Orlando Magic News & Notes: Carter, Van Gundy Done Answering Questions

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The Magic blew a 21-point first quarter lead and lost to the Washington Wizards 92-91 on Caron Butler’s game-winning jumper. You can my recap and analysis here.

Click below to read more about the Magic from a variety of writers.

Orlando’s offense fell apart after the first quarter.

"“It is flat-out unacceptable,” Carter said. “Unfortunately, when you have slippage like that, you’re going to lose a buzzer-beater.”The Wizards didn’t even look like an NBA team in the first quarter, turning over the ball the first six times and falling behind 12-0 and 28-7.The Magic’s offensive and defensive woes formed the perfect storm for a Wizards’ comeback in the third. They gave up 39 points on 11-of-16 shooting (68.8 percent) and scored just 17 on 4-of-19 shooting (21.1 percent) to trail by seven heading into the fourth.Carter called the offense “stagnant” and Van Gundy said, “We took a ton of bad shots.”"

Brian Schmitz has the story here.

Alex Kennedy was in attendance and he discussed the game on his courtside blog.

"“The first quarter was like Space Jam. We couldn’t inbound, we couldn’t dribble,” said Flip Saunders following the win. Stan Van Gundy was frustrated with his team’s immaturity and lack of energy in the second half. When asked about Vince Carter, Van Gundy said that he’s tired of talking about his struggling star. “What else do you want me to say? He shot five-for-seventeen,” Van Gundy said with a shrug. Carter finished the game with 21 points but failed to record an assist and shot an awful 29.4% from the field."

Read the blog here.

Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy called the team immature and Dwight Howard agreed.

"Magic coach Stan Van Gundy huffed that the loss was “a sign of real immaturity.’’ And star center Dwight Howard, who had 20 points, 18 rebounds and three blocked shots, said for the Magic (33-17) to sleep-walk through a game against the Wizards (17-32) was very unbecoming of a team with championship aspirations.“It is immature of us,’’ Howard said, agreeing with Van Gundy’s assessment. “As professionals we’ve got to understand that if we’re trying to be a championship team we’ve got to put teams away. Teams that put other teams away are mature teams. I don’t think we’re immature, but we’ve got to close out games better than that.’’"

John Denton has more in his postgame analysis here.

Josh Robbins takes a closer look at Jameer Nelson’s performance after missing the previous game with a knee injury.

"“I didn’t think he played very well,” Van Gundy said of Nelson. “Obviously, Randy Foye got the best of him, but I thought he moved OK and I thought he played hard. So, that was good.”Nelson’s biggest assist of the night came with 4.6 seconds remaining in regulation. He penetrated to the left edge of the paint, stopped and kicked the ball out to Rashard Lewis, who was in the left corner. Lewis sank the trey to give the Magic a 91-90 lead.“I just kind of tried to make something happen,” Nelson said. “At that point, you go to your money-maker, Rashard and Dwight [Howard].”But it wasn’t all smooth for Nelson.He picked up his third foul with 7:49 to go in the third quarter, and he was subbed out of the game for Williams. Foye already had six points in the quarter and would go on to score 13 more points over the rest of the period."

You can read the full story here.

Van Gundy had some choice words after the loss.

"“Did you think your team, which went to the NBA Finals last year, was beyond immaturity before this game?”Van Gundy responded:“Nobody’s beyond that. That’s an NBA thing, especially when you start hearing, reading, thinking ‘we’ve turned the corner, we’re back and we’ve turned it around.’ It’s all a bunch of crap.”"

Matt Humphrey has more on that here.

Alex Kennedy also discussed trade possibilities in the Southeast Division.

"Most Likely To Be Moved: Anthony JohnsonWhile some Magic fans want the team to make a big move before the deadline, you’ll likely only see a minor trade, if any, in the next two weeks. Anthony Johnson is an expiring contract who is no longer in the rotation. If the team can move him for a young point guard or even a draft pick, they’ll likely do it. Johnson gets along with everyone in the locker room and is a good veteran presence but he’s not of much value anymore with Jason Williams taking all of the backup point guard minutes."

Kennedy and I have similar thoughts on the situation and Johnson obviously makes the most sense because of his expiring contract. You can read that here.

The Magic are tired of talking about Vince Carter’s slump.

"Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy has grown tired of the constant questions about Vince Carter’s ongoing shooting slump, especially after Friday night’s painful 92-91 loss to the Washington Wizards.“Stan, Vince still seems to be having problems with his shooting game,” a reporter said to Van Gundy midway during his postgame press conference. “He had a good one the other night and kinda fell back tonight.”“Yeah, he did,” Van Gundy responded.“Can you really talk about what . . .” the reporter said.“Look, I’m done talking about that,” Van Gundy said. “What do you want me to say? Yeah, he was 5-for-17.”"

You can read that and other Magic news and notes here.

Ben Q. Rock takes a look at Orlando’s eight blown leads this season.

"Of course, this examination doesn’t give Orlando any credit for surmounting double-digit deficits itself, which it did against Boston last week and against Atlanta on Thanksgiving Day. It also overcame a 13-point deficit against the Lakers, only to fall short, as listed in the chart above. The point is that virtually no Magic lead is safe. 6 times in their last 15 games, the Magic have failed to protect considerable leads. Make of that what you will."

You can read that here.

The Orlando Magic made their Super Bowl picks here. Looks like I’m in the minority with Brandon Bass, Adonal Foyle and Rashard Lewis because I’m taking the Saints.

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(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.)