Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani once said he could walk out into the middle of Times Square and start handing out $100 bills. A third of the people would say he was not handing out enough money. Another third would say he was handing out too much money. Another third would say they didn't like the way he was handing out the money. Welcome to a new feature on orlandomagic.com – GLASS HALF-FULL. A local sports writer once told me that his job was to watch the battle from the mountain top, ride down, and bayonet the wounded. We live in a world of cynics. But not here, at GLASS HALF-FULL. I will do my best to answer your questions going forward.

What can you expect? Rainbows and gum drops. No scraped knees and rubbing alcohol, here. I will give you the flip side. I will give you Cotton Candy, not the dentist's office. It's not Fast Food. It's Good Food Fast. Being negative takes up a lot of energy. Being nice is easy. Will there be some spin? Sure, but I prefer the word "Influence". By nature, I am an optimist. Sure, former draft pick Jerryl Sasser couldn't shoot, but you should have seen him defend in practice. And, he had a never-wavering confidence about him. You say, "What's the deal with Fran Vazquez staying in Spain to play? I say, he's still an asset to the Magic and that's part of the process of drafting international players. Hopefully, that gives you a look into the Magic-blue colored world I can tend to drift into. My takes will be credible though, just the other side of the coin. Archived Columns

Do you have questions? Get your answers by emailing glasshalffull@orlandomagic.com.


Posted by Glass Half Full, Monday, June 27, 2011, 3 PM

World According To Darrell

You have to love this quote from former Magic man, now Dallas Mavericks assistant coach Darrell Armstrong. It speaks volumes.

“Everybody’s got talent; everybody knows how to play when you’re in the NBA,” Darrell Armstrong said. “But everybody’s not going to play hard every night. So that’s what we did. We played hard. We played with our hearts, we played with our hustle, and it came out to be the heart and hustle that many fans around here still love.”

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Monday, June 20, 2011, 11 AM

Magic Among Elite

Power Poll

Sean Deveney of The Sporting News recently came out with his NBA Power Poll for 2011-12. The Magic, as warranted, are very much in the mix. His rankings below, and feel free to discuss on the Magic Message Boards.

1. MIAMI. This year’s Finals trip could be the first of many to come.

2. CHICAGO. Derrick Rose won the MVP, but the playoffs showed he needs work.

3. OKLAHOMA CITY. The Thunder hung tough and made it to the conference finals, a big step forward.

4. DALLAS. The Mavs aren’t getting any younger, but they’re still deep and talented.

5. L.A. LAKERS. Job No. 1 for Mike Brown is to make sure Kobe Bryant is on board.

6. ORLANDO. With Dwight Howard a free agent-to-be, it’s a pivotal year.

7. BOSTON. Doc Rivers returned because he thinks the Celtics have another run left.

8. MEMPHIS. The Grizzlies made their playoff run without Rudy Gay; they must reintegrate him.

9. SAN ANTONIO. The Spurs had a great regular-season record, but the playoff flop stings.

10. ATLANTA. The Hawks’ offensive alterations helped in the playoffs.

11. DENVER. Losing Carmelo Anthony turned out to be a boon.

12. PORTLAND. The emergence of LaMarcus Aldridge must carry over.

13. NEW YORK. The Knicks showed flashes, but they’ll need to be more consistent.

14. PHILADELPHIA. The Sixers made big improvements, but continuing that will be tough.

15. NEW ORLEANS. Chris Paul’s free agency will loom all season.

16. L.A. CLIPPERS. Blake Griffin’s rookie year was a treat. Now they’ve got to win.

17. GOLDEN STATE. Mark Jackson is thinking playoffs—the Warriors have made it there once in the past 17 years.

18. MILWAUKEE. If Andrew Bogut is healthy, a return to the playoffs is in sight.

19. PHOENIX. Adding Marcin Gortat changed the team on both ends of the floor.

20. INDIANA. The Pacers have cap space. If they spend it well, they’ll move up.

21. HOUSTON. Kevin McHale will need to nudge the team’s youngsters to their potential.

22. UTAH. No Jerry Sloan, no Deron Williams—this will be a different kind of year.

23. CHARLOTTE. The Bobcats should compete for a low playoff spot.

24. DETROIT. At the very least, next year won’t be as dramatic.

25. NEW JERSEY. The Nets will try to persuade Deron Williams to stay as they head to Brooklyn in 2012.

26. WASHINGTON. Another good draft pick and another year of development.

27. CLEVELAND. The Cavs will pull together as much youth as they can get.

28. TORONTO. Defense, DeMar DeRozan and Ed Davis are the keys to the future.

29. SACRAMENTO. With the team still eyeing a move, it’ll be a volatile year.

30. MINNESOTA. What now seems like a perpetual rebuilding must translate into improvement.

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, June 17, 2011, 11 AM

Turn the Page

Orlando GM Otis Smith regularly distributes books to Magic players and members of the traveling support staff. This got Glass Half Full to thinking; So, what is Magic leadership reading this summer? Here's a snap shot complete with book reviews from Amazon.com.

President Alex Martins, "Harvests of Joy" by Robert Mondavi

Amazon.com review:

Wine is Robert Mondavi's business, but it is also his life. The founder of the Robert Mondavi Winery in Napa Valley, now in his mid-80s, tells the story of his business and his life, laying out the lessons he learned in each, with writer Paul Chutkow.

Beginning with the legendary fallout in the 1960s with his younger brother and the rest of his family over the direction of the family-owned Charles Krug Winery, Mondavi describes how, at the age of 52, he started the Mondavi Winery, with the vision of making his wines, and those of all California wineries, equal in reputation to France's. The way Mondavi tells it, he almost single-handedly built up not only his business, but also the reputation of Napa Valley as a tourist destination, and of wine as a source of good health. He emphasizes his vision, drive, perfectionism, willingness to innovate, and work ethic, attributing many of his values to his immigrant Italian parents.

But Mondavi acknowledges that there were many sour grapes, some of his own sowing: the fallout with his brother that led to a multimillion dollar court settlement, the breakup of his 40-year marriage, the friction between him and his two sons over the winery, and the financial crisis after the company went public in 1993. Now, happily remarried, relations improved with his sons, and the business a successful global corporation, Mondavi sums up his life's lessons: "What you need is common sense, a commitment to hard work and the courage to go your own way." He also highlights 15 basic components of his philosophy of success, such as having confidence in yourself and always staying positive. He writes, "Out of all the rigidities and mistakes of my past, I've learned one final lesson, and I'd like to see it engraved on the desk of every business leader, teacher, and parent in America: The greatest leaders don't rule. They inspire."

President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Otis Smith,"The Noticer" by Andy Andrews.

Amazon.com review:

A new story of common wisdom from the bestselling author of The Traveler's Gift.

Orange Beach, Alabama is a simple town filled with simple people. But like all humans on the planet, the good folks of Orange Beach have their share of problems - marriages teetering on the brink of divorce, young adults giving up on life, business people on the verge of bankruptcy, as well as the many other obstacles that life seems to dish out to the masses.

Fortunately, when things look the darkest - a mysterious man named Jones has a miraculous way of showing up. An elderly man with white hair, of indiscriminate age and race, wearing blue jeans, a white T-shirt and leather flip flops carrying a battered old suitcase, Jones is a unique soul. Communicating what he calls "a little perspective," Jones explains that he has been given a gift of noticing things that others miss. "Your time on this earth is a gift to be used wisely," he says. "Don't squander your words or your thoughts. Consider even the simplest action you take, for your lives matter beyond measure…and they matter forever."

Jones speaks to that part in everyone that is yearning to understand why things happen and what we can do about it.

Like The Traveler's Gift, The Noticer is a unique narrative is a blend of fiction, allegory, and inspiration. Gifted storyteller Andy Andrews helps us see how becoming a "noticer" just might change a person's life forever.

Head Coach Stan Van Gundy, s"Mindset" by Carol Dweck

Amazon.com review:

Mindset is "an established set of attitudes held by someone," says the Oxford American Dictionary. It turns out, however, that a set of attitudes needn't be so set, according to Dweck, professor of psychology at Stanford. Dweck proposes that everyone has either a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. A fixed mindset is one in which you view your talents and abilities as... well, fixed. In other words, you are who you are, your intelligence and talents are fixed, and your fate is to go through life avoiding challenge and failure. A growth mindset, on the other hand, is one in which you see yourself as fluid, a work in progress. Your fate is one of growth and opportunity. Which mindset do you possess? Dweck provides a checklist to assess yourself and shows how a particular mindset can affect all areas of your life, from business to sports and love. The good news, says Dweck, is that mindsets are not set: at any time, you can learn to use a growth mindset to achieve success and happiness. This is a serious, practical book. Dweck's overall assertion that rigid thinking benefits no one, least of all yourself, and that a change of mind is always possible, is welcome. Advance praise for Mindset “A good book is one whose advice you believe. A great book is one whose advice you follow. I have found Carol Dweck’s work on mindsets invaluable in my own life, and even life-changing in my attitudes toward the challenges that, over the years, become more demanding rather than less. This is a book that can change your life, as its ideas have changed mine.” –Robert J. Sternberg, IBM Professor of Education and Psychology at Yale University, director of the PACE Center of Yale University, and author of Successful Intelligence.

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Wednesday, June 15, 2011, 4 PM

Summer Reading Project - Entry 1

Welcome To Glass Half Full’s “Summer Reading Project”. On occasion, Glass Half Full will feature parts of or complete stories which are must reads. Some will be funny and entertaining (see below), some informative, and some will make you think. Our first effort comes via Royce Young of cbssports eye-on-basketball blog and highlights the ever-entertaining Charles Barkley. Of note, some entries will be Glass Half Full and some closer to the edge.


Another day, another chance for Charles Barkley to talk about the Miami Heat. To recap so far:

  • He's hammered on LeBron for The Decision all year.
  • He made fun of the welcome party.
  • He called them a "whiny bunch" twice.
  • He flipped off a group of Heat fans.
  • He told Heat fans he's got a better life than them because, I'm paraphrasing, "they all work at McDonald's."
  • That's just some of it. Barkley hasn't taken the Heat lightly at all this year so with them falling short in the NBA Finals, Barkley has gone on basically every radio show that's asked him and ripped on them a little more while they're down.


First up, LeBron's comments saying about his critics, "At the end of the day they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today."

As he told WIP Philadelphia with Howard Eskin and Ike Reese:
"I do feel bad. I tell you LeBron is a good guy who said some stupid stuff. He is a good dude and he is going to get crucified. He deserves some of it. He does deserve some of it, but I do feel bad because he is going to get crucified. He’s a good dude who says stupid things sometimes. He shouldn’t have said to the public.”

The host then said, "His comments demean 99 percent of his fans that don’t have the kind of money that he has?" Barkley's response:

“Listen, LeBron is a really good dude who has not made a bunch of very good of statements in the last year. The thing that has really bothered me about this team is they would never admit they made any mistakes. Dwyane [Wade] is a great guy and LeBron [James] is a great guy, but they actually don’t think they’ve done anything wrong. That’s what makes me laugh about this whole scenario.”

Barkley does a pretty good job of not taking on that question directly because if he had and subsequently ripped LeBron for it, well, he would've been quite the double-talker. Because he said virtually the EXACT same thing with his McDonald's comment. Barkley's line about LeBron can really be applied to himself as well. He's a good dude who says stupid things sometimes. Heck, that kinds of describes most of us, myself included.

Barkley was then asked about LeBron's tweet that said, "The Greater Man upstairs knows when it's my time. Right now isn't the time." “God is a Dallas Mavericks fan! Howard, I hate that. I hate that more than anything in the world because the notion that God has a favorite team. I think that is one of the most…I hate when guys say that. You thank the Lord for having great health, but the notion that the Lord likes one team better than the other. I hate when guys say that. That’s just stupid."

Yeah, that's not at all what LeBron meant. The guy can't catch a break for anything. Kevin Durant has said almost the exact same things and people just go awwwwwww. LeBron lives in a different world, but people have taken that tweet and slayed him for it.

Host: Isn't that another way to not take responsibility?

"Yeah no question. I wish LeBron…I wish he would say ‘Hey you know what congratulations to the Dallas Mavericks. They played fantastic. Congratulations. We had a good season, but we got to get better and I got to play better.’ That would have been the perfect tweet. You congratulate the Mavs and you say ‘You know what? We had a good season. We had a good season, not a great season, but I’ve got to get better.’ I was doing an interview earlier today and the guy said ‘What would you tell LeBron James?’

I said tell him to get his ass down in the post and learn to post up because right now I’m not even sure what position he plays. Let’s take away all this noise going on. As a basketball player I’m like for a guy that big and that strong to be standing out there and jacking up jumpers all night. It’s like ‘Dude take your big strong ass down on the box and post up!’ He would get ‘X’ amount of points on the fast break finishing, but he’s got to learn how to post up. He’s a big ole’ strong boy like every time he shoots a jumper the defense is like ‘Thank you lord. Thank you for making him shoot a jumper because I don’t want that big coming at me full speed.’"

That's just a taste of Barkley's thoughts on the Heat. And I'm sure it won't be his last word either.

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Tuesday, June 14, 2011, 8 AM

Quoting Otis & Dwight

Glass Half Full feels Orlando Magic President of Basketball Ops Otis Smith awesomely summarized Dwight Howard when he told the Orlando Sentinel:

"I think free agency is a basketball player's God-given right. It's one of the things they bargained for, so I expected him to look at all of his options and become a free agent if that's what he's going to choose.

"My job going into every season and offseason is to make our team better and give ourselves the best chance there is to win an NBA title. The problem is, after you get ousted in the first round, you're expected to have a knee-jerk reaction and make wholesale changes.

"The fact of the matter is, we made wholesale changes during the season. A lot of those changes — I wouldn't say they didn't work — I just think that you have to allow chemistry sometimes to jell, the things the fans may take for granted. So every year going into the offseason our objective is to get our team better, and every year during the season and the offseason we've done that. So I don't have any bones about trying to get better. That's what we do."

Said Howard to NBA.com:

"There's no other place I'd rather be besides Orlando. As of right now, that's my home. I just want to stay in Orlando as long as I can. That's the truth. This is how I really feel in my heart. A lot of people want to see me go other places, but I want to stay in Orlando. I have a beautiful home there. There are beautiful people down there. My son is in Orlando. He's getting a lot older and I want to be there to see as many moments as I can of his life."

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, June 10, 2011, 8 AM

One Superstar Team

From time to time Glass Half Full lets others take over his space. Here is Orlando Sentinel Mike Bianchi’s recent column on how the Dallas Mavericks show how a one-superstar team can compete for a title.

“The Mavericks, even if they don't end up beating the Miami Heat for the NBA title, have at least proven you can compete for a championship with one superstar and a supporting cast of smart, effective and efficient role players. And if the Mavericks can do it then why not the Magic?

"While having more than one star is the most accepted and recognized way to win a championship, there are other models," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy points out. "Dallas has shown you don't need multiple superstars to contend for a championship. You certainly need a lot of very good players, playing well, playing together and defending."

Dallas should be an inspiration to every Magic fan and motivation to every Magic player. The Mavericks have Dirk; the Magic have Dwight. The Mavericks have one superstar; the Magic not only have one superstar; they have one Superman.

But when you go down the rest of the roster, are the Mavericks really any more talented than the Magic? Is Jason Kidd, at age 97, really any better than Jameer Nelson? Is a 33-year-old Shawn Marion any better or more athletic than Hedo Turkoglu? Is the Mavericks' Jason (Terry) any more of an offensive threat than the Magic's Jason (Richardson)?

The point is this: When you look at the Mavericks roster, it doesn't captivate you; you aren't enthralled by it; you don't think to yourself, 'Wow, now THAT'S a championship team!' In fact, when I look at the Mavs, I say to myself, "Why are they any better than the Magic?" Sometimes, you don't have to have the best collection of players as long as you have the right mix of players.

"The Magic aren't chopped liver," says NBA Hall-of-Famer Rick Barry. "They have talent just like Dallas has talent. They have some nice pieces. Jameer Nelson is a good player, Hedo Turkoglu is a good player. Jason Richardson is a good player. But they have to start playing their roles better, moving the ball better, playing better defense. That's not talent; that's execution."

There seems to be this notion that the Magic absolutely have to have at least two superstars to compete for a championship. Ever since the Magic were ousted by the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the playoffs, the common refrain has been that general manager Otis Smith must pair Dwight with Chris Paul or some other franchise player or the Magic are done.

Dallas has blown holes in this doomsday scenario. Many of us nattering nabobs of negativity have noted that the Magic are regressing as a franchise after making it to the Finals two years ago and losing in the first round this year. Well, guess what? Dallas lost in the Finals in 2006 and then got bounced in the first round three of the next four seasons.

But the Mavs kept plugging away, adding a piece here, making a tweak there. Like the Mavericks, the Magic have solid and stable owners who are willing to spend money to improve the team. And like the Mavericks, the Magic have a superstar who says he wants to win a championship where he's at; not somewhere else.

Unlike LeBron, Dirk has let it be known that he would find it much more satisfying to build a championship team in Dallas rather than go pair up with other superstars and buy a championship elsewhere.

And while Van Gundy acknowledges that it is going to be incredibly tough to compete with the Heat in the years to come, he says Dallas has shown that it can be done.

"Regardless of the outcome of the Finals this year, the Heat will be and should be the overwhelming favorite next year," Van Gundy points out. "That does not mean other teams won't be right there competing with them for the championship, and I expect us to be one of those teams."

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Tuesday, May 3, 2011, 2 PM

Dwight's Blog

Dwight Howard takes over Glass Half Full today. Here is his blog from DwightHoward.com

"Heeeeeeeeeyyyyyyyyyyyyy wwwwwwooooooooorrrrrrrrrrllllllldddddd!!!

Well, I don’t know about you guys out there, but I’m nowhere near over losing that playoff series to the Hawks. It’s going to take me a long, long time to get over losing in the first round. I really thought we had the kind of team to do something special in the playoffs and I went in with really high hopes, but I guess it just wasn’t meant to be. That doesn’t make it any easier to take and it’ll be much later this summer before I can stop thinking about losing to the Hawks.

To tell you the truth, I could care less about even watching the playoffs now. I hardly even watched any of the games this weekend because it’s just too painful to think about us being done for the year. It was that way last year when we lost to the Celtics in the East Finals. I didn’t even watch the Finals with the Lakers and Celtics at all. It just killed me thinking about how we should have still been playing.

I think the thing that bothers me the most is that we didn’t play hard consistently against the Hawks. We didn’t play hard every night the way that the Hawks did. We talked about it all year and it showed in the playoffs. That’s why we’re done. It’s not about making shots or missing free throws. The team that won this series played harder, and that’s why the Hawks are moving on and we’re not.

The year we went to the Finals we played harder than everybody else. We weren’t the best team or the most talented team in the NBA, but we played hard. But we could never get that every night against Atlanta. We were always falling way behind and having to play catch up. You just can’t win big series like that.

People started asking me about my contract right after we lost even though I have a contract through next season. It’s not like I was thinking about that stuff right away, and really my answer is going to be the same next season: I’m a member of the Magic, I love the Magic and I’m just focused on trying to bring a title to the city of Orlando.

Magic fans in Orlando and everywhere else deserve a championship. Our fans have been so faithful and have always supported everything that I have done in my seven years in the league, and I’d love nothing more than to get this thing right and bring a championship to Orlando next season.

I want to thank the people out there who have created some websites trying to keep me in Orlando. That means a lot to me seeing that outpouring of love. I’ll never be able to thank each and every one of you Magic fans out there, but your cheers and support keep me driving and pushing to better myself so we can win a title here.

My plans are to get better this summer. I worked extremely hard last summer, making 1,000 shots a day and living in the weight room. All season, I could see how much that hard work paid off with the growth in my game. Now, I’m going to work even harder because I want to be the best player in the game and I want my team in a position to play for a championship next spring.

I also want to thank everybody out there for growing their beards out late in the season. I was amazed how quickly “Fear the Beard” caught on in Orlando and it just goes to show you how passionate Magic fans are when it comes to supporting their team. I was hoping that we’d keep winning in the playoffs and my whiskers would get sooooo long, but it didn’t happen. I’ve got to admit to you guys that I had my barber clean my face up that very next day after we lost to the Hawks because I just didn’t feel right with whiskers all over my face. I did keep my goatee for now, but truthfully I prefer keeping my baby face!!!

Well, I have another busy summer ahead of me travelling all over the globe. But regardless of where I am, I will be hard at work on my game – believe that!!! I’m going to do whatever I can this summer to make sure that we’re never at home again after the first round of the playoffs. It’s a sick feeling being out of it already, and I’m going to use this feeling to drive me all summer to get better.

Well, I’m out of here for now. Hang in there Magic fans. The pain of losing will fade eventually and we’ll make another run again. Things will get better in the future, I promise you that!!! Yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!

DWIGHT

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, April 29, 2011, 11 AM

Dwight Talk

Here's the elephant in the room right from the horse's mouth.

Said Dwight Howard following Orlando's heartbreaking season finale:

``(The 2012 free agency) has nothing to do with right now. There’s no need for me to comment on it, talk about it or bring it up. Right now, I’m going to figure out how I’m going to make myself better for next season and not what team I want to play for. Right now, I’m with the Magic, so all of the speculation should stop. There’s no need to talk about it."

Howard continued.

``It’s going to get better and just keep believing. I’m going to keep making Orlando one of the best places to play. I’ll do whatever I can to lead my city. I love Orlando, so I’ll do as much as I can. I put in a lot of hard work (last) offseason and I’m going to continue to do that. Our fans deserve a championship and I’m just going to keep fighting. That’s all I can do is keep fighting.’’

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Wednesday, April 27, 2011, 11 AM

Defending Dwight

Here's an amazing stat to digest.

Dwight Howard was fouled a league-most 765 times this past season, 150 more times than Blake Griffin who finished second in that ranking.

And none were flagrant fouls.

The pattern has continued in the playoffs, as once again Dwight leads the league in times fouled (63).

And despite the fact Atlanta is trying to push, shove, hit, frustrate him, none have been deemed excessive. Nothing not playing the the ball, nada above the neck.

Really?

Head coach Stan Van Gundy likened what Dwight goes through to running on a treadmill for 40-plus minutes and every three minutes or so get whacked in the head. And, by the way, you can't react, retaliate, or say anything back.

That's essentially what Superman gets on a nightly basis.

Now, Glass Half Full is not a whiner, and apparently Dwight will have to continue to just play through it, but can you imagine what would happen if any of the league's perimeter stars (i.e. LeBron, Dwyane, Kobe, Derrick Rose) were pounded like that?

Most Times Fouled, 2011 Postseason  

Dwight Howard, Orl: 63
Dirk Nowitzki, Dal: 37
Chris Paul, NO: 35
Derrick Rose, Chi: 34
LeBron James, Mia: 29  

Most Times Fouled - 2010-11 Regular Season

Dwight Howard 765
Blake Griffin 615

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Tuesday, April 26, 2011, 11 AM

Three-Point Play

1) With 29 points on Sunday, Dwight Howard raised his career postseason average to an even 20.0 per game. He, Wilt Chamberlain and Bob Pettit are the only players to average 14 rebounds per game in the playoffs while boasting a scoring average of 20-plus.

Most Career RPG, Players Averaging 20+ PPG, Postseason


Player
PPG
RPG
Wilt Chamberlain 22.5 24.5
Bob Pettit 25.5 14.8
Dwight Howard 20.0 (1100/55) 14.5 (795/55)
Moses Malone 22.1 13.8


2) Jameer Nelson returns home, where his offense has come in points instead of assists.

Jameer Nelson Home/Road, 2011 Postseason


PPG
FG%
APG
Home 20.0 (40/2) .424 (14-33) 1.5 (3/2)
Road 9.5 (19/2) .276 (8-29) 8.0 (16/2)


3) Gilbert Arenas provided a glimmer of hope by scoring 20 off the bench on Sunday. He’s actually tended to perform better in Magic wins.

Gilbert Arenas in Wins & Losses w/Magic (incl. postseason)


PPG
3P%
+/-
In Wins 8.7 (269/31) .331 (40-121) +148
In Losses 7.2 (151/21) .179 (12-67) -58


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Posted by Glass Half Full, Monday, April 25, 2011, 2 PM

Overcoming 3-1 Series Deficit

Here's the list to re-fill your glass.

Teams Overcoming 3-1 Deficit to Win Series

YEAR TEAM OPPONENT PLAYOFF ROUND
1968 Boston Celtics Philadelphia 76ers Eastern Division finals
1970 L.A. Lakers Phoenix Suns Western Division semifinals
1979 Washington Bullets San Antonio Spurs Eastern Conf. finals
1981 Boston Celtics Philadelphia 76ers Eastern Conf. finals
1995 Houston Rockets Phoenix Suns Western Conf. semifinals
1997 Miami Heat New York Knicks Eastern Conf. semifinals
2003 Detroit Pistons Orlando Magic Eastern Conf. first round
2006 Phoenix Suns L.A. Lakers Western Conf. first round



The 1968 Celtics and 1995 Rockets are the only teams on the above list who didn’t have home-court advantage in the series and still overcame a 3-1 deficit.

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, April 22, 2011, 2 PM

Three-Point Play

A little fun with history in today's Glass Half Full Three Point Play

1) All-Time, when a Best-of-7 series is tied 1-1, the team that wins Game 3 has gone on to win that series 133 out of 175 times (.760).

2) The Hawks have lost eight straight Game 3s when tied 1-1 in a best-of-7 series.

3) Dwight and Jameer

Dwight Howard is averaging 19.0 rebounds in this series. Since his first postseason appearance in 2006-07, no one has pulled down more rebounds in postseason play.

Most Rebounds in Postseason Games – Since 2006-07


Player
#
Dwight Howard 763
Pau Gasol 710
Lamar Odom 690
Tim Duncan 638
Carlos Boozer 585


Jameer Nelson has shot the ball very well in his last three games in Atlanta.

Jameer Nelson in Last 3 Road Games vs. Hawks (includes postseason)


AVG
PPG 18.0 (54/3)
APG 5.7 (17/3)
FG Pct .564 (22/39)
3-pt Pct .333 (4/12)


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Posted by Glass Half Full, Wednesday, April 20, 2011, 2:30 PM

More Howard Heroics

After pouring in a playoff career-high 46 points in Game #1, Dwight Howard tallied 33 points and 19 rebounds in Game #2 vs. Atlanta on Apr. 19, while playing all 48 minutes (became only the third player in Magic postseason history to do so)…Through the first two playoff games, Howard tallied 79 points and 38 rebounds…According to Elias, only one other player in NBA Playoff history has ever amassed as many points and rebounds during his first two games of a given postseason – Elgin Baylor had 89 points and 39 rebounds with the L.A. Lakers in their first two postseason outings in 1961.   Howard also became just the fourth player since the NBA/ABA merger in 1976-77 to tally 75+ points and 35+ rebounds in back-to-back playoff games…here’s a look at that short list:

Player
75+ PTS AND 35+ REBS IN CONSEC. PLAYOFF GAMES
Dwight Howard Apr. 16-19, 2011
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Three times
Hakeem Olajuwon Three times
Shaquille O’Neal Three times


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Posted by Glass Half Full, Tuesday, April 19, 2011, 2:30 PM

Who left Dwight off their DPOY Ballot?

Sometimes the glass isn’t half full.

Case in point, one voter actually left Dwight Howard off their Defensive Player of the Year ballot. How is that possible?

Howard received 114 first place votes from the 120 sportswriters and broadcasters voting on the award, and five second place votes. He amassed 585 points, as first-place votes are worth five points each, second-place votes three points and third-place votes one point. The runner-up, Kevin Garnett, had 77 points.

It’s a real head scratcher how one voter didn’t think Dwight was among the top three defenders in the league.

Perhaps as entertaining are the comments made by Laker’s forward Ron Artest yesterday. Said the unique self-proclaimed minister of defense, “Dwight is a pretty good pick. I probably would’ve gotten it three years in a row too. I got one year, got suspended the next year and one year I left Indiana. I got in trouble one year, but I could’ve gotten it three or four times. I’m not really worried about it. Those coaches know why they put me in screen and rolls. They don’t want me to run too many isos with their best players. That’s why a lot of coaches don’t have jobs and a lot of coaches will be fired.”

