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Evan Fournier comes on strong as World Cup enters knockout stage

I was really felling that basketball withdrawal Friday as the FIBA World Cup took its first full day off to allow teams to travel for the Round of 16 and the beginning of the knockout stages. No one may have been watching. But that is OK the tournament goes on. Now things will really get interesting. […]

Learning to shoot is not that easy

“Let’s consider the Magic’s most likely youth-heavy bench lineup: Elfrid Payton – Victor Oladipo – Tobias Harris - Aaron Gordon.

Of those players, though, no one is an above average 3-point shooter. Let’s, for the sake of argument, say that Oladipo become a roughly league average 3-point shooter (his 32.7% accuracy could certainly get there on his way to his first 750 shots). Frye, too, could be the center in the lineup, giving them an elite big man floor spacer.

The combination of having few shooters (and conversely many non-shooters) and only one true “stretch” shooter, results in the Magic having to rely on youth who will hurt their offense, making it, on average, roughly 1-2 points per 100 possession worse than it might be otherwise.

That’s a big drop for a team already struggling with simply a limited amount of talent.”

halbrown of The Analytics Game

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Let’s talk playoff chances . . .

File this under the “So you’re saying there is a chance” file. It is September, so excuse a little whimsy. The hard reality is that the Magic are expected to finish near the bottom of the Eastern Conference again. Any improvements the Magic have made will have to come internally from players already on the […]

Former Magic General Manager Otis Smith taking over Pistons’ D-League team

Stan Van Gundy is getting the band back together in Detroit.

The Pistons are preparing to name former Magic general manager Otis Smith the head coach of the D-League’s Grand Rapids Drive, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Smith served as the Magic’s general manager during Van Gundy’s tenure and was part of the management team that drafted Dwight Howard, ultimately succeeding Jon Weisbrod during the 2006 season. He hired Van Gundy and helped build the Magic’s championship window which included two conference finals and one NBA Finals appearance.

Since Smith resigned before the Magic’s massive rebuild, he has stayed very much out of the spotlight. He obviously had a very close relationship to Van Gundy to get this position in the Pistons’ organization, which Van Gundy is the President of Basketball Operations.

The Drive are an expansion franchise in the D-League that will have a one-to-one relationship with the Pistons.

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Evan Fournier struggles to get off the bench

France has performed about as you would expect in the very difficult Group A. The defending Eurobasket champions lost to Brazil, somewhat surprisingly in the opener, before stealing a win from the free throw line against Croatia and then blowing out the overmatched Egypt by 30-plus points. Group A has the day off Tuesday before France takes […]

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Waiting for 3-point stabilization

The one thing the Magic know they will have to get better at this season is 3-point shooting. Offenses in the NBA are built around the 3-point shot now thanks to the analytics movement and with so many player on the team now who drive the ball — think Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton — […]

Jacque Vaughn: Magic will have four or five of your favorite players

It’s been two years of rebuilding now after the Dwight Howard era and five years since Orlando played the Finals against the Lakers. I guess the Magic fans expect a step forward this season.

JV: Overall, our group has been extremely patient and the people of Orlando have been extremely patient and we appreciate that. When we set out on this journey, we talked about it. We wanted a product that was going to be sustainable for a lot of years to come. We got great young guys around us and they are going to get better. This is a team that is going to have four or five of your favorite players. You’re not going to have just one favorite player. Good things are ahead for us. We have versatility with this group. I’ll be able to play a lot of different lineups and I’m looking forward to that. That’s exciting for me as a coach.

[Raul Barrigon of HoopsHype]

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So, how about Luke Ridnour?

Ever since the Magic began this rebuild, and maybe even before that into the 2010 season when the Magic were fighting for a title, the question of who the Magic’s point guard would be hung over the franchise. Some may have been left over spite from fans who felt Jameer Nelson came back too soon […]

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Evan Fournier, France opens World Cup play Saturday

Well, we are finally here. The FIBA World Cup gives us competitive, high-level basketball starting Saturday in Spain. Team USA is in the relatively tame Group C. Even without Kevin Durant and Paul George, the U.S. is expected to win the World Cup. The roster is heavily reliant on its fast break and 3-point shooting […]

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ESPN projections: Magic still bottom feeders

As if the ESPN panel was not enough to let us know the Magic will likely sink to the bottom of the Eastern Conference again, a statistical projection from Bradford Doolittle of ESPN Insider has the Magic playing the Lottery again. “Both SCHOENE and RPM are in agreement about the Magic and Sixers, though it […]

Photo by Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Learning defense

Defense is not easy to learn when you are young. Players can have all the physical tools, but it is rare to see a young player come in and be a great defender. Individually or as a team. The speed and strength of the players are more than just a single step above college. It […]

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Magic name D-League coach

The Magic are embarking on a new journey this year with their first year under the hybrid relationship with the Erie BayHawks of the D-League. This is the growing trend for the parent NBA team to control all basketball operations for a D-League team that would have a direct one-to-one relationship with its parent club. […]

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Victor Oladipo’s growth potential

There is very little going on in Magic world right now as we await for the conclusion of the FIBA World Cup and the beginning of training camp at the end of September. That gives us about a month to kill. And a month to look earnestly into the future. The Magic future for the […]

Orlando Entertainment District Rendering 4 June 23, 2014

Magic to begin development of entertainment complex after this season

The Magic will turn their attention to the proposed Amway Center entertainment district at the conclusion of the 2014-15 season, Richard Bilbao of Orlando Business Journal reports. The Magic are still in the process of buying up the land across the street from Amway Center for their proposed entertainment district which will feature shops, restaurants, […]

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