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Orlando Magic News & Notes: Tough Practice, Preparing For Round 2


The Magic are preparing as if they will play the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday.

"The Magic don’t know who they’ll face in the next round. But since the Milwaukee Bucks have a 3-2 lead, and are the only team the Magic could possibly face on Sunday, Orlando are preparing as if they were playing Milwaukee on Sunday.If the Bucks win the series in six, they’ll face Orlando on Sunday. If the Hawks make it a seven-game series and win, Atlanta won’t face Orlando until Tuesday.“The tough day is if it goes seven games, the tough day is Sunday,” Van Gundy said. “Now you got both teams still alive, you’ve just got Sunday and Monday to prepare. Tomorrow’s not hard to decide the only team we could play Sunday is Milwaukee.”"

Tania Ganguli has that story here.

The Magic went though a very difficult practice Thursday.

"Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, who put his team through an arduous, two-hour workout on Thursday with three 12-minute quarters of game-like action, said his team will practice on Friday as if they will play Milwaukee, “because that’s the only team we can face on Sunday.’’ And if the start of the next series is pushed to Tuesday – an eight-day stretch from the end of the Charlotte sweep — the Magic might take Saturday off and push Sunday’s workout back to after a Hawks-Bucks Game 7.“Getting up and down the court was good from a conditioning standpoint, but there’s nothing that we can do to simulate the intensity of things in the playoffs,’’ Van Gundy said. “At least get them playing after a couple of days off. The main (concern) is that you lose your edge and your focus mentally, especially when you don’t know who you are going to be playing. We were in that real competitive mindset in the Charlotte series, and now you worry about being in a vacation mindset. We’ve started trying to get that out (on Thursday).’’"

John Denton has that story here.

Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy wants to make sure he knocks off any rust the Magic may have.

"The Magic were scheduled to start their practice around 10 a.m. The entire workout didn’t end until about 12:40 p.m.Van Gundy scrimmaged his players for three full quarters, and each man on the roster played about 30 minutes apiece without much rest.“There’s nothing we can do in here to simulate playoff intensity and things, but at least we got ’em playing a little bit and up and down the court after a couple of days off,” Van Gundy said."

You can find that story here.

Trey Kirby weighed in on Howard’s fine.

"To be fair to Dwight, if sweating were a foul, Patrick Ewing would understand where Dwight is coming from. But since sweating profusely is legal, this is a situation where “Foul On You” is flying solo. And that means he’s paying his fine all by himself."

You can find his complete thoughts here.

Magic officials and NBA analysts agree that it’s on Dwight Howard to avoid foul trouble.

"Simply put, all-star center Dwight Howard needs to spend more time on the court and less time on the bench because of foul trouble.“Every round it’s going to get tougher,” Magic General Manager Otis Smith said. “We can get through the Charlotte Bobcats without him on the floor. We cannot get through whoever the next opponent’s going to be without him being on the floor. That’s the bottom line.”Howard endured one of the most frustrating stretches of his career during the Magic’s first-round sweep of the Bobcats. The reigning two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year averaged only 26.5 minutes per game and fouled out twice in four games."

Josh Robbins has that story here.

Drama rules in the NBA playoffs.

"The refs are all crooked. The Orlando Magic are officially cuckoo. And who the heck told the Milwaukee Bucks they could stick around after-hours?I’m loving every minute of this.And we’re not even past the first round."

George Diaz has that story here.

Alex Kennedy discussed Orlando’s keys to the second round.

"Jameer Nelson carried the Magic against the Bobcats, averaging 23.8 points, 4.5 assists, and 2.5 steals, but they’ll need their other scorers, Vince Carter and Rashard Lewis, to step up throughout the series as well. The idea that all of Orlando’s options have to be playing to the best of their ability isn’t exactly true. Orlando just needs one or two of their secondary scorers to play well if Howard is once again the focal point of the offense. As long as one or two of their scorers gets hot, the Magic will be fine. They also need to do a better job of protecting the ball and taking smart shots."

You can read that story here.

Kennedy also discussed Vince Carter’s playoff performance.

"“[We’re taking it] series by series. That’s the goal, sixteen wins, but you just have to go series by series and now we’re focusing on Game 1,” he said. “Our goal is to strike early and strike often.”Orlando is going to need Carter to step up if they want to reach that goal and he addressed his struggles.“With a team like this, you have to just keep playing. With the confidence that they have in me to continue to play and keep playing regardless if I’m making shots or not is comforting. Staying aggressive helps me get through it. About six years ago, I would be killing myself but I’m able to handle it now,” he said with a laugh."

You can find that story here.

Matt Barnes is not a fan of ‘Basketball Wives,’ a show his fiance is featured on.

"Matt Barnes said his fiance Gloria was approached several times by Shaunie O’Neal about participating in the show when the O’Neals and Barnes couples were with the Phoenix Suns. Shaunie O’Neal was still married to Shaquille O’Neal at the time and the two filed for divorce in late 2009.“After watching the first show I was just disgusted,” Matt Barnes told Jim Rome.“I told my team, you know, because Dwight is involved in that too, that I wasn’t going to be watching that because I know it’s going to make me mad and I’m going to watch it at the end of the season. I just think that what they tell you and what is going to happen is two different things. Reality t.v. is kind of a joke. Everything is scripted. There’s nothing reality about reality t.v. With that said I’ll kind of leave it alone. But, uh, if you want to have me back on at the end of the season once I won’t be able to get fined for what I say, I’ll definitely tell you what I think about that.”"

Shannon Owens has that story here.

Ben Q. Rock has some kind things to say about the Orlando media here. He’s right, although he forget to include himself on that list.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, 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).