A great roadtrip!!!
Magic center Dwight Howard is pleased with his team's performance on their recent road trip, during which the Magic went 3-0 and surmounted deficits of 17 and 14 points. What caught my eye, though, is this bit of jubilation about his free-throw shooting:
Those last two games they tried fouling me intentionally, but it didn’t work too good. Some of the guys call it "Hack-A-Howard’’ and I gotta admit that’s pretty funny. But I made the free throws vs. Milwaukee and New York.
Howard shot 5-of-10 against the Bucks on Saturday and 8-of-15 against the Knicks on Sunday, which dragged his free throw percentage to a career-low 56.1% on the young season.
Former Net Ryan Anderson: "In No Way Could You Blame Lawrence Frank"
Gerald Narciso of Dime Magazine interviewed Magic forward Ryan Anderson last night and asked him about several subjects, including the New Jersey Nets' firing of Lawrence Frank, his new teammates, and his role with the Magic.
Dime: Are you surprised with your impact this season?
Ryan Anderson: Nah, you know I’m just playing my game and trying to have a good time. I have a ton of great players behind me and their [sic] unselfish guys so it makes it easier for me to just go out and play. Coach has given me the green light to shoot it when I’m open, so it’s a lot of fun to play for Stan [Van Gundy].
Former Knick Patrick Ewing says he would love to coach New Jersey Nets
Frank coached Magic men Anderson and Vince Carter last season, but that's not where the connection between the Nets and the Magic ends. Marc Berman of the New York Post reports that Magic assistant coach Patrick Ewing, whom the Magic hired to work almost exclusively with Howard's development in the low-post, is interested in the coaching vacancy the Nets created when they canned Frank.
Weekly Post-Ups (Cyber Monday Edition)
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com credits GM Otis Smith for giving the Magic enough depth at point guard to withstand the loss of Jameer Nelson to injury.
This season, when Nelson went down again with torn meniscus in his left knee, there was no need for GM Otis Smith to scan the waiver wire, scour the D-League, or make a desperation play for Allen Iverson. That’s because he did his homework during the summer, signing veteran Jason Williams out of retirement. All Williams has done is lead Orlando to a 6-1 record as the starting point guard while leading the league in assist-to-turnover ratio. His backup, Anthony Johnson, has been capable, too. Make no mistake, the Magic need a healthy Nelson to get back to the Finals. But Orlando once again will be able to get through a significant portion of the regular season without him.
Williams has the 4th-best Pure Point Rating in the NBA and has posted a career-best 57.4 TS% so far.
The Cream Rises to the Top
John Schuhmann of NBA.com ranks the Magic at the top of his weekly Power Rankings.
NBA News That Doesn't Really Matter: "That Guy We Drafted," 1997
ShamSports' latest entry in the That Guy We Drafted series includes snippets about two current Magic players (Adonal Foyle and Anthony Johnson) and several former ones, including Johnny Taylor, the last man to don #23 for Orlando. He averaged 22.3 points and 19.7 rebounds playing in Bahrain last season.
NBA Highlight Reel Players of Decade
UPDATE: Zachariah Blott names Williams the NBA's best Highlight Reel Player of the 2000s.
He’s done things with the ball in his decade-long career that only Pistol Pete has matched. Before toning down his game a few years ago in order to become more consistent, he did all the amazing And-1 tricks… in NBA games, against NBA players, playing NBA-level defense.