He continued, “I would love to get back to first-team All-Defense. I own defense. It’s like my corporation. I’m the CEO and everyone is just an employee. The fans and players know I belong. When you need a stop, who you going to call? Not goddamn Ghostbusters. I’ll tell you. You call me.”

Nice to know Artest is the CEO of defense.

OK, time to fill-up the glass again.

Look for the Defensive Player of the Year trophy to reside in Orlando for many years to come.

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Saturday, April 16, 2011, 9:30 AM

Three-Point Play

1) Dwight Howard has led the league in rebounds per game over the last three postseasons.

Most Rebounds per Game, Postseason, Since 2007-08


Player
Rbs
Dwight Howard 14.2 (666/47)
Joakim Noah 13.1
Carlos Boozer 12.8
Tim Duncan 12.1
Marcus Camby 11.3


2) The Magic have defended Joe Johnson much more effectively over the last three seasons.

Joe Johnson vs. Magic, 2004-05 – 2007-08 vs. Since 2008-09 (Regular & Postseason)


2004-05 – 2007-08
Since 2008-09
FG% 51.4% 38.0%
3P% 45.5% 28.3%
FTA/G 5.0 4.0
APG 5.9 4.3
Points/Gm 25.2 16.3


3) The Magic have usually won when Hedo Turkoglu distributes the ball, and lost when he hasn’t.

Magic, Record when Turkoglu has 5+ Assists, Postseason, Since 2007-08


Turkoglu Records 5+ Assists: 12-4
Turkoglu Records Less Than 5 Assists: 6-16

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, April 15, 2011, 2:30 PM

Noting the Magic and Hawks

* The Orlando-Atlanta regular season series was relatively low-scoring, with the Magic averaging 82.5 points per game and the Hawks 86.5 ppg.

* In each of the last two seasons, Atlanta has won its first-round series in seven games, only to get swept in its second-round series.

* The Magic have held opponents to less than 100 points in 16 straight postseason games.

* The Hawks enter the postseason on a six-game losing streak, allowing opponents to shoot 51.9 percent during this skid.

* After losing its previous six first-round playoff series, Orlando has now won its last three.

* In last year’s first-round series against the Bucks, Joe Johnson 20.9 points and 5.7 assists per game. Those averages fell off to 12.8 ppg and 3.8 apg in the second-round series against Orlando.

* Dwight Howard averaged 14.1 rebounds per game this season. His 14.2 postseason career rebounding average ranks sixth all-time (min. 50 playoff games)

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Wednesday, April 13, 2011, 9:30 AM

Three-Point Play

1) The Magic have won 32 games this season by double digits.

Most Double-Digit Wins – 2010-11


Team
#
Miami Heat 34
Orlando Magic 32
San Antonio Spurs 32
Chicago Bulls 31
Los Angeles Lakers 30


2) Jameer Nelson averaged only 9.5 points per game in January, but has increased his scoring average every month since then.

Jammer Nelson, PPG by Month, 2011


Month
Points
January 9.5 (152/16)
February 12.3 (135/11)
March 14.8 (207/14)
April 17.8 (107/6)


3) Players Leading Team in Scoring Each of Last 4 Seasons

Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
Danny Granger, Indiana Pacers
Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic
LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers/Miami Heat
Al Jefferson, Minnesota Timberwolves/Utah Jazz
Joe Johnson, Atlanta Hawks
Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks

Howard’s streak of leading the Magic extends back six seasons, making him one of five players leading his team in scoring in each of last six seasons (Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Joe Johnson and Dirk Nowitzki are the others).

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Tuesday, April 12, 2011, 10:30 AM

First Round Keys

Here are your early Glass Half Full, Orlando Magic NBA Playoff First Round keys vs. the Atlanta Hawks

Offensively the Magic will need to:

- Attack to score easy baskets in transition. Your Magic have been great when pushing the tempo and getting out and running.

- Play inside-out. Always a Magic must, Orlando will use Superman center Dwight Howard to put its offense in motion.

- Take care of ball. Because of Atlanta's length and athleticism in multiple positions, the Magic must guard against turnovers piling up.

Defensively the Magic will need to:

- Be great in transition defense in order to limit Atlanta's fast break opportunities.

- Rebound, rebound, rebound. Orlando will need to hit the glass in order to limit second chance points.

- Play solid individual on-the-ball defense and limit drives to rim.

An X-factor:

- Orlando's bench needs to be productive.

There you have it, the GHF keys to the first round. Blue and White Ignite.

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, April 8, 2011, 3:30 PM

Historic Howard

DWIGHT HOWARD IS NEARING HISTORIC COMPANY

Dwight Howard is averaging 23.1 ppg. and 14.1 rpg. this season. If he ends the season with similar totals, Howard would become the first player since Hakeem Olajuwon in 1989-90 to average 23+ ppg. and 14+ rpg., and just the sixth player since 1974-75. Below is the very select company Howard is trying to join:

PLAYER
SEASON AVERAGING 23+ PPG. AND 14+ RPG.
DWIGHT HOWARD 23.1 ppg., 14.1 rpg. (3 games remaining)
Hakeem Olajwuon 1989-90
Charles Barkley 1986-87
Moses Malone 1978-79, 1979-80, 1980-81, 1981-82, 1982-83
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 1974-75, 1975-76
Bob McAdoo 1974-75


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Posted by Glass Half Full, Wednesday, April 6, 2011, 9:48 AM

Three-Point Play

1) The Magic are coming off a game in which they held the Bucks to just 36.0 percent shooting from the field.

Most Games Holding Opponents Below 40 Pct from Field, 2010-11


Team
#
Chicago Bulls 21
Orlando Magic 20
Boston Celtics 20
Miami Heat 19
Milwaukee Bucks 18


2) Dwight Howard has certainly pulled down his share of rebounds against the Bobcats over the last seven seasons.

Most Rebounds by One Player vs. One Opponent, Since 2004-05


Opponent
Reb
Charlotte Bobcats 396
Atlanta Hawks 395
Miami Heat 350
Washington Wizards 336
New York Knicks 332


3) Over his last seven games, Ryan Anderson has scored the majority of his points behind the arc.

Ryan Anderson, Points Scored, Last 7 Games


On FTM 5
On 2-Point FGM 6
On 3-Point FGM 42


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Posted by Glass Half Full, Tuesday, April 5, 2011, 10:48 AM

Three-Point Play

1) Dwight Howard leads the league in 20-point/10-rebound games.

Most Games With 20+ Points & 10+ Rebounds, NBA 2010-11


Player
#
Dwight Howard 47
Blake Griffin 45
Kevin Love 40
Zach Randolph 35
LaMarcus Aldridge 23


2) Dwight Howard and Andrew Bogut are triple-threats with their scoring, rebounding and shot-blocking abilities.

Players Avg 13 Pts, 10 Reb and 2 Blocks, NBA Since 2007-08 (Minimum 200 Games)


Player
Pts
Reb
Blk
Dwight Howard 20.6 13.8 2.6
Andrew Bogut 14.1 10.3 2.1


3) Since the All-Star break, Brandon Bass has shown a rare combo of efficiency from the field and at the foul line.

Players Shooting 55.0 FG% & 80.0% FT%, NBA Since All-Star Break (Minimum 15 Games)


Player
FG%
FT%
Tony Allen .558 .811
Brandon Bass .557 .806
Josh McRoberts .556 .809


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Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, April 3, 2011, 9:30 AM

Hollinger's Story on MVP Race

Today, ESPN NBA guru John Hollinger takes over Glass Half Full. check it out.

Truth about the Derrick Rose story

By John Hollinger
ESPN.com

The Bulls' Derrick Rose and the Magic's Dwight Howard have both had MVP-worthy seasons.

What bothers me so much about this year's MVP coronation of "The Derrick Rose Story" is not so much that it's a mistake -- we've had bad award votes before and will have them again -- but that it's the same mistake, for the fifth time in 11 years.

This is an inherent risk in the MVP selection process. When you ask people whose life's work is to seek out and tell great stories to vote on this award, we shouldn't be surprised when they turn out to vote for the best story rather than the player who is most valuable.

Guards especially make for great stories, because they're natural underdogs. Height, obviously, is a huge factor in this game, so we're completely fascinated when smaller players can play at a high level. Generally, what they do is a lot more captivating than watching a 7-footer methodically dunk on people's heads, even if the latter is a much more effective way to win basketball games. We don't like rooting for Goliath.

Put a guard on a "surprise" team and the impact doubles. Everyone looks for The Cause, and all roads lead back to the guard. Jab in an IV and let the confirmation bias flow through your veins, and soon even the negative plays become proof ("Look at the shot he almost made!"). This usually happens only with perimeter players, by the way. A miss on a double-clutching drive after a sweet crossover can be spectacular, in a way that a missed jump hook simply cannot.

A brief history of Voting the Story

As a result of all our fun with guards and their compelling stories, the three dominant big men of the past decade -- Shaquille O'Neal, Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan -- were shafted out of three MVP awards and nearly a fourth. Ask how this happened and you'll get a lot of embarrassed shrugging, and yet we're headed down that same path again.

So we'll end up with "The Derrick Rose Story" as this year's MVP -- just as we ended up with Allen Iverson winning in 2001, and Steve Nash in 2005 and 2006, and Jason Kidd's second-place finish in 2002 (which I include here because we only narrowly averted the greatest award travesty in league history, when one of the greatest players of all time had the best season of his career and nearly lost the award to a guy who shot 39.1 percent).

And make no mistake, the voters are pulling the lever for the story, and not the player.

How do we know that? Actually, we can prove it. Even if we presume that the stats somehow didn't adequately capture the value of Iverson, Kidd or Nash, we have a smoking gun that the vote was for the story and not the player.

Believe it or not, the voters told us. Actions speak louder than words, and their ballots in other seasons are Bose speakers blaring out that they voted for the story.

Neither Nash, Iverson nor Kidd had their best seasons the year they won (or nearly won, in Kidd's case). In fact, each had a dramatically stronger case in other seasons. What they lacked was the storyline.

Check out the evidence:

• Kidd is the most egregious example. In 2001-02, he almost won the award, receiving 45 first-place votes. The next season, the Nets traded two starters for a declining Dikembe Mutombo but made it back to the 2003 Finals anyway because Kidd had by far the best season of his career; compared to his first year in New Jersey, he added four points to his scoring average, shot better and took on a dramatically larger offensive role. If Kidd was the real MVP in 2001-02 (on a huge number of ballots), and the stats were somehow missing that, then surely he was even more valuable in 2002-03 and should have cruised to the trophy.

You know how many first-place MVP votes Kidd got in 2003? Bupkus. Zilch. Zippo. Kidd had only 31 total points, for a ninth-place finish that put him right behind Detroit's Ben Wallace. If people weren't voting for the story in 2002, as opposed to the player, explain that one.

• Nash is an equally strong example. As everyone knows, he won the MVP in 2005, sporting a player efficiency rating of 22.04 while joining with a dominant power forward to lead a 62-win team. What few people realize is that two years earlier, he had teamed up with a dominant power forward to win 60 games and tie for the best record in the West; he had a better PER that season (23.51) and played more minutes. For his efforts he received one fifth-place vote.

The difference between those seasons, obviously, was that in 2004-05 Nash was a great story, because he had just joined a 29-win team that surprisingly rose to first in the West. The 2002-03 Mavericks were already good, so his performance there was deemed a minor event.

• You can do this exercise with several other Nash seasons. For instance, Nash won the MVP with a PER of 23.29 in 2006, leading a 54-win team in the conference finals. In 2009-10, Nash had a PER of 21.25 and led a 54-win team to the conference finals. He finished eighth and didn't get a single first-place vote. Nash also finished a distant second behind Dirk Nowitzki the year he had his best statistical season, 2006-07, and won 61 games. Again, it sure seems like the story was the dividing factor between these seasons, and not the player.

• Iverson outperformed his MVP season in both 2004-05 and 2005-06; he had a comparable PER in more minutes in the former and a better PER in more minutes in the latter. He didn't come close to winning in either season, finishing fifth in 2005 and getting just a single fifth-place vote in 2006.

(Side note: If you don't like PER, you can use any other measures and get the same answers, which shouldn't be a surprise, since PER is essentially a summary of all the other statistical categories.) What's the explanation for this other than that the voters went for the best story instead of the best player? Did all three of these guys suddenly become crappier leaders or lose their clutch mojo in those other seasons?

No -- they just weren't hot stories.

The burden of proof

The same thing is going to happen this season with "The Derrick Rose Story."

Let me emphasize that Rose is indeed a very valuable player, and that what he and the Bulls have done this season is undeniably a great story. It does not, however, make him more valuable than every single other player in the entire league, and the evidence for this is abundantly clear to anyone who cares to look for it. Sorry, but if you want me to build the pedestal that high, I'm gonna need some more concrete for the foundation.

This part gets Rose fans terribly upset, but it's really basic: There is a glaring lack of evidence that he is as valuable as has been claimed. It's not just a question of one selected number or another not supporting his case. It's that none of the numbers do.

I'm not cherry-picking stats to support some covert Rose-hating agenda. I literally cannot find a single shred of data, anywhere, to support the idea that he's the most valuable player in the league.

Rose already has an uphill climb in any logical debate -- his status as the front-runner rests uneasily beside the fact that he'd be the fourth-best player in the state of Florida. This is where people point out that "Most Valuable" and "Best" aren't necessarily the same thing, and that's correct.

But it does shift the burden of proof. If you're going to tell me that Rose has been more valuable this season in spite of those facts, you better bring a hell of a lot more to the table than, "But watch him play!" (For the record, I've seen him in person four times this season and countless other games on the tube.)

Digging for proof

This always gets people screaming and yelling about those infernal statheads, as though it's some kind of horrible imposition to ask for actual hard evidence to back up an MVP vote.

"Nobody has carried a greater burden than Rose," it's been said, and in an extremely narrow sense that's almost true -- only Kobe Bryant has used more possessions. Carrying the burden well, on the other hand, hasn't been his strong suit, as his middling true shooting percentage attests. More obviously, there are greater burdens than handling the ball for 20 seconds on every trip. Dwight Howard, for instance, carries the burden of being his team's entire defense and absorbing vicious beatings on offense, but it's tough to package that in a highlight reel.

"Rose won without Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah," it's been said, and certainly the Bulls did just that. However, even when those players were out, the Bulls outscored opponents when Rose was off the court, suggesting they were far more than the one-man band that's been depicted. None of the Bulls' other players are big stars, and this throws people, but Chicago's depth and defensive ability have carried it this year.

And finally, there's the idea of his indispensability -- it's the "they're nothing without him" approach. If that's the case, the Bulls should perform much worse when he's off the court than they do. Certainly, it's the case with most other stars. The Heat are 10.49 points per 100 possessions worse without LeBron James this season; the Mavs, 16.68 points worse without Dirk Nowitzki; the Magic, 6.95 worse without Howard, and the Lakers, 6.20 worse without Bryant.

Rose's Bulls? They lose just 1.49 points per 100 possessions. When he's off the court, they still outscore opponents by 6.78 per 100, which roughly translates to a 55-win team.

Now, that first measure does understate Rose's impact, because he's played a lot of minutes with guys like Keith Bogans and Kurt Thomas. You can get more scientific by adjusting for the players Rose plays with and against, as basketballvalue.com does, and the difference becomes a more respectable 8.60. But that isn't the biggest difference in the league, or even close to it. Howard benefits from the same math -- Orlando is 12.36 points better per 100 possessions with him on the court after said adjustment.

Yes, these stats are notoriously noisy. But as I noted above, "The Derrick Rose Story" doesn't have compelling evidence to start with; this is another plank of non-support.

Other arguments similarly fall flat. "Look at Rose's impact on the Bulls' winning," you say. Well, Chicago has certainly won a ton, and they've done it with a suffocating defense that ranks first in the league.

Rose? He's arguably been the least important part of that equation. While I'd argue the stats undervalue his defensive improvement this season, it's a bit jarring to find out that the Bulls actually give up dramatically fewer points the second he exits the game.

As for the argument that Rose was the catalyst for the defense anyway, because of his buy-in to coach Tim Thibodeau's approach … I agree that was a necessary condition for Chicago's success. But has it really come to this? Are we really giving out an MVP trophy with "actually tried on defense for a change" as a key bullet point in the résumé?

If Rose is indispensable, however, we might also try to remove him from the Bulls entirely and see what happens. The equation everyone tries to make in their head is what I call the "bad backup" test, which holds that since Rose would be replaced by C.J. Watson while LeBron James would be replaced by Dwyane Wade, then Rose must be more valuable.

In this test, there's no reason to focus on just the team, however. A better version of this test will lead you directly to this year's true MVP:

Whom else in the league could you replace this player with?

That's really what we want to know, isn't it? If you could trade the player tomorrow and replace him with somebody just as good, it's hard to make a case that he's the single most valuable player in the league, right?

In Rose's case, it's pretty apparent that you could replace him with Russell Westbrook and suffer virtually no drop-off. They both use an equally large chunk of their team's possessions, and use them almost exactly the same way in terms of shot-pass decisions and spots on the floor. Rose shoots more jumpers and Westbrook takes more free throws, but by and large you'd get the same results.

Not a fan of Westbrook? Fine. You can try the same exercise with Nash, or Chris Paul, or Deron Williams, or even Wade, who despite being a 2 has a lot of similar attributes to Rose. One can argue for days whether Rose is a bit better than these players, and if so, by how much, but we're talking about small change here. And it's not just that there's one particular player you could replace Rose with and suffer only marginal decline; there are several such players.

Now, let's try the same exercise with another player.

Who could replace Dwight Howard?

Anyone?

[Taps foot]

Got a candidate in mind yet?

[Looks at watch]

No, I mean from this season, not 1995. Try again.

[Crickets chirping]

Still waiting …

The conclusion is obvious, isn't it?

Dwight Howard is the most irreplaceable player in the league.

This is the ultimate reason not to vote "The Derrick Rose Story" for MVP: Every argument put forward for him works better for somebody else, and in particular works better for Howard.

This last one is the most damning, however. Put Westbrook, Paul or Williams in for Rose and the Bulls might slip a couple of games. Might. Put any other player in Howard's position and the Magic immediately turn to sawdust. It's not just that he's second in the league in PER and seventh in adjusted plus-minus; it's that no other center can touch him in either category, and the one who is closest (Andrew Bynum) has played half as many minutes.

Unlike "The Derrick Rose Story," Howard's case has more than just raw emotion to support it. The Magic are third in the NBA in defensive efficiency -- ahead of Miami, Milwaukee, the Lakers and Dallas, among others -- even though nobody else in their top eight is even an average defensive player. An Orlando team that often plays Gilbert Arenas, Hedo Turkoglu and Ryan Anderson at the same time still gets elite defensive results because Howard so completely controls the paint behind them.

Offensively, Howard's fingerprints are everywhere, too -- not just with the dunks, but with the fouls he draws that put opponents in the bonus and hand his teammates easy freebies, and the clean 3-point looks that come without his ever touching the ball. It's not always pretty, but it's hugely valuable.

So why have the Magic not won more games than the Bulls? Because, to borrow everyone's favorite line about Rose, Howard has played the entire season without Boozer and Noah, and Luol Deng. Any of these three would be the second-best player on the Magic. Compare the benches and you'll get a similar laugh riot; the Bulls have arguably the league's best backup center, for instance, while the Magic don't even keep one on the roster.

Unfortunately, the momentum is probably too far gone at this point. We like great stories and we don't particularly enjoy rooting for Goliath, so "The Derrick Rose Story" will win the MVP trophy when it should probably finish sixth or seventh, and Howard will end up in the same shafted company as Shaq, Garnett and Duncan before him.

But let's not kid ourselves. In the end, this vote says a lot more about us than it does about either Rose or Howard.

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, April 1, 2011, 10:30 AM

Sweet 16 For Dwight Howard

Here’s a little Sweet 16 look at why Dwight Howard should be the MVP, never mind the fact he impacts more possessions, offensively and defensively, than any player in the league

1. As of Mar. 31, Dwight Howard, the NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week an NBA-high six times this season, ranks in the NBA’s top 10 in scoring, rebounding, blocked shots and FG percentage. If he finishes the season the same way, he would become just the 10th player in NBA history to finish in the top 10 in each of those categories, joining the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, Tim Duncan, Bob McAdoo, David Robinson, Bob Lanier, Artis Gilmore, Patrick Ewing and Hakeem Olajuwon.

2. On Mar. 1 vs. New York, Dwight Howard, at 25 years and 83 days old, became the youngest player in NBA history to amass 7,000 career rebounds. He passed Wilt Chamberlain, who was 26 years and 128 days old when he passed the 7,000 rebound plateau.

3. On Mar. 13 @ Phoenix, Dwight Howard, at 25 years and 95 days old, became the fifth-youngest player in NBA history to reach 10,000 career points.

4. Dwight Howard has now recorded at least 1,000 rebounds and 100 blocked shots in each of the last six seasons. Since blocked shots were officially tracked in 1973-74, only Moses Malone has done it more (seven seasons)U

5. On Nov. 18 vs. Phoenix, Orlando’s Dwight Howard played in his 500th career NBA regular season game. According to ESPN.com, Howard became one of only five players in NBA history since blocked shots became an official statistic in 1973-74 to record at least 6,000 rebounds and 1,000 blocked shots (6,310 rebounds/1,071 blocks) at his 500th career outing

6. Dwight Howard recorded a season-high eight blocked shots (Uincluding six in the third quarter, setting a new franchise record for blocks in a quarterU) on Nov. 3 vs. Minnesota. That marks the fourth time since the start of the 2008-09 season that Howard has recorded eight-or-more blocked shots in a gameU, including his career-high of 10 blocks on Nov. 12, 2008 @ Oklahoma City. UNo other player in the NBA has had multiple games of eight-or-more blocks during that same spanU. The team record for most blocks in a game is 15, set by Shaquille O’Neal on Nov. 20, 1993 @ New Jersey.

7. Since joining the Magic in 2004-05, Dwight Howard has recorded three-or-more blocks in a game 189 times (27 this season). Orlando is 132-57 (.698) in those outings, including 19-8 this season. The Magic are 194-178 (.522) when he blocks two-or-fewer shots.

8. Since 2006-07, Dwight Howard has recorded at least 10 rebounds and two blocked shots in the same game 231 times (including 48 times this season), by far the most in the NBA during that span. Taking it a step further, since 2008-09, Dwight Howard has recorded at least 15 rebounds and five blocked shots in the same game 22 times (six this season). The next closest players are Marcus Camby and Andrew Bogut with six each.

9. Dwight Howard consistently lives up to his nickname of “The Daily Double,” racking up a double-double nearly every time he hits the floor. Howard has 62 double-doubles this season (second in the NBA) and now has 410 double-doubles during his career (the most in the NBA since he entered the league in 2004-05)U. In 2009-10, he recorded 64 double-doubles, which led the NBA. Howard set the club record for most double-doubles in a season in 2007-08 with an NBA-best 69.

10. Dwight Howard has recorded a franchise-record 32 straight double-doubles (Jan. 21-present), averaging 24.6 ppg. and 15.7 rpg. (786 points, 501 rebounds). Howard broke his own team record for most consecutive games with a double-double. He had 20 consecutive double-doubles from Jan. 15-Feb. 26, 2010. Howard tallied at least 20+ points and 10+ rebounds in 11 straight games (Feb. 4-Mar. 1), the longest such streak of his NBA career and tied for the second-longest streak in the NBA during the last 10 seasons (Griffin, 14, 2010-11; Garnett, 11, 2002-03). Howard also recorded 30+ points and 10+ boards in four straight contests from Feb. 13-25, averaging 33.5 ppg. and 13.8 rpg. (134 points, 55 rebounds) during that span.

11. Dwight Howard has recorded a 20-point/20-rebound game 32 times during his NBA career, including six times this season (three 20/20’s in 2009-10). He ranks second among all active players in the NBA (Shaquille O’Neal, 34). The next closest player to Howard is Boston’s Kevin Garnett, who has eight. On Jan. 30 vs. Cleveland, Howard tallied 20 points and 20 boards in just three quarters of play. It marks the third time during Howard’s career that he has attained a 20/20 game by the end of the third quarter. No other player has done this even once during the past six NBA seasons. Howard also has 48 career games with 20-or-more rebounds, including eight times this season (nine last season. On Feb. 11 vs. New Orleans, Howard notched 20 points and 17 rebounds. According to Elias, he became just the fourth active player to record 100 or more games with 20+ points and 15+ rebounds. Howard joined Shaquille O’Neal (215), Tim Duncan (162) and Kevin Garnett (153).

12. Dwight Howard recorded three consecutive games with 20+ rebounds from Dec. 18-21. It marks just the second time in his career that he has accomplished the feat (Dec. 28-31, 2007). The last player with 20+ rebounds in four straight games was Ben Wallace, who had five consecutive 20+ rebound outings, from Mar. 12-20, 2003.

13. Howard tallied a season-high 40 points and 15 rebounds on both Jan. 28 @ Chicago and Feb. 25 vs. Oklahoma City. UDuring the last three-plus seasons (2007-08 to present), Dwight Howard has tallied 30+ points and 15+ rebounds 30 times (10 times this season)U Howard has also recorded five games during his career with 30+ points and 20+ rebounds, including his 31-point/22-rebound performance on Mar. 16 @ Milwaukee.

14. On Jan. 28 @ Chicago, Dwight Howard tallied 40 points, 15 rebounds, four steals and three blocked shots. He became just the fourth player in the last 15 years (since 1996-97) to record at least 40 points, 15 rebounds, three steals and three blocks in a single game. On Feb. 25 vs. Oklahoma City, Dwight Howard tallied 40 points, 15 rebounds and six blocked shots. According to Elias, Howard was also the last NBA player to record at least 40 points, 15 rebounds and six blocks in a single game, accomplishing the feat back on Feb. 17, 2009 vs. Charlotte (45 points, 19 rebounds, 8 blocks). The last player other than Howard to record those numbers were Shaquille O’Neal, back on Nov. 19, 1999 vs. Chicago (41 points, 17 rebounds, 7 blocks). Howard became only the sixth player in NBA history to have multiple games of 40+ points, 15+ rebounds and at least six blocks during his career – the others are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Patrick Ewing, Bob Lanier, Bob McAdoo and Larry Nance.

15. On Dec. 9 @ Portland, Dwight Howard scored 18 points during the first quarter alone (7-9 FG, 4-4 FT). That tied his career-high for most points during a first quarter (or any quarter for that matter). Howard has now scored 18 points during the opening stanza four times (three during regular season, once in playoffs), the last time on Mar. 18, 2009 @ Milwaukee (also scored 18 points in the first quarter on May 6, 2010 vs. Atlanta during the playoffs). On Feb. 25 vs. Oklahoma City, Howard scored 10 points in each quarter, marking the first time during his NBA career that he has recorded 10+ points in all four quarters.

16. On March 21 @ Cleveland, Dwight Howard recorded 28 points, 18 rebounds, four blocks, four assists and four steals. According to ESPN, Howard became the first player since Hakeem Olajuwon over 21 years ago to record those numbers in a game. Olajuwon tallied 29 points, 18 rebounds, 11 blocks, 10 assists and five steals on March 3, 1990 in a victory over Golden State.

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Wednesday, March 30, 2011, 1:03 PM

Three-Point Play

1) Orlando, coming off a tough overtime loss in New York on Monday, has rebounded well following a defeat since the beginning of the New Year.

Best Record Following a Loss – since January 1


TEAM
RECORD
WINNING %
Orlando Magic 11-3 .786
Chicago Bulls 7-2 .778
Philadelphia 76ers 12-4 .750
Memphis Grizzlies 11-4 .733
Boston Celtics 10-4 .714


2) Dwight Howard is averaging a 20-20 in five regular-season road games against the Hawks since the start of 2008-09.

