Orlando Magic News for March 11th: Preparing for Playoff Success, Problems at Shooting Guard, and More

  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel posts his take on the five things the Magic need to do to get ready for the playoffs. It's a lengthy post, but well worth a read. Here's a Cliff's Notes version of the list:

    1. Clean up the offense.

    2. Get the ball to Dwight.

    3. Defend at the shooting-guard spot.

    4. Rebound. Rebound. Rebound.

    5. Get tough. Mentally tough.

    I'm especially in agreement with the final point. Again, please read the whole post.

  • In a separate post, Schmitz posts Stan Van Gundy's comments on the Magic's struggling shooting guards. I wondered why J.J. Redick (9 points in 30 minutes) played more than Courtney Lee (10 points in 18 minutes) against Detroit. Now we know why. The brackets are Schmitz's:

    "I'm not going to sugarcoat things and say we're not struggling at that position," he said. "...I just though J.J. was playing well the other night so he played longer...We need them all to play better. I would like to see M.P. [Mickael Pietrus] get back in there some too, but if Turk's out he'll have to get a lot of his minutes at [small forward]...We've got a lot of options."

    One could make a solid case that the Magic are even worse off at shooting guard this year than they were last year. As you'll see if you click the links, which are positional split-stats from 82games.com, the reason isn't defense. In fact, in spite of the big offensive nights opposing shooting guards have posted against the Magic, Orlando's real problem at that position is offense. A dip in eFG% (52.2% this year; 55.4% last year) is largely to blame.

  • To celebrate its 100th post, newish Magic blog The Puns Are Starting To Bore Me lists the top 100 moments in Magic history. Their 100th commemorative post is slightly cooler than my 52nd, an update on the Billy Donovan Exodus, which I concluded with a photo of Don Reid. Seriously.

  • Hoop Heads North lists the lesser-known nicknames of the NBA. Yours truly contributed the Magic players'. The world will know of The Polish Hammer.

  • The Knicks Blog dug up this old Snickers advertisement featuring former Magic player and current assistant coach Patrick Ewing, aka Patrick Chewing.

ER here.

  • With the regular season winding down, Bradford Doolittle of Basketball Prospectus unveiled the award candidates for every team in the NBA. The squad with the most candidates? You guessed it, the Orlando Magic.

  • Hall of Famer and basketball legend, Hakeem Olajuwon, thinks Dwight Howard has the talent to achieve the rarest feat in basketball - the quadruple-double.

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