Orlando Magic News & Notes: Teammates Love The Way Barnes Plays, Final Few Games Important


The Orlando Magic took down the Memphis Grizzlies 107-92 on Sunday night.

The win means Orlando has now defeated every team in the NBA at least once this season.

"“If they don’t do it then we’re the only team to beat every other team. Yeah, I like that,’’ Van Gundy said. “I think there’s something to be said for going out on the court and literally proving you can beat everybody in the league. Everybody thinks they can beat everybody, but we’ve literally done it. It’s not easy to do and we’re 20-10 against the West.“We all understand and everybody in our organization understands that we’re to the point that we’ll be judged on the playoffs,’’ Van Gundy continued. “But we’ve been at this since October and you have to take some pride and satisfaction in the accomplishments along the way. If we get one more win we win the division. You have to take pride in that. You can poo poo that all you want, but it’s a long season and those accomplishments mean a lot. Being the only team to beat everybody, that’s a nice accomplishment.’’"

John Denton provides his postgame analysis here.

Matt Barnes let his emotions get the best of him and was ejected from the game but that doesn’t mean his teammates don’t want him to change the way he plays.

"“No, you guys want us to be physical? Don’t complain if we are physical,” Dwight Howard said. “That’s what we want. That’s what we need. We just want to play like that. People enjoy it. We get fired up after that.”Those who have played against Barnes throughout his NBA career understand this is part of his game.“Matt is a very aggressive player,” Carter said. “His intensity is always at a high level. We’re all trying to accomplish a goal. He knows that we need him out on the floor. You always want somebody who’s aggressive like that.“Matt and I have had a few battles. That’s why I respected when he got in here. We have mutual respect because we had our battles. Two competitors. Playing against him for some years now, you know how he plays.”"

Tania Ganguli has that story here.

Tim Povtak of NBA Fanhouse touched on Barnes’ ejection.

"Barnes, starting small forward, is averaging just 8.8 points and 5.5 rebounds, but his presence has helped the Magic become a more emotional, more physical team. They were criticized at times last season for not protecting center Dwight Howard, who is fouled hard constantly around the basket.Barnes has received nine technical fouls this season, second most on the Magic behind Dwight Howard, who has 15. Howard will be automatically suspended for one game if he receives his 16th. He appeared close to getting his 16th both Friday night in San Antonio and Sunday at home against Memphis.While the Magic signed Barnes as a free agent this summer because they liked his passion for the game, that same quality has intensified late in the season. Twice in the last two weeks, Barnes has clashed with Magic coach Stan Van Gundy for the way he was being used – or not used – in games. He also carried on a long-distance verbal battle with Lamar Odom of the Lakers."

You can read that story here.

It’s looking more and more likely that Orlando’s first round playoff opponent will be the Charlotte Bobcats.

"In what could be a pivotal game tonight for all concerned, the Hawks face the Bobcats in Charlotte, N.C. The Hawks will not be able to climb higher than No. 3 in the East if they lose.The Bobcats (40-36) are two games ahead of the No. 8 Toronto Raptors (38-38) and two games behind the No. 6 Milwaukee Bucks (42-34). All those teams have six games remaining. The Bucks play the Chicago Bulls, who are a game behind Toronto.The Magic were 3-1 against the Bobcats this season."

Brian Schmitz has that story here.

The Magic would like to sure up some of their problems before the postseason. Schmitz discusses five things the Magic must work on here.

This week the Magic must take on the Washington Wizards, New York Knicks, and Cleveland Cavaliers. Dan Savage and Josh Cohen preview those games here.

Savage noted the important of the final few games.

"The other goal the Magic have in mind is to obtain a better regular season record than the Los Angeles Lakers, who they currently trail by one game. That way in case they meet their rivals in a Finals rematch, this time Orlando will have the home-court advantage.“You don’t know if that situation will ever come up,” Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy explained. “But at the same time you just want to play for every possible advantage you can have going forward.”"

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