Orlando Magic News & Notes: Magic and Celtics in Similar Situations


Starting with Thursday night’s game against the Boston Celtics, the Magic will face a tough stretch.

"“We just want to get it back together, plain and simple,” shooting guard Vince Carter said.They do have a chance to rejoin the East derby as a force beginning Thursday against the Celtics at Amway Arena.Truth is, it’s hard for the Magic to talk confidently about playing catch-up when they have yet to reel in their own game.“Every week is big for us now. Every game is big for us now,” point guard Jameer Nelson said. “It’s not about who you play, it’s when you play.“We just got to worry about where we are as a team and progress. It’s not about who’s ahead of us.”"

Brian Schmitz has the story here.

Coincidently, the Celtics are in a similar situation.

"“It is an unbelievable three games,’’ Rivers said. “I don’t mind the three games. I just wish we had a couple days between each to play them. But you don’t get those in the regular season, and that’s OK.’’With the Celtics four games behind Cleveland in the Eastern Conference, wins in this stretch mean more toward tangible goals such as home-court advantage than hypothetical concepts such as momentum.“We want to just stay in front of them,’’ Rivers said. “We want to beat both teams because we know if we can stay in front of them, it’s huge for us.“And we’re trying to catch the Lakers and Cleveland. Right now both teams are in front of us. The Lakers have a lot of road games the second half of the year, and we understand that. So we’re trying to catch them.’’"

Julian Benbow of the Boston Globe has the story here.

Jameer Nelson and the Magic remain confident.

"Jameer wants people to stop comparing and contrasting last year’s team to this year’s squad.“The media is always looking for a story and that’s fine. We just have to answer questions in the best way we know how to but for our mindset, we just have to continue to play and not worry about last year,” he says. “A lot of you guys don’t even understand what happened last year so [the questions are] kind of irrelevant.”While the Magic did have a rough stint in which they lost four games in a row and struggled on a nightly basis, the team is looking much better. They have won three straight and seem to be clicking.Nelson, like many members of the Magic, believe the team has yet to play up to their full potential. “If you look at our team, our ‘core guys’ haven’t played but 12 or 13 games together so we’re still trying to get that rhythm and bind,” he says."

Alex Kennedy has the story here.

Orlando’s turnover problem is a cause for concern for Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy.

"Turnovers are taking their toll.They’re giving coach Stan Van Gundy the creeps.“The turnovers are creeping up and it’s every game it seems,” he said after the Magic committed 20 miscues in a 99-94 loss to the Grizzlies in Memphis on Monday night.“It’s tough because we’re putting so much pressure on ourselves at the offensive end and we’re not shooting the ball great. Then you have 18, 19, 20 turnovers every night. It’s becoming a real problem.”The Grizzlies scored 21 points off Magic’s mistakes. Orlando committed 21 turnovers against the Indiana Pacers (for 21 points) and 23 (for 24 points) against the Sacramento Kings last week."

You can read about that here.

Celtics Guard Ray Allen does not want to play for any other team.

"“I can’t say I get worried, because it’s not like you say you’re getting traded and you have to move to Mars,” Allen, a prime candidate because of his expiring max contract, said after yesterday’s practice. “I don’t look at it like that. I’ve been there before. I’ve been in a situation where I expected to be traded and I was traded. If one day I’m traded and told I have to move, then there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s the nature of this job, but the family is something I obviously have to deal with first.”It just so happens that Allen’s family has grown accustomed to the Boston area, including the proximity of the Joslin Diabetes Center for his 2-year-old son, Walker.“That’s part of the job,” Allen said. “You have to figure out the best to do with them, and then I have to do my job.”"

Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald has that story here.

Hardwood Houdini discusses Ray Allen’s struggles here.

Later, HTD will be addressing the trade rumors that Orlando is involved in.

(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.)