Dwight Howard at Atlanta – since 2008-09

(regular season only)


Stat
#
Points/Gm 20.8
Rebounds/Gm 20.6
Blocks/Gm 2.8
Steals/Gm 1.8
FG Pct .524
3) Beginning with the first game after his trade to the Magic, Jason Richardson has hit at least one three in each of his last 24 road games.

Most Consecutive Road Games w/ 1+ 3-Point FG, Active Streak


PLAYER
#
Jason Richardson, Orl 24
Ryan Anderson, Orl 23
Landry Fields, NY 14
Stephen Curry, GS 13
Kevin Durant, OKC 11


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Posted by Glass Half Full, Monday, March 28, 2011, 10:48 AM

Three-Point Play

1) Dwight Howard has grabbed at least 10 rebounds in each of his last 10 visits to Madison Square Garden. His career average in New York is the highest by any player over the past quarter-century.

Most RPG at New York Knicks, Since 1986-87

(minimum 10 games)


Player
RPG
Dwight Howard 14.1 (155/11)
Charles Barkley 12.9
Carlos Boozer 12.6
Karl Malone 11.5
Tim Duncan 11.3


2) Highlighted by 11 rebounds last Wednesday and 13 assists on Friday, Hedo Turkoglu has been filling up the stat sheet over the past three weeks.

Hedo Turkoglu, March 7 & Since


Stat
#
PPG 15.3 (153/10)
APG 5.3 (53/10)
RPG 4.9 (49/10)
3-PT FG% .500 (26-52)
+/- +62


3) It’s clear that both of these teams depend on three-pointers for much of their offense.

3-Pointers per Game, With NBA Ranks, 2010-11


STAT
MAGIC
KNICKS
3PA/Game 25.6 (1st)  24.8 (2nd)
3PM/Game 9.4 (1st) 9.2 (2nd)


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Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, March 25, 2011, 10:30 AM

Three-Point Play

1) The Magic have held five of their last six home opponents under 90 points.

Most HOME Games Allowing Less Than 90 Pts, NBA 2010-11


TEAM
#
Magic  19
Bucks  17
Bulls  17
Celtics   15


2) Dwight Howard is averaging over 16 rebounds per game in March.

Most Rebounds per Game in a Calendar Month – Active NBA Players (min. 5 G in month)


PLAYER
MONTH/YEAR
AVG
Ben Wallace, Det March 2003  18.8 
Ben Wallace, Det April 2001 17.9
Kris Humphries, NJ March 2011 16.5 (165/10)
Dwight Howard, Orl March 2011 16.18 (178/11)
Ben Wallace, Det  March 2001  16.15


Since the New Year, Howard has played arguably the best basketball of his career. Howard, 2010-11 – Before Since January 1

Thru 12/31
1/1 & Since
Points/Gm  21.1 24.7 (940/38) 
Rebounds/Gm  13.0 15.2 (576/38)
FG Pct  .562 .633 (331/523)
FT Pct   .565  .611 (278/455)
Double-Doubles   23  36
Games w/30+ Pts    12


Howard had never previously had more than 11 games in a season with 30+ points (11 in 2007-08).

3) Jason Richardson has made exactly 700 three-pointers over the last four seasons, trailing only former Magic sharpshooter Rashard Lewis.

Most 3-Pointers Made, NBA Since 2007-08

PLAYER
STREAK
Rashard Lewis  701
Jason Richardson  700
Ray Allen  680
Danny Granger 651
J.R. Smith  599


Howard’s 18 rebounds against Denver on Friday marked the sixth straight game Howard has tallied at least 15 boards, breaking a franchise record Howard shared with himself and Shaquille O’Neal.


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Posted by Glass Half Full, Monday, March 21, 2011, 10:30 AM

Three-Point Play

1) The Orlando Magic are going for the season sweep of the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight. The Magic won the first three games of the series by an average of 14 points per game, with all three wins coming by double digits. Another double-digit victory tonight would give Orlando its third four-game season sweep of an opponent with all four wins coming by at least 10 points.

Magic, 4-Game Series Sweep with All Wins by 10+ Points – All-Time


1995-96 vs. Philadelphia 76ers
2009-10 vs. Philadelphia 76ers

On the season, the Magic have 27 wins by double digits.

Most 10+ Point Wins – 2010-11

TEAM
#
Miami Heat 29
San Antonio Spurs 29
Orlando Magic 27
Los Angeles Lakers 27
Chicago Bulls 25


2) In Friday’s win over the Nuggets, all five Magic starters scored in double figures.

Most Games with All 5 Starters Scoring 10+ Points – 2010-11


TEAM
#
Memphis Grizzlies 15
Utah Jazz 14
Orlando Magic 13
Boston Celtics 12
New York Knicks 12


3) Dwight Howard has had at least 10 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks in 16 straight games.

Most Consecutive Games with 10+ Pts, 10+ Reb and 2+ BS – Since 1986-87

PLAYER
STREAK
Dwight Howard 16 (02/09/2011-03/18/2011) ACTIVE
David Robinson 13 (01/07/1993-02/02/1993)
Hakeem Olajuwon 12 (01/23/1993-02/13/1993)
Hakeem Olajuwon 12 (04/19/1992-11/28/1992)
Hakeem Olajuwon 12 (03/20/1990-04/14/1990)


Howard’s 18 rebounds against Denver on Friday marked the sixth straight game Howard has tallied at least 15 boards, breaking a franchise record Howard shared with himself and Shaquille O’Neal.


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Posted by Glass Half Full, Monday, March 14, 2011, 10:30 AM

Three-Point Play

1) While the Lakers beat the Magic in the 2008-09 NBA Finals, 4-1, Orlando has managed to post the best regular season record against Los Angeles since the beginning of that season.

Best Record vs. Lakers – since 2008-09
(regular season only)


TEAM
RECORD
PCT
Orlando Magic 4-1 .800
Miami Heat 4-2 .667
Charlotte Bobcats 4-2 .667
Cleveland Cavaliers 3-3 .500
Denver Nuggets 5-5 .500
San Antonio Spurs 5-5 .500


2) Dwight Howard has led the Magic in scoring and rebounding in well over half of the team’s games this season.

Most Games Leading Team in Points & Rebounds – 2010-11


PLAYER
#
Dwight Howard, Orl 42
Kevin Love, Min 38
Zach Randolph, Mem 29
Blake Griffin, LAC 26
Amar'e Stoudemire, NY 20


3) Best Differential in 3-PT FGs Made per Game – 2010-11

TEAM
OWN
OPP
DIFF
Orlando Magic 9.4 6.2 +3.2
Houston Rockets 8.2 5.6 +2.6
New York Knicks 9.0 6.6 +2.4
San Antonio Spurs 8.2 5.8 +2.4
Phoenix Suns 8.7 6.9 +1.8



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Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, March 11, 2011, 10:30 AM

Three-Point Play

1) Orlando has won its last five games against Golden State. The average margin of victory in these contests is a shade under 20 points per game.

Magic-Warriors, Head-to-Head – Since December 15, 2008


ORL
GSW
Wins 5 0
PPG 115.0 (575/5) 95.4 (477/5)
FG Pct .500 (210/420) .408 (180/441)
3-Pt Pct .446 (58/130) .348 (32/92)
RPG 48.8 (244/5) 40.8 (204/5)
PPG in Paint 44.4 (222/5) 36.4 (182/5)
PPG off TO 19.8 (99/5) 13.8 (69/5))


2) Dwight Howard has set a new career high with 22 straight double-doubles.

Dwight Howard, Most Consecutive Double-Doubles – Career
(regular season G, single-season streaks ONLY)


#
DATES
22 01/21/2011-03/09/2011(active)
20 01/15/2010-02/26/2010
18 01/06/2009-02/17/2009
15 12/03/2007-01/02/2008


3) Jason Richardson has been hot over his last four games.

Jason Richardson – Since March 3


CATEGORY
AVG
PPG 20.3 (81/4)
FG Pct .554 (31/56)
3-Pt Pct .654 (17/26)



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Posted by Glass Half Full, Wednesday, March 9, 2011, 10:30 AM

Three-Point Play

1) The Magic are opening a five-game road trip tonight. Three of the five games will be played in California, a state where they’ve played well in the past four seasons.

Best Record in California – Since 2007-08 (regular season only)


TEAM
RECORD
PCT
Orlando Magic 11-2 .846
Los Angeles Lakers 139-36 .794
Cleveland Cavaliers 11- 3 .786
San Antonio Spurs 19-8 .704
Charlotte Bobcats 10-6 .625
Boston Celtics 10-6 .625


2) Despite losing two games in a row, March has historically been a good month for the Stan Van Gundy led Magic.

Best Record in March – Since 2007-08


TEAM
RECORD
PCT
Orlando Magic 36-10 .783
Cleveland Cavaliers 38-13 .745
Boston Celtics 36-15 .706
Utah Jazz 35-16 .686
Portland Trail Blazers 33-16 .673


3) Magic forward Ryan Anderson was born in Sacramento, grew up in nearby El Dorado Hills and went to college at California-Berkeley.

Notable NBA Players Born in Sacramento


Mel Hutchins, 1951-19584x NBA All-Star, 2nd Pick of 1951 Draft

Darnell Hillman, 1976-1980Known as “Dr. Dunk”, 2x ABA Champion

Kevin Johnson, 1987-20003x NBA All-Star, Current Mayor of Sacramento

Ryan Anderson, 2008-2011 Led Pac-10 in PPG in 2007-08 (21.1)


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Posted by Glass Half Full, Sunday, March 6, 2011, 12:30 PM

Magic Taking GHF Approach Minus Howard

There's always a silver lining.

With Dwight Howard sidelined Monday night, the goal now becomes to play effectively without Superman.

And therein lies the Glass Half Full approach the Magic will be taking against Portland.

With the remaining portion of the regular season serving as a post-season primer, the Magic now get minutes against a quality opponent without Howard. Undoubtedly, there will be times during the post-season where the Magic will be forced to play without Dwight on the floor, most likely because of foul trouble.

This gives your Magic a live and more extensive experience it then can learn from and draw on.

Ryan Anderson and Brandon Bass will be the key components downs low, while Orlando can also unleash its small ball attack.

Of note, Howard got his first real dose of being on the scout team Sunday afternoon at practice. He actually played the role of LaMarcus Aldridge, as the Magic worked defensively against some of Portland sets.

Not so sure GHF wants to see Dwight Super Scout for an extended period of time, but not all bad either.

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Thursday, March 3, 2011, 2:30 PM

Three-Point Play

1) Orlando has lost just twice all season when it scores 45 or more points in the paint.

Orlando Magic, W-L by Points in Paint – 2010-11


RECORD
PCT
45+ pts in paint 14-2 .875
44 or less pts in paint 25-20 .556


2)The Magic have shot 50 percent or better in each of their last three games. Both they and the Heat have lost just once when shooting 50 percent in a game this season.

Best Record when Shoot .500+ in Game – 2010-11


TEAM
RECORD
PCT
Rockets 9-0 1.000
Bucks 7-0 1.000
Heat 20-1 .952
Spurs 19-1 .950
Lakers 17-1 .944
Magic 15-1 .938


3) Dwight Howard has come out of the All-Star break with a bang, posting 30+ points and 15+ rebounds in three of his four games.

Dwight Howard, Post All-Star Game – 2010-11


CATEGORY
AVG
PPG 30.3 (121/4)
RPG 14.5 (58/4)
BPG 3.8 (15/4)
FG Pct. .656 (42/64)


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Posted by Glass Half Full, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011, 10:30 AM

Three-Point Play

1) Over the last 16 seasons, only two other players have put up the numbers that Dwight Howard displayed Friday night against the Thunder.

40+ Points, 15+ Rebounds & 5+ Blocks in Game, Since 1995-96


DATE
PLAYER
TEAM
OPP
PTS/RBS/BLKS
11/19/99 Shaquille O’Neal LAL CHI 41/17/7
2/23/00 Alonzo Mourning MIA NJN 43/16/5
3/23/01 Shaquille O’Neal LAL WAS 40/17/5
2/17/09 Dwight Howard ORL CHA 45/19/8
2/25/11 Dwight Howard ORL OKC 40/15/6


2) At the same time, Hedo Turkoglu is coming off a 10-assist game for the Magic, while starting at forward.

Most Assists as Starting Forward, Since 2007-08


PLAYER
#
LeBron James 2172
Hedo Turkoglu 1283
Andre Iguodala 1222
Paul Pierce 1056
Josh Smith 983


3) The Magic have received long-distance shooting from a number of different sources this season.

Most Players with 70+ 3-Pt Field Goals Made, 2010-11 (only players on current roster)


TEAM
#
Orlando Magic 4
San Antonio Spurs 4
Golden State Warriors 4


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Posted by Glass Half Full, Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011, 11:33 AM

Dominating Dwight

Dwight Howard is looking to become just the 10th player in NBA history to finish in the Top 10 in each of the following categories: Field Goal Percentage, Points per game, Rebounds per game and Blocked Shots per game. Of note, Blocked shots have been kept since 1973-74.

Here’s a look at the lofty list:

Players to Finish Top 10 in FG Pct., Points/G, Rebounds/G, and Total Blocks, Since 1973-74

SEASON
PLAYER
FGPCT Rank (Numbers)
PPG Rank (Numbers)
RPG Rank (Numbers)
BLK Rank (Blks)
1973-74 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 2 (.539 (948/1759)) 3 (27.0 (2191/81)) 4 (14.5 (1178/81)) 2 (283)
1973-74 Bob McAdoo 1 (.547 (901/1647)) 1 (30.6 (2261/74)) 3 (15.1 (1117/74)) 4 (246)
1974-75 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 4 (.513 (812/1584)) 3 (30.0 (1949/65)) 5 (14.0 (912/65)) 2 (212)
1974-75 Bob Lanier 8 (.510 (731/1433)) 6 (24.0 (1823/76)) 9 (12.0 (914/76)) 6 (172)
1974-75 Bob McAdoo 5 (.512 (1095/2138)) 1 (34.5 (2831/82)) 4 (14.1 (1155/82)) 5 (174)
1975-76 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 5 (.529 (914/1728)) 2 (27.7 (2275/82)) 1 (16.9 (1383/82)) 1 (338)
1976-77 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 1 (.579 (888/1533)) 3 (26.2 (2152/82)) 2 (13.3 (1090/82)) 1 (261)
1977-78 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 4 (.550 (663/1205)) 4 (25.8 (1600/62)) 7 (12.9 (801/62)) 4 (185)
1978-79 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 2 (.577 (777/1347)) 8 (23.8 (1903/80)) 3 (12.8 (1025/80)) 1 (316)
1978-79 Artis Gilmore 4 (.575 (753/1310)) 9 (23.7 (1940/82)) 4 (12.7 (1043/82)) 10 (156)
1979-80 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 2 (.604 (835/1383)) 6 (24.8 (2034/82)) 8 (10.8 (886/82)) 1 (280)
1980-81 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 5 (.574 (836/1457)) 4 (26.2 (2095/80)) 7 (10.3 (821/80)) 2 (228)
1989-90 Patrick Ewing 6 (.551 (922/1673)) 3 (28.6 (2347/82)) 5 (10.9 (893/82)) 2 (327)
1990-91 David Robinson 9 (.552 (754/1366)) 9 (25.6 (2101/82)) 1 (13.0 (1063/82)) 1 (320)
1991-92 David Robinson 7 (.551 (592/1074)) 7 (23.2 (1578/68)) 4 (12.2 (829/68)) 1 (305)
1992-93 Shaquille O'Neal 4 (.562 (733/1304)) 8 (23.4 (1893/81)) 2 (13.9 (1122/81)) 3 (286)
1993-94 Hakeem Olajuwon 10 (.528 (894/1694)) 3 (27.3 (2184/80)) 4 (11.9 (955/80)) 2 (297)
1993-94 Shaquille O'Neal 1 (.599 (953/1591)) 2 (29.3 (2377/81)) 2 (13.2 (1072/81)) 4 (231)
1994-95 Shaquille O'Neal 2 (.583 (930/1594)) 1 (29.3 (2315/79)) 3 (11.4 (901/79)) 6 (192)
1998-99 Tim Duncan 10 (.495 (418/845)) 6 (21.7 (1084/50)) 5 (11.4 (571/50)) 6 (126)
1999-00 Shaquille O'Neal 1 (.574 (956/1665)) 1 (29.7 (2344/79)) 2 (13.6 (1078/79)) 3 (239)
2000-01 Shaquille O'Neal 1 (.572 (813/1422)) 3 (28.7 (2125/74)) 3 (12.7 (940/74)) 4 (204)
2001-02 Tim Duncan 9 (.508 (764/1504)) 5 (25.5 (2089/82)) 2 (12.7 (1042/82)) 3 (203)
2002-03 Tim Duncan 7 (.513 (714/1392)) 7 (23.3 (1884/81)) 3 (12.9 (1043/81)) 2 (237)
2003-04 Tim Duncan 10 (.501 (592/1181)) 8 (22.3 (1538/69)) 2 (12.4 (859/69)) 8 (185)
2010-11 Dwight Howard 3 (.592 (455/769)) 10 (23.0 (1286/56)) 2 (13.9 (777/56)) 3 (119)





Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, Feb. 25, 2011, 5:30 PM

Team Talk, Jamming with Jameer, Vs. Top Teams

So, here’s a little Glass Half Full to get you through your day.

The Magic team talk following the Sacramento game basically boiled down to this message: When you have an opportunity to be on a good team, you need to take advantage of it. Seize the opportunity, says Head Coach Stan Van Gundy.

Seizing that opportunity for Orlando means being consistently great defensively and doing the blue-collar things offensively, like screening, cutting hard, moving the ball. Basically, help each other.

Stan Van Gundy pointed out to his troops that when the Celtics three amigos got together (Pierce, Garnett and Allen) they had won a combined eight playoff series in 32 combined years. Not exactly stellar stuff. After all, Dwight Howard has won six playoff series in six years himself.

But Boston bought in to the team dynamic and made the pieces a strong whole. The Magic have that very same opportunity and will continue to work to hit on all cylinders in preparation for mid-Aprils playoff party.

While Dwight Howard continues to put in MVP-type performances (He’s the only player in the league in the top 10 in points, rebounds, field goal percentage and blocks), Jameer Nelson is arguably the catalyst for your Magic. When he’s on the attack, the Magic take it to another level. Why? Because Nelson knows how the Magic need to play as constructed, brings great energy, and has an unmatched contagious, competitive fire.

Nelson is averaging nearly seven assists per game, just 2.2 turnovers per game, while shooting 46 percent from the floor overall and 42 percent from three-point range in wins this year. In losses the assists drop (5.5 apg.), the turnovers go up (2.5 topg.) and the shooting percentages dip (39 percent from the floor and 34 percent from three).

In essence, he is your Magic barometer.

Something you should not forget. In NCAA Tournament selection style, your Magic have certainly had some quality wins this season. Orlando has defeated each of the East Division leaders already this season (Boston, Chicago, Miami). Conversely, Miami hasn’t beaten Boston or Chicago yet. Kinda of makes you kind of go hmmmmmmm. Like Orlando’s win over the Lakers February 13th, you just have to know the Magic have the capabilities to beat the best.

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011, 11:30 AM

Five Points

1) Over the last four weeks, five players are averaging at least 18 points and 11 rebounds per game.

Players Averaging 18+ PPG & 11+ RPG, Since January 26


PLAYER
PPG
RPG
Dwight Howard 25.5 15.5
Blake Griffin 23.2 11.5
Kevin Love 19.8 15.2
Zach Randolph 19.7 15.3
DeMarcus Cousins 18.2 11.1


2) Orlando is tough when leading after three quarters.

Best Record When Leading After 3rd Quarter, 2010-11


TEAM
RECORD
%
Spurs 38-1 .974
Magic 32-2 .941
Bulls 29-2 .935
Heat 34-3 .919
Lakers 33-3 .917


3) The Magic headed into the All-Star break by allowing less than 80 points in back-to-back games.

Most Games Allowing Less Than 80 Points, 2010-11


TEAM
#
Hornets 8
Magic 7
Bulls 6
Heat 6
76ers 6


4) Ryan Anderson has already set a career high for three-pointers made in a season, with the majority of them coming over the last couple months.

Most Three-Point Field Goals Made, Since December 28


PLAYER
#
Ryan Anderson 73
Ray Allen 67
Dorell Wright 65
Chauncey Billups 64
Channing Frye 62
Jason Richardson 60


5) Since Gilbert Arenas came over in a trade a couple months ago, no player has dished out more assists while coming off the bench.

Most Assists Off Bench, Since December 20


PLAYER
#
Gilbert Arenas 120
Jason Terry 103
J.J. Barea 93
Will Bynum 91
Louis Williams 90


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Posted by Glass Half Full, Monday, Feb. 21, 2011, 8:30 PM

Priming for the Playoffs

Orlando's goal over the final 25 regular season games is to prime itself for the playoffs.

Offensively that means pushing the pace, taking care of the ball, and playing inside-out.

Defensively, it means to get back on defense, play aggressive without fouling and rebounding.

"It's how you play when you get there," says head coach Stan Van Gundy, whose goal now is to play 25 good basketball games before getting "there," meaning the playoffs.

While you want the best post-season seed you can get, playing well is the most important thing for your Magic at this point as it prepares for what will be a most fascinating post-season tourney.

Some Magic men point to the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers, who needed wins in its last two games just to make the playoffs and then obviously got hot.

Stan Van Gundy kept things more at home, alluding to the fourth-seeded Boston Celtics last year who went 26-26 over its last 52 games and then ran through the East and took the Lakers to seven games.

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011, 8:30 AM

SVG Goes GHF

You have to love it when straight-shooting, never sugar-coating Stan Van Gundy goes "Glass Half Full. ". One of Stan 's greatest attribute is that he always tells the truth. Talk about no spin zone.

Anyway, here's what he said Saturday about competing with the league's top teams and the Magic's recent struggles.

``I think that we have to understand how close we are. I know that a lot of people can look at us and see we’re not beating those people, I can get frustrated, fans can and our players can, too. But other than that last game up in Boston, we’ve had a chance to win in the closing minute of every one of those games,’’ Van Gundy said.

``Six of those games have been on the road. We have shot the ball absurdly. The last five games (against winning teams) we’ve shot 25 percent from 3. With all of that said, we’re right there with a chance to win in most of those games.

``The first thing that I want our players to understand is that we’re not a long way away and we’re not a bad team,’’ Van Gundy continued. ``There has to be a sense of hope and optimism. There has to be an understanding of why we’re not getting over the top.

``We made four points today: one, we’re always playing out of a hole. We haven’t led going into the fourth quarter in any of the eight games, we’ve been tied twice and five of those games we’ve been down nine points or more,’’ Van Gundy said. ``Number two, our defense hasn’t been good enough. Four of those eight teams have shot over 50 percent. If you are going to beat teams of that caliber, we have to defend better.

``We didn’t belabor the shooting, but my point is that when you have good shooters like we do and you’re shooting as poorly as we are you have to question whether we’re executing well enough and having the patience needed to get the shots that we can,’’ he continued. ``And we have not been good closing out games. … To me there should be a sense of optimism because this stuff we can get turned around. It’s not like we’re getting blown out by 30, we don’t have a chance and our talent isn’t good enough. That’s a bunch of (stuff) right there. We can beat anybody in this league, but we have to play better."

SVG GHF, love it.

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, Feb. 11, 2011, 11:30 AM

Three-Point Play

1) The Magic have elevated their offensive production against Western Conference competition this season.

Orlando Magic, 2010-11 Season


VS. EAST
VS. WEST
PPG 97.6 104.3
FG Pct .451 .476
3-Pt FG Pct .345 .393
APG 19.2 21.7


2) The Magic have now hit double-digit three-pointers in four of their last five games.

Most Games with 10+ Three-Point FGM, 2010-11 Season


TEAM
#
Magic 27
Nuggets 21
Knicks 21
Warriors 20
Suns 19


3) Dwight Howard is coming off a 30-point, 17-rebound game against the Sixers – marking the 28th time that Howard has recorded at least 30 points and 15 rebounds in the same game.

Most Games with 30+ Points, 15+ Rebounds, Since 2004-05


PLAYER
#
Dwight Howard 28
Zach Randolph 16
Yao Ming 12
Amar'e Stoudemire 12
Carlos Boozer 11


And a bonus for today…

The Magic will be in good shape if they do not send their opponent to the free throw line more than 22 times.

Magic, Record by Opponent FTA in Game, 2010-11 Season


RECORD
23+ FTA 15-16
Less Than 23 FTA 19-4


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Posted by Glass Half Full, Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011, 11:30 AM

Three-Point Play

1) Orlando’s main man in the paint, Dwight Howard, had three steals in the Magic’s loss to the Celtics on Sunday. Since his rookie season, only two other players 6’10” or taller have more steals than Howard.

Most Steals by Players 6’10” and Taller, Since 2004-05


PLAYER
#
Kevin Garnett, 6-11 613
Rashard Lewis, 6-10 551
Dwight Howard, 6-11 499
Marcus Camby, 6-11 491
Rasheed Wallace, 6-11 455


2) If Howard and the Clippers’ rookie sensation, Blake Griffin, keep scoring and rebounding like they are, they will be two of the only three players to average at least 22 points and 12 rebounds in a season since Howard’s rookie year.

Players with 22+ PPG and 12+ RPG in a Season, Since 2004-05
(min. 50 g/season)


PLAYER
PPG
RPG
Blake Griffin, 2010-11 LAC 22.9 (1144/50) 12.8 (638/50)
Dwight Howard, 2010-11 Orl 22.4 (1120/50) 13.7 (683/50)
Kevin Garnett, 2006-07 Min 22.4 12.8
Kevin Garnett, 2004-05 Min 22.2 13.5


3) With Griffin, his teammate DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard all on the court tonight, expect to see a lot of dunks.

Most Dunks, 2010-2011


PLAYER
#
Dwight Howard 120
Blake Griffin 105
Amar'e Stoudemire 84
LaMarcus Aldridge 84
DeAndre Jordan 82


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Posted by Glass Half Full, Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011, 1:30 PM

Noting Magic and Miami

Some notes to get you ready for Magic and Miami…

* The Heat and the Magic have split two meetings this season, with each team winning on its home court.

* Miami has won three straight games, including a 117-90 victory over Cleveland in its last game on Monday. The 27-point win was its largest margin of victory since December 2, 2010 when it beat Cleveland by 28 points (118-90).

* Orlando lost at Memphis on Monday and has alternated between a win and loss in each of its last six games. The Magic are 9-1 in their last 10 home games.

* The Heat lead the Magic by 3.5 games for the lead in the Southeast Division. The division has been won by either Miami or Orlando in every season since 2004-05.

* In his last three games, Dwyane Wade is averaging 33.3 points, 10.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game while shooting 61.5 percent (40-for-65) from the field.

* In the first Magic-Heat game this season, Jameer Nelson had only one assist. In their second meeting though, Nelson set a career high with 14 assists.

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011, 8:30 AM

Spo on SVG

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra and Magic mentor Stan Van Gundy are as close as the come. Here's Spoelstra's take on SVG in today's Palm Beach Post:

"The reality is, we spent a lot of time together," Spoelstra says. "We were in the trenches together. He started out as my boss, then my mentor and, over the years, he became one of my closest friends. And the profession, playing against each other, doesn't change that."

What if they meet in the playoffs? At the moment, the Heat (34-14) is the second seed, and the Magic (31-18) fourth, so it couldn't happen until the East Finals. Spoelstra says he doesn't think the coaches would be "a major storyline in a series like that" with many more compelling angles. But when Jeff Van Gundy coached under Riley, then against him in four playoff series, that was a storyline for sure.

"How many years did that take, and ugly battles, for that to happen?" Spoelstra says. "Until you get in it, you never know what could happen. But we both have a pretty level head of what this profession is about. We can both be extremely competitive, but I find hard to imagine that 25 years from now we're not friends because of something that happened in competition."

For now, Spoelstra is an admirer of all but the wardrobe: "He used to wear ties when he was with us, he looked OK. He went to the mock T-shirt, slash crew-neck dress shirt."

Strengths? Spoelstra says Van Gundy "has a lot of them," calling him "a remarkable communicator and teacher."

