One-fifth of the 2008/2009 NBA season is in the books, so Wages of Wins compiled the data and projected how the remaining fourth-fifths will play out. Orlando figures to finish third in the East with 57 wins and a first-round playoff matchup with... wait for it... the Detroit Pistons.
Meanwhile, John Hollinger's math-based playoff doohickey updates daily, and the most common result for the Magic is a 49-33 season, the third seed in the playoffs, and a matchup with the Chicago Bulls in the first round. I'll exchange fewer wins for a more favorable matchup every time, so naturally I prefer this scenario.
Hornets247 crunches some numbers and concludes, among other things, that the Magic are actually better this year than they were last year, at least according to efficiency differential.
K.D. talks about Orlando's loss to the Celtics last night in his Behind the Box Score feature:
J.J. Redick's lack of playing time over the first two years of his career still leaves him making rookie-level defensive mistakes, and though that sounds like an excuse from my end, you know it's the truth. There are some things you can't anticipate with years of practice, and you need the actual in-game minutes to work with.
Blame Brian Hill. That's usually a good policy. It's an unfair one, in this case, since Hill at least played Redick 15 minutes a game during his rookie season.
Paul Pierce, who smoked the Magic with 24 points, discusses the Celtics' approach:
"We were just taking advantage of the matchups," Pierce said. "We saw something that we could do and we just kept going to it. My teammates did a good job of setting me up."
The NBA Store now has a framed, matted photo of some J.J. Reddick fellow available for purchase in its Magic section. Who the heck is J.J. Reddick? Is he related to J.J. Redick?
UPDATE: John Denton wrote a little bit about Redick for ESPN.com's Daily Dime:
Injuries ultimately ensured Redick another chance, and now it's up to him to make sure it lasts long after [Mickael] Pietrus and [Keith] Bogans return. [Stan] Van Gundy, who calls Redick "not a good shooter, but a great shooter,'' is hoping that guaranteed, uninterrupted minutes will help soothe his guard's nerves. And Redick knows that for all of the focus on his defense and ballhandling, he will ultimately be judged by his ability to hit shots.
"I'm a professional and I'm paid to make shots, and if I'm not doing that, then I'm not doing my job,'' Redick said. "There's a lot made of my defense, rebounding and assists, but I'm ultimately judged by my shooting. I just need to go out there and make 'em.''
The shots will fall eventually. I believe in J.J.
Orlando Magic News for December 2nd: Stat Geeks Evaluate the Magic (And Everyone Else, for That Matter)
By Evan Dunlap Updated