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Orlando Magic News & Notes: Magic Must Wait…Again


The Orlando Magic will have to wait until Sunday at the earliest or Tuesday at the latest to take the court again. If the Boston Celtics, who defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 Tuesday night win Thursday and wrap up the series, the Magic will host the Celtics Sunday afternoon. If Boston wins in seven, the Magic will host the Celtics Tuesday night. Should the Cavaliers come back to win, Orlando will be in Cleveland for Game 1 Tuesday night.

Orlando has earned another chance to rest.

"So how, some wonder, can the Magic keep up such a dominant run when they keep having to stop and start because of their propensity so far of not just sweeping foes, but also embarrassing them? See: The largest margin of victory ever (101 points) in a four-game playoff sweep of the Hawks.“We feel like we’re a championship team, but we just have to stay humble and not allow anything to distract us from what our goal is,’’ said Howard, who plays himself in the new movie coming out and is one of the lead characters. “Coach (Stan Van Gundy) is going to do his thing to make sure that we stay humble.’’Then, Howard thought about the prospect of having as many as seven days off before starting the Eastern Conference Finals and sighed. He wasn’t so much worried about the Magic losing their edge as he was Van Gundy cracking the whip in practice."

John Denton has that story here.

George Diaz has changed his tune and now calls the Magic “alpha dogs.”

"You could argue that the competition was weak. You could also argue that the Magic have dispatched them without lollygagging, a tribute to Van Gundy’s frenetic energy. He screams. They listen. In this age where it’s all about prima-donna players and coaches who are dispensable in the blink of a meeting between disgruntled players, this is magnificent focus.Does anyone really think the Cavaliers — and this is assuming they survive the semifinals series against the Boston Celtics — should be favored against Orlando despite having home-court advantage?"

You can find that story here.

The Magic are doing their best to remain humble.

"Dwight Howard doesn’t have a preference for an Eastern Conference Finals opponent between Cleveland and Boston. They certainly aren’t strangers.After all, the Magic played — and defeated — both the Cavs and Celtics last postseason enroute to making the NBA Finals.“Both of those teams are great,” Howard said. “You have the three Hall-of-Famers on one team (referring the Celtics Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett) and then you have LeBron and Shaq and the rest of the crew (with Cleveland.) It is going to be tough, but we are going to keep working and stay humble.”Last season, the Magic ousted the then-reigning champion Celtics in seven games in the East semi-finals, and then eliminated the Cavs in six in the East finals."

You can find that story here.

Dan Devine of Ball Don’t Lie tips his hat to Jameer Nelson.

"In eight games spanning two rounds, all Orlando wins, he’s averaging 20.5 points per game, nearly eight more than his season mark. He’s doing it efficiently, shooting 51.9 percent from the field (up from 44.9 percent during the season) and 40.4 percent from downtown (up from 38.1). While his free-throw percentage has dipped from 84.5 percent for the year to 80.5 percent in the playoffs, the decline stems from an uncharacteristic 1-for-4 performance in Game 4 — through seven games, he was hitting at an 86.5 percent clip.The advanced stats bear out the boom, too. Nelson’s Player Efficiency Rating has spiked to 27.3 (up from 15.5), good for second among players on teams still competing, behind LeBron James(notes). He’s tops among playoff performers in Offensive Rating (135.2), second in Win Shares (2.0), fourth in Steal Percentage (2.7) and fourth in True Shooting Percentage (65.1)."

You can read that story here.

ESPN’s NBA experts weigh in on the playoff MVP. Jameer Nelson is prevalent on these lists and is even #1 on John Hollinger’s and David Thorpe’s. Here’s what Thorpe had to say:

"1. Jameer Nelson, OrlandoFrom Game 1 of the playoffs, he has been “the guy” for Orlando. His shooting, passing and scoring have all been at the elite level. More importantly, he’s been the driving force in the locker room and on the court, as the “owner” of all that is good in Orlando."

You can find that story here.

Neil Payne of takes a look at the most lopsided series of all time.

"When the Orlando Magic put the finishing touches on their 4-game demolition of the Atlanta Hawks last night, it marked the 110th time in NBA history that one team swept another in a series of 3 games or longer. Several hours later, the Lakers added #111 to that list, ending Utah’s season with an 0-4 series defeat. Both performances were impressive, so today I wanted to look at where they ranked in the pantheon of all 111 sweeps, and which series were truly the most lopsided of the lopsided."

You can find that story here.

Sebastian Pruiti of NBA Playbook takes a look at the two plays that killed the Atlanta Hawks against the Magic here.

Brian Schmitz lists 10 reasons why this year’s Magic are better than last year’s here.

Dwight Howard hosted the premiere of his new movie, Just Wright in Central Florida because he couldn’t make it to New York. Tania Ganguli has that story here.

Alex David compares the Magic to Iron Man 2.

"The Orlando MagicIs it possible that Superman could really be Iron Man? Maybe the parallel might hold for last year’s version of the Magic, but not this year. Dwight Howard’s got Tony Stark’s boyishness and love of kidding around. On the court, like Tony Stark’s alter ego, Dwight is unstoppable and you can’t keep your eyes off of him. However, a funny thing happened due to foul troubles in the first round… we saw that the Magic are still damn strong even without Dwight. Can they win it all without him? No. But they showed they could sweep the Charlotte Bobcats with only minimal use of him.Could “Iron Man 2″ have survived if Tony Stark’s screen time was significantly reduced? Heck no. Jameer Nelson took over, and the Magic weren’t the slightest bit worse for it. It’s made me look at Jameer anew, realizing I underestimated him. The closest approximation to this year’s Magic is actually “The Dark Knight.” It’s supposed to be about Batman, but the Joker took over, and you left re-evaluating Heath Ledger’s abilities. Right now, the Magic look like they are a step above all the other remaining teams. ”The Dark Knight” was a step above all other superhero movies. I liked “Iron Man 2″ but it was no “Dark Knight.” I’m not even certain it’s as good as the first “Iron Man.”"

You can read that story here.

(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).