"He would be a blast to have had as a college professor, where you would have fun in class but you would actually learn something," Spoelstra says. "And he has a real gift of making complex ideas seem incredibly easy, the way he communicates it. And even though those guys probably get tired of ranting and raving, at the end of the day, they never quit on him, because they understand he's a good guy, great integrity and he's funny. He's a guy you enjoy going for a beer in happy hour."

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011, 1:30 PM

Measuring Dwight

Ever wonder what the metrics were on Dwight Howard. Here’s a little insight.

His standing reach is nine feet, six inches tall.

His wingspan is seven feet, five inches.

His vertical leap is 30.5 inches.

Go win a bar bet. Glass Half Full.

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Sunday, Jan. 30, 2011, 10:30 AM

Three-Point Play

1) So far this season, Dwight Howard has more double-doubles than the entire Cavaliers roster.

Double-Doubles, 2010-11 Season


#
Cleveland Cavaliers 32
Dwight Howard 35


On Friday night against the Bulls, Dwight Howard became just the fourth player in the last 15 years to record at least 40 points, 15 rebounds, three steals and three blocks in a single game.

40+ Pts, 15+ Rebs, 3+ Stls & 3+ Blks in Game, Since 1996-97


DATE
PLAYER
OPP
Pts/Rebs/Stls/Blks
3/23/01 Shaquille O’Neal, LAL Was 40/17/3/5
12/2/04 Dirk Nowitzki, Dal Hou 53/16/3/4
2/22/06 Shawn Marion, Pho Bos 44/15/4/3
1/28/11 Dwight Howard, Orl Chi 40/15/4/3


2) Over the last three seasons, the Magic have been nearly unbeatable when they have dished out at least 24 assists.

Orlando Magic, Record by Assists in Game, Since 2008-09
(regular season only)


RECORD
Less Than 24 Assists 103-63
24+ Assists 45-1


3) Over the last month, the Magic have outscored their opponents by over 100 points when Hedo Turkoglu has been on the court.

Eastern Conf Players, Highest +/- in January 2011


PLAYER
+/-
Rajon Rondo, Bos +134
Ronnie Brewer, Chi +115
Paul Pierce, Bos +113
Hedo Turkoglu, Orl +107
Dwight Howard, Orl +100


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Posted by Glass Half Full, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, 4:30 PM

Dwight4MVP

This from ESPN's latest Awards Watch on Dwight Howard for MVP...

"He anchors Orlando's defense, is a rebounding machine, is the unquestioned leader of the Magic and is scoring at a career-high rate. What more can you ask of him?"

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, 10:30 AM

Three-Point Play

1) Orlando has been more explosive offensively this month than it was earlier in the season.

Orlando Magic, PPG (w/ ranks) – 2010-11


MONTHS
PPG
RANK
January 2011 107.2 4th
Through Dec 2010 97.8 17th


2) Opponents have been ineffective against the Magic on the break.

Fewest Opponent Fast Break PPG – 2010-11


TEAM
FAST BREAK PPG
Magic 10.8 (485/45)
Celtics 11.3
Hornets 11.8
Thunder 11.9
Blazers 11.9


3) Ryan Anderson is providing some scoring punch off the bench for Orlando of late, posting 20 points in three of his last four games.

Ryan Anderson – 2010-11


LAST 4 GMS
FIRST 23 GMS
PPG 18.5 (74/4) 8.9
RPG 6.3 (25/4) 4.4
3-Pt Pct .378 (14/37) .407
20+ Pt Gms 3 0


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Posted by Glass Half Full, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011, 12:30 PM

Hollinger Takes Over

ESPN Basketball guru John Hollinger takes over Glass Half Full. Here is his recent piece on ESPN.com:

Don't count out the Magic in the East
By John Hollinger, ESPN.com

If you're thinking the Eastern Conference is a two-team race between Boston and Miami, I strongly suggest you reconsider. For starters, there's the history. Only one superstar has been in the past two Eastern Conference finals, and it isn't anyone on the Heat or the Celtics.

But more importantly, there's the present. Take a look at the past few weeks and it's the Orlando Magic , not Miami or Boston, who are playing better than any team in basketball and have taken over the top spot in the Power Rankings .

That may not be immediately apparent by looking at the standings, where Orlando's relatively benign 29-15 mark ranks fourth in the conference and sixth in the NBA; in fact the Magic are one bad night from being 10th.

Look at the past 16 games, however, and a very different story emerges. The Magic are 13-3 in that stretch, with nine of the wins by double figures. The three losses were all on the road, all against playoff teams, and came by a combined total of six points. They're a couple of shots away from riding a 16-game winning streak, in other words.

What makes this stretch particularly notable, however, is that it isn't some random hot streak plucked from the noise of the 82-game season, but rather is tied to a very specific event that has made the Magic a much more formidable team since Christmas.

That event, obviously, was the duo of blockbuster trades that brought in Hedo Turkoglu , Gilbert Arenas and Jason Richardson. But the "why" continues to escape people. The trade-driven improvement has been a hard thing for folks to digest because the new players haven't exactly gone bonkers.

Turkoglu has played the best of the three, but even his output -- 11.8 points and 5.8 assists -- has been somewhere south of earth-shattering. Arenas is shooting just 36.1 percent in his new uniform, and Richardson (14.5 points per game) has scored dramatically less than he did in Phoenix.

The story, instead, has been all about what the Magic replaced. We gravitate toward tales of the hero riding in to the rescue, but Orlando's story is a much more mundane one of replacing bad players with average ones, thereby allowing already-present hero Dwight Howard to win the Magic games they were heretofore losing. (Howard, incidentally, is also a very strong MVP candidate whom everyone seems hell-bent on ignoring while they fixate on shiny new objects like Amare Stoudemire and Derrick Rose.

This was how Orlando went just 16-10 before the trades -- the Magic, for all we thought of their supposed depth, basically had four productive players in their top eight (Howard, Vince Carter, J.J. Redick and Jameer Nelson, and four others who were killing them.

What the trade allowed them to do was replace all four players who were killing them, and fill three of the spots with solid to excellent productivity. Turkoglu is playing better than he did in Toronto or Phoenix, but nobody is clearing space on the All-Star roster for him; his impact comes because Mickael Pietrus and Quentin Richardson played poorly (PERs of 8.64 and 9.76, respectively), so replacing them with a halfway decent player vastly improved the team.

Arenas hasn't played well, and yet his example illustrates the change, too. His PER as a Magician is still nearly double that of the man he replaced, Chris Duhon, providing a much more competent 15 minutes of backup point guard play when Nelson rests. Orlando didn't need Agent Zero; it just needed to eliminate the zero it was taking at the position pre-trade. Should Arenas find his shooting stroke, the change will be even more dramatic.

And then there's the frontcourt. I'm going to keep saying this until somebody listens -- the greatest impact from these trades came because it forced Orlando to use two players who were already on the roster but hardly playing.

Prior to the trade, Rashard Lewis and Marcin Gortat were the other two-thirds of the Magic frontcourt rotation along with Howard; those two averaged 15.0 and 10.1 points per 40 minutes, respectively; each sported a PER around 12 in Orlando.

Since the deals, Orlando has given those minutes to Brandon Bass and Ryan Anderson, and the difference has been spectacular. These are arguably the two best players on the team after Howard; Anderson is second on the team in PER and points per minute, while Bass is third. Each has a true shooting percentage in the high 50s and both have a dramatically higher rebound rate than Lewis.

Add all those changes up and it's fomented an offensive explosion. Orlando ranked 14th in offensive efficiency on Dec. 22, at 104.2 points per 100 possessions. Since then, the Magic have owned the league's No. 1 offense, pumping in a league-leading 111.3 points per 100 trips.

Play offense that well and you barely need to consider defense, as the Phoenix Suns showed us a year ago; the Magic, however, have lost surprisingly little at that end since the trade thanks to Howard's dominant presence. Orlando's 99.94 defensive efficiency mark over the 16-game stretch is the league's fifth best, and virtually identical to its pre-trade performance.

Obviously, it's possible we're witnessing a statistical outlier and that the Magic may regress to the mean. Defensively, in particular, the Magic appeared to make a downgrade at every position and may have trouble replicating this excellence over the final 38 games.

Here's the big takeaway, however: They don't need to. The midseason deals essentially converted Orlando from a defensive team to an offensive one, and a mighty fearsome offensive team at that. Between the ridiculous 3-point shooting (41.4 percent in the past 16 games, on nearly 28 hoists a game), Howard's increasingly refined post game on the inside and a nine-man rotation in which every player can score 20, guarding Orlando is officially a quandary. The scary part is that Arenas and Richardson haven't played well, yet the Magic are still lighting up scoreboards.

As I wrote at the time of the trades, it may not ultimately matter much in this conference. The Heat are going through a blistering stretch of their own (22-5 since the 9-8 start), and Boston seems likely to own both the top seed and the two big men (Kendrick Perkins and Shaquille O'Neal whom historically have done the best job of containing Howard.

Regardless, Orlando's play post-trade can no longer be ignored. The Magic are a small-market team and the narrative behind the improvement hasn't been sound-bite friendly, plus 13-3 doesn't sound quite as impressive as ripping off a double-digit winning streak. But they're playing better than any team in the Association, and it's not clear to me why one would expect them to stop any time soon. At the very least, that should be enough to get the presumed duopoly atop the East reclassified as a triumvirate.

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Monday, Jan. 24, 2011, 10:30 AM

SVG Goes For 200

Head coach Stan Van Gundy is getting ready to hit another milestone, as Orlando’s next victory will be the 200th of his Magic career.

SVG owns the franchise’s best all-time winning percentage at .686. Brian Hill has the most wins in team history with 267 from 1993-97 and 2005-07 (267-192, .582).

With Orlando’s win Dec. 25th vs. Boston, Van Gundy was the second fastest active coach to 300 career wins (in 461 career games), which was also seventh fastest all time.

SVG enters tonight vs. Detroit with a 311-164 (.655 win pct.) NBA head coaching mark and he is 199-91 (.686) in Orlando.

COACH
WINS WITH ORLANDO (YEARS)
Brian Hill 267 (1993-97, 2005-07)
Stan Van Gundy 199 (2007-present)
Doc Rivers 171 (1999-2003)
Matt Guokas 111 (1989-93)


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Posted by Glass Half Full, Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011, 10:30 AM

Three-Point Play

1) The Magic have been one of the hottest offensive teams since December 23rd. A closer look:

Magic – Since 12/23/2010 (w/NBA Ranks)


CATEGORY
STAT
RANK
Record 12-3 (t-1st)
Points/Gm 107.1 (1st)
Field-Goal Pct .474 (7th)
Three-Point Pct​ .413 (2nd)
Gms w/100+ Pts​ 11 (t-1st)


2) Hedo Turkoglu has seen his assist-per-game average increase from 2.3 to 5.8 since being traded back to the Magic.

Largest Increase in Assists per Game – Since12/18/2010
(Minimum 10 Games Thru 12/17/2010 & After 12/18/2010)


PLAYER
Thru 12/17
12/18 & Since​
DIFF
Jose Calderon 6.7 10.9 +4.2
Keyon Dooling 1.9 5.4 +3.5
Hedo Turkoglu 2.3 5.8 +3.5
Tracy McGrady 2.0 4.5 +2.5
Mo Williams 6.3 8.5 +2.2


3) Only five players in the league are averaging at least 21 points and eight rebounds in the second game of back-to-back games, including Luis Scola and Dwight Howard. Both Orlando and Houston played on Friday.

Players Averaging 21+ PPG & 8+ RPG on 0 Days Rest – 2010-11


PLAYER
PPG
RPG
Luis Scola 22.5 8.6
Kevin Love 21.9 13.1
Dwight Howard 21.6 12.0
Blake Griffin 21.5 12.7
Carlos Boozer 21.1 9.6


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Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, Jan. 21, 2011, 9:30 AM

Talking four-point plays

Jason Richardson's game-tying, four-point play vs. Philly last Wednesday night certainly goes into the Magic vault of classic endings and reminds fans to stay in their seats until the final buzzer.

Glass Half Full went to his friends at Stats Inc. to get a gauge on the rarity of what we witnessed.

Here's the details:

Since 2002-03, occurrences when there was a successful 4-point play in the last 30 seconds of the 4th quarter or OT that tied the game or gave the shooter's team the lead:

1/13/2008 - Travis Outlaw, Portland vs. Toronto - 16.4 seconds left in the 4th, tied up the game but his team lost in double OT

12/17/2008 - Ben Gordon, Chicago vs. LA Clippers - 20.5 seconds left in the 4th, tied up the game and his team won in OT

1/19/2011 - Jason Richardson, Orlando vs. Philadelphia - 17.0 seconds left in the 4th, tied up the game and his team won in OT

As for the J.J. Redick four-point play in overtime tie-in, below are all times since the 2002-03 season in which a team scored two 4-point plays in the same game (Orlando and the Lakers are the only teams to do it twice):

11/12/2003: Orlando vs Memphis

3/22/2005: Miami vs Houston

3/17/2007: Washington vs NO/Okla City

3/25/2007: LA Lakers vs Golden State

12/14/2007: Memphis vs LA Clippers

3/24/2008: Portland vs Seattle

3/26/2008: Charlotte vs LA Lakers

3/28/2009: Golden State vs Denver

1/8/2010: LA Lakers vs Portland

1/19/2011: Orlando vs Philadelphia

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, Jan. 14, 2011, 12:30 PM

A Little Love for Dwight

Saturday night will feature two of the NBA's finest big men in Minnesota's Kevin Love and your very own Dwight Howard.

Here's a look at the league's active leaders in 30-point/15 rebound games:

Most 30+ Point/15+ Rebound Games, Since 2007-08

PLAYER
#
Dwight Howard 23
Zach Randolph 12
Chris Bosh 8
Amar'e Stoudemire 7
Kevin Love 6
Tim Duncan 6
Al Jefferson 6


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Posted by Glass Half Full, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 11:30 AM

Notebook Nuggets

ORLANDO SINCE THE TRADES:

CATEGORY
BEFORE DEC. 20 (26 games)
DEC. 20-PRESENT (11 games)
Points 96.6 ppg. (2,511 pts.) 104.5 ppg. (1,149 pts.)
Opponent points 92.8 ppg. (2,414 opp. pts.) 94.5 ppg. (1,040 opp. pts.)
FG percentage .464 (920-1,982) .479 (421-879)
Opponent FG percentage .443 (904-2,040) .431 (383-889)
3-point FG percentage .352 (217-617) .414 (121-292)
Assists 18.3 apg. (476 assists) 23.6 apg. (260 assists)


STREAKING…
Orlando has won a franchise-high-tying nine consecutive games from Dec. 23-present, also tied for the longest current streak in the NBA (as of Dec. 10)…It ties the longest win streak in franchise history, done two other times - from Jan. 30-Feb. 18, 2001 and Nov. 12-Dec. 2, 1994…Here’s a deeper look at the numbers during their current ride:

CATEGORY
DURING 9-GAME WIN STREAK (Dec. 23-present)
Scoring 107.7 ppg. (969 points)
Rebounding 43.1 rpg. (388 rebounds)
Assists 24.8 apg. (223 assists)
FG percentage .496 (358-722)
3-point FG percentage .431 (106-246)
Margin of victory 13.9 ppg. (125 points/9 wins)


The Magic have recorded winning streaks of seven-or-more games 11 times in franchise history…Four of those streaks have come during Stan Van Gundy’s tenure (2007-present)…Here are the longest winning streaks in franchise history:

WIN STREAKS
DATES
9 Games Dec. 23, 2010-present
9 Games Jan. 30-Feb. 18, 2001
9 Games Nov. 12-Dec. 2, 1994
8 Games Feb. 28-Mar. 13, 2010
8 Games Mar. 31-Apr. 15, 2006
7 Games 6 times, last from Jan. 6-Jan. 17, 2009


The Magic have won each of their nine games during this current streak by a margin of at least eight points…It is the longest such streak in franchise history and it ties the longest streak of its kind in the NBA this season (Miami won nine straight by eight-or-more from Nov. 29-Dec. 13).

AND STREAK BUSTERS…
On Dec. 23, the Orlando Magic defeated San Antonio, 123-101, snapping the Spurs’ 10-game win streak...Then the following game, on Dec. 25, the Magic beat Boston, 86-78, ending the Celtics' 14-game win streak...It marks the first time in 13 years that a team has ended two, 10+ game winning streaks...The last time it was accomplished, the L.A. Lakers defeated Phoenix on Apr. 11, 1997, ending the Suns’ 11-game winning streak, then they beat Utah on Apr. 13, 1997, putting a halt to the Jazz's 15-game winning streak.

BALANCING ACT…
On Jan. 3 vs. Golden State, the Magic had eight players score in double figures, tying a franchise record (Howard-22, J. Richardson-20, Anderson-13, Redick-13, Nelson-11, Arenas-11, Bass-10, Turkoglu-10)…It marks the sixth time in team history that eight players scored in double figures during the same game…The last time was Jan. 27, 2009 vs. Indiana (Pietrus-27, Lewis-24, Howard-22, Lee-14, Battie-13, Nelson-12, Turkoglu-11, Johnson-10)…When Orlando has five players-or-more score in double figures, they are 17-3...When they have six-or-more score 10+ points, they are 11-1.

The Magic have had at least five players score in double figures in nine consecutive games (Dec. 23-present)…The team-high is 16 straight games, set back from Mar. 3-Apr. 5, 1990…Orlando has had at least six players scored 10+ points in seven straight games (Dec. 27-present), which is the longest such streak in the NBA in the last 18 seasons…The last time a team had at least six players record double figures in scoring for seven-plus games was Charlotte, from Nov. 1-12, 1991.

GETTING DEFENSIVE…
While Orlando’s offensive attack gets a lot of attention, it is actually the Magic’s defense which is a critical key to success…UThe Magic have allowed 93.4 ppg. (3,454 points), which ranks fifth in the NBA (as of Jan. 11)…Orlando has held their opponents to under 100 points 27 times, 90 points or less 17 times (16-1 record) and 80 points or less five times (4-1 record), including a season-low 72 points on Nov. 15 vs. MemphisU…UOrlando is also holding the opposition to .439 (1,287-2,930) shooting from the floor, which ranks sixth in the league…The Magic have held the opposition to less than 50 percent shooting from the floor 31 times and less than 40 percent nine times (8-1 record), including a season-low .333 (28-84) on Nov. 3 vs. MinnesotaU…Last season, Orlando allowed 95.3 ppg. (7,812 points), which ranked fourth in the NBA and held the opposition to .438 shooting from the field (2,955-6,739), which ranked first in the league…Orlando also was second in the league in opponent’s assists per game, allowing 18.9 apg. (1,550 opp. assists)…Here’s a quick look at Orlando defensively under Stan Van Gundy (three-plus seasons, 2007-08 to present):

· Orlando is 149-34 (.814) when holding opponents to less than 100 points U(183 times during tenure; 21-6 this season)U.
· Orlando is 176-54 (.765) when holding opponents to less than 50 percent shooting (230 times during tenure; 24-7 this season)U.

DEFENSIVE STAT
AVERAGE (TOTAL)
NBA RANK (as of Jan. 11)
Opponent scoring 93.4 ppg. (3,454 points) 5th
Opponent FG percentage .439 (1,287-2,930 opp. FG) 6th
Opponent assists 19.7 apg. (729 assists) 6th


HOWARD HOSTS A BLOCK PARTY…
Dwight Howard recorded a season-high eight blocked shots (Uincluding six in the third quarter, setting a new franchise record for blocks in a quarterU) on Nov. 3 vs. Minnesota...UThat marks the fourth time since the start of the 2008-09 season that Howard has recorded eight-or-more blocked shots in a gameU, including his career-high of 10 blocks on Nov. 12, 2008 @ Oklahoma City…UNo other player in the NBA has had multiple games of eight-or-more blocks during that same spanU…The team record for most blocks in a game is 15, set by Shaquille O’Neal on Nov. 20, 1993 @ New Jersey.

FULL NELSON…
Jameer Nelson leads the Magic in assists, averaging 6.6 apg. this season, which ranks 19th in the NBA (as of Jan. 11)…He has led (or tied) the team in scoring twice and in assists 25 times, dishing out 10+ assists three times, including a career-high 14 assists on Nov. 24 vs. Miami.

BASS MASTERS…
Brandon Bass has been a huge contributor for the Magic in 2010-11…Bass has scored in double figures 23 times (compared to 11 all of last season) and had 20+ points twice, including a career-high 27 points (11-12 FG) on Dec. 3 @ Detroit…Below is a look at Bass’ improvement from last season to this season:

STATISTIC
2009-10
2010-11
Scoring 5.8 ppg. 11.2 ppg.
Rebounding 2.5 rpg. 5.4 rpg.
Minutes played 13.0 minpg. 23.9 minpg.
FG percentage .511 (119-233) .533 (163-306)
FT percentage .825 (52-63) .841 (90-107)
Games with 10+ points 11 23
Games with 20+ points 0 2


REDICK’S DEEP IMPACT…
During his first nine games this season (Oct. 28-Nov. 13), J.J. Redick was 3-of-25 (.120) from three-point range…Since Nov. 20 (23 games played), Redick is 46-of-90 (.511) from beyond the arc…In his last nine games (Dec. 23-present), he is shooting .556 (20-of-36) from three-point land.

TURK TRIPLE THREAT…
Hedo Turkoglu recorded his third career triple-double on Jan. 3 vs. Golden State, tallying 10 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists…He also notched a career-high five steals in the contest…It marked the first triple-double for the Magic since Dwight Howard on Nov. 12, 2008 @ Oklahoma City (30 pts., 19 rebs., 10 blks.)…It was also the 18th triple-double in Magic history and the third in an Orlando uniform for Turkoglu, a franchise-high...Tracy McGrady, Bo Outlaw, Anfernee Hardaway and Scott Skiles all recorded two triple-doubles as members of the Magic…Since returning to Orlando, Turkoglu has led (or tied) the team in scoring once, in rebounding once and in assists five times.

GILBERT GREAT…
On Dec. 28 @ Cleveland, Orlando’s Gilbert Arenas came off the bench and tallied 22 points, 11 assists, six rebounds and four steals, all team-highs…Arenas became only the second player in Magic history to lead (or tie) the team in scoring, rebounds, assists and steals coming off the bench (tallying at least 20+ points, 10+ assists, five-plus rebounds and three-plus steals)…The other player was Jerry Reynolds, back on Nov. 2, 1991 @ Philadelphia (24 pts., 11 asts., 6 rebs., 4 stls.).

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2010, 10:30 AM

Nation Taking Notice

Kevin Pelton of Baskeball Prospectus and ESPN Insider takes over Glass Half Full.

His report.

The Orlando Magic are coming together

Magic president of basketball operations Otis Smith remade his team's roster with a pair of trades last month, adding Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu. Surely, Smith's goals for the deals related to May and June, not January, but so far they have served to invigorate Orlando -- which won its ninth consecutive game on Saturday in Dallas. Over 11 games since the three key newcomers took the floor, the Magic's schedule-adjusted point differential of plus-9.9 points per game is better than any team has managed over the full season.

A look at Orlando's statistics before and after the trade shows the team making gains on both offense and defense, led primarily by the most important of the Four Factors: shooting, as measured by the team's effective field goal percentage.

Before the trade, their effective FG percentage was .519; now it's .547. Before the trade, their adjusted differential was 2.9; now it's 9.9.

If the Magic's performance since the trade was maintained all season, it would put Orlando first in the league in effective field goal percentage. The Magic have shot the lights out since the trades, averaging 11.0 3-pointers per game, up from an average of 8.3 early in the season. Last year's Orlando team set the NBA record by making 10.1 3s a game. This year's group might feature even more shooters around center Dwight Howard. As explained by Orlando Pinstriped Post, the trades have also given the team admirable balance on the offensive end.

The defensive uptick might be the more surprising aspect of the Magic's success given that Stan Van Gundy has had to integrate Arenas and Richardson into his defensive system on the fly. (Turkoglu faced no such adjustment since he played for Van Gundy as recently as two years ago.) Orlando has also improved defensively without a legitimate backup center, another testament to Van Gundy's defensive prowess.

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Monday, Jan. 10, 2010, 12:30 PM

Unselfish and Balanced

To new-look Orlando Magic have come together quicker than expected.

The Magic are shooting the ball well, sharing the ball well, and have seen an increase in fast break points (translation: easier baskets) since the trade.

Stan Van Gundy's eight-man rotation has rolled to a franchise-tying nine straight wins (9-2 since the acquisitions).

All eight rotational players - Jameer Nelson, Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, Brandon Bass, Dwight Howard, Gilbert Arenas, J.J. Redick, Ryan Anderson - have averaged double digits in points during the stretch.

In fact, Orlando has had nine straight games with five or more players in double-figures in points and had six players with double-figure points in seven straight games -- the longest such streak in the NBA over the last 18 seasons.

"The guys are playing with a lot of confidence," says Van Gundy, who continues to preach all-important defense, so much so that the squad ran a few suicide sprints after its workout Monday because of a, shall we say, lapse in defensive execution during practice.

The Orlando Magic seemingly have built a resilience. They've fought through a nasty, team-depleting flu bug, a bus-stranding blizzard, schedule-altering game cancellations and the blockbuster trade.

The resiliency will certainly be important come crunch time.

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Saturday, Jan. 8, 10:30 AM

Three-Point Play

1) The Orlando Magic certainly are awesome when protecting the paint. To date, the squad has allowed just 34.9 points per game in the lane, the second fewest in the NBA and of course the biggest reason why is Dwight Howard.

Longest Active Streak With 1+ Blocks


PLAYER
STREAK
Dwight Howard 40
Amar'e Stoudemire 25
Yao Ming 15
Al Jefferson 12


2) The Magic have seen their offense flourish during their current eight-game win streak. They have scored at least 110 points in four of their last five games.

Orlando Magic, Games with 110+ Points, 2010-11 Season


First 31 Games: ​4
Last 5 Games: ​4

More on the streak....

Orlando has won a season-high eight consecutive games from Dec. 23-present, tied for the longest current streak in the NBA (as of Dec. 8)…It marks the longest winning streak for the Magic since they won eight straight games last season from Feb. 28-Mar. 13…The longest win streak in franchise history is nine games, done twice, from Jan. 30-Feb. 18, 2001 and Nov. 12-Dec. 2, 1994…Here’s a deeper look at the numbers during their current ride:

CATEGORY
DURING 8-GAME WIN STREAK (Dec. 23-present)
Scoring 106.5 ppg. (852 points)
Rebounding 43.8 rpg. (350 rebounds)
Assists 24.5 apg. (196 assists)
FG Percentage .493 (316-641)
3-PT FG Percentage .430 (92-214)
Margin of Victory 14.4 ppg. (115 points/8 wins)


The Magic have recorded winning streaks of seven-or-more games 11 times in franchise history…Four of those streaks have come during Stan Van Gundy’s tenure (2007-present)…Here are the longest winning streaks in franchise history:

WIN STREAKS
DATES
9 Games Jan. 30-Feb. 18, 2001
9 Games Nov. 12-Dec. 2, 1994
8 Games Dec. 23, 2010-present
8 Games Feb. 28-Mar. 13, 2010
8 Games Mar. 31-Apr. 15, 2006
7 Games 6 times, last from Jan. 6-Jan. 17, 2009


**MAGIC TRICKS – STREAKS** The Magic have won each of their eight games during this current streak by a margin of at least eight points…It is the longest such streak in franchise history and it is the second-longest streak of its kind in the NBA this season (Miami won nine straight by eight-or-more from Nov. 29-Dec. 13).

3) J.J. Redick has made over half (56.6 percent) of his three-point attempts over the last three and a half weeks. In fact, no Eastern Conference player has hit more treys than Redick during this span.

Most 3-Point FGM, Since December 14


PLAYER
#
Dorell Wright 34
Manu Ginobili 32
Kevin Martin 32
J.J. Redick 30
Monta Ellis 29


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Posted by Glass Half Full, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2010, 8:30 AM

To Super Size or Not?

OK, time to address the elephant in the room.

Do the Magic really need another big man? And, do they grow on trees?

