Orlando Magic News & Notes: Homecourt In Finals


The Orlando Magic rallied from a 16-point deficit to defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers 98-92 on Sunday afternoon.

"The Magic trailed by as much as 16 points early in the second quarter and looked somewhat disinterested in play. But Van Gundy kept pushing his team, warning them that they were on their “way to a 40-point loss.’’“We fought through. We had a little bit of adversity that we had to fight through with them not matching our guys and preparing a certain way,’’ said Nelson, who scored 17 points and hit a clinching 3-pointer with 2:53 remaining. “No matter who was out there, we just had to keep fighting and play the game we know how to play. We went out there to work on certain things and accomplish our goal, which was to win the game and we did so.’’"

John Denton provides his postgame analysis here.

Although the Cavs have Antawn Jamison, a player who can better matchup with Rashard Lewis, Lewis is still confident.

"“I really didn’t think they were complete until they made the trade for Jamison,” Redick said. “They didn’t have an answer for ‘Sweet’ before.”And here’s one big thing that should worry the Cavs: Namely, Howard (22 points, 13 rebounds, six blocks). Shaq is 37, looking slim and trim from his long layoff, but he might need to find a time machine.Lewis said both teams have been upgraded, but he has no doubt the Magic can trump the Cavs again. “Of course we can beat them,” he said."

Brian Schmitz has that story here.

With the Lakers loss to the Blazers, the Magic now are in sole possession of the second best record in the league and if they win out, will be assured of having homecourt advantage in the finals should they advance that far.

Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy thinks the MVP award isn’t really up for grabs over the next 10 or so seasons.

"“You know how the vote’s going to go. LeBron (James) will win the MVP every year until he retires,” Van Gundy said.Van Gundy was likely playing to the Cleveland media. But there’s part of him that feels that the MVP — decided by the media — will be James’ award to lose for a long time.“LeBron has to go into the year and basically lose the MVP. You guys have decided he’s the MVP,” Van Gundy said.“I don’t even know if Michael Jordan was as hyped as he is, and then [James] goes out and exceeds it.”"

You can read that story here.

Josh Robbins had a cool story about what the Magic players do off of the court and you can find that story here.

Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer wonders what the Cavs were thinking down the stretch.

"Mike Brown said he thought Jamison and Williams sat too long and they had gotten cold when the midpoint of the fourth hit. That doesn’t seem totally right but considering the circumstances that is quasi-acceptable. As for not even trying to use strategy, no matter who is on the floor, against a rival, well that didn’t seem sporting.When I asked Brown about it after the game he admitted in less than two seconds that it was a mistake. That sort of leaves nothing else to say.Maybe I’m in the wrong for looking at it like that. But I just didn’t understand why the Cavs didn’t play to win, regardless of who was available to play."

You can find that story here.

John Carroll of Scouts, Inc. on the Daily Dime previews a potential Magic-Cavs Eastern Conference Finals series here.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger and a contributor on the Fansided Front Page and at 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).