season long and always —on Twitter , Facebook and Tumblr . * NOTE: A few of the Western Conference records listed below differ from those that appear in the team-by-team previews, many of which were published before Kevin Durant suffered the Jones fracture that will keep him out for the first six or so weeks of the season. That, as you might expect, led us to juggle a few things. Now, let's get to it: EASTERN CONFERENCE Atlantic Division 1. Toronto Raptors —50-32 2. Brooklyn Nets —38-44 3. New York Knicks —37-45 4. Boston Celtics —28-54 5. Philadelphia 76ers —15-67 Central Division 1. Cleveland Cavaliers —60-22 2. Chicago Bulls —57-25 3. Detroit Pistons —32-50 4. Indiana Pacers —28-54 5. Milwaukee Bucks —20-62 Southeast Division 1. Washington Wizards —48-34 2. Charlotte Hornets —46-36 3. Miami Heat —43-39 4. Atlanta Hawks —41-41 5. Orlando Magic —25-57 Which would mean, playoffs-wise ... 1. Cleveland 2. Chicago 3. Toronto 4. Washington 5. Charlotte 6. Miami 7. Atlanta 8. Brooklyn WESTERN CONFERENCE Northwest Division 1.** Oklahoma City Thunder —55-27 2.** Portland Trail Blazers —55-27 4. Denver Nuggets —36-46 4. Utah Jazz —24-58 5. Minnesota Timberwolves —20-62 Pacific Division 1. Los Angeles Clippers —59-23 2. Golden State Warriors —58-24 3. Phoenix Suns —47-35 4. Sacramento Kings —35-47 5. Los Angeles Lakers —27-55 Southwest Division 1. San Antonio Spurs —57-25 2.** Dallas Mavericks —50-32 3.** Houston Rockets —50-32 4. Memphis Grizzlies —45-37 5. New Orleans Pelicans —44-38 Which would mean, playoffs-wise ... 1. L.A. Clippers 2. Golden State 3. San Antonio 4. Oklahoma City/Portland** 5. Portland/Oklahoma City** 6. Dallas/Houston** 7. Houston/Dallas** 8. Phoenix ** depending on tiebreakers More NBA coverage: [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


The 10-man rotation, starring the rest of the Pelicans and the Anthony Davis hangover (Ball Don%

A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out. C : SB Nation . Kevin Zimmerman on the things that went wrong for the New Orleans Pelicans in their opening-night win over the Orlando Magic — namely, just about everything that wasn't specifically related to emerging monster Anthony Davis. Is Davis good enough to paper over the Pelicans' problems over the course of a full season? PF : Miami Herald . Joseph Goodman on Chris Bosh getting "wild, Boardwalk and Park Place-type generational money " this summer, and now having to handle the pressure that comes with it and provide the scoring it demands. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Basketball: Sign up and join a league today! ] SF : Mother Jones . Ian Gordon and Sam Brodey remind us that all is not beer and Skittles just because Donald Sterling is gone with a handy chart entitled, "How Evil Is Your Owner?" SG : Fast Break . A good read from Adam Lauridsen on how Klay Thompson's looming contract impacts the rest of the Golden State Warriors' salary cap structure, and what it could mean for versatile and vital forward Draymond Green. PG : The Diss . Jacob Greenberg's piece on what he can and can't predict about the NBA season, each and every year, has some fantastic turns of phrase and some very relatable emotional points. A worthwhile read. 6th : Regressing . Brett Koremenos with a great look at how Steve Kerr and Alvin Gentry are working to craft an offensive system worthy of all the talent on the Golden State Warriors roster. 7th : LA Weekly . Jeff Weiss' 2014-15 Los Angeles Lakers Survival Guide was equal parts depressing and hilarious before Opening Night; now , though, it skews more toward the former. 8th : Deadspin and The Hook . Albert Burneko on the Lakers' "saucepan helmet of shot charts," and Tom Ziller on the chance that L.A.'s actually terrible like a fox . 9th : Grantland . Robert Mays on Nikola Mirotic, Toni Kukoc, Ivica Dukan and the Chicago Bulls' history of landing European talent. 10th : NBAStuffer . The always helpful visualization of the schedule gives us a color-coded look at the longest homestands (the Clippers will be in L.A. for nearly three weeks after Christmas) and road trips (hey there, Spurs!) on the NBA calendar. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Wall's layup helps Wizards hold off Magic, 105-98 (Yahoo Sports)

[read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


BDL's 2014-15 NBA Season Previews: All 30 team previews, collected in one spot (Ball Don't