Here's my take:

1) GM Otis Smith is always on the lookout to improve the team. Hey, it comes with the job and he does it extremely well.

2) The Magic have a unique and talented pair of power forwards in 6-10, floor-spreading Ryan Anderson and Hustle and Muscle Brandon Bass. Bass can certainly slide to center for a short period of time which at the end of the day is all you are looking for from that spot. Plus, remember teams also have to match to the Magic on the offensive end of the floor, so going head to head with beef may not be the best answer. Maybe, make the Celtics match you. Also, don't forget about Earl Clark, a young, talented player, who by the way has a seven-foot, two-inch wingspan.

3) A lot of the jabber is what if Dwight Howard is in foul trouble, or out for a period of time? Hey, if Dwight is unable to play you have bigger problems and a journey man center is probably not going to get you where you want to go. Dwight needs to be on the floor for the Magic to be wearing rings. He has gotten smarter in not picking up ticky-tack fouls 90 feet from the basket too.

4) Malik Allen, a true pro, is on the mend. He has a keen understanding of the Magic system and will be able to spell Dwight for the short time needed.

5) Shocker, but big men don't exactly fall into your lap. Rest assured, but the Magic will be on the lookout, but acting quickly, or acting just to act on it isn't the best play at this point.

Orlando certainly has it's mojo and rotation rolling. With "The Trade" came great offensive power, and the Magic, under Stan Van Gundy, have relied on a sound team defensive approach obviously anchored by Superman. At the end of the day, don't rule super sizing out, but only if it truly fits.

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2011, 11:30 AM

Trading Places

Today, let’s take a look at the Magic before and after Dec. 20, the first contest featuring the new-look Magic.

CATEGORY
BEFORE DEC. 20 (26 games)
DEC 20-PRESENT (8 games)
Points 96.6 ppg. (2,511 pts.) 103.1 ppg. (825 pts.)
Opponent points 92.8 ppg. (2,414 opp. pts.) 93.9 ppg. (751 opp. pts.)
FG percentage .464 (920-1,982) .472 (299-634)
Opponent FG percentage .443 (904-2,040) .425 (275-647)
3-point FG percentage .352 (217-617) .431 (94-218)
Assists 18.3 apg. (476 assists) 23.1 apg. (185 assists)


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Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, Dec. 31, 2010, 3:30 PM

Amazing Shooting at Practice

Great shooting display toward the end of practice Friday afternoon.

In nine minutes, Hedo Turkoglu and Ryan Anderson combined to make 100 three-pointers. They made 20 from each of five spots -- each corner, each wing, and the top of the key.

Now, that's some shooting.

Grab a friend and try it. 100 NBA three-pointers in nine minutes.

Awesome.

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2010, 10:30 PM

Ryno!

Ryan Anderson brings a unique look to the Magic.

With long-range shooting ability, he's a floor spreader which is optimal when playing Orlando's inside-out Superman attack.

He's also a talented rebounder.

That's a combo you don't often see. Three-pointers and the ability to work hard in the paint to go get the basketball off the board.

One thing perhaps overlooked in Orlando's blockbuster trade, and specifically letting go of Rashard Lewis, is the confidence the Magic had in both hustling and muscling Brandon Bass, and in Anderson at the power forward position.

While hard to part with the unselfish and true pro Lewis, Anderson has certainly helped in filling the role.

His skills were on display in Cleveland Tuesday night. He opened the crunch time fourth quarter with a pair of trifectas which jump started the team, then hit the offensive glass to keep a ball alive which Hedo Turkoglu then converted for a three-point play.

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Monday, Dec. 27, 2010, 9:30 PM

Quick Hitters

The Magic have their mojo back, playing unselfishly and with great confidence...Rest assured, Head Coach Stan Van Gundy will not let the squad get over confident...Since the trade, Orlando has been outstanding in transition.

One key is numerous players can handle the ball and push it up the floor (Gil, Turk, Jameer, JRich etc...)...Hedo Turkoglu has returned to Orlando in great shape. His quickness is back and he is 10 pounds lighter....The Magic is a much better passing team today...Love the bench, especially Ryan Anderson, J.J. Redick and Gilbert Arenas. That's a solid trio off the pine...The ultimate key will still be defending, rebounding and taking care of the ball...Dwight Howard 11 blocked shots in the last two games. Can you say three-peat on DPOY.

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Monday, Dec. 27, 2010, 5:30 PM

Neither Rain, nor, Sleet, nor Snow....

You Can't Stop The Magic

Chicago's own Quentin Richardson suggested some pizza, movies and a Venti Latte'

Already one game canceled because of an inferior floor in Tampa, another because of construction issues in New York's Madison Square Garden, a rampant, team-depleting stomach bug, and now the blizzard which blanketed the East Coast was playing havoc with your Magic.

En route to the game against the Nets, there we sat on the team bus, stuck in a snow drift, literally shutting down Washington Street in Hoboken, New Jersey.

"Floor it," says Q, who is keeping everyone loose.

The decision is made to de-board the bus, walk back a few blocks through massive snow drifts and howling winds, and board the teams' second bus.

Mission accomplish. Who says 20 inches of snow can slow your Magic.

Now, for the game.

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Saturday, Dec. 25, 2010, 5:30 PM

Streak Busters

On Dec. 23, the Orlando Magic defeated San Antonio, 123-101, snapping their 10-game win streak...Then on Dec. 25, the Magic beat Boston, 86-78, ending the Celtics' 14-game win streak...It marks the first time in 13 years that a team has ended two, 10+ game winning streaks...The last time it was accomplished, the L.A. Lakers defeated Phoenix on Apr. 11, 1997, ending their 11-game winning streak, then beat Utah on Apr. 13, 1997, putting a halt to the Jazz's 15-game winning streak.

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Thursday, Dec. 23, 2010, 10:30 AM

Make It A Four-Point Play

1) The Magic have used more than their share of different starting lineups this season.

Most Starting Lineups Used – 2010-11


TEAM
#
Washington Wizards 12
Orando Magic 10
Toronto Raptors 10
Milwaukee Bucks 9
New Jersey Nets 9
Sacramento Kings 9


Last year Orlando used 11 different lineups all season. Meanwhile, the Spurs are one of two teams (also the Lakers) to use the same starting lineup in every game this season.

2) One thing going for the Magic is their success on Thursdays in recent history. They haven’t lost a Thursday home game since January 22, 2009 (a 90-80 defeat against the Celtics).

Best Record on Thursdays – Since 2005-06 (Minimum 2 Games)


TEAM
RECORD
%
Detroit Pistons 17-7 .708
Orlando Magic 14-7 .667
Boston Celtics 14-7 .667
Houston Rockets 16-9 .640
Denver Nuggets 22-13 .629
San Antonio Spurs 27-16 .628


3) Dwight Howard recorded his 28th career 20-point, 20-rebound game on Tuesday against the Mavericks.

Active Players, Most Career 20-Point, 20-Rebound Games


PLAYER
#
Shaquille O'Neal 34
Dwight Howard 28
Kevin Garnett 27
Tim Duncan 20
Elton Brand 8


Howard also has 20+ rebounds in three straight games. Howard was the last NBA player to accomplish this, in December 2007. The last player with 20+ rebounds in four straight games was Ben Wallace in March 2003 (5 straight games).

4) Stan Van Gundy and Gregg Popovich are two of the most successful coaches in NBA history.

Highest Win Percentage as Head Coach – All-Time (Minimum 6 Seasons Coached)


COACH
RECORD
%
Phil Jackson 1119-468 .705
Billy Cunningham 454-196 .698
Gregg Popovich 761-365 .676
K.C. Jones 522-252 .674
Red Auerbach 938-479 .662
Stan Van Gundy 298-161 .649


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Posted by Glass Half Full, Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010, 2:30 PM

More Reax

Lots of reaction from Orlando’s blockbuster trade. Below some comments gathered by FanHouse from anonymous NBA scouts.

“The first thing that struck me is how it’s so rare, maybe unprecedented, that you get guys of that quality in a trade. I think they (Orlando) came out like bandits. I really do.”

“I think it’s exciting because they’re willing to throw the dice a little. That’s some firepower, and then some.”

“They got younger, and Turkoglu….J-Rich can still explode…If Turkoglu can regain some of the form he had when he played there, that’s going to make them a lot better….If he (Gilbert) plays really well, then this is going to be a great couple of trades they made.”

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Monday, Dec. 20, 2010, 7:56 PM

Magic Beast

Whenever my 13-year-old son sees something cool he says, "That's Beast."

Enter Magic.

I love this snippet from ESPN's J A Adande's recent column:

"As one NBA executive said, "That's a beast of a team offensively." There's Howard inside, Turkoglu can shoot or drive, Arenas can still score 20-30, Richardson can drop shots from the corners and Jameer Nelson can run the point."

Added ESPN's Chris Sheridan, "Kudos to Otis Smith for realizing now, in December, that his team was going to eventually get steamrolled by either Miami or Boston, for doing something about it now instead of later. Kudos for bringing in a ton of scoring capability at the price of an expiring contract (Vince Carter) who was a bust versus the Celtics last postseason, and a mammoth believed-to-be-untradeable contract (Rashard Lewis) who was producing less bang for the buck than anybody not named Eddy Curry.

Whether Arenas starts or comes off the bench, he's a 20-point guy every single night. J-Rich has 62 3-pointers -- almost as many as Lewis and Carter combined -- and Hedo knows the Magic's system and can go back to playing some point forward as he did when he was at his peak. They've lost their depth in the middle, but they're doomed anyway if Dwight Howard goes down."

Now, that's beast.

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Sunday, Dec. 19, 2010, 8:00 PM

Here We Go

The Orlando Magic will get a fresh start Monday night.

The goal, however, certainly remains the same -- win the championship.

Orlando heads into its new season with an increased talent level. Of note, the Magic now has three leading scorers. Dwight Howard is leading the Magic in scoring, while Gilbert Arenas paced Washington in points and Jason Richardson ranked first in Phoenix. Orlando finds itself with several guys who can create their own shot, while being able to create for others.

It will be a process as the Magic men get to know each other on and off the floor, but this much certainly is known -- Orlando is one of just a handful of teams which has the talent in place to bring home the trophy. It's essentially the Magic, Celtics and Heat in the East and the Lakers, Spurs and Mavericks in the West.

While there is great offensive power on the new-look Magic, Stan Van Gundy's focus will continue to be on the defensive end. Yes, offense is sexy, but defense wins championships.

While this may take some time, Magic faithful should be excited about what's to come from its team.

It's 120 days until the playoffs. Certainly time to get well.

Here we go.

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010, 10:00 PM

On the Attack

In acquiring Gilbert Arenas, Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson, and Earl Clark here will be three areas of impact.

1. Improved Size – Orlando becomes bigger at the small-forward position with Hedo Turkoglu, and bigger at the shooting guard with Jason Richardson.

2. Added Versatility – Gilbert Arenas can play the point or shooting guard, Richardson can play the shooting guard or small forward and Turkoglu can play the small forward or power forwards spots.

3. Increased Ways To Attack – The staple of the NBA is the pick-and-roll. The Magic will now add Arenas and Turkoglu to its pick-and-roll game. The Magic continue to have its outside shooting touch, and have added players who can create their own shots, while also having the ability to create for others.

Hey, don’t take it from Glass Half Full, here is Ian Thomsen of Sports Illustrated:

The Orlando Magic have made a bold return to championship contention…The Magic were hoping to emerge from the weekend with a far more potent lineup of All-Star center Dwight Howard and Arenas to go with Jason Richardson, current point guard Jameer Nelson and Turkoglu, the 6-10 point forward who created mismatches during Orlando's surprising run to the 2009 NBA Finals…The Magic have fallen out of title contention this season because they've lacked big-time playmakers around Howard, who can become a free agent in 2012. These moves prove the high-spending Magic, who were unable to hold onto Shaquille O'Neal as a free agent in 1996, are doing everything within their means to hold onto the league's top-rated center…The Magic will have increased their firepower and rejuvenated title hopes in their first year at the expensive 18,500-seat Amway Center in downtown Orlando. The ultimate aim is for Orlando to deploy Howard along with the explosive perimeter scoring of Arenas, Richardson, Nelson and Turkoglu to compete in the playoffs with the star-laden rosters of Boston and Miami in the East, and ultimately with the two-time champion Lakers.

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, Dec. 17, 2010, 1:00 PM

Powerful Future

ESPN “Future Power Rankings” had this to say about your Magic.

“The Magic should be one of the best teams in the league for the foreseeable future based solely on having Dwight Howard patrolling the paint…Orlando’s management also rates highly, thanks to stable ownership under the DeVos Family, a solid GM in Otis Smith and one of the NBA’s top coaches in Stan Van Gundy.”

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2010, 10:30 AM

Three-Point Play

1) Orlando has been one of the NBA’s best first-quarter teams this season.

Magic in First Quarter, 2010-11 – w/NBA Ranks


STAT
AVERAGE
RANK
Points/Gm​ 26.3​ t-6th
Opp Points/Gm​​ 21.0​​ 1st
Avg Pt Diff +5.3 2nd (LAL, +5.8)
FG Pct​​ .504​​ 3rd
Opp FG Pct​​ .428​ 5th
Gms Trailing Thru 1st 4​​ 2nd fewest (LAL, 3)


2) The Magic are still unbeaten when committing fewer turnovers than they force.

Best Record When Fewer TO Than Opponent, NBA 2010-11


TEAM
RECORD
%
Orlando Magic 8-0 1.000
Utah Jazz 13-1 .929
Dallas Mavericks 11-1 .917
San Antonio Spurs 13-2 .867
Boston Celtics 12-2 .857


3) Dwight Howard leads the league in dunks over the last few seasons.

Most Dunks, NBA Since 2008-09


PLAYER
#
Dwight Howard 382
Amar'e Stoudemire 340
Nene Hilario 303
Andre Iguodala ​​298
Kevin Durant 273


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Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, Dec. 10, 2010, 2:30 PM

Three-Point Play

1) The Magic’s 15-7 start has been powered by a defense that has surrendered the second-fewest points through 22 games by any team in franchise history.

Fewest Opponent PPG thru 22 Games, Magic All-Time


SEASON
OPP PPG
1998-99 87.6
2010-11 ​91.1 (2004/22)
2005-06 ​91.4
1996-97 92.0
2006-07 92.4


2) Dwight Howard and Al Jefferson are arguably the two most dynamic players from the 2004 draft class.

Most Career Games w/20+ Points 10+ Reb, 2004 Draft Class (overall pick number in parentheses)


PLAYER
#
Dwight Howard (1) 173
Al Jefferson (15) 103
Emeka Okafor (2) 51
Josh Smith (17) 47
Luol Deng (7) 31


3) The Magic have won when they’ve received solid contributions from Quentin Richardson.

Quentin Richardson in Wins & Losses, 2010-11


IN WINS
IN LOSSES
PPG 8.9 (134/15) 4.4 (31/7)
FG% .441 (45-102) .256 (11-43)
3-Pt FG% .400 (26-65) .174 (4-23)


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Posted by Glass Half Full, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010, 11:30 AM

Three-Point Play

1) The Magic have yet to lose a game this season when they force more turnovers than they commit.

Best Record When Less Turnovers than Opponent, 2010-11


TEAM
RECORD
Jazz 11-0
Magic ​8-0
Mavericks ​10-1
Spurs 12-2
Celtics 11-2


2) Dwight Howard is one of four players averaging at least 10 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots per game thus far.

Players Averaging 10.0 Rebs & 1.5 Blocks per Game, 2010-11 (Minimum 12 games)


PLAYER
RPG
BPG
Dwight Howard 12.1 2.4
Marcus Camby 10.5 1.7
Pau Gasol 11.6 2.1
Andrew Bogut 11.5 2.8


3) The Magic have defended the painted area well this season, especially when on the road.

Longest Active Road Streak Allowing 40 or Fewer Points in Paint


TEAM
STREAK
Orlando Magic 11
L.A. Clippers 7
Denver Nuggets 4
Portland Trail Blazers 4
Indiana Pacers 3
Boston Celtics 3
Charlotte Bobcats 3


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Posted by Glass Half Full, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010, 3:37 PM

ESPN Spotlights Nelson

Nice national attention for Jameer Nelson. In ESPN.com’s best “under-the-radar” stories, they had this to say about Orlando’s little general:

“Jameer Nelson has returned to playing at an All-Star-caliber level. When Nelson is at his best, he's one of the more efficient perimeter players in the NBA on offense. But the difference with Nelson this season is that he's passing the basketball at an excellent rate -- his assist percentage of 42.4 percent is a career best and ranks sixth in the league (ahead of notable players like Jason Kidd).”

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Posted by Glass Half Full, Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010, 12:37 PM

Through 20

Orlando posted a 15-5 record through the first 20 games of the 2010-11 campaign. It marks the fourth consecutive season to have 15 wins or more through 20 games, all coming under Stan Van Gundy, and just the seventh time in franchise history. Here’s a quick look at the best 20-game starts in team history and how the Magic finished in those seasons:

SEASON
RECORD THROUGH 20 GAMES
FINAL RECORD
2010-11 15-5 (.750) ???
2009-10 16-4 (.800) 59-23 (.720)
2008-09 15-5 (.750) 59-23 (.720)
2007-08 16-4 (.800) 52-30 (.634)
1996-97 7-3 (.700) 45-37 (.549)
1995-96 16-4 (.800) 60-22 (.732)
1994-95 16-4 (.800) 57-25 (.695)







Posted by Glass Half Full, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010, 9:46 AM

Three-Point Play

1) Orlando has lost just once all season when holding its opponent below 100 points.

Best Win Pct. when Allowing Less than 100 Pts. – 2010-11


TEAM
RECORD
Suns 4-0
Magic ​14-1
Spurs ​10-2
Mavericks 13-3
Six Other Teams .800


2) The Magic have done a good job keeping opponents off the glass.

Fewest Opponent RPG – 2010-11


TEAM
OPP RPG
Magic 36.6
Bobcats 37.9
Celtics 38.3
Raptors 38.5
Clippers 39.2


3) Brandon Bass had a career-high 27 points on Friday, missing just one of his 12 field-goal attempts.

Magic, Highest FG Pct. in Game – Since 1991-92 (min. 10 FGA)


DATE
PLAYER
OPPONENT
FG %
2/24/10 Dwight Howard Rockets 1.000 (11/11)
1/22/94 Shaquille O'Neal 76ers .938 (15/16)
4/14/07 Dwight Howard 76ers .933 (14/15)
2/07/07 Dwight Howard Raptors .929 (13/14)
12/03/10 Brandon Bass Pistons .917 (11/12)









Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, Dec. 3, 2010, 11:42 PM

Eight Is Enough

Magic faithful witnessed President of Basketball Operations Otis Smith's deep, flexible roster Friday night in the Motor City.

With a stomach bug side lining Eastern Conference Player of the Month Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson, J.J. Redick and Mickael Pietrus, and Ryan Anderson spraining his foot after only 28 seconds on the floor, the Magic got a total team effort from the eight remaining healthy players.

The biggest lift came from frontcourters Brandon Bass (career-high 27 points) and Marcin Gortat (14 points, 11 boards, three blocks).

Bass has done what Coach Stan Van Gundy has asked. Defend, rebound and bring energy, while his offensive game is strong and solid. He's all hustle and muscle.

Gortat answered the bell Friday as well by doing what SVG has asked - play to his strengths. His strengths: pick and roll basketball, defend, rebound and run the floor.

When Gortat does what he does well he's a huge asset.

Experience gained by the Polish Hammer and Bass-O-Matic in games such as Friday night in Detroit will certainly pay dividends come playoff time.

In the morning shoot-around eight-plus hours before the game you could feel a sense of excitement from general manager Smith and even head coach Van Gundy.

While it's not fun to see players down, they both could see the silver lining - the deep roster would get tested. Smith smiled and SVG never let off the gas on his expectations of playing winning basketball.

It all came to fruition as eight was enough.






Posted by Glass Half Full, Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010, 11:30 AM

Here's Hollinger!

Now, NBA writer extraordinaire John Hollinger is subbing for Glass Half Full. Here are some excerpts from his latest column following the Magic's win in ChiTown:

Writes Hollinger: "Of course it would happen this way.Of course the Orlando Magic , the Rodney Dangerfields of the NBA, would play their best game of the season when absolutely nobody is talking about anything but LeBron James' return to Cleveland.The Magic's 107-78 win over the Bulls on Wednesday night was a complete and utter domination from start to finish. This wasn't basketball, it was surgery... Not that you'll see much mention of this performance on the front page of the paper Thursday."How'd the Heat do tonight," joked Magic coach Stan Van Gundy to open his postgame news conference. "Was their chemistry good, did they all get along?""Tomorrow, the only the thing that's going to be on ESPN is LeBron going back to Cleveland, right? Because ESPN only covers two stories -- Brett Favre and the Miami Heat . And then we have about five minutes for the rest of the sports world." ...Actually, our TV network has covered a certain Orlando Magic season-ticket holder fairly thoroughly, as well, but Van Gundy's larger point is that his team once again is lying in the weeds while big-market teams hog the spotlight. The Magic, at this point, are basically San Antonio East.Despite a choppy opening fortnight, the Magic sit at 14-4, tied with Boston for the best record in the East, and sport the NBA's second-best point differential at plus-7.9 points per game. Orlando has won nine of its past 10, with the only defeat coming on the road against those Spurs in a contest virtually every observer deemed NBA Finals-quality.So good were Orlando's guards, in fact, that center Dwight Howard didn't need to unveil his midrange bank shot -- all 12 of his attempts came from inside 10 feet. Howard's newfound weapon is but one more reason the Magic seem as viable as ever as an Eastern Conference contender...But, they'll be fighting an uphill battle for attention on most days this season, with their in-state rivals commanding most of our attention and the two-time champion Lakers soaking up much of what's left. But the Magic would like to remind you that they won the East in 2009, were two wins away from repeating the feat last postseason, and seem just as potent this time around. Ignore them at your own peril."

Well said.






Posted by Glass Half Full, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010, 11:30 PM

In Superman's Shadow

Somewhat in the shadow of Superman's Cape, Jameer Nelson is putting together an All-Star- worthy season.

Nelson, the heart and soul of the Magic along with Superman Dwight Howard, is averaging a career-best seven assists per game.

One of the keys is Nelson has been on the attack, which is when he has traditionally been at his best.

Noteworthy is the fact that Orlando is 8-1 on the season when they out-assist its opponent.

Having more assists usually means Mighty Mouse is on the attack, breaking down defenses, pushing the ball and distributing it to trigger Orlando's multifaceted offense. And, his sweet shooting ability adds to the Magic's arsenal.

A healthy, attacking Nelson was on display Wednesday night against All-Star Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls.

Nelson outplayed Rose and finished with 24 points and nine assists, as the Magic notched its fifth win in a row.

When you are punching your All-Star ballot for Dwight, don't forget about Jameer for your East-leading Magic.






Posted by Glass Half Full, Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010, 4:30 PM

Dwight D MVP

The latest ESPN Awards Watch has Dwight Howard ranked No. 1 in the MVP race.

Writes the worldwide leader, “If the league's most dominant big man wins the MVP trophy, he should bring Hakeem Olajuwon who work with him in the offseason on his low-post moves, to the podium.”

Howard also ranks No. 1 in the running for Defensive Player of the Year.

ESPN: “At his size, it is hard to believe he is sometimes overlooked, but this might end up being his greatest all-around season to date.”

Dwight Howard, Most Consecutive Games with 20+ Points - Career

DATES
#
FEB-06-2007 - FEB-23-2007 8
DEC-12-2007 - DEC-23-2007 ​7
NOV-14-2007 - NOV-23-2007 ​6
NOV-18-2010 - NOV-27-2010 (active) 6
JAN-24-2009 - FEB-02-2009 5
FEB-17-2010 - FEB-26-2010 5







Posted by Glass Half Full, Monday, Nov. 29, 2010, 2:30 PM

Bass-amatic

While Dwight Howard continues to play MVP Basketball – he’s now been named the Eastern Conference’s Player of the Week twice in the first four weeks – Brandon Bass quietly is putting together a Sixth Man of the Year candidacy.

Bass has now scored in double-figures six times this season. All last year he notched double-digits in points 11 times.

His points per game has gone from 5.8 to 9.3 ppg. this year, while his rebounding numbers have essentially doubled, from 2.5 rpg. last year to 4.9 rpg. this year.

Bass worked hard this summer, getting a greater handle on the Stan Van Gundy’s offensive and defensive schemes and he is playing with great confidence.

Yes, “Hustle & Muscle” has certainly had a solid start to the season.






Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, Nov. 26, 2010, 5:30 PM

Dwight Dunks on South Beach

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. Great shot by Orlando Magic team photographer Fernando Medina.




































Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, Nov. 26, 2010, 9:46 AM

Three-Point Play

1) The Magic are off to another solid start and have won over three-quarters of their contests prior to the month of December of the past five seasons.

Best Record in October-November – since 2006-07


TEAM
RECORD
Los Angeles Lakers 59-18 (.766)
Orlando Magic ​63-20 (.759)
Boston Celtics ​58-21 (.734)
San Antonio Spurs 56-22 (.718)
Dallas Mavericks 53-26 (.671)


2) Dwight Howard is making an early case for the league’s MVP, leading the Magic in both scoring and rebounding 11 times already this season.

Most Games Leading Team in Points & Rebounds – 2010-11


PLAYER
#
Dwight Howard 11
Carmelo Anthony 7
Kevin Love 6
Zach Randolph 5
Amar'e Stoudemire 5
Luis Scola 5


3) Jameer Nelson was able to put up some points against the Cavs’ point guards in the meetings between these clubs in 2009-10.

Jameer Nelson, Highest Scoring Avg vs. Team – since 2009-10 (minimum 2 games)


OPPONENT
PPG
Raptors 23.0
Cavaliers 16.8
Rockets 16.0
Suns 15.5
Mavericks 15.0









Posted by Glass Half Full, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010, 10:46 AM

Three-Point Play

1) Over the last 4+ seasons, Dwight Howard has repeatedly dominated the glass and the lane.

Most Games with 10+ Rebounds & 2+ Blocks, Since 2006-07


PLAYER
10+ REBOUND & 2+ BLOCK GAMES
Dwight Howard 186
Marcus Camby ​146
Tim Duncan ​119
Samuel Dalembert 99


2) Just like last season, the Magic are receiving long-range scoring from a number of sources this season.

Most Players Averaging 1+ 3-Point FGM Per Game, 2010-11 (min 8 games played)


TEAM
3-POINT FGMPG
Los Angeles Lakers 6
Orlando Magic 5
Phoenix Suns 5


3) With 10 points tonight, Vince Carter will become the only active player with 1000 career points against the Pacers.

Active Players, Most Career Points vs. Pacers


PLAYER
POINTS VS. PACERS
Vince Carter 990
Shaquille O’Neal ​961
Paul Pierce 873
Ray Allen 815









Posted by Glass Half Full, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010, 1:30 PM

Worldwide Leader Likes D12

Glass Half Full loves this week’s ESPN “NBA Awards Watch” take on the MVP race.

Writes the worldwide leader about Dwight Howard: “Everyone has been busy tripping over themselves getting on and off the Heat bandwagon, overlooking a strong Orlando team and its star in the middle who has improved his offensive game.”

On the Defensive Player of the Year campaign, ESPN writes: “Barring injury, Howard is a lock to finish in the top three in rebounding and blocks and is the overwhelming favorite to win this award…again.”

Christmas in November

Dwight Howard and Vince Carter taped promos for ESPN and ABC Wednesday following practice. The teases will be used to promote the networks Christmas Day coverage. The Magic host the Celtics Dec. 25.

Earlier this week, Howard also taped a local anti-bullying public service announcement.






Posted by Glass Half Full, Monday, Nov. 15, 2010, 11:30 PM

700 Club

Through some of the early trials and tribulations, both on the defensive and offensive ends, here is where your Magic finds itself after 10 games: 7-3, first place in the Southeast Division and with the second-best record in the Eastern Conference.

A .700 winning percentage extrapolates to 57-plus wins. Pretty darn good.

