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Orlando Magic vs. Celtics

Originally posted by VaBeachNiner:
Originally posted by StOnEy333:
Originally posted by VaBeachNiner:
Magic looking good so far in preseason. Good to see the new players getting time to gel. Hopefully Rashard's dumb decision that will sit his ass for the first 10 games in the season wont kill the momentum.

I almost forgot about Rashroid's suspension. Should lead for some good discussion around here. If the Magic start quick, it'll be "Will Lewis mess up the chemistry of the team playing well", and if it's a slow start, it'll be "Just wait until Lewis comes back for the team to play well".

It could go either way. But they should be fine when he does return.

I'm very interested to see what you guys do this year. It's very hard to make it to back to back Finals, let alone with very different components.
I know its just pre season, but we sure are taking care of business...

Magic 121 Hornets 86

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- Ryan Anderson scored 22 points to help the Orlando Magic remain unbeaten in the preseason with a 121-86 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Tuesday night.

Mickael Pietrus had 19 points for Orlando (5-0) and teammate Vince Carter scored 13 of his 18 points in the first quarter in the game played at Wichita State's Koch Arena.

David West led New Orleans (1-3) with 14 points while Chris Paul added 13.

The Hornets cut into a 26-point halftime deficit as West scored six points in a 9-0 run that brought them within 69-52.

That's when Anderson took over, hitting four 3-pointers and scoring 16 points in a 3 1/2-minute stretch that pushed the Magic's lead back to 87-57.

Anderson, who came to the Magic in the trade that brought Carter from the New Jersey Nets, finished 6 of 9 from 3-point range.

"That was fun,'' Anderson said. "It's always fun when you're feeling it, but when the guys got me open and the crowd got into it, it was great.''

The Magic shot 60.9 percent from the field and 63.3 percent from the 3-point line. Orlando's biggest lead was 104-64 on a 3 by Carter early in the fourth quarter.

"People keep calling (Anderson) the other guy in the Vince Carter trade,'' Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy said, "and when I told you guys (in the media) he was a big part of the thing, you rolled your eyes. But he fits the way we play. Our team is built inside out, and you can't leave him open.''

Led by Carter going 4 of 6 from the 3-point line, Orlando took control of the game with its long-range shooting in the first half. The Magic were 9 of 13 on 3s in the first half, while New Orleans was 3 of 10. That helped Orlando twice build its lead to 30 points in the first half.

"He's getting more and more comfortable,'' Van Gundy said of Carter.

Paul scored four points, all from the free-throw line, in nearly 15 first-half minutes.

"We've got to get better defensively,'' New Orleans coach Byron Scott said. "Communication is the key.''
Howard looking to find Magic free throw touch

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP)—Orlando assistant coach Patrick Ewing stood underneath the hoop, took the ball after it swished through the net and passed it back to Dwight Howard(notes) standing at the free throw line.

“Twenty,” Ewing said, passing the ball back.

The next shot finally clanked. Then came a grimace and a grunt.

“Restart the count,” Howard called out.

This scene plays out daily for the Magic big man.

The All-Star center has surprisingly hit as many as 28 straight free throws in practice during Orlando’s training camp. The work is all part of his goal to rid his free-throw woes after missing a costly pair in the waning seconds in Game 4 of the NBA finals, a blown opportunity that still haunts Howard.

“It’s not gone yet. Every day I wake up and I think about what happened,” Howard said. “Every day I get a reminder when I turn on the TV … first thing I see is Kobe (Bryant) putting up the championship sign. You think about it, and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since we lost. I put some of the moments away, but losing something when you’re so close, it hurts. So you don’t want to go through that experience again.”

Howard is a dominant presence in the paint and he attempted more free throws (849) than any other player last year. That’s why he has gone to great lengths trying to solve his problems at the stripe.

Howard spends nights at the Magic’s practice facility, even inviting friends to blast music and distract him during shots. There are days he takes more than 300 free throws and he’s usually the last player to leave the court.

“He’s dedicated to make himself a good free throw shooter,” point guard Jameer Nelson(notes) said.

Practice has never been Howard’s problem. The games are where it hurts.

He’s a 60 percent career free throw shooter, a big reason why the Magic often turned elsewhere for offense in the final seconds in the playoffs last season. The finals are where it really stung.

In Game 4, Howard set a finals record with nine blocked shots, had 16 points and 21 rebounds. He was putting on a performance for the ages, then he was fouled with 11.1 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and Orlando ahead 87-84. All he needed was to make one and the game would likely have been sealed and the series tied.

He clanked them both. The Lakers rallied. The Magic were eventually eliminated.

