The Magic have earned the chance to rest.

The Magic have earned the chance to rest.

The Magic have earned the chance to rest.

Orlando Magic News & Notes: Magic Earn Rest, Transition Defense, National Attention

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The Magic have earned the chance to rest.

"As a byproduct of their destruction of the Atlanta Hawks, the Orlando Magic will have another extended break before they play again against either the Cavaliers or the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. The same was the case a week ago following a similar sweep of Charlotte when Orlando used three off days and four practice sessions to prepare for the Hawks.Sitting at 8-0 as the NBA’s lone unbeaten team in the playoffs, the Magic must now play the waiting game again. But the feeling is that some time off will be a good thing and not derail a team that resembles a runaway locomotive.And this tear that the Magic are in the midst of extends well beyond the confines of the playoffs. Orlando hasn’t lost in more than a month, a streak that sits at 14 in a row. Counting the playoffs, they have won 31 of 36 games since the NBA All-Star break and a remarkable 41 of 49 since mid-January."

John Denton has that story here.

Rest worked out well after the first round but it’s still tough to play the waiting game.

"Sound like a long layoff? Well, it is. The Magic arguably were playing their best basketball of the season during their second-round sweep of the Atlanta Hawks, and there’s a possibility that Magic players will accumulate some rust during the layoff.But seven full days passed between Orlando’s first and second rounds, and the Magic emerged from that week sharper than ever.“It’s always one of those fine lines, because you worry how guys come out to play, particularly in that first five minutes of Game 1,” Magic SG Vince Carter said. “I think we handled that well and I think from there on I felt great from the time off. We didn’t have to go the seven games, and I think it’s beneficial for us. But, regardless if we have to, I think we’re just playing great basketball. We’re playing for each other. We’re locked in.”"

Josh Robbins has that story here.

Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post explains how the Magic make some sacrifices on the offensive glass to get back on defense.

"I’ve touched on this subject before, but it bears repeating: one of the reasons the Magic are a lock-down defensive squad is their reticence to attack the offensive boards. In coach Stan Van Gundy’s three seasons with the team, Orlando has ranked 27th, 28th, and 25th in offensive rebound percentage despite employing Howard, one of the league’s most gifted rebounders. It’s by design. As Zach Lowe of Celtics Hub explains, “[t]hey’d rather get back on defense than crash the offensive glass.” And as I’ll show with data from Synergy Sports Technology, that tactic is paying off."

You can find that story here.

David Whitley of NBA Fanhouse says Orlando is on a mission.

"It’s a fine place to raise kids, raise mosquitoes, play golf and make fun of snowbirds. But I’d rather see LeBron try to bowl over Kobe than Howard bowl over three Lakers every possession.But what does it matter what I think? The Magic are, you guessed it …“On a mission,” Howard said.The accompanying theme is the old “We get no respect.” Let’s face it, they don’t. Orlando has dominated the league for months and it’s gotten less attention than LeBron’s elbow sleeve.That’s life in the small city. But the Magic showed they aren’t a fluke last year, though most people seem to have forgotten they did make the NBA Finals. And this team is much better."

You can read that story here.

The Magic are getting a lot more national attention.

"The series between Cleveland and Boston garnered more attention than either Orlando’s first or second rounds. In a preseason Sentinel poll, a cross section of NBA reporters picked the Cavaliers to win the East. Even heading into the playoffs, many pundits thought it was Cleveland’s time.“Let’s not get it twisted, we all know who everybody wants to see in the Finals,” Magic point guard Jameer Nelson said last week.Do we really, though?As the Magic swept the Charlotte Bobcats and bulldozed the Atlanta Hawks, the nation began taking notice. The sentiment spread that the Magic were playing like the best team, not just in the East but the entire NBA."

Tania Ganguli has that story here.

There is going to be a lot to do outside the new Amway Arena.

"Orlando’s NBA arena and the sea of parking lots around it will be replaced by a hip neighborhood with a mix of college kids, Facebook-generation urbanites, high-tech companies and educational institutions, a place dotted with video screens and anchored by seven vibrant parks.That’s the plan, anyway."

Mark Schlueb of the Orlando Sentinel has this story here.

Dwight Howard discusses the premiere of his movie, Just Wright, 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).