And the silver lining is that your Magic has won seven of its first 10 not exactly playing its best ball.

This is the 10th time in franchise history Orlando has opened the season with at least seven wins in its first 10 contests.

Five times with that start Orlando has gone on to win 50-plus games.

Every one of Head Coach Stan Van Gundy's four editions has started at least with seven wins in its first 10 games.

So, with some arm chair point guards weighing in, your Magic are off to a solid start. With room for improvement, the glass is certainly more than half full.






Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, Nov. 12, 2010, 10:30 AM

Three-Point Play

1) The Magic are one of the toughest teams in the league to score against.

Fewest Points Allowed per Game, 2010-11


TEAM
P.A.
New Orleans Hornets 90.1
Orlando Magic 90.9
Milwaukee Bucks 91.3
Dallas Mavericks 91.7


2) A major reason why is Orlando’s ability to protect the paint.

Fewest Points Allowed in the Paint per Game, 2010-11


TEAM
P.A.
Orlando Magic 30.9
Milwaukee Bucks 34.0
Boston Celtics 36.0


3) Orlando leads the East in second chance points:

Most Second Chance Points per Game, Eastern Conf., 2010-11


TEAM
SCPPG
Orlando Magic 15.4
Toronto Raptors 15.4
New Jersey Nets 14.4








Posted by Glass Half Full, Thursday, Nov. 11, 2010, 12:30 PM

Defend. Rebound. Take Care of the Ball.

For your Orlando Magic it will come down to this: Defend, rebound and take care of the ball.

That trifecta is the elixir for your Magic.  

Do those three things and you can get through just about anything or anyone.

Whether it’s the continued and needed experimenting with the line-up, or three-pointers not quite falling yet, when you defend, rebound and limit turnovers all will eventually be well.

I thought head coach Stan Van Gundy made an interesting point in last night’s post-game press conference when he noted that when the Magic led the Jazz by 18, there really was nothing wrong with the line-ups, positions or rotation.

When the lead started to dwindle, the chatter seemed to turn to who was playing where.

Defend. Rebound. Take care of the ball.






Posted by Glass Half Full, Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2010, 8:30 AM

At Home at the Am

Orlando is undefeated in its new Amway Center home, with three of the four wins being by 15 points or more.

Orlando Magic in Home Games - 2010-11

PPG: 109.5 (438/4)
Opp PPG: 87.0 (348/4)
FG Pct: .491 (160/326)
Opp FG Pct: .401 (129/322)
RPG Margin: +15.0 (202/4 to 142/4)






Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, Nov. 5, 2010, 2:30 PM

By Sea, Land, Air

Interesting post-shootaround team meeting Friday, as the Magic welcomed Navy SEAL and NASA Astronaut Chris Cassidy into the locker room to talk to the squad.

Cassidy, who personifies mental toughness and leadership, spent 20-plus minutes talking to the team.

One topic which seemed to hit home was about picking each other up in tough times.

Cassidy said when he went through rigorous Navy SEAL training there were days his "teammates" didn't look like they could go any further. He and others were there to pick up the person who was down, while when he was ready to quit, others were there for him.

The talk, as you would expect, resonated with the squad.






Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, Nov. 5, 2010, 10:30 AM

Three-Point Play

1) Orlando has won its first two home games of the season by an average of 35.5 points – nearly twice the NBA record point differential for a home team in a single season.

Best PPG Differential in Home Games – All-Time (not including 2010-11 season)


SEASON
TEAM
DIFF.
1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks +17.9
1971-72 Milwaukee Bucks +17.7
1995-96 Chicago Bulls +17.1
1949-50 Minneapolis Lakers +16.0
1996-97 Chicago Bulls +15.2/td>


2) Both Orlando and New Jersey are getting good efforts on the boards from their reserves.

Most RPG off Bench – 2010-11


TEAM
#
New Jersey Nets 23.8
Orlando Magic 22.0
Minnesota Timberwolves 4
New York Knicks 19.5
Miami Heat 18.8


3) Dwight Howard has dominated his matchups with up-and-comer Brook Lopez.

Dwight Howard vs. Brook Lopez, Head-to-Head – All-Time


HOWARD
LOPEZ
Wins 5 1
PPG 20.0 (120/6) 12.2 (73/6)
RPG 14.8 (89/6) 7.8 (47/6)
BPG 3.2 (19/6) 2.2 (13/6)
FG Pct .594 (41/69) .462 (30/65)








Posted by Glass Half Full, Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010, 10:30 AM

Three-Point Play

1) Orlando has lost just seven times at home since the start of last season.

Best HOME Record, NBA Since 2009-10


TEAM
RECORD
%
Lakers 37-7 .841
Magic 35-7 .833
Hawks 35-7 .833
Nuggets 35-7 .833
Cavaliers 36-8 .818


2) Dwight Howard has had at least 1000 rebounds and 100 blocked shots in each of the last five seasons. Since blocks were first officially tracked (1973-74), only Moses Malone had more such seasons.

Most Seasons w/1000+ Rebounds & 100+ Blocks, Since 1973-74


OPPONENT
#
Moses Malone 7
Dwight Howard 5
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 4
Elvin Hayes 4
Dikembe Mutombo 4
Ben Wallace 4


3) The T-Wolves, Orlando’s opponent Wednesday night, has a roster which features four players who were selected in the top five overall of the NBA draft.

Most Top 5 Overall Draft Picks on Current Roster


PLAYER
#
Heat 6
Timberwolves 4
Thunder 4
Nuggets 4


The four players are Darko Milicic (2nd, 2003), Michael Beasley (2nd, 2008), Kevin Love (5th, 2008), and Wesley Johnson (4th, 2010).





Posted by Glass Half Full, Monday, Nov. 1, 2010, 6:30 PM

Good Practices

"Good practices...positive energy."

That's how Rashard Lewis summed up Orlando's last couple days of workouts coming off the game in Miami and getting ready for New York.

The loss to Miami is being viewed as a positive in some respects, as it shows what the Magic need to work on and where they need to go.

Practice focus was on details of offensive execution, passing, screening, ball movement, working to get to second and third options of the attack.

The bottom line: The Magic will be ready against the best teams when we they need to be ready.

Teams like Miami and Boston are long, athletic teams. They, like the Magic, play solid defense and disrupt offensive execution.

Thus, the focus for Orlando the last couple of days.

Time to get back on the bike Tuesday night.






Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, Oct. 29, 2010, 9:30 AM

High Five

1) No team in the Eastern Conference has beaten up on the Heat more in recent seasons than the Orlando Magic.

Eastern Conf Teams, Best Record vs. Heat – Since 2006-07


TEAM
RECORD
%
Orlando Magic 13-3 .813
Boston Celtics 12-3 .800
Cleveland Cavaliers 10-4 .714
Toronto Raptors 9-5 .643
Detroit Pistons 8-6 .571


2) Dwight Howard has pulled down 10 or more rebounds in 18 of his 24 career games against the Heat.

Howard, Most Games with 10+ Rebounds vs. Opponent – Career


OPPONENT
#
Charlotte Bobcats 23
Washington Wizards 23
Atlanta Hawks 19
Miami Heat 18
Boston Celtics 18


3) Maybe it is nerves with his new team, but LeBron James has recorded 17 turnovers in his first two games with the Heat.

Most Turnovers Thru Player’s First 2 Games of Season – Since 1986-87


PLAYER
#
2010-11, LeBron James, MIA 17
2004-05, Richard Jefferson, NJN 15
2007-08, Caron Butler, WAS 15
6 Others Tied 14


4) Neither Orlando or Miami has allowed many points in the paint last season.

Fewest Opponent Points in the Paint per Game - 2009-10


TEAM
AVERAGE
Orlando Magic 36.6 (3000/82)
Cleveland Cavaliers 36.8
Miami Heat 37.0 (3036/82)
Milwaukee Bucks 37.5
Boston Celtics 38.2


5) Since Rashard Lewis joined the Magic in 2007-08, no player in the league has made more three-point shots.

Most Three-Point Made – Since 2007-08


PLAYER
#
Rashard Lewis 615
Jason Richardson 534
Ray Allen 529
Danny Granger 514
Peja Stojakovic 509






Posted by Glass Half Full, Monday, Oct. 25, 2010, 12:30 PM

NBA Preview

Short, sweet and to the point, here’s my NBA season preview, Glass Half Full style:

p=Playoff Bound

p Atlanta: Very athletic squad working to become more than just Joe Johnson offensively.

p Boston: Big, deep and and old, err, experienced.

Charlotte: Larry Brown will have them playing rock-solid defense.

p Chicago: Love gym rat Derrick Rose. It’s certainly his team. Boozer tough when healthy and new coach Tom Thibodeau will have them defending.

Cleveland: Rebuilding, but will play hard under Byron Scott.

p Dallas: Thirty-somethings Dirk, Jet, J-Kidd and Matrix Marion will make another run to the playoffs.

p Denver: Goes as Carmelo goes. Welcome back George Karl.

Detroit: Hey, they got T-Mac.

Golden State: High-scoring backcourt of Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis, and now perhaps a little defense with Keith Smart replacing Nellie.

p Houston: Yao is back which will help. Aaron Brooks, Kevin Martin, Courtney Lee and Luis Scola the other Houston headliners.

Indiana: Danny Granger fills up the stat sheet; like pick-up of point-guard Darren Collison.

L.A. Clippers: Blake Griffin returns and teams with Chris Kaman for formidable frontline; Looking for winning formula under new coach Vinny Del Negro.

p L.A. Lakers: The Champs. No doubt Kobe looking for more hardware.

p Memphis: Made nice jump last season with likes of Rudy Gay, O.J. Mayo, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. Taking next step always harder.

p Miami: They will get everyone’s championship effort every night.

p Milwaukee: Scott Skiles will having them playing hard; Bogut injury-prone, but important. Corey Maggette joins Brandon Jennings to score the ball.

Minnesota: Interesting mix, led by Kevin Love, Michael Beasley and rookie Wes Johnson.

New Jersey: Avery Johnson looks to rebound Nets from 12-70 season.

New Orleans: A happy, healthy Chris Paul continues to be the main point.

New York: Lights always bright on Broadway. Amare Stoudamire and Danilo Gallinari lead the way for coch Mike D’Antoni.

p Oklahoma City: Kevin Durant leads the athletic twenty-something Thunder looking to take the next step.

p Orlando: Deep, flexible and focused.

p Philadelphia: Athletic group led by Andre Igoudala, Thaddeus Young Jrue Holiday and hopefully healthy Elton Brand.

Phoenix: Steve Nash. Steve Nash. Steve Nash.

Portland: Love Brandon Roy, always wondering about health of Greg Oden.

Sacramento: Tyreke Evans at the point and rookie DeMarcus Cousins manning the paint.

p San Antonio: Tim Duncan can still do it and you have to love Ginobili. Lots of raves about 6-11 newcomer Tiago Splitter

Toronto: Headliner now Andrea Bargnani.

p Utah: Love Deron Williams, who now teams with Al Jefferson for Jerry Sloan.

p Washington: Will be fun to watch the backcourt featuring rookie John Wall and Gilbert Arenas.





Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, Oct. 22, 2010, 4:30 PM

Here We Go

After a month of training camp and preseason, here’s some Glass Half Full thoughts heading into the 2010-11 campaign:

· You can forget all the preseason predictions. Unlike college football’s BCS, the NBA championship will be settled on the court. Along with the loss to Boston in last year’s East Finals and the off-season happenings in South Florida, you might be able to argue that the predictions have played a part in producing an even more serious and focused Magic squad. But, the prognostications don’t really matter.

· Dwight Howard has led the way in the Magic’s business-like approach. Still fun-loving, Superman has made an adjustment in regard to his on-the-court demeanor which will provide dividends for your Magic. As you know he spent some time with Hakeem Olajuwon this summer, while also talking to another unnamed championship pedigree, ring-wearing superstar (sorry, GHF can’t divulge at this time) about his approach on the court.

· One of the keys to your Magic’s success this season will be the ability to do what has been successful (i.e. play tremendous defense and shoot the three-ball), while adding some wrinkles which will make the team better. While limiting quality opponent looks and playing great transition defense, look for your Magic to double-team superstars more and mix in a little zone defense.

· Offensively, look for the Magic to create more mismatches in the post and force teams to make a decisions on whether to double-team or play straight up. For example, you will see Rashard Lewis at the three position posting up. While ball movement and unselfish play will continue to be key, look for even more movement out of the offense this season. This allows the Magic to play with more freedom and makes the team less predictable and thus harder to prepare for.

· Orlando’s flexibility will be important in taking the next step. Again one of the keys to this is Lewis sliding to the small-forward spot and allowing the Magic to go big with Marcin Gortat or Brandon Bass or Ryan Anderson at the power forward position. Developing confidence in line-ups like these during the season will help the Magic come playoff time.

· Great credit goes to President of Basketball Operations Otis Smith and Head Coach Stan Van Gundy for working extremely hard to create a winning culture. In fact Since Stan Van Gundy’s arrival in 2007-08, the Magic have been one of the best teams, compiling a record of 170-76 (.691). That mark ranks fourth-best in the NBA during that span.





Posted by Glass Half Full, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2010, 3:30 PM

Hustle & Muscle

The fastest way to Head Coach Stan Van Gundy’s heart is by working your heart out on the defensive end.

Hello Brandon Bass.

Or as OrlandoMagic.com’s John Denton describes Bass, “Hustle & Muscle.”

``I went into this thinking that I would give it my all, take advantage of my opportunities and not over think things because last year I over thought things a lot,’’ Bass said after Orlando’s win in Atlanta in which he grabbed eight boards and scored 17 points in 20 minutes. ``I’m focused now on what really matters – defense and rebounding. I don’t even go on the offensive end without first thinking about rebounding. That’s the biggest difference for me now compared to back then (last season).’’

Hello Brandon Bass.

Hustle and muscle.

Bass’ effort and team approach is typical of your 2010-11 Magic, an incredibly deep squad with multiple options, but one singular mindset.

“`What is getting us through and why we’re playing so well is our intensity is very high and we’re playing extremely hard,’’ Van Gundy says. ``Our guys are getting after it. Our guys have played very hard every day. They go hard every single day and it’s just good habits. I just think we’re playing tougher than we have a year ago.’ Added Bass’ teammate and fellow power forward Ryan Anderson, “``I think everybody is realizing that this is a once-in-a-NBA-lifetime opportunity playing on a team like this. We’ve been working together through the summer and we’ve come in focused and ready to win a championship. Every night in some way we’re trying to go out there and show how great of a team that we are.’

Enough said.





Posted by Glass Half Full, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2010, 11:30 AM

Preseason Winning Streak

The Orlando Magic have now won 19 straight preseason games, dating back over the last three preseasons. While meaningless, Glass Half Full's crack research team went back to look at exhibition winning records. While not totally scientific, here is what we were able to find:

In the NBA, the Portland Trail Blazers had the second-longest preseason winning streak since 1996. The Trail Blazers won 11 straight from 01/28/1999-10/12/2000.

The Baltimore Ravens won 12 straight preseason games 08/08/1998-08/25/2000. That is the longest streak in the NFL since 1997.

The San Jose Sharks won 10 straight preseason games from 10/02/2003-09/19/2006. That is the longest streak in the NHL since at least 2003.

Major league baseball records are hard to verify as team's play a number of split squad contests during spring training.

This brings up the Glass Half Full idea presented here some time ago. The winner of the NBA preseason should get credit for one victory which could be applied in a tie-breaking regular season, playoff seeding situation. Say the Magic and Miami finish tied at the end of the regular season, and are tied in head-to-head play, the team with the best preseason record in the league can then claim the tie breaker with its preseason championship.

Now that's Glass Half Full thinking.





Posted by Glass Half Full, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2010, 10:49 PM

Leg Strength, Sweet Lew, Serious Demeanor and Defense

While just preseason, Vince Carter has had a solid start to his 2010-11 campaign, shooting 53 percent from the floor overall, 47 percent from three-point range, and filling up the box score as only VC can.

Commend Carter, 33-years-old and in his 13th season, for the fact that he came to preseason camp in outstanding shape. And credit Magic Strength-and-Conditioning Coach Joe Rogowski for the program he put Carter through.

Specifically, Carter and Rogowski focused on leg and ankle strength. "Half-Man-Half-Amazing" spent countless early morning hours on the track before training camp opened, and did multiple sets of squats and lunges, often resisted by giant rubber bands. He also worked to improve his ankle strength.

As players age, it is often the legs which go first. But Carter put in the extra time and effort to strengthen his base.

The results? Amazing, as he increased his vertical jump by two inches to 31 inches this summer.

* * *

Growing up, Rashard Lewis wanted to be a firefighter. So, it's no surprise he has the make-up to be prepared for anything.

Lewis continues to get time at both the small-forward and power-forward positions in preseason games and practices so he is prepare to play both, and his teammates are comfortable with working with him at either spot.

Against bigger teams Lewis will play more "three," while sliding to the "four" against smaller teams.

The key to the move has been Lewis' patented unselfishness, while the power forward trio of Ryan Anderson, Brandon Bass and Marcin Gortat have gained the confidence of Head Coach Stan Van Gundy, particularly at the defensive end.

The corp of "threes" and "fours" all adds up to great flexibility for your Magic.

* * *

There is no doubt that this edition of the Magic is incredibly focused and serious. While still fun-loving, Dwight Howard has brought a noticeable intensity and work ethic to all Magic practices. The serious nature of the Magic starts with Dwight.

* * *

Under Stan Van Gundy, the Magic will always be tireless workers on the defensive end. It's a big reason why Orlando is 128-28 when holding opponents under 100 points in SVG's three seasons at the helm. Daily the Magic work on getting back on defense, protecting the paint (i.e. making foes jump shooters) and playing without fouling so the opponent can not get to the free throw line and score easy points. All and all those are the basics to beating the NBA's top contenders.





Posted by Glass Half Full, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2010, 4:37 PM

Working Overtime

Great scene at Sunday's practice which spoke to your Orlando Magic's competitive fire.

After two-and-a-half hours of heart-pounding, leg-burning work, the final 12-minute scrimmage ended in a deadlock.

The players wouldn't stand for the kissing-your-sister tie. They called for overtime on their own to settle the final scrimmage.

After another two-minute stanza, it was still deadlocked. But the players wouldn't leave the floor.

"Sudden death," was suggested by head coach Stan Van Gundy.

Game on, again.

With a runner across the lane, Rashard Lewis banked in the battle winner and a spirited celebration ensued, culminating with a Lewis-Quentin Richardson flying chest bump.

The Magic weren't done yet. They completed the Sunday workout with their patented 20-20 drill. Half the team shoots for 20 minutes, while the other half heads to the weight room. After 20 minutes, they switch.

Yes, your Magic are working overtime.





Posted by Glass Half Full, Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010, 2:30 PM

Training Camp Update

Through the first two days of dreaded two-a-days, here's what Glass Half Full likes, and a couple things to continue to work on:

1. The competitiveness in both drills and scrimmages has been outstanding.

2. Orlando's focus on the defensive end in regard to executing schemes and coverage has been solid.

3. The Magic's unselfish play at the offensive end -- which results in great ball movement -- has been awesome.

A couple things the Magic will keep working on is: good, solid, fundamental passes and the always important defense in transition (i.e. get back on D).





Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, Sept. 24, 2010, 2:30 PM

Training Camp Keys

Let’s play a little Four Square.

Here are four things to watch as the Magic hit the hardwood for preseason training camp:

1. Integration of the new players -- Most notably Chris Duhon and Quentin Richardson.

2. Highly motivated Magic -- New competition awaits, and the Magic are still bitter over last year’s East Finals exit.

3. Inside-Out Attack – Magic look to get its version of the spread offense (Dwight inside, shooters outside) up and running.

4. D-Fence – Orlando’s goal is limit the oppositions quality looks at the basket.





Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, Sept. 17, 2010, 8:30 AM

Durable Dwight

One thing often forgotten in discussion about Dwight Howard’s development is the fact that the guy comes to work every day. You can count on one hand the number of practices he has missed over the last six years and he has played in 489 of a possible 492 regular season games over the course of his career. In fact, there are just five players in the league who have been named to an All-NBA Team in each of the last four years. Of those five, Dwight has missed the least amount of action. Superman certainly laces it up every night, more than any other “superstar”.

Games Missed


PLAYER
2006-07
2007-08
2008-09
2009-10
Dwight Howard 0 0 3 0
Dirk Nowitzki 4 5 1 1
Kobe Bryant 5 0 0 9
Tim Duncan 2 4 7 4
LeBron James 4 7 1 6






Posted by Glass Half Full, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2010, 12 PM

Who's The MVP?

ESPN.com recently asked the question, “Who will hoist the 2010-11 MVP trophy?

The worldwide leader narrowed the choices down to the following five: Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Dwight Howard.

It’s certainly nice to be in the conversation.

Here’s an ESPN.com snap shot of questions raised about each.

Durant: The heir apparent to King James’ throne?
Bryant: Creeping up on MJ in rings…Could injuries play a role?
James: Hard to be the alpha dog of the league when you might not be leader of your own pack?
Wade: Will there be enough shots for any of Miami’s Super Friends to have a legitimate shot?
Howard: Defense wins championships. But MVP’s?

GHF Take:
Durant: True gym rat, immensely talented, and incredible numbers, but does Thunder win enough to land him the prize?
Bryant: Not really one to doubt this ultra competitor, but he does have some mileage on him.
James: One ball, split votes with D-Wade.
Wade: One ball, split votes with L-James.
Howard: Why not? He just did become the first player in NBA History – Yes, history - to lead the league in blocked shots, rebounding and field goal percentage.







Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, Aug. 3, 2010, 3 PM

Best Won-Loss Record Since 2007-08

Here's a look at the best NBA won-loss records during the Stan Van Gundy/Orlando Magic Era (2007-08--2009-10)

%
TEAM
WIN
LOSS
0.728 L.A. Lakers 179 67
0.724 Boston Celtics 178 68
0.699 Cleveland Cavaliers 172 74
0.691 Orlando Magic 170 76
0.650 San Antonio Spurs 160 86
0.638 Denver Nuggets 157 89
0.634 Dallas Mavericks 156 90
0.630 Phoenix Suns 155 91
0.630 Utah Jazz 150 96
0.610 Houston Rockets 160 86
0.589 Portland Trail Blazers 145 101
0.577 New Orleans Hornets 142 104
0.557 Atlanta Hawks 137 109
0.508 Detroit Pistons 125 121
0.467 Chicago Bulls 115 131
0.463 Toronto Raptors 114 132
0.451 Charlotte Bobcats 111 135
0.439 Philadelphia 76ers 108 138
0.431 Milwaukee Bucks 106 140
0.427 Miami Heat 105 141
0.423 Indiana Pacers 104 142
0.419 Golden State Warriors 103 143
0.378 Oklahoma City Thunder 93 153
0.358 Washington Wizards 88 158
0.350 Memphis Grizzlies 93 153
0.341 New York Knicks 84 162
0.325 New Jersey Nets 80 166
0.325 Sacramento Kings 80 166
0.289 L.A. Clippers 71 175
0.245 Minnesota Timberwolves 61 185





Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, Aug. 2, 2010, 10 AM

Previews, Prognosticators’ Predictions & Power Rankings

Season previews, prognosticators’ predictions, and power rankings will be pouring in as training camp is just on the horizon (Sept. 28th is when your Orlando Magic officially get back to work). Lakers and Heat will undoubtedly take up a lot of ink and air. And that’s OK, because you play the games on the hardwood, not on paper. Here was one Glass Half Full came across this weekend. From probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com:

“They didn’t do much this off-season, other than be involved in Chris Paul rumors. Oh, and they got Chris Duhon, let us never forget that. But as much as they get overlooks, the Magic did not have to do much. This team has been to the NBA Finals and Eastern Conference Finals the last two years. They kept J.J. Redick and you’ll see more him…They will stick with their system of Dwight Howard and guys who can shoot the three, because it works. Jameer Nelson is still good and will have a chip on his shoulder. They still play defense. Overlook Orlando at your own peril, they are contenders.”





Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, July 9, 2010, 1 PM

All-Summer League Teams

Here's the Glass Half Full AirTran Airways All-Summer League Teams

First Team
Jrue Holiday
Terrence Williams
James Harden
Luke Harangody
Byron Mullens

Second Team
Eric Maynor
Gerald Henderson
Damion James
Marreese Speights
Kosta Koufos





Posted by Glass Half Full, Thursday, July 8, 2010, 9 AM

Will It Work?

If it happens, will it work?

That’s the question of the day. Will Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh actually work in person if it materializes. It certainly works on paper, but is one ball really enough?

Time will tell and there are no guarantees. In the mean time, how do you play against that?

Here are the early keys for your two-time defending Southeastern Division Champion Magic:

1) Protect the paint, and make Wade and James jump shooters.
2) Transition defense will be paramount. Get back, get back, get back.
3) Make them work defensively to guard you. Your Magic can still spread the floor and play inside-out. Superman is a year older and a year more experienced. He’s getting ready to hit his prime years and is the best big man in the league. The two-time Defensive Player of the Year protects the paint (See key 1) like no other, and they still need an answer for him on the other end. Simply, he makes everyone better.

If all else fails, you still have the South Beach-Lots-of-Late-Nights defense.

Let the games begin.





Posted by Glass Half Full, Wednesday, July 7, 2010, 2 PM

All Floor-Burn/Heart and Hustle Six Pack

Here's the Glass Half Full AirTran Airways All Floor-Burn/Heart and Hustle Six Pack as we reach the midway point:

Jaycee Carroll
Eric Maynor
Patrick Ewing, Jr.
Jeremy Pargo
Stanley Robinson
James Augustine





Posted by Glass Half Full, Tuesday, July 6, 2010, 9 AM

Summer League Thoughts

Some random GHF thoughts as the AirTran Airways Pro Summer League gets cooking…

Decent debut by Butler Bulldog-turned-Utah Jazz Gordan Hayward. He definitely has a high basketball IQ and looks like he will be able to make plays for his teammates…Charlotte’s Gerald Henderson is to good for summer league. Time for him to graduate from the July proceedings….Good to see former Magic man James Augustine, who is playing for Utah. Nice game:20 points on nine-of-10 shooting in opener…Love the Magic’s Stanley Robinson’s athleticism…Fun to see Patrick Ewing Jr. back on the court, and always cool to see a father-son combo as Pat Sr. coaching the Magic men this summer…Magic first round pick Daniel Orton needs to slow down a bit. He will have the luxury of learning from Superman and the Polish Hammer, Marcin Gortat, who really developed his game during summer league play over the past few years…Oklahoma City’s James Harden is also TGFSL (To Good For Sumer League), but Thunder always stack their summer squad…Put Jrue Holiday of Philly in that group also, although he is learning a new offense with Doug Collins now in charge of 76ers…Derrick Favors (Nets) looks strong and physical….Nice debut by the Celtics Luke Harangody with 23 points…Stay tuned to orlandomagic.com for the most comprehensive summer league coverage.





Posted by Glass Half Full, Tuesday, June 22, 2010, 9 AM

Got Dwight

As the annual selection process nears, the 2004 NBA Draft always comes to mind. The choice for your Magic was high school product Dwight Howard vs. college star Emeka Okafor.

Flash forward and thank goodness – with all due Glass Half Full respect – we have Howard.

I think head coach Stan Van Gundy summed Dwight up best in his recent post-season assessment of the 25-year-old, six-year NBA veteran.

Said Van Gundy on the postseason special now running on Sun Sports and soon to be running on Orlandomagic.com: “There will be a day when he is no longer here and that’s when people are going to realize what they watched. You’re watching one of the best players in the game today, you’re watching one of the best big guys to ever play this game, and he is still at a very young age and has a long way to go. I think if you are in Orlando, the number one thing you need to do is appreciate what you get to watch here on a nightly basis…. I thought over the last three games of the Celtics series that he took another step in terms of really understanding what he needs to do not just as a player but as the leader of a basketball team. I think he got a better understanding of that, I think he did it very, very well and I think it will carry over into future years.”





Posted by Glass Half Full, Monday, June 14, 2010, 11 AM

World Cup

Glass Half Full checked in with Orlando Magic World Cup fanatic Mickael Pietrus this weekend.

