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Orlando Magic News for November 18th: Attendance is Down, But Coach's Morale is Up

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Here's today's news. Keep your eyes peeled for the GameThread later this afternoon.

  • NBA attendance is down across the board, and the Orlando Magic have been especially hard-hit. Yahoo! Sports correspondent Nick Friedell reports that the Magic are the only team in the bottom third of the league in attendance that has a winning record. Even more worrisome, the fans who do show up aren't very enthusiastic:

    For the most part, the crowds I've seen at Magic games are flatter than a pancake. Sure, there are some exciting moments, and, if asked, the fans are usually willing to get out of their seats and cheer. But, if it wasn't for the noise blaring from the speaker system, you would be able to hear Stan Van Gundy barking out orders on almost every possession.

    It was only seven months ago that the Magic blew the roof off the Amway Arena by defeating the Toronto Raptors in the playoffs. Wow.

  • Van Gundy talks to John Denton about his team's recent 3-0 road trip:

    "The thing that I liked the most was that we showed a good resolve and resiliency throughout the trip," Van Gundy said. "We were able to hang in there and get the job done even though things didn't always look too good for us."

    Can't argue with that. A real test will come in December, when the Magic will play the Portland Trail Blazers, the Phoenix Suns, and the Utah Jazz in the middle of a five-game road trip. That's a tough stretch of games there.

  • Brian Schmitz rates the Magic's players individually through ten games. He's too easy on Anthony Johnson (B), too harsh on Michael Pietrus (C+), but mostly on the money with everyone else.

  • Orlando Magic Blog also looks at individual players, comparing their statistics from this season to their statistics from last season.

That's all for now. If you haven't already, check out my review of the Magic after 10 games.

UPDATE: Okay, one last bullet before the game...

  • John Denton points out just how well Rashard Lewis has defended opposing power forwards this season:

    Lewis held [Elton] Brand to six points and [Antawn] Jamison to seven points. [LaMarcus] Aldridge needed 17 shots to get 16 points, while [Dirk] Nowitzki did pour in 24 points against Lewis.

    He'll really be put to the test tonight against Chris Bosh, although he's defended him well in his Magic career, too:

    Bosh did average 24 points in the playoffs last spring, but he did so by shooting less than 50 percent. And in the Game 5 clincher of the playoffs, Bosh faded badly with a poor performance and he was so rattled by Lewis' defense that he was hit with a technical foul.

The GameThread is scheduled to post at 3:45.