Orlando Magic News & Notes: Jameer Nelson Is Back, Tony Battie Not Bought Out


Jameer Nelson had 22 points, dished out 10 assists and only turned the ball over once on Monday night as the Orlando Magic defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 126-105.

Marcin Gortat is always ready to play.

As a follow up, Tim Povtak of NBA Fanhouse writes that Gortat is a psychic.

"“I know him so well, I can read him now,” Gortat said. “It’s another skill I have.”Gortat was speaking Sunday night after playing a prominent role in a victory over Miami. Howard had labored through his worst game of the season — in constant foul trouble — and Gortat came to the Magic’s rescue with nine points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots in 23 minutes. It was considerably more playing time than he usually gets.“I’m ready. I’m always ready behind Dwight,” Gortat said. “I thought (before the game) that he’d be in foul trouble. I can tell you if he’s going to be in foul trouble before games. If I see him jumping up and down before a game, if he’s full of energy, I’ll say ‘Aaaaaaaah, he’s going to be in foul trouble today.”’"

To put this into perspective, the reporters surrounding Gortat, which included Povtak, myself and reporters chuckled upon hearing this and Gortat said with a smile on his face. You can read that story here.

Nelson put on a show for the home town crowd.

"Nelson put on a show for his family and friends as the Chester, Pa. native and former St. Joseph’s star scored 22 points and added 10 assists to lead the Magic to a 126-105 rout of the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night.The Magic (41-20) won for the fourth time in their last five games, and captured the second game of a back-to-back after defeating the Miami Heat on Sunday night.Actually, Nelson wants to be called “JN14” — his initials and his uniform number — instead of having the nickmame of a rodent.Asked if playing in front of his “home crowd” put a bounce in his step, the oft-injured Nelson said, “Being healthy puts a bounce in your step.”"

You can read that story here.

The Magic had a huge game offensively.

"That the Magic shot the ball particularly well was an assuring feeling considering that Orlando had made just 45 of 156 3-pointers (28.8 percent) in the seven games since the all-star break. But the Magic had no problems whatsoever against the Sixers (22-37), getting at least 14 points from all five starters.Rashard Lewis, Matt Barnes and Vince Carter each made three 3-pointers apiece, while Jameer Nelson, J.J. Redick and Mickael Pietrus each made two 3-pointers.“We got all shooters on this team. We are not a selfish team,’’ said Nelson, who scored a team-high 22 points and 10 assists. “The thing is as long as we take care of the ball and get shots, we know we are going to make a lot of them.’’"

You can read John Denton’s postgame analysis here.

Philadelphia Head Coach Eddie Jordan ripped his team after the loss.

"“We just didn’t respond in a passionate way,” Jordan said. “We lost the passion to compete. We saw some poor body language, and there was a couple of time-outs [when] we addressed it. And I wasn’t going to have it. I addressed it a couple of times; I addressed it right now. It’s leadership or lack thereof. . . . One guy’s miserable, and it’s contagious throughout the team, and we just can’t have it.”“I think that’s his opinion and he’s entitled to view this team whichever way he wants to,” guard Willie Green said.At the end of the third quarter, the Sixers had already allowed 102 points: 35 in the first, 33 in the second, and 34 in the third.“They just dominated the game,” Jordan said. “We were dominated. We were dominated. And whether you’re dominated or not, you have to learn how to compete, you have to learn how to rally, you have to learn how to hold your chin up. . . . Now’s the time we should have learned some lessons and get it up, but obviously our team hasn’t learned it.”"

Kate Fagan of the Philadelphia Inquirer has that story here.

Liberty Ballers found the one positive in the loss for the 76ers – rookie guard Jrue Holiday.

"The only positive to take out of this game was Jrue Holiday. I really enjoyed his career high 23 points on 13 shots. His shot looked sexy (5-6 from three), and even if it was just a one-night NBA Jam “He’s on fire!” special, it was fun to watc h. I a lso liked his intensity down to the final second. Jrue seems to be taking a leadership role on the team and he’s only 19 — good sign. The way he conducted himself was encouraging. Unfortunately, his defense wasn’t too good."

You can read that story here.

Per John Schuhmann of NBA.com, it appears Tony Battie will not be bought out.

"Midnight has passed & no release was sent out by the Nets. So Tony Battie isn’t going anywhere."

You can read Schuhmann’s tweet here.

Ryan Anderson can’t wait for the playoffs.

"“I hear it gives everybody new energy,” he said. Acquired along with Vince Carter from New Jersey last summer, Anderson escaped basketball purgatory with the Nets, the league’s worst team.Anderson never played in the NCAA Tournament in college. He played in the National Invitational Tournament, and well, it wasn’t exactly memorable. Anderson said the crowds, even for an NIT game at Cal, were so small that television was careful to not pan cameras too high in the near-empty stands.“We played Ohio State one year (2008), but the game was held at their old building [old St. John Arena],” Anderson laughed."

You can read this and other Magic notes here.

Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus takes a look at the Magic when they are full strength and when they are not.

"The Magic has actually been better this season when short-handed than when at full strength. That fact probably owes largely to the fact that Jameer Nelson was a shell of his healthy self when he returned from arthroscopic knee surgery in late December. Orlando was rolling without Nelson, and now that he’s playing better basketball–reaching double-figures scoring in his last eight games and averaging 6.7 assists per game in February–the Magic has returned to that same level, posting a +7.6 adjusted differential in the month."

You can read that story here.

You can chat live with Dwight Howard. Find out where and where here.

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