Orlando Magic News & Notes: A Day In The Life Of Matt Barnes, Magic To Face Bobcats In First Round


The Orlando Magic dominated the Indiana Pacers on Monday night, winning 118-108. The Magic also found out who their first round playoff opponent would be. Because of Miami’s victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday, the Magic will be playing the Charlotte Bobcats.

J.J. Redick knows the matchup won’t be easy.

"And the Magic didn’t need assistance dispatching the red-hot Pacers (32-49), but they got a little help from their friends to set up the Charlotte series. Well, maybe not their friends — but their state rivals.The Miami Heat — Van Gundy’s former team — defeated the Philadelphia 76ers to lock the Bobcats into their postseason position. The Heat’s win kept them from improbably sinking to the seventh spot.“That’s as tough a 2 and 7 matchup as you can find,” Magic shooting guard J.J. Redick said of the Bobcats (44-37)."

Brian Schmitz has that story here.

Jameer Nelson also admitted that it would be a tough series while Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy plans to play his starters in the finale Wednesday.

"“It’s going to be tough,’’ said Magic point guard Jameer Nelson, who missed much of the playoffs last spring because of a shoulder injury. “They have a great coach and they have great players. We have the same thing on our side in our locker room. May the best team win.’’The Magic can lock up the NBA’s second-best record with a Los Angeles Lakers loss on Tuesday or a victory in the Wednesday finale against Philadelphia at Amway Arena. The Magic have beaten the Sixers in seven consecutive regular season games, their longest streak against any NBA team.“We’re going to try to win,’’ Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. “… If you’re going to come out and say that your goal is to win a championship, then you should try at least to put yourself in the best position to try and do that. Who knows if that will come up? But we know if we can win on Wednesday and if we’re in the Finals, we’ll be at home. That’s big. Our jobs in the regular season is to put ourselves in the best position possible and we’re trying to do that."

You can read John Denton’s postgame analysis here.

The Magic showed up ready to play.

"One thing that did make sense at the Fieldhouse tonight was the Orlando Magic. The visitors were motivated, smelling the playoffs and thoroughly enjoying life as a legitimate title contender. The Magic starters seized the lead early and made sure the game remained a high-level playoff prep while cruising to a 118-98 win."

Tom Lewis of Indy Cornrows has that story here.

Orlando let the Pacers make a rally but quickly corrected their mistake and blew the Pacers out.

"With Vince Carter’s 14 points leading the way, the Magic led 42-18 after one quarter. It was the most points the Pacers allowed in a quarter all year, one more than the 41 Golden State scored in the fourth quarter on Nov. 30.The Pacers, down 44-18 at one point, made a run to get within 60-51 shortly before halftime. The Magic then reasserted themselves and were ahead by 23 midway through the third quarter."

Jeff Rabjohns of the Indianapolis Star discusses that story here.

Our friend Alex Kennedy spent a day with Matt Barnes.

"Not only does he shatter many preconceived notions about his personality, he also shows another side of the NBA lifestyle. While many of us imagine players splurging at malls, partying in clubs, and enjoying their fame and fortune, Barnes represents a large part of the NBA: The veterans who have a family and responsibilities at home."

You can read that story here.

George Diaz believes it is NBA Finals or bust for the Magic.

"Just wondering: Will anything less than an NBA title be construed as a failure?My answer: Yes. It’s not unfair to pin this on the Magic. They have the same great expectations. They dumped Hedo Turkoglu and traded for Vince Carter. They spent luxury tax dollars to put the best lineup on the floor possible. Dwight Howard and his teammates have something to prove after losing to the Lakers in the Finals last season."

You can find that story here.

Adonal Foyle will host a Charity Gala benefit his Kerosene Lamp Foundation on Tuesday night.

"Foyle founded the organization in 2005 with the goal of using basketball as an agent of social change. It selects student-athletes from Foyle’s home in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to participate in a program called All-Star Student Athletes, in which they get help with basketball and schoolwork."

Tania Ganguli has that story 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).