Here's MP's Final Four and a couple of players to watch.

He picks Brazil, Spain, Italy and England with Brazil beating Spain in the championship.

Says MP, "You gotta watch the Brazilian team, a must."

Two of his favorite players to watch: Ronaldo from Portugal and Messy from Argentina.

MP says he has watched virtually every game thus far.

While GHF is a very, very casual soccer fan, you have to admire the world's intense passion for the World Cup.

GHF did watch USA's opening game with England. Amazing how when England scored a few minutes into the contest there was a feeling among broadcasters that the game was over - despite the fact that there were a good 80-plus minutes left to play.

Seems totally opposite of NBA where many say the last two minutes decide a game, although we do know that starts are important, as evident by the Magic's record when winning the first quarter this year: 41-11.





Posted by Glass Half Full, Thursday, June 10, 2010, 3 PM

Woodenisms

Here are Glass Half Full’s all-time favorite John Wooden Quotes:

"Be prepared and be honest."

"You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."

"You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you."

"If you're not making mistakes, then you're not doing anything. I'm positive that a doer makes mistakes."

"Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be."

"Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."

"It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen."

"Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful."

"The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team."

"Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming."





Posted by Glass Half Full, Monday, May 31, 2010, 12 PM

Goals Remain Same

As the Orlando Magic players gathered for a final time the message was clear: Going forward, championship expectations will remain the same.

The bar will not be lowered.

The fact of the matter is that the Magic organization, as head coach Stan Van Gundy alluded to, has reached a heightened level where losing in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals leaves a dour, disappointing feeling.

Everyone is on the same page: Good season -- some incredible moments and accomplishments --disappointing finish.

Obviously there will be the tendency to want to have a knee-jerk reaction and call for wholesale changes. That's the nature of the world we live and that's what you want from your fans, a great passion, a great interest.

Rest assured, one of General Manager Otis Smith and Head Coach Stan Van Gundy's greatest collective strengths are to keep driving for a title, while evaluating personnel objectively.

The fact of the matter is the Magic are not that far away from the ultimate goal. Everyone can improve mentally and physically. Learning from the past, and this past East Finals, will pay dividends.

The Glass is Half Full.





Posted by Glass Half Full, Thursday, May 27, 2010, 6 PM

Fate?

First there was this whole Boston Bruin thing (defeated by Flyers after being up 3-0).

Then the Sports Illustrated covers (see below...see Rondo).

Now, as your team heads to its hotel through the Ted Williams Tunnel, what do you think the Interstate number is we are traveling on?

Yep, I-93, as in the number of NBA teams which have failed to come back from an 0-3 deficit. Take note, it's not Interstate 94. It stops at 93.

Fate?





Posted by Glass Half Full, Thursday, May 27, 2010, 1 AM

Glass Is Filling Up

This is the 94th time in NBA history that a team fell behind 3-0 in a best of 7 series.

The Magic have become just the 10th team to force a Game 6 in that situation.

Only three teams in history have rallied back to a 7th game after trailing 3-0: the 1993-94 Denver Nuggets against the Utah Jazz, the 2002-03 Portland Trailblazers against the Dallas Mavericks, and the 1950-51 New York Knicks against the Rochester Royals.

None of those teams won the Game 7; nor did any of those teams host the Game 7.

Buckle up.





Posted by Glass Half Full, Wednesday, May 26, 2010, 1 PM

Three-Point Play

* After dishing out an average of just 12.7 assists per game in the first three games this series vs. Boston, the Magic dished out 19 assists in Game 4.

* Since last year’s playoffs, Dwight Howard has blocked 103 shots in the postseason - 30 more than any other player (Pau Gasol 73).

* Orlando is 5-0 in its playoff history in Game Fives at home.

SI.com Jinx?

|





Posted by Glass Half Full, Tuesday, May 25, 2010, 2 PM

Interesting Note

Game 4 is in the books and we are still playing.

An interesting note below, as Orlando looks to make history by becoming the first NBA team ever to comeback from an 0-3 deficit

The Magic became just the third team in NBA history to win a Game 4 on the road after being down 0-3 in the series. Prior to Monday night’s victory, NBA teams had a 2-9 record in that situation (1-4 in the Conference Finals). The only two teams in NBA history to win a Game 4 after being down 0-3 were the 1968-69 76ers (vs. the Boston Celtics in the NBA Eastern Division Semifinals) and the 2005 Phoenix Suns (vs. the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals).





Posted by Glass Half Full, Sunday, May 23, 2010, 2 PM

Need to be Mentally Tough

Coming off a Game 3 thumping, the Magic will look to bounce back, play them the proverbial one at a time, and look to shock the world.

The Magic will look to regain a mental toughness and resolve that has been very evident over the past few years. A resiliency which led the Magic to the NBA Finals last year, and back to the East Finals this season.

Taking responsibility individually and collectively, mixed in with a little trust of one another and a will to fight, were the themes Sunday at practice.

"It's not a matter of blame, it's about taking responsibility and getting better," said Head Coach Stan Van Gundy Sunday. "And now it's a matter of what we bring to Game 4."

So, here's the GHF mind set heading to Monday night: Win one game, go home and win one, and then return to Boston for what would be a Celtic pressure packed Game 6.

It starts with winning Game 4.





Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, May 21, 2010, 2 PM

The Power of 3

Here's the deal.

Whether the Magic were up 2-0, tied 1-1, or where they find themselves, down 0-2, the mind set Orlando is taking to Boston would remain the same: Take care of Game 3.

That's it. At the moment there's nothing Magic faithful can do about Games 1 and 2. It's over, so move forward.

After three solid days of practice and film sessions, the Magic's collective minds are on the power that Game 3 packs. A win and you are back in the series.

"This is where we want to be as a franchise," says head coach Stan Van Gundy, who fully understands that competing for a title, being among the final four teams playing can bring some heightened negativity, compared to say the other 26 teams not playing, when things don't go well.

"We are not afraid to talk about winning a championship...we are not afraid to be held to that high standard," he adds.

Hey, with all due respect, no one is talking about the Minnesota Timberwolves at this point. It's all about who is playing and who is doing or not doing what to win. Everything is magnified and amplified. That's part of the deal, the right of passage en route to a title.

So, while being down 2-0 brings some negativity, the only productive thing is to take care of Game 3.

"We're in the Eastern Conference Finals, that's where we are. We need to go out and play basketball. We want to come with great effort, great intensity and great focus."

Yes, it's all about the power of three.





Posted by Glass Half Full, Wednesday, May 19, 2010, 2:15 AM

It's Been Done Before

Yes, Glass Half Full fans, it has been done before. Three times a team has dropped the first two home games of a best-of-seven series and come back to win. Here's the list:

  • 2005 West Round DAL vs HOU: HOU won first 2 at DAL, DAL won series 4-3
  • 1994 West Semis HOU vs PHO: PHO won first 2 at HOU, HOU won series 4-3
  • 1969 West Semis LAL vs SF: SF won first 2 at LAL, LAL won series 4-2





Posted by Glass Half Full, Monday, May 17, 2010, 11:15 AM

Resiliency

When talk turns to the Magic the topic is usually about Superman, three-pointers and/or an underrated defense. There’s another word which also defines the Orlando Magic over the past couple of years: Resiliency.

In the Stan Van Gundy Era (2007-08 – Present, three seasons), the Magic have recorded 31 come-from-behind wins when trailing by 10-plus points (24 over the last two years). Last year showed Orlando’s ultimate resiliency, as the Magic found themselves down 3-2 to Boston in the East Semifinals. The Celtics were an astounding 32-0 in a best-of-seven series when leading 3-2. The Magic made the series comeback complete with a 101-82 victory in Game 7 in Beantown. The Magic were also down 1-0 and 2-1 in its first round series last year vs. Philadelphia.

Over the last two years the Magic have won 18 games when trailing after three quarters of play. In the previous three years combined (2005-06 to 2007-08), Orlando won just nine times when behind after three quarters.

So, down 1-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals to Boston, the Magic find themselves in a somewhat familiar place – trailing, and having to flash that resiliency card once again.





Posted by Glass Half Full, Saturday, May 15, 2010, 12:15 PM

Heading To Game 1

* This will be Orlando’s fourth trip to the Eastern Conference finals in franchise history. In the two conference finals they won (1995 & 2009), they won Game 1, while they lost Game 1 to the Bulls in the 1996 Eastern Conference finals and failed to advance to the NBA Finals.

* The Magic went 3-1 against the Celtics during the 2009-10 regular season, with all four games being decided by nine points or fewer.

* Jameer Nelson is one of three players this postseason averaging at least 20 points and five assists while shooting 50.0 percent or better from the floor (also LeBron James & Dwyane Wade).

* Since the 1971 postseason, the Celtics have won six of eight conference finals when winning Game 1. When they lose Game 1 in the conference finals, they have won only one of seven conference finals.

* Rajon Rondo is averaging 18.0 points, 11.1 assists and 6.3 rebounds this postseason. He is trying to become the second player in NBA history, alongside Magic Johnson, to average at least 18 points, 11 assists and six rebounds in a single postseason (minimum five games).

* Boston is holding opponents to 85.4 points and 41.0 percent shooting from the floor in its wins this postseason, while surrendering 108.7 points and 52.6 percent shooting in its three losses.

And now, a word from the Orlando Sentinel. A Saturday editorial goes Glass Half Full. Read on.



Orlando Sentinel, Saturday, May 15

Real magic

Funny what an 8-and-0 playoff run and a date Sunday with the Celtics for the Eastern Conference championship will get you. It's given many fans a welcome distraction from their assorted recessionary woes.

And helped restore their pride in a city that, like others, also has fallen on hard times.

Funny, too, how a group of young men — led by a gifted 24-year-old athlete who displays joy (we don't mind all the smiling) pursuing charitable work and dispatching overmatched opponents on the court — are lifting the community's spirits.

Their exuberance and accomplishment, and the rising sense that the Orlando Magic may just win it all, is making believers of lots of people.





Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, May 14, 2010, 12:15 PM

Dan Patrick’s Q&A with Dwight Howard

Glass Half Full turns it over to Dan Patrick, as Dwight Howard was a featured guest yesterday on DP’s nationally-syndicated radio show.

DP: Are you getting ready for practice?

DH: I'm driving to practice. I'm awaiting the return of Stan Van Gundy's practice. It's going to be interesting today.

DP: Why would it be interesting?

DH: Because we had a day of rest and usually when we have a day of rest and we have to come back ... oh boy.

DP: He's going to rough you up?

DH: Yeah. He's going to make sure that we stay in great shape. I will say that.

DP: Could I survive one of Stan's practices?

DH: I doubt it.

DP: Who you rooting for in the Celtics-Cavs series?

DH: It doesn't matter who wins. I'm just looking forward to the next series and us competing to get better as a team. That's the only goal every day at practice, every time we step on the floor every day.

DP: But Dwight, there has to be a team that you match up better with.

DH: I couldn't say. Both teams are great teams. Like I said, I just want to get back on the court and play. It's so much fun playing basketball and being a part of this journey that we're taking as a team.

DP: Who should be the favorites in the East?

DH: Who should be the favorites? That's for you guys to decide. I try to stay out of that. I just try to play basketball and have fun, let everybody else worry about who's the favorite and who should win the championship and all that stuff. But I believe that our team is going to win the championship this year. And we all believe it.

DP: Why are you better this year than last year?

DH: I think that our team chemistry is great. Also we have a deeper bench than we had last season. Everybody on this team has one goal and one mission, and that's to win the championship. We're willing to do whatever we have to do to win the championship.

DP: Have you ever worn your uniform while driving your car?

DH: Oh no, I never thought about that. When I first got in the league, I was like, can I wear my jersey everywhere I go? They were like, "No, Dwight. I'm sure you don't need to wear your jersey to the mall or something like that." I was like, "Why? This is my jersey."

DP: How surprised were you that LeBron and the Cavs lost at home in Game 5?

DH: Boston's a good team. I'll tell you that. Rondo ... what he's doing right now is just amazing.

DP: But you want the Lakers again, right?

DH: That would be great. If you want to be a champ you've got to beat the champ. And they're the champs and they've proved it. A lot of people had written them off after the first series and then they showed why they're the champions. They've been playing great ball since then. Until then, we understand what we have to do. We have to win the next series.

DP: Do you remember the last time you lost?

DH: I think it was San Antonio. I'm not sure.

DP: It's good that you're not sure. It's been a while.

DH: I'm just taking it one game at a time.

DP: C'mon, Dwight, you're better than that. No cliches.

DH: It's the truth. Our team isn't really worried about how many games we've won in a row. ... We want to stay humble and not get complacent. If we keep working every day to get better, we should be holding up that trophy soon.





Posted by Glass Half Full, Thursday, May 13, 2010, 1:15 PM

Keys to East Finals

Whether it's Boston or Cleveland, here is a first look at your GHF keys to either series.

Vs. Boston

- Magic transition defense, i.e. slow down Rondo.
- Rebound, rebound, rebound. Hitting the glass will be key.
- Defend Boston's post-up game. The Celtics have many weapons here in the likes of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Kendrick Perkins, and Rasheed Wallace.
- Offensively against the Celtics the Magic need to play with great pace and tempo, move the ball, and play through and off Dwight Howard's post-ups.

Vs. Cleveland

- Magic transition defense, i.e. slow down LeBron James' coast to coast drives
- Compete on glass
- Defensively close-out to Cleveland shooters.
- Offensively, the Magic need to also play with pace, establish Dwight in the post, move the ball and drive and kick to create open Magic threes.

Now you are ready for the East Finals.





Posted by Glass Half Full, Monday, May 10, 2010,11:45 AM

Road Rules

Our very own Savage & Cohen have a great debate running right now about where it is more satisfying to win -- home or away.

It got Glass Half Full to thinking about the success your Magic has enjoyed on the road over the last few years.

In the five seasons prior to Stan Van Gundy taking over as head coach (2002-03 -- 2006-07), Orlando had won 63 road games out of 205 for a .307 winning percentage.

Under Van Gundy on the road, the Orlando Magic are 79-44 (.642 win pct.).

Orlando has finished above .500 on the road only four times during its history -- three of them are in SVG's three seasons at the helm (2007-08 -- Present).

Orlando is certainly writing its own rules for the road.





Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, May 7, 2010,11:45 AM

Born to Run

While it still feels like the Magic are flying a little under the national radar (trust me, that’s fine), it’s really amazing the run the team is on. When you add it all up, it’s the best winning streak for an Orlando team in its 21-year franchise history. I know this has been a constant theme in recent Glass Half Full postings, but consider the facts again as we head to Hotlanta.

• The Magic have won its first six postseason games to tie the longest playoff winning streak in team history. Orlando also won its first six playoff games from Apr. 26-May 12, 1996, before losing in Game #4 at – brace yourself – Atlanta in the Eastern Conference Semifinals on May 13, 104-99.

• Going back to the regular season, Orlando has won 12 straight games (Apr. 4-Present). Including postseason, Orlando has also won 15 of its last 16 games, 18 of its last 20, and 26 of its last 29. The previous franchise longest winning streak of any kind for Orlando is nine done twice (1-30-01--2-18-01 and 11-12-94 – 12-2-94.)

• Since the All-Star Break, and including the postseason, the Magic are 29-5.

• Orlando was an NBA-best 33-8 over the last 41 games of the season, and as you remember, the Magic were only team not to lose a season series with an opponent and was one of two teams (Dallas) to defeat every team in the league at least once.

• To close, what an effort in Game #2 by the Magic’s core four. The Magic had four players score 20+ points in the same game for the first time in franchise playoff history. Dwight Howard (29), Vince Carter (24), Rashard Lewis (20) and Jameer Nelson (20) all cracked the 20-point barrier. The last time an NBA team had four players score 20+ points during the playoffs was May 7, 2007, when Golden State accomplished the feat @ Utah (Davis-24 Harrington-21, Richardson-21, Barnes-20).





Posted by Glass Half Full, Thursday, May 6, 2010, 3 PM

Glass Half Full High Five

1) Orlando’s 114-71 Game 1 win over Atlanta was the second-largest playoff win in Magic franchise history (Orlando beat Boston 124-77 on April 28, 1995) and also marked the Hawks’ biggest playoff loss since moving to Atlanta in 1968.

2) While Orlando is just 4-4 in Game 2 of seven-game series after winning the first game, the Magic have gone on to win seven of those eight series.

3) The Magic are averaging 6.6 more three-point makes per game than their opponents, the largest postseason three-point differential since the 1992 playoffs.

4) The Magic held Atlanta to just 34.6 percent in Game 1, the Hawks lowest shooting percentage in any game (Reg. and Postseason) since shooting 31.5 percent in Game 4 of the 2009 Eastern Conference Semifinals against Cleveland.

5) Dwight Howard now has recorded 34 double-doubles in his first 38 career playoff games.





Posted by Glass Half Full, Tuesday, May 4, 2010, 8 AM

J.J. on DH, Rest vs. Rust, Amazing Run

You have to love J.J. Redick’s recent assessment of Dwight Howard.

Said Redick, ``Dwight is the difference against just about anybody we play. He’s capable of dominating games like nobody else we have on our team. He’s unique that he can dominate without scoring, dominant without even touching the ball. When he plays hungry and aggressive and stays on the floor, he’s a pretty special player.’’

No one really knows how the eight days off will impact the Magic, but my Glass Half Full assessment is that after two minutes of tonight’s Game 1 it will be a moot point. Orlando has worked hard the last few days, going up and down, and as Matt Barnes indicated and to paraphrase, the Stan Van Gundy-led practices are much harder than the games.

While you know Orlando has won four straight this postseason, it’s still amazing the run the Magic are on. Consider this, Orlando went 33-8 over the last half of the season, won six straight to end the regular season (givng the Magic 10 straight wins overall), and has won 24 of its last 27 games played dating back to the regular season. 24-3 over its last 27 games played.





Posted by Glass Half Full, Thursday, April 29, 2010, 4 PM

Keys to Next Round

Atlanta or Milwaukee, Milwaukee or Atlanta, here’s your early Magic keys to either series:

Vs. Milwaukee:

- Offensively the Magic need to continue to work on playing inside-out through Dwight Howard.
- Ball movement will continue to be a key, moving the ball from side-to-side on the offensive end.
- Solid pick-and-roll defense will be important, especially with the likes of Brandon Jennings.
- Transition defense will also be important and limiting drives to the basket, while working to close-out on three-point shooters.

Vs. Atlanta

- If it sounds like a broken record, that’s ok. Playing inside-out off of Dwight and moving the ball will be important.
- Taking care of the ball against a high-steal team like the Hawks.
- Post defense will be important, as Atlanta will post just about everyone on the floor except the point guard.
- Rebounding, especially because Atlanta is long and athletic and will attack the glass.





Posted by Glass Half Full, Sunday, April 25, 2010, 10:32 AM

A Few Sensational Stats

Here are some amazing stats to chew on as Orlando heads into Game 4 Monday night of its opening round playoff series vs. Charlotte:

  • In 108 minutes of action over three games, Jameer Nelson has just three turnovers. Nelson leads the Magic in scoring in the first round, averaging 25.7 ppg.


  • In 82 minutes of action through three games, Dwight Howard has 18 blocked shots. Extrapolating that out, Howard is averaging 10.5 blocked shots per 48 minutes played in the series.


  • In three games, Rashard Lewis is shooting 50 percent from the floor overall, and 42 percent from three-point range.


  • Through three games, Orlando is holding Charlotte to 44 percent shooting from the floor, has limited the Bobcats to 14 three-pointers made and is holding Charlotte to 23 free throw attempts per game -- all Magic defensive benchmarks.


  • With three straight playoff victories, Orlando is now 36-8 over its last 44 games.






Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, April 23, 2010, 6:00 PM

Quick Hitters For Game 3

Here's some quick hitters to get Glass Half Full faithful ready for Game 3:

  • Orlando has never lost a best-of-seven series when holding a 2-0 lead after two games (3-0 series record).

  • Charlotte has lost each of its last four home games against the Magic, failing to score 96 or more points in each of the four games.

  • Stephen Jackson scored 10 points in the first quarter in Game 2. It was the 15th time this season that Jackson has scored 10 or more points in the first quarter. Jackson averaged 6.9 points per game in the first quarter during the regular season, the 10th most in the league.

  • During the regular season, the Bobcats held opponents to 91.8 points (lowest in the league) and 30.3 percent shooting from three-point range (lowest in the league) in their home games.

  • Dating back to March 14, the Magic have made 10-plus three-pointers in 15 of their last 17 games.

  • Dwight Howard has pulled down 10-plus rebounds in 35 of his 39 career playoff games.






Posted by Glass Half Full, Thursday, April 22, 2010, 12:00 PM

Glass Half Empty?

Sadly, sometimes the glass isn’t half full.

Take the recent voting for NBA Coach of the Year. While there were many deserving candidates, and winner Scott Brooks of Oklahoma City certainly earned the honor, isn’t it amazing that the coaches with the three best records in the league came away virtually empty in terms of the voting tally.

Post-season award candidates are awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote by a panel of 123 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. The Lakers’ Phil Jackson, he of the third-best record in the NBA, did not record a single point. Our very own Stan Van Gundy, he of the second-best record in the NBA, came away with one first-place vote and five points, good for 11th place in the proceedings. And Mike Brown, he of the best record in the NBA this season, tallied two points.

In the Defensive Player of the Year voting, Dwight Howard was the runaway winner after leading the league in blocked shots and rebounding. Of the 122 first-place votes, Howard received 110 first place votes. He had eight second-place votes and two third-place votes for a total of 576 points to runner-up Josh Smith’s 136 points. Yet two voters completely left Howard off their ballot. It’s really inconceivable.

Alright, enough nonsense.

Glass Half Full loved this exchange during Game 2 of the Magic-Bobcats playoff series.

The scene: Charlotte coach Larry Brown signals in the Bobcat’s next offensive play during a Magic free throw attempt.

Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, upon hearing the play call, proceeds to tell his team the play that’s to come on the next Bobcat procession, including multiple options off the play.

Charlotte’s Stephen Jackson, standing near the Magic bench, says to SVG, “How do you know all that?”

Stan Van Gundy, who is relentless in his game preparation, quips back, “I haven’t been sleeping a lot.”

Maybe the glass is half full.







Posted by Glass Half Full, Monday, April 19, 2010, 12:00 PM

The Right Question, Block Party & Game 1 Winners

All season long the tell-tale question surrounding the Orlando Magic has been: How much will the Magic miss Hedo Turkoglu come playoff time?

With all due respect to H-Turk, who certainly had a storybook season, the wrong question was being asked by national scribes.

The question should have been: How much did the Magic miss Jameer Nelson in last year’s second season?

Nelson, the heart and soul of the Magic, flashed his chip-on-the-shoulder grit in Game 1 vs. Charlotte with a career-playoff-best 32 points, six assists and four rebounds.

Pundits easily forget the Magic went through last season’s magnificent playoff run mostly minus Meer-Meer.

Would a healthy, conditioned, in sync Nelson made a difference in the NBA Finals last season? Magic faithful are hopeful they will have the opportunity to find out.

Dwight Howard did it again.

Howard impacted the Magic’s playoff opener without scoring, so much so that wise veteran coach Larry Brown called him the MVP of the contest. Finishing with five points, it was his nine blocked shots which truly left its stamp on the proceedings. This is nothing new. Since joining the Magic Howard has recorded three-or-more blocks in a game 162 times. Orlando is 113-49 in those outings (.698 winning percentage) and 31-9 this season. The Magic’s winning percentage jumps to 78.7 percent when he blocks four-plus shots.

Add in these bullets:

• Howard led the NBA in both rebounding and blocked shots for the second consecutive season, becoming the first player in NBA history to lead the league in both rebounding and blocked shots more than once (1973-74 was the first season where blocks were kept as an official statistic).

• Howard also became the first player in NBA history to lead the league in rebounding, blocked shots and field goal percentage in the same season…He shot an NBA-best .612 (510-834) from the floor.

• Howard also became just the fifth player in NBA history to lead the league in rebounding for three-or-more consecutive seasons.

• Howard crossed the 1,000-rebound plateau on Apr. 1 @ Dallas (he has 1,082 rebounds)…It marked the fifth straight season that Howard has tallied 1,000+ boards, the most among all active players in the NBA…The last player to accomplish this feat was Moses Malone from 1978-79 to 1982-83…The all-time record for consecutive seasons with 1,000+ rebounds is 12, held by Bill Russell from 1957-58 to 1968-69.

What does it mean to win Game 1 of a best-of-seven playoff series?

The team that wins the opening game has gone on to win 309 of 393 (.786) best-of-seven series.

Other series notes:

- Of the 393 best-of-seven series played in NBA history, 104 have gone the limit, with 53 being four-game sweeps

- The homecourt is significant in best-of-seven series with the advantage having won 297 of 393 series (.756).

- No team has ever bounced back from a 3-0 deficit to win a best-of-seven series. Only eight teams have wiped out a 3-1 lead and only 14 have come back to win after being behind 2-0.







Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, April 16, 2010, 11:00 AM

Three-Point Play

1) Orlando is trying to be the first team to repeat as Eastern Conference champions since the Detroit Pistons did so in 2003-04 and 2004-05. Ironically, those Piston teams were coached by current Bobcat head man Larry Brown..

Teams to Repeat as Eastern Conf. Champion – Since 1990-91

SEASON
TEAM
2004-05 Detroit Pistons
2002-03 New Jersey Nets
1996-98 Chicago Bulls (3 straight)
1991-93 Chicago Bulls (3 straight)


2) Magic-Bobcats, Head-to-Head in Orlando – All-Time

CHA
ORL
Wins 2 10
PPG 89.5 100.1
FG Pct .417 .467
3-Pt Pct .279 .381
RPG 40.5 45.7
TO/G 13.3 14.8


Based on season numbers, this should be a low-scoring series.

OPP PTS
RANK
Magic, Opp PPG at Home 93.8 4th
Magic, Opp PPG on Road 96.8 T-7th
Bobcats, Opp PPG at Home 91.8 1st
Bobcats, Opp PPG on Road 95.9 5th


3) Dwight Howard has had a double-double in all but four of his 37 career playoff games.

Most Double-Doubles in Postseason – Since 2006-07 (entering 2009-10 postseason)

PLAYER
#
Dwight Howard 33
Tim Duncan 31
Carlos Boozer 26
Pau Gasol 26
Lamar Odom 22
LeBron James 21





Posted by Glass Half Full, Wednesday, April 14, 2010, 1:30 PM

X-ing and O-ing in the First Round

There are no easy playoff games. Having said that, here are your quick Glass Half Full Magic defensive and offensive keys to Orlando’s first-round, best-of-seven series vs. Charlotte.

Orlando Defense

First, Orlando will have to defend Stephen Jackson and Gerald Wallace, especially limiting their dribble drives for easy looks at the rim. Next, the Magic need to work on shutting down the inside-outside attack presented by Boris Diaw. He can play both in the paint and on the perimeter which presents an interesting match-up. Finally, transition defense will be important with Raymond Felton and D.J. Augustine pushing the ball from their point-guard positions. The Magic will have to finish defensive possessions by rebounding. Look for Charlotte coach Larry Brown to play multiple bigs together. He has a boat load to choose from (Nazr Mohammed, Tyrus Thomas, Tyson Chandler,Theo Ratliff, DeSagana Diop).

Magic Offense

You know the drill by now; opponents are forced to pick their poison. Orlando will stretch the opposition’s defense with the Magic three-ball, while also looking to establish Dwight Howard in the post. The Magic’s ball movement will be important. It will also be important for Howard to use his speed and quickness against the Bobcats’ bigs. It boils down to taking care of the ball, moving it from side to side, and Superman in the paint, or his super friends on the perimeter.

Buckle up. Here we go.

Magic vs. Bobcats

All-time: Orlando leads, 16-8

-- at Orlando - Orlando leads, 10-2

-- at Charlotte - Series tied, 6-6

- The Magic had won seven straight overall in the series, and nine in a row at home, before their March 14 home loss to the Bobcats. Orlando has won four in a row in Charlotte.

