Anyone else think it's cruel that on a night the NBA and the Magic kicked-off "NBA Green Week," Orlando ceded the East's second playoff seed to the Boston Celtics?
Philip Rossman-Reich says the Magic's loss to the Toronto Raptors last night should serve as a wake-up call.
Doug Smith of the Toronto Star points out that Chris Bosh's game-winning jumper over Dwight Howard last night was very similar to the one Bosh took, and missed, at the end of Orlando's Game 2 win in last year's playoffs. Today, Bosh is being lauded as a hero for taking the shot, while he was derided as a coward for not driving the ball last April. Funny how that works.
Another note about Bosh's jumper: Dwight defended it well. I'd much rather lose a game on a long two-pointer--the lowest-percentage shot in the game--than on a driving layup or dunk. Dwight took away the drive, and forced Bosh to take a low-percentage shot. Bosh is an Olympian and four-time All-Star, so there's no shame in the fact that he made the shot. If anything, the Magic should be more worried about their nonexistent second-half rebounding--Toronto held a 27-13 advantage in the last two periods--which exposed their lack of athleticism on the wings.
Also embarrassing: Howard's free throw shooting. Here's a fun stat from the Elias Sports Bureau, via Orlando Magic Daily:
Dwight Howard scored 30 points in the Magic's 99-95 loss to Toronto on Wednesday night, but his poor free-throw shooting may have cost Orlando a victory. Howard was only 10-for-21 from the foul line. It's the only time in the last three seasons that an NBA player attempted at least 20 foul shots in a game and converted less than half of them. Prior to Howard, the last player to do that was Ben Wallace, who was 7-for-22 on December 11, 2005.
That's not something Dwight's going to want to hang on his refrigerator.
Okay, enough about the Magic and the Raptors. Here's something different:
"Grant Hill: DNP - OLD AGE/LACK OF TALENT."
Via Bright Side of the Sun, that's what NBA.com briefly put in its Sacramento Kings/Golden State Warriors box score last night before taking it down. As we know, that assessment is not fair to Hill; he plays for the Phoenix Suns, not for the Warriors.
It's a pretty low blow for someone at the league's website to deride Hill in such a way. But I figured I'd call attention to it because some Magic fans are bound to get a kick out of it.
Once again, I'll call your attention to this brilliant piece about the Magic and the Detroit Pistons at Hardwood Paroxysm. Matt Moore expresses simply what I've struggled for weeks to turn over in my head:
The record books won't say "2009 NBA Champions: Orlando Magic (Except They Didn't Beat The Pistons)." The trophy reads the same, kids.
Dwight reached into his mailbag to answer fans' questions for the very first time this morning, and 3QC community member eltharion_doa had one of his questions answered. Unfortunately, Dwight's response wasn't too charitable. Nevertheless, eltharion-doa is the winner of this site's first-ever Ask Dwight Challenge.
Keep your eyes peeled for tonight's edition of Scoreboard Watching, which will highlight the most playoff-seending-relevant games on the schedule this evening.
UPDATE: ER here, checking in.
- Both bullet points are via the Orlando Magic:
The Orlando Magic announced today a new partnership with Bright House Networks that will entitle them as the presenting partner of the NBA Playoffs 2009. The partnership will include presence in Amway Arena for playoff games as well as many other components surrounding the team's postseason run.
- Remember the playoff theme last year for the Orlando Magic? It was "Blue and White Ignite" and it's back again for the second consecutive year. With that said, want playoff tickets? Here's the rundown on how to snag 'em:
Single game tickets for the first round of the 2009 Orlando Magic playoffs, presented by Bright House Networks, will go on sale to the general public Saturday, April 4 at 10 a.m. Orlando's playoff schedule will be announced following the conclusion of the regular season.
Ticket pricing for the first round of the 2009 Playoffs, presented by Bright House Networks, remains the same as regular season gate tickets. Highlights include: 3,263 seats priced $27 or under per game; a $40 lower bowl ticket; and tickets priced at $10 per game. Full season tickets are also now available for next season. For ticket information log on to orlandomagic.com or call 407-89-MAGIC.