The Orlando Magic played better but it wasn't enough as they <..."/>

The Orlando Magic played better but it wasn't enough as they <..."/>

Orlando Magic News & Notes: Chemistry


The Orlando Magic played better but it wasn’t enough as they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers 98-92 on Monday night.

Head Coach Stan Van Gundy says that the Magic did show some improvement.

"“We showed a little improvement. We showed in spots, but that’s the problem,” said coach Stan Van Gundy. “We are too streaky and not solid enough over the course of the game right now. But we did play better than we have in a while, which I guess is good.“But when you have played better and you have a loss, it’s not a very good feeling.”"

Brian Schmitz has that story here.

Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times was impressed that the Lakers won despite Kobe Bryant’s off-night.

"Bryant said he got hit on his injured right index finger after attempting a wrap-around pass to DJ Mbenga in the second quarter. He hit the knee of an Orlando player.“That kind of altered things a little bit,” Bryant said. “It wasn’t quite there.”For the Magic, Rashard Lewis’ numbers had been on the decline, Carter had been injured or ineffective in recent weeks, and Dwight Howard had seen a drop in production.Howard wasn’t the problem Monday. He had 24 points and 12 rebounds in 43 minutes, outplaying Andrew Bynum, who had a quiet eight points and eight rebounds in 22 minutes before being benched the entire fourth quarter. Bynum had flu-like symptoms and vomited during halftime, Jackson said."

You can read the full story here.

Forum Blue and Gold offered their thoughts.

"Dwight Howard beasted all over Bynum. When Bynum was guarding Howard 1v1, Howard was just too fast and strong for Bynum to hold off without help, which starting killing our rotations and leaving shooters wide open. It was only when Gasol started guarding Howard that he got bothered a little and started putting up some bad shots (plus the Magic went away from Howard for a good quarter and a half)."

You can read that here.

Kevin Arnovitz of Truehoop discussed Orlando’s chemistry issues.

"Matt Barnes has been the most publicly vocal Magician during the team’s recent slump. He called out the Magic for lacking heart following their lackluster effort at Portland Friday night. When asked whether good chemistry produced winning or vice versa, he repeated the question to himself, then considered it for another instant before answering.“You can probably get there both ways, but I’d say when you get on a winning streak, you have good chemistry,” Barnes said. “You play consistent and hard, and then you have good chemistry.”"

You can read the full story here.

Mark Heisler of the Los Angeles Times offers his thoughts on the Magic.

"“People want to point to a lot of psychological things and all of these things,” Van Gundy said before the game.“I’ve heard ‘hangover from the Finals.’ What, it came on after 21 games?“I’ve heard ‘chemistry,’ so I guess as time went on, we had good chemistry for 21 games. It’s none of that stuff that makes for the easy stories. We’re simply not playing well.”The Magic played a lot better Monday, relocating Howard, who had gotten a total of 14 shots in the previous two games, scoring a total of 19 points, but squeezed off 14 shots and went for 24 points, putting the missing “inside” back into its vaunted inside-outside game."

You can find that story here.

Joshua Robbins gives out some mid-season awards.

"Defensive Player of the Year: Dwight Howard. The Orlando Magic center is struggling offensively, but he remains the most dominant defensive player in the game. He entered Monday as the league leader in rebounding and in blocked shots. Runners-up: Josh Smith, Hawks; Thabo Sefolosha, Thunder."

Click here to see his awards.

I’ll be handing out my team mid-season awards this week.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger and a contributor at NFL Mocks Subscribe to his RSS feed and add him on Twitter to follow him daily.)