Behind the Box Score, where the Lakers and Rox lost no love
Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don't Lie recaps the Orlando Magic's win against the Phoenix Suns, which was the blog's "game to pay attention to".
Orlando walked all over the Suns, managing nearly 126 points per 100 possessions (that's ... a lot), destroying the previously undefeated Suns just a day after losing their much-lauded undefeated status. What the week it was, it was. The week. That undefeated week. That was.
Dwight Howard just went straight through whoever Phoenix tried to place in front of him, Matt Barnes helped put his former team away (especially in the second half) with 13 points, five assists, and 11 boards. And Ryan Anderson is rather beastly at this point.
Van Gundy: NBA Rules Penalize Howard
Tim Povtak of NBA FanHouse explains how head coach Stan Van Gundy stood up for Dwight Howard after Orlando's victory. With his words.
Coming to the defense of his All-Star center, Magic coach Stan Van Gundy didn't criticize the officials Wednesday night -- he didn't want another fine -- but he was clearly critical of the way Dwight Howard is being officiated this season.
Howard, the biggest, strongest, best center in the NBA, is being unfairly penalized, according to Van Gundy.
"He gets penalized for being so strong. We give guys an advantage in this league for being quick, but we penalize them for being strong like Dwight,'' Van Gundy said after Howard finished with 11 fouls in the last two games combined. "If you hit a perimeter guy on a drive the way they are allowed to hit Dwight all the time around the basket, it would be a flagrant foul.''
Back at Work
Sean Sweeney of SLAM ONLINE writes a nice piece on Jason Williams, with specifics on how his return to the NBA has been going so far.
No offense to Anthony Johnson, but I think Stan Van showed all he needed to when he attempted to bring back Nelson for the Finals. A tandem of Skip and Johnson wasn’t scaring anyone in Los Angeles. With Williams as the backup now, there will be no slowdown. J-Will is here to do what he’s always been best at: feed his people.
Vince Carter: Hall of Fame Legacy on the Line?
M. Haubs of The Painted Area delves into the topic of whether or not Vince Carter is a future Hall of Famer and posits that the 2009-2010 season, ending with a title for the Magic, may be vital in strengthening his position to the eyes of voters. A must-read.
Taking a step back, Vince is one of the most interesting players to watch this season, not only because of his potential effect on the 2009-10 season, but also because he may have more on the line in terms of his career legacy than any other player in the league. Vince may well be playing for the Hall of Fame.
Vince Carter update: Magic coach Stan Van Gundy doesn't expect him to play vs. Pistons
Brian Schmitz provides this update on Vince Carter.
Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said he doesn't expect to have SG Vince Carter (sprained left ankle) available tonight against the Pistons. Carter sat out Wednesday night's game against the Phoenix Suns. [...]Right decision. With all due respect to the Detroit Pistons, the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Charlotte Bobcats, the Orlando Magic can afford to sit Carter and still have an excellent chance to win in each of those games before the highly-anticipated showdown with the Cleveland Cavaliers next week. Vince needs rest, more than anything else.
"We probably shouldn't have played him in Detroit, but Vince said he wanted to go," Van Gundy said."We'd probably would have been better off sitting him."
The 5 NBA Rivalries I’d Like To See
Gerald Narciso of Dime Magazine brings up the topic of player rivalries and lists the one he'd like to see in thefuture. Here's one of 'em:
3. Andrew Bynum vs. Dwight Howard: Averaging 20.8 points and 9 rebounds per contest, Bynum has really stepped it up this season. If he continues to post these All-Star numbers, than we can say with a straight face that Dwight versus Andrew is real rivalry. Of course, Bynum’s athleticism is not even close to on par with Howard’s. But Bynum has more post moves and at 22 years old, still has a lot of room for improvement. If these centers meet again in the Finals, than we could have the first real big man rivalry since Yao and Shaq.
Ryan Anderson doesn't waste his time with two-point jumpers
UPDATE: Zach McCann of Orlando Magic Daily explains how Ryan Anderson embodies the statistical revolution in the NBA with his style of play. Fascinating observation - one in which I agree with wholeheartedly.
NBA teams attempted a record 44,583 three-pointers last season, and the league saw its first 3-point based offensive team — the Orlando Magic, of course — reach the NBA Finals. As the statistical revolution continues in professional basketball, teams have begun to realize that the highest percentage shot is a free throw, followed by a two-point shot at the rim, followed by a three-pointer. [...]
If there’s one player on the Orlando Magic who symbolizes this ideal, it’s Ryan Anderson.