“I’m going to be better this season,” Howard said. “We’re going to be better. We fell short last season. We just want to win a championship now.”

Howard isn’t the first All-Star center to struggle at the line.

Shaquille O’Neal(notes) and Wilt Chamberlain stand out the most, a pair of dominant big men who have six NBA titles between them, but never could solve their free-throw stroke. O’Neal (52 percent) and Chamberlain (51 percent) rank as some of the worst free throw shooters in league history.

The 23-year-old Howard still has time to avoid that club. His teammates and coaches are also expecting him to have a big free throw upswing this season.

“From the free throw line this year, I think 75 percent is realistic for him,” Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. “He can shoot free throws. I’d be really disappointed with anything below 70 percent. He’s capable of doing that. And if he makes free throws, you just can’t hammer him anymore. When he’s hitting 70 percent, he’ll be very difficult to guard. He’s pretty difficult to guard now.”

Howard agrees he should be shooting a much higher percentage on free throws this season.

He’s worked on being more consistent with his delivery—elbows in, legs bent, focused and following through. Now, he said, it’s just a matter of getting things done when it counts.

“This summer was just trying to fine-tune a lot of things,” Howard said. “Knocking down free throws, all that stuff, I’ve been working on every year. The biggest thing is having confidence and just doing it.”

[ Edited by jrg on Oct 14, 2009 at 22:30:22 ]

Originally posted by jrg:
I know its just pre season, but we sure are taking care of business...

Magic 121 Hornets 86

"People keep calling (Anderson) the other guy in the Vince Carter trade,'' Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy said, "and when I told you guys (in the media) he was a big part of the thing, you rolled your eyes. But he fits the way we play. Our team is built inside out, and you can't leave him open.''

And this is why I won't miss Turk.
Prediction: Magic will win at least 60 games this year.
The Orlando Magic are now a perfect 7-0 in preseason action. Vince Carter fired off 21 points to help the Magic cruise to a 117-87 home triumph over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday.

ORLANDO (AP) -- Vince Carter scored 21 points and the Orlando Magic remained unbeaten in the preseason with a 117-87 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night.

The Magic (7-0) play Atlanta on Friday night, hoping to finish off the first undefeated exhibition season in franchise history.

Marcin Gortat added 15 points and Brandon Bass had 14 for the Magic. Dwight Howard had 14 points, but he continued to struggle at the free throw line, making only six of 16. He has shot just 50.7 percent from the line during preseason.

"It feels good to be winning - and we're headed in the right direction - but it really doesn't mean anything at this point,'' Howard said. "I'm happy with our progress, but we're still 0-0 when the season starts.''

Howard got poked in the right eye by Solomon Jones with 7:18 remaining, temporarily causing a vision problem, although he stayed in the game for three more minutes. After the game, the eye was bloodshot, but he was seeing clearly. "I'll be all right,'' he said. "But it was pretty bad for awhile.''

Roy Hibbert scored 14 of his 20 points in the first half for Indiana. Troy Murphy added 15 rebounds for the Pacers, who were without T.J. Ford (left hamstring), Luther Head (sore back), and Jeff Foster (sore back).

"They (Magic) have so many All-Stars on that team that I lose count,'' said Indiana's Danny Granger, who had 11 points. "They probably will go far again this season. They are good team, and a veteran team.''

Orlando was missing All-Star forward Rashard Lewis, who will start the regular season serving a 10-game suspension for violating the league's anti-drug agreement last spring. Lewis also won't play Friday as the Magic try and prepare for the start of the season without him.

"Missing Rashard at the start, we're going to have to do some juggling,'' said forward Matt Barnes, who replaced Lewis in the starting lineup Wednesday. "Right now, we're just trying to find a groove without him. Being unbeaten sounds nice, but we're just trying to improve. That's what's important.''

NOTES: Magic center Adonal Foyle, who hardly practiced since the start of training camp, underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Wednesday. Foyle, who played in only 10 games combined last season between the Magic and the Grizzlies, was re-signed this summer as insurance behind Dwight Howard and Gortat. ... The Pacers will finish their exhibition schedule Friday at storied Assembly Hall on the University of Indiana campus. They will play the Spurs.

Underrated preseason

Well....end of the 3rd..

Magic 101
Hawks 67

We may win by 50+ points...

Originally posted by jrg:
We may win by 50+ points...

You are not kidding.
Originally posted by VaBeachNiner:
Originally posted by jrg:
We may win by 50+ points...

You are not kidding.

Nah..we're not gonna get it..

123-84 w/ 45 seconds left


Finish w/ a 8-0 preseason

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