What They’re Saying: Magic vs. Jazz 12/10

Magic (17-4) vs. Jazz (12-9)
Time/TV: 10:30 p.m./TNT, FSFlorida
Key Matchup: Rashard Lewis vs. Mehmet Okur

Matt Barnes is a little upset that Joakim Noah was fined less for throwing the ball into the stands. And turnovers start to creep up again.

-Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel’s Magic BasketBlog reports Dwight Howard might do more than verbally hex the ball between opponent’s free throws.

-The Utah Jazz were playing hard and trailing by four in Los Angeles against the Lakers last night. Then the wheels fell apart as C.J. Miles’ jumper with 45 seconds left saved Utah from a franchise-low for points in a quarter. Utah scored just six fourth-quarter points in a 101-77 loss. As Carlos Boozer told The Deseret News’ Tim Buckley: “They scored in the fourth quarter, we didn’t.”

-Former Jazz player and Magic training camp invitee Morris Almond signed on to play for Springfield in the D-League. The Jazz were also valued as the 15th most valuable franchise according to Forbes’ annual list.

-The Jazz will have to turn their attention quickly to the Magic after last night’s stinker in Los Angeles. That may not be good news as Utah struggles with teams that shoot the three well and teams with prolific scorers — like, say Vince Carter — according to Ross Siler of the Salt Lake Tribune. And we have not even talked about Dwight Howard yet. Gulp.

-Jon Nichols analyzes the hustle plays in the Magic’s game against the Warriors from Saturday night.

-SLC Dunk breaks down last night’s game and tries to find some positives out of last night’s game. C.J. Miles played well… the rest might be a stretch.

-I think the recap Basketball John of SLC Dunk writes about last night’s fourth quarter really explains what happened and what went so terribly wrong in the final 12 minutes.

-Even with the top record in the Eastern Conference, the Magic are still motivated by the perceived disrespect the national media gives them, John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com writes.

-J.E. Skeets of Ball Don’t Lie believes Los Angeles’ length and “perfect” offense blitzed Utah and it had no chance against it.

NBA ticket revenues are down 3.7 percent and gate receipts are down 7.4 percent through the first quarter of the NBA season, according to Ken Berger of CBS Sports. This of course is part of the formula that determines the salary cap, and while not unexpected, could have big consequences when the collective bargaining agreement is renegotiated in 2011. Unlike most teams, however, the Magic are doing better at the gate and have seen a 17.7 percent increase in gate receipts.

Dwight Howard and Vince Carter are among the top vote-getters after the first return of All-Star ballots. And how is Tracy McGrady still getting all these votes? He has not played a single game since February and he is second among Western Conference guards.