Orlando Magic News & Notes: J-Will One & Done, Bobcats Disrespected?


Dwight Howard was named Defensive Player Of The Year for the second consecutive season. I was able to attend the press conference and I pointed out the highlights and collected some interesting quotes that you can find here.

There are a few things the Magic need to do to win game 2.

"2. Get better shots for Vince Carter, especially ones going to the rim. Carter suffered through a miserable first playoff game with the Magic, making just four of 19 shots and missing all five of his 3-point shots. To make matters worse, he was hit with a technical and fouled out before scoring just 12 points.Some of Carter’s misses were merely bad luck and the ball rattling out, something that hasn’t happened too often the past two months as Carter has shot the ball well. But there were times when Carter forced shots in one-on-one sets and stopped driving to the rim.Because Charlotte worked to deny Carter the ball, the Magic need to keep the star shooting guard on the move more and set better picks for him. Orlando also needs to take better advantage of the side pick-and-roll plays where Carter gets point guards Raymond Felton and D.J. Augustin switched onto him."

John Denton shares his keys to the game here.

Josh Cohen offers his game 2 preview.

"“This is going to be a very physical and tough series,” Howard said. “We respect what they (Bobcats) do. They beat a lot of the best teams this year.”Howard will try to recover from a difficult offensive effort. The All-Star center tallied just five points and shot just 1-of-6 from the free throw line. Carter, meanwhile, also struggled shooting the ball – hitting just 4-of-19 of his attempts from the field."

You can read his full preview here.

The Bobcats feel like the pressure is all on the Magic.

"As the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference, Charlotte Bobcats know their places as underdogs against the Orlando Magic. The Bobcats trail the best of seven series 0-1 heading into Wednesday’s game. Heading into Game 2, Charlotte has overcome its pre-playoff nerves and isn’t giving the Magic, or its players, any kind of star treatment.“Nobody really expects us to win this series … the Magic, Orlando, most of the country, except the good people of Charlotte,” Bobcats center Tyson Chandler said. “We already know that. We don’t have any pressure on us. They got the pressure.”"

Tania Ganguli has that story here.

Rick Bonnell wonders if the Magic are taking the Bobcats too lightly.

"Apparently you learn a little psychology in roughly 40 years of coaching. Larry Brown got his Charlotte Bobcats’ attention at the start of practice Tuesday by loudly stating this:“Yesterday, Orlando took the day off. That’s how (expletive) seriously they’re taking us.”It’s an old trick – suggest the other team or the pundits don’t respect you – and the players went right along."

You can find that story here.

Bonnell also reports that the Bobcats are fine-tuning there strategy.

Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy wants to make sure Rashard Lewis stays aggressive.

"Stan Van Gundy had a simple directive for Rashard Lewis before Game 1 of the Orlando Magic’s playoff series against the Charlotte Bobcats: Be aggressive, especially on offense.The message sunk in.With SG Vince Carter and C Dwight Howard having off-nights offensively, Lewis played perhaps his best game in a month, scoring 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting. Van Gundy took advantage of Lewis’ hot night, calling isolation plays for Lewis when the rest of the offense struggled in the second half."

Josh Robbins has thats story here.

Philip Rossman-Reich is worried about the “Bobcat Attack.”

"If there was one thing the Bobcats did well Sunday it was get to the basket and draw fouls. Part of that was poor individual defense by Orlando’s perimeter players. Part of it was Dwight Howard’s foul trouble. I think these numbers show part of it was definitely Charlotte’s ability and desire to attack the rim at all costs.The raw numbers: the Bobcats outscored the Magic 38-26 in the paint. With Howard in the paint, this is a stat that must change as the series progresses."

You can find that story here.

Jameer Nelson came up big in game 1.

"Nelson may not worry about what was said, but he certainly heard the murmurs when he struggled through the Finals after making a return to the starting lineup. He wasn’t his usual attacking self, being unable to get past veteran point guard Derek Fisher and unsure of his shot.But those were distant memories on Sunday night when Nelson torched Charlotte time and time again in pick-and-roll sets. When guards went under the screens, Nelson hit four 3-pointers and when they didn’t stop his dribble he got to the rim for three layups and in the lane for two more short shots.“If you talk to anybody in the league, he’s a big key to their team,’’ Charlotte coach Larry Brown said. “He can break you down. He can make an open shot. He’s unselfish and an underrated defender. I don’t know if he’s going to go four of six every night from three and make a 40-footer to end the half, but he impacted the game.’’"

Denton also has that story here.

Jason Williams’ first season in Orlando could be his last.

"“He did an outstanding job this season,” said Magic general manager Otis Smith, who was reluctant to talk about Williams future in the midst of the playoffs. “But as an unrestricted free agent, he’ll be in the driver’s seat.”Before signing Williams this summer, Smith tried to land a younger point guard instead, hoping to groom someone behind the injury-prone Nelson. The Magic already are over the luxury tax threshold for next season. They want to re-sign J.J. Redick, making anything beyond the minimum for Williams unlikely, especially if he returns as a No. 3 point guard."

Tim Povtak 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).