It's been 136 days since the San Antonio Spurs put the finishing touches on their five-game demolition of the Miami Heat to win the 2013-14 NBA championship. Since then, we've seen a new decision that knocked over the dominoes that shifted the balance of power in the Eastern Conference, a foot fracture that could tilt the brutal West, a long overdue change in L.A., and more movement —of players, coaches, front-office staffers and everything else —than you can shake a stick at ... except in San Antonio, of course, where the Spurs brought back their entire O'Brien-winning roster in pursuit of the repeat title that's thus far eluded them. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Basketball: Sign up and join a league today! ] It's been a long summer and early fall, and our seemingly interminable wait is now over. The 2014-15 NBA season tips off tonight, with looming monster /2014 FIBA World Cup star Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans hosting the Orlando Magic, the Spurs (and their fans ) getting their rings before taking on the retooled Dallas Mavericks, and Dwight Howard leading the Houston Rockets back to Hollywood to square off with the once-again-healthy Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. It ought to be a pretty fun night. We've spent the last month preparing for tonight, putting together in-depth looks at all 30 NBA teams —how we left them last season, what they did on their summer vacations, their big moves, big questions and all the storylines and subplots to keep an eye on this coming season. They're all collected here, in case you missed any, would like to take another look, or just want to study up before the opening buzzer. You can also find our predictions for the season ahead —our picks for the 2014-15 champion, who'll win each major individual award and more —right here . The links below point to each team's season preview, along with predicted records and playoff seeding.* Dig in, enjoy, and feel free to tell us where you think we've gone wrong —today, tomorrow, all season long and always —on Twitter , Facebook and Tumblr . * NOTE: A few of the Western Conference records listed below differ from those that appear in the team-by-team previews, many of which were published before Kevin Durant suffered the Jones fracture that will keep him out for the first six or so weeks of the season. That, as you might expect, led us to juggle a few things. Now, let's get to it: EASTERN CONFERENCE Atlantic Division 1. Toronto Raptors —50-32 2. Brooklyn Nets —38-44 3. New York Knicks —37-45 4. Boston Celtics —28-54 5. Philadelphia 76ers —15-67 Central Division 1. Cleveland Cavaliers —60-22 2. Chicago Bulls —57-25 3. Detroit Pistons —32-50 4. Indiana Pacers —28-54 5. Milwaukee Bucks —20-62 Southeast Division 1. Washington Wizards —48-34 2. Charlotte Hornets —46-36 3. Miami Heat —43-39 4. Atlanta Hawks —41-41 5. Orlando Magic —25-57 Which would mean, playoffs-wise ... 1. Cleveland 2. Chicago 3. Toronto 4. Washington 5. Charlotte 6. Miami 7. Atlanta 8. Brooklyn WESTERN CONFERENCE Northwest Division 1.** Oklahoma City Thunder —55-27 2.** Portland Trail Blazers —55-27 4. Denver Nuggets —36-46 4. Utah Jazz —24-58 5. Minnesota Timberwolves —20-62 Pacific Division 1. Los Angeles Clippers —59-23 2. Golden State Warriors —58-24 3. Phoenix Suns —47-35 4. Sacramento Kings —35-47 5. Los Angeles Lakers —27-55 Southwest Division 1. San Antonio Spurs —57-25 2.** Dallas Mavericks —50-32 3.** Houston Rockets —50-32 4. Memphis Grizzlies —45-37 5. New Orleans Pelicans —44-38 Which would mean, playoffs-wise ... 1. L.A. Clippers 2. Golden State 3. San Antonio 4. Oklahoma City/Portland** 5. Portland/Oklahoma City** 6. Dallas/Houston** 7. Houston/Dallas** 8. Phoenix ** depending on tiebreakers More NBA coverage: [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


The 10-man rotation, starring the rest of the Pelicans and the Anthony Davis hangover (Ball Don%

A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out. C : SB Nation . Kevin Zimmerman on the things that went wrong for the New Orleans Pelicans in their opening-night win over the Orlando Magic — namely, just about everything that wasn't specifically related to emerging monster Anthony Davis. Is Davis good enough to paper over the Pelicans' problems over the course of a full season? PF : Miami Herald . Joseph Goodman on Chris Bosh getting "wild, Boardwalk and Park Place-type generational money " this summer, and now having to handle the pressure that comes with it and provide the scoring it demands. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Basketball: Sign up and join a league today! ] SF : Mother Jones . Ian Gordon and Sam Brodey remind us that all is not beer and Skittles just because Donald Sterling is gone with a handy chart entitled, "How Evil Is Your Owner?" SG : Fast Break . A good read from Adam Lauridsen on how Klay Thompson's looming contract impacts the rest of the Golden State Warriors' salary cap structure, and what it could mean for versatile and vital forward Draymond Green. PG : The Diss . Jacob Greenberg's piece on what he can and can't predict about the NBA season, each and every year, has some fantastic turns of phrase and some very relatable emotional points. A worthwhile read. 6th : Regressing . Brett Koremenos with a great look at how Steve Kerr and Alvin Gentry are working to craft an offensive system worthy of all the talent on the Golden State Warriors roster. 7th : LA Weekly . Jeff Weiss' 2014-15 Los Angeles Lakers Survival Guide was equal parts depressing and hilarious before Opening Night; now , though, it skews more toward the former. 8th : Deadspin and The Hook . Albert Burneko on the Lakers' "saucepan helmet of shot charts," and Tom Ziller on the chance that L.A.'s actually terrible like a fox . 9th : Grantland . Robert Mays on Nikola Mirotic, Toni Kukoc, Ivica Dukan and the Chicago Bulls' history of landing European talent. 10th : NBAStuffer . The always helpful visualization of the schedule gives us a color-coded look at the longest homestands (the Clippers will be in L.A. for nearly three weeks after Christmas) and road trips (hey there, Spurs!) on the NBA calendar. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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