ORL
CHA
Wins 4 0
FG Pct 95.3 85.3
Rebounds/Gm 41.5 42.8
3-Pointers/Gm 10.3 4.8
3-Pt Pct .331 .275
Assists/Gm 19.3 15.5
Turnovers/Gm 14.0 15.0


* Gerald Wallace’s performance has gone a long way toward determining Charlotte’s results against Orlando.

Wallace vs. Orlando, Since 2004-05 - In Wins vs. In Losses

WINS
LOSSES
Games 6 14
Points/Gm 22.5 10.9
FG Pct .471 .378
Rebounds/Gm 7.8 7.0
Assists/Gm 3.8 2.1
Steals/Gm 3.2 1.3


* Stephen Jackson scored a game-high 28 points in the March 14 win over Orlando, his most in 26 career games against the Magic.

Jackson vs. Magic – Last 7 Games

Points/Gm: 19.9
FG Pct: .405
3-Pt FG Pct: .343
Rebounds/Gm: 6.0
Assists/Gm: 3.7
Steals/Gm: 1.4

* Dwight Howard has 22 double-doubles in 24 career games against Charlotte.

Howard – Career vs. Bobcats

Points/Gm: 18.8
FG Pct: .603
Rebounds/Gm: 15.2
Blocks/Gm: 2.7
Steals/Gm: 1.4
Double-Doubles: 22

- His 15.2 rebounds per game versus the Bobcats are his highest versus any opponent.

- In 12 home games against Charlotte, Howard has averaged 21.3 points and 15.7 rebounds, with a double-double in every game.

- Howard’s career high of 45 points (his only career 40-point game in the regular season) came at home versus Charlotte on Feb. 17, 2009.





Posted by Glass Half Full, Tuesday, April 13, 2010, 6:00 PM

VC in SI

Vince Carter will be featured in this week's issue of Sports Illustrated, which hits news stands Wednesday. SI Senior Writer Lee Jenkins takes an in-depth look at Carter's career as a whole. Carter wants to win a championship badly but will always be a crowd entertainer. According to former Nets coach Lawrence Frank "He does things with a ball that astronauts do in space." Jenkins writes, “Carter dreamed of dunk contests before championships, but he was a kid then, and the dream has changed. ‘Now I need a championship,’ he says. Of course, that goes for every thirtysomething ringless athlete looking to round out a résumé. Carter has something extra at stake. He is one of the NBA’s great showmen, but in this era the entertainers take a backseat to the assassins. Even though Carter is an eight-time All-Star and a probable Hall of Famer, a title would prove once and for all that he is more than a mix tape.”

Adds Jenkins, “While the Cavs and the Lakers will try to win with their headliners, Orlando will do it as a group.”





Posted by Glass Half Full, Monday, April 12, 2010, 11:00 AM

Three-Point Play

1) The Magic are peaking at the right time, posting the league’s best record since the last day of February.

Best Record since February 28

TEAM
RECORD
PCT
Orlando Magic .521 (87-167) .523 (69-132)
Portland Trail Blazers 14-4 .778
Miami Heat 16-5 .762
Phoenix Suns 15-5 .750
Cleveland Cavaliers 15-6 .714
Dallas Mavericks 15-6 .714


2) Dwight Howard has scored at least 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in two straight contests. Dirk Nowitzki is the only player with more 20-10 games than Howard since he joined the NBA in 2004.

Most Games w/ 20+ Points & 10+ Rebounds – since 2004-05

PLAYER
#
Dirk Nowitzki 164
Dwight Howard 163
Kevin Garnett 158
Tim Duncan 157
Chris Bosh 152




3) The Pacers – Orlando’s opponent tonight -- haven’t had much of an answer for Vince Carter in his career trips to Indiana.

Highest Career Scoring Avg at Indiana, Active Players

PLAYER
#
Amar'e Stoudemire 29.3
LeBron James 28.8
Dwyane Wade 28.5
Vince Carter 27.1
Kevin Durant 26.7





Posted by Glass Half Full, Saturday, April 10, 2010, 1:30 PM

Long Distance Records

The Magic are nine three-point field goals away from setting a new franchise record for most three-pointers made in a single season (817, 2008-09) and are 29 away from a new NBA record (837, Phoenix, 2005-06)…Orlando’s 809 three-pointers made are the fourth-most in NBA history…Orlando has already established a new single-season team mark for most three-pointers attempted with 2,158, which is the third-most in NBA history…Here is a glance at the NBA all-time record for three-pointers made and attempted:

TEAM
SEASON
THREE-POINT FGs MADE IN A SEASON
Phoenix Suns 2005-06 837
New York Knicks 2008-09 823
Orlando Magic 2008-09 817
Orlando Magic 2009-10 809 (three games remaining)


TEAM
SEASON
THREE-POINT FGs ATTEMPTED IN A SEASON
New York Knicks 2008-09 2,284
Golden State Warriors 2007-08 2,185
Orlando Magic 2009-10 2,158 (three games remaining)
Boston Celtics 2002-03 2,155





Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, April 5, 2010, 3:00 PM

Give the Magic a 'D'

As the Magic close out the regular season, head coach Stan Van Gundy and his staff are focused on a few key areas to get the squad ready for the fast-approaching playoffs.

And they all begin with the letter 'D'.

Help defense.

Pick-and-roll defense.

Individual defense.

Closeout on shooters defense.

Defense has certainly been on display in practice drills and will be a point of emphasis in workouts leading up to and in to the second season.

When the Magic -- usually thought of as an inside-out, outside-in, move-the-ball, shoot-the-three offensive machine -- D-up, good things happen.

Case in point: Orlando is 44-10 when holding opponents to under 100 points and 47-16 when holding foes to less than 50 percent shooting. Orlando allowed 94.4 ppg. last season en route to The NBA Finals, and is allowing opponents 95.0 ppg. this year. Orlando has allowed less than 90 points in 24 games this year and is 21-3 in those games.

Yes, Orlando will record an “A” with “D”.





Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, April 2, 2010, 2:00 PM

NBA Championship Dreams? Think Big or Go Home

Today, Glass Half Full turns it over to Jesse Blanchard of www.48minutesofhell.com, a web site which covers the San Antonio Spurs.

By Jesse Blanchard

Is Tim Duncan still better than Dwight Howard?

The Devil’s greatest trick was convincing the world that he didn’t exist. Michael Jordan’s greatest feat? Convincing the NBA that greatness is measured in 40-inch verticals wrapped in 6-foot-6 packages.

Since Jordan hoisted his NBA Finals clinching shot over Byron Russell, it’s been assumed that the next great player would come replete with game-clinching fadeaway jumpers and ESPN highlight packages.

But if history has shown us anything, it’s that the league has been littered with high-flying, high-scoring swingmen. Yet most championship teams have been built on the sturdy foundations of seven-foot behemoths. That Michael Jordan finished as the greatest player of all time from his position is the exception, not the rule.

Tonight two of those giants face off at the AT&T Center in Tim Duncan and Dwight Howard. And while Duncan may represent the old guard, Howard’s best days are still ahead of him and the Orlando Magic. What do they share in common? Many fans will miss out on their greatness while looking for the next facsimile of Michael Jordan.

Post Jordan, the NBA sifted through several suitors to take up the title of game’s best player. While the world first tried to awkwardly force the mantle onto Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan was quietly dropping in bank shots on the way to the San Antonio Spurs first title.

As Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady’s brief ascensions into greatness came and quickly flickered out, Duncan was quietly drop-stepping his way to three NBA Finals MVPs.

When the NBA’s newest wave of superstars first emerged on the scene–starting with the LeBron James/Carmelo Anthony/Dwyane Wade draft–casual fans and lazy columnists were quick to point out that the NBA finally had successors worthy to Jordan’s shoes, even as Duncan proved himself to be, from a basketball standpoint at least, the greatest player of his era.

For many, the 2007 NBA Finals between the Spurs and Cavaliers were looked upon as the potential coronation of King James. All the while fans cheated themselves out by overlooking another masterful performance from one of the league’s top 10 greatest players of all time.

The coronation of LeBron James continues today. It’s widely assumed that James will win multiple titles over the course of his career–I’ve already submitted my argument for LeBron being the best player–but isn’t it just as likely that Dwight Howard wins those titles?

The Orlando Magic were in the NBA Finals last year and are again one of the handful of NBA teams that can reasonably expect to compete for a championship this year. Dwight Howard is easily the best player on a defensive squad saturated with reputably sub par defenders.

Yet, when talking about the NBA’s great young stars most lists go through the likes of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and now even Kevin Durant before Howard’s name enters the discussion.

Often times diversity, skill sets and statistics, especially offensively, are set as the standards for measuring greatness. So the following argument might be met with heavy opposition, but, Dwight Howard is a better basketball player than Wade, Anthony, Paul and Durant.

Absurd? All the aforementioned players are certainly more skilled and offensively more dynamic right now than Howard will ever be. But can you honestly say that any of them make as big an impact on both sides of the floor?

Basketball analysis is hypocritical. On one hand, it’s cliched but accepted to say that defense wins championships. On the other, we measure greatness in terms of offensive statistics and skill set. Defense is generally left to role players and coaching schemes.

More than any other player since Tim Duncan (and Duncan continues this role for the Spurs to this day), Dwight Howard is quite literally his team’s defensive scheme. Like Brent Barry and Danny Ferry of days past, Howard’s teammates have been players who, to put it kindly, are not known for being defensively inclined. Yet the Orlando Magic are consistently a top tier defensive team.

In basketball there will always be a simple statement that, no matter how small and fast the NBA trends toward, will always ring true. Height cannot be taught. And while height in itself might not seem like an NBA skill, when a player combines it with athleticism, skill and defensive instincts, that player is a much easier piece to build a championship team around than even the most talented wing player (not named Michael Jordan).

This is because at heart basketball is a simple game and it’s most complicated analysis boils down to a simple fact, the team that can both make and prevent the easiest baskets has the greatest chance to win.

The best perimeter defender in the world (take Bruce Bowen for example) might be able to shut down a single player, but ultimately his impact is limited to that one player. A defensive big man (Tim Duncan) is more valuable because his presence near the rim effects the opposing team’s entire offense, no matter who he’s guarding.

Offensively, for all the skills and otherworldly moves the Kobe Bryant’s, Dwyane Wade’s, or Chris Paul’s of the world unleash, none will ever be as effective as catching the ball a few feet from the basket, turning and shooting a hook shot over a helpless defender.

Dynamic wing players have the ability to make the most difficult shots imaginable, which is certainly a valuable commodity. But dominant big men can get the easiest shots whenever they want to.

So while Kobe Bryant might be the Lakers’ best player, it’s Pau Gasol that keys the Lakers’ championship aspirations. Before Gasol, the Lakers were first round playoff fodder for a Suns team that was, itself, soft in the middle.

The championship teams before the Lakers? They featured Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, Shaq and Wallace (Ben and Rasheed).

The lesson? Impact being equal, size still matters.





Posted by Glass Half Full, Thursday, April 1, 2010, 9:30 AM

Three-Point Play

1) Dwight Howard needs 14 more boards to have his fifth straight season with 1000+ boards. He had 16 rebounds (and 29 points) in the lone previous meeting with the Mavericks this season.

Active Players, Most Consecutive Years with 1,000+ Rebounds

PLAYER
YEARS
STREAK
Dwight Howard 2005-06 to 2008-09 4
Ben Wallace 2000-01 to 2003-04 4
Kevin Garnett 2002-03 to 2004-05 3
Tim Duncan 2001-02 to 2002-03 2
Shaquille O'Neal 1992-93 to 1993-94 2


All-time record is 12 consecutive seasons (1957-58 to 1968-69), held by Bill Russell

2) Orlando has benefitted from having a much more productive bench than it had last season.

Bench Points per Game Improvement, 2008-2009 à 2009-2010

TEAM
2008
2009
Diff
San Antonio Spurs 30.4 39.3 8.9
Orlando Magic 23.3 31.2 7.9
Houston Rockets 30.4 28.3 36.0
Indiana Pacers 28.2 35.4 7.2
New Orleans Hornets 22.9 29.8 6.9


3) Speaking of Orlando’s reserves, J.J. Redick had 23 points off the bench in Orlando’s win over Denver on Sunday - his first 20-point game since early January. The Magic are almost impossible to beat when Redick has at least 15 points

Best Team Record when Player Has 15+ Points - 2009-10 (min. 10 games)

PLAYER
TEAM RECORD
Wesley Matthews, Uta 12-1 .923
J.J. Redick, Orl 11-1, .917
Kirk Hinrich, Chi 10-1 .909
J.J. Hickson, Cle 10-1 .909
Ryan Anderson, Orl 9-1 .900
Kendrick Perkins, Bos 9-1 .900







Posted by Glass Half Full, Tuesday, March 29, 2010, 3:00 PM

Dwight For DPOY

Orlando Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy said it best.

“When you look at where we are defensively and record-wise and why, the number one reason is Dwight (Howard). I just don’t think there’s anybody else in the league who impacts as many possessions as Dwight.’’

With that said, here are five Glass Half Full reasons why Dwight Howard should repeat as Defensive Player of the Year, while garnering MVP recognition:

  • Dwight Howard currently leads the NBA in both rebounding (13.3 rpg.) and blocked shots (2.74 blkpg.). Howard has a total of 986 rebounds, 135 more rebounds than second-ranked Zach Randolph, and 203 blocked shots, 39 more than second-placed Andrew Bogut. Howard also leads the league in field goal percentage (.607 fgpct.).


  • Dwight Howard is attempting to become the first player in NBA history to lead the league in both rebounding and blocked shots more than once. Last season Howard led the league in both categories, becoming just the fifth player in NBA history to turn the trick (1973-74 was the first season where blocks were kept as an official statistic). The select list to lead the league in both rebounds and blocked shots in a single season includes: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (L.A. Lakers, 1975-76), Bill Walton (Portland, 1976-77), Hakeem Olajuwon (Houston, 1989-90), Ben Wallace (Detroit, 2001-02), Dwight Howard (Orlando, 2008-09).


  • Since joining the Magic in 2004-05, Dwight Howard has recorded three or more blocked shots in a game 157 times. Orlando is 108-49 (.688 win pct.) in those outings, including 26-9 this season. Howard is averaging more than three blocked shots a game over the last 37 contests. He surpassed Shaquille O’Neal as the franchise’s all-time leader in blocked shots back on Nov. 6.


  • On Feb 24 at Houston, Dwight Howard tallied 30 points and 15 rebounds, while going a perfect 11-for-11 from the floor. He became the first NBA player to record 30-plus points and 15-plus rebounds, while not missing a field goal attempt (min. 10 attempts) since Wilt Chamberlain recorded 34 points, 27 rebounds and went 14-for-14 from the floor on Mar. 11, 1969 vs. Detroit.


  • Dwight Howard leads the NBA in double-doubles with 58. On Jan. 12 at Sacramento, Howard tallied 30 points, 16 rebounds, five assists, three steals and three blocked shots. Howard has now turned that trick twice, joining five other players (David Robinson, Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O’Neal, Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone) to do it in more than one game since 1991-92.






Posted by Glass Half Full, Sunday, March 28, 2010, 1:09 PM

Three-Point Play

1) Orlando has held its opponents under 100 points in 11 of the last 12 games. The only team to reach the century mark during that time needed an overtime period to do so: Miami lost to Orlando 108-102 in overtime on March 18.

Fewest Points/Game Allowed Since March 3, 2010

Miami Heat 89.6
Charlotte Bobcats 90.5
Orlando Magic 91.1
Milwaukee Bucks 91.7
Cleveland Cavaliers 92.7

2) Dwight Howard has had no trouble getting good looks against Western Conference opponents.

Eastern Conf. Players, Highest FG% vs. West - 2009-10

Dwight Howard, Orl .616
Kendrick Perkins, Bos .598
J.J. Hickson, Cle .580
Amir Johnson, Tor .577
Anderson Varejao .571

3) The Nuggets have won just three games in Orlando in their history. Their most recent win, on February 11, 2009, snapped Orlando’s 15-game home winning streak over Denver.

Denver Nuggets AT Orlando Magic - All-Time

DEN
ORL
Wins 3 18
Points/Gm 99.0 110.5
FG Pct. .449 .484
Rebounds/Gm 39.7 47.0
3-PT Pct. .259 .365
Assists/Gm 20.4 24.8







Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, March 26, 2010, 10:30 AM

Three-Point Play

1) The Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando Magic will always be connected in NBA history for coming into the league together in the 1989-90 season. Comparing the history of the two franchises shows that the Magic have had much more success than their expansion counterparts.

Timberwolves/Magic, Franchise Comparison

MIN
ORL
Seasons 21 21
Record (Reg. Season) 687-993 (.409) 861-819 (.513)
Division Titles 1 5
Playoff Appearances 8 11
Playoff Wins 17 44
Playoff Series Wins 2 9


2) Orlando is 11-1 at home against Western Conference opponents in 2009-10, winning by an average of more than 13 points per game.

Magic at Home vs Western Conference - 2009-10

ORL
WEST
Wins 11 1
Points/Gm 106.0 (1272/12) 92.8 (1114/12)
Rebounds/Gm 47.6 (571/12) 39.0 (468/12)
Pts in Paint/Gm 43.7 (524/12) 34.7 (416/12)


3) On Wednesday against the Hawks, Dwight Howard posted an impressive box score with 19 points, 24 rebounds, four blocked shots and two steals. Howard was the first NBA player to accomplish these minimums in over 16 years.

Games with 19+ Pts, 24+ Reb, 4+ BS & 2+ Steals - Since 1986-87

PLAYER
PTS
REB
BLKS
STLS
DATE
OPP
Joe Barry Carroll, GSW 43 24 4 3 2/1/1987 vs. Nets
Hakeem Olajuwon, HOU 32 25 10 3 12/17/1989 vs. Magic
David Robinson, SAS 30 24 4 2 12/3/1991 at Kings
Kevin Willis, ATL 20 33 4 2 2/19/1992 vs. Bullets
David Robinson, SAS 37 24 5 3 2/27/1992 vs. Warriors
Shaquille O'Neal, ORL 36 24 4 2 2/15/1994 vs. Celtics
Dwight Howard, ORL 19 24 4 2 3/24/2010 at Hawks





Posted by Glass Half Full, Wednesday, March 24, 2010, 10:00 AM

Three-Point Play

1) Orlando has won each of its last six games against the Hawks, including four of those victories coming by at least 17 points.

Magic, Longest Active Winning Streaks vs. Opponent

TEAM
STREAK
Clippers 7
Sixers 7
Hawks 6
Kings 5
Warriors 4


2) Rashard Lewis has found his shooting touch over his last three games after getting off to a slow start in March.

Rashard Lewis in March - 2009-10

FIRST 8 GAMES
LAST 3 GAMES
PPG 10.5 22.7 (68/3)
FG Pct .397 .590 (23/39)
3-Pt Pct .350 .524 (11/21)
RPG 3.9 6.3 (19.3)


3) The Magic have become road warriors over the last three seasons, registering 76 road wins since the beginning of the 2007-08 season, easily the most in franchise history over any three-season span.

Magic, Most Road Wins Over 3-Season Span - All-Time

YEARS
ROAD WINS
07-08 to 09-10 76 (161 Total Wins)
06-07 to 08-09 69
93-94 to 95-96 60 (167 Total Wins)
94-95 to 96-97 60 (162 Total Wins)
95-96 to 97-98 59





Posted by Glass Half Full, Monday, March 22, 2010, 10:00 AM

Three-Point Play

1) Orlando has continued to hit three-pointers at a near-record pace, averaging around 10 threes per game for the third straight season.

Most 3-Point FGs Made per Game in Single Season - All-time

TEAM
AVG
2005-06 Suns 10.2
2008-09 Knicks 10.0
2009-10 Magic 10.0
2008-09 Magic 10.0
2007-08 Magic 9.8


2) The Magic have won over 90 percent of their games in which they’ve out-rebounded their opposition this season.

Best Record When More Rebounds Than Opponent - 2009-10

TEAM
RECORD
WIN PCT
Magic 41-4 .911
Hawks 33-5 .868
Suns 29-5 .853
Lakers 32-7 .821
Spurs 31-7 .816


3) Largest Improvement in FG Pct, Pre vs. Post AS Break - 2009-10 (minimum 200 FGA Pre & 50 FGA Post).

PLAYER
PRE
POST
DIFF
Vince Carter .397 .523 +.126
Jrue Holiday .382 .495 +.113
Ryan Hollins .529 .635 +.106
Ray Allen .450 .546 +.096
Manu Ginobili .403 .498 +.095





Posted by Glass Half Full, Wednesday, March 17, 2010, 11:00 PM

Coach Pop Quote

From time to time someone other than Glass Half Full takes over Glass Half Full.

Following the Magic-Spurs game it was San Antonio head coach Greg Popovich.

Take it away Coach Pop:

“I think they are built for championships. They have everything that it takes. They have an inside game, obviously. They have a perimeter game to go with it and a team needs to have both. The three-point shot is very important to winning championships. The inside play is important. They have the depth that is necessary. Defensively, they are leading the league in defensive field goal percentage and if you don’t play defense, you don’t win championships. They have all the elements there; it’s a matter of being consistent and focused. I think they have the ability to get it done.”




Posted by Glass Half Full, Sunday, March 17, 2010, 11:00 AM

Three-Point Play

1) Little has separated Dwight Howard and Tim Duncan in 10 previous encounters.

Tim Duncan vs. Dwight Howard, Career Head-to-Head

HOWARD
DUNCAN
FG% .521 (87-167) .523 (69-132)
PPG 22.4 (224/10) 18.3 (183/10)
RPG 12.3 (123/10) 12.4 (124/10)
Blocks 24 21
Wins 5 5


2) Both of these teams are getting far more points off the bench than they did last season.

Largest Increase, Bench PPG, 2008-09 à 2009-10

TEAM
2008-09
2009-10
DIFF
Spurs 30.4 40.4 +10.0
Pacers 28.2 36.9 +8.7
Rockets 28.3 36.7 +8.4
Magic 23.3 31.2 +7.9


3) The Magic have ripped off the most 10-point runs in the league.

Most Runs of 10+ Points, 2009-10

TEAM
#
Magic 53
Spurs 46
Nuggets 43
Grizzlies 43
NBA Average 34


Yet another “10-point stat” features the Magic outscoring their opponents by double digits in 51 quarters, easily the highest total in the NBA.

Most Times Outscoring Opponent by 10+ Pts in Qtr, 2009-10

TEAM
#
Magic 51
Jazz 41
Celtics 41
Knicks 41
NBA Average 30





Posted by Glass Half Full, Sunday, March 14, 2010, 10:00 AM

Three-Point Play

1) The Magic are riding an eight-game winning streak into this contest, one shy of their franchise record.

Orlando Magic, Longest Winning Streaks - Franchise History

STK
START
END
9 11/12/1994 12/02/1994
9 01/30/2001 02/18/2001
8 03/31/2006 04/15/2006
8 02/28/2010 ACTIVE
7 Seven Different Times


2) The Magic are 14-3 in their last 17 games and Jameer Nelson has been a big factor. He has averaged 6.9 assists in those games, improved from his previous season average of 4.6.

Eastern Conference, Most Assists/Gm - Since Feb. 7 (min. 90 Ast or 16 G)

PLAYER
AVG
LeBron James 10.2
Rajon Rondo 9.8
Devin Harris 7.6
Jameer Nelson 6.9
Andre Iguodala 6.1


3) Dwight Howard has had no problem controlling the boards against Charlotte.

Dwight Howard, Most Career Rebounds/Game vs. Opponent

OPPONENT
AVG
Bobcats 15.1 (348/23)
Timberwolves 14.3 (157/11)
Kings 14.0 (168/12)
Trail Blazers 13.8 (166/12)
Hawks 13.7 (314/23)





Posted by Glass Half Full, Saturday, March 13, 2010, 4:02 PM

Three-Point Play

1) The Magic (6-0) are one of three teams still undefeated this month.

Orlando Magic's NBA Ranks - March 2010

RANK
Win Pct. 1.000 (6-0) T-1st
PPG 110.0 (660/6) 2nd
Opp PPG 90.8 (545/6) 4th
FG Pct. .500 (239/478) 2nd
Opp FG Pct. .420 (212/505) 3rd


2) Orlando tends to get off to fast starts in its games. During its current win streak, Orlando has outscored its opponents in the 1st quarter by more than seven points per game (30.7 to 23.1), while shooting 54.9 percent.

Magic 1st Quarter Ranks - 2009-10

RANK
PPG 27.0 (1782/66) 4th
FG Pct. .505 (679/1344) 5th
3-Pt Pct. .411 (174/423) 4th


3) Vince Carter is shooting nearly 56 percent from the field during the Magic’s current win streak.

Highest FG Pct. As Starting Guard - Since February 28 (min. 25 FGM)

Tony Parker, SA .600
Vince Carter, Orl .558 (43/77)
Jarrett Jack, Tor .557
Jason Richardson, Pho .548
Ray Allen, Bos .545




Posted by Glass Half Full, Thursday, March 11, 2010, 3:00 PM

Howard Having Fun

As you may know Dwight Howard is featured on the cover of the April issue of Men’s Health.

Glass Half Full loves this quote from Dwight in the article written by Christopher McDougall.

“People say I’m having too much fun.

I say, ‘Yes, I am.’”

Short, sweet, and to the point.

“It is this smile on his face that enables us to see his heart on his sleeve. He transmits a warmth and sweetness that few people do.”

"Every time I see him, I'm happier."

"He's been this happy ever since he was knee-high to a duck."

"He is the only player who can take three shots and still dominate a game."

The previous four paragraphs accurately describe the infectious, effervescent smile, and game, of Orlando Magic man Dwight Howard.

Yet, they were spoken several years before about another hoop star who played with a mega-watt smile.

Magic Johnson.

There is often a lot made about Dwight Howard’s fun-loving personality.

Thus, when I think Dwight, I think Magic.

Recently featured on the cover of the April issue of Men’s Health magazine, here’s what Superman said to writer Christopher McDougall on him looking like he’s having a good time while playing the game he loves.

“People say I’m having too much fun,” says Howard.

“I say, ‘Yes, I am.’”

Adds Magic General Manager Otis Smith, “His balance is just right for me, He doesn't get too high or too low. Those guys around him, at the end of the day, know that he's going to play at 110 percent every time. And they know that he's going to protect the paint all the time. And when we need him to score a bucket, he does. I don't care what his face looks like when he's doing it." Joel Glass Vice President/Communications Orlando Magic jglass@orlandomagic.com







Posted by Glass Half Full, Tuesday, March 9, 2010, 10:15 AM

Three-Point Play

1) Dwight Howard is the only center in the league who has outscored his opposing starter more often than Chris Kaman

Most Times Outscoring Opposing Starting Center, 2009-10

PLAYER
#
Dwight Howard 53
Chris Kaman 47
David Lee 47
Brook Lopez 45
Nene Hilario 43


2) Although Marcin Gortat (.550) and Craig Smith (.587) don’t boast exceptional field-goal percentages overall, their first attempt of the game is usually true.

Highest FG% on First FGA of Game, 2009-10 (minimum 40 FGA)

PLAYER
FG%
Marcin Gortat .702 (40-57)
Craig Smith .684 (39-57)
Kendrick Perkins .667
Jarrett Jack .639
NBA Average .448


3) The fast break has accounted for nearly 28 percent of Matt Barnes’ total points, the highest rate in the Eastern Conference and one of the highest in the entire league.

Highest Pct of Points Coming on Fast Breaks, 2009-10 (minimum 300 total points)

PLAYER
%
C.J. Watson 30.3
O.J. Mayo 29.9
Matt Barnes 27.7 (154/556)
Louis Williams 27.6





Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, March 5, 2010, 10:45 AM

Three-Point Play

1) Dwight Howard is coming off another phenomenal all-around performance against the Warriors, with 28 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks.

Most Games with 25+ Pts, 10+ Rebs & 2+ Blocks, Since 2006-07

PLAYER
#
Dwight Howard 42
Chris Bosh 29
Amar'e Stoudemire 28
Yao Ming 25
Dirk Nowitzki 22


2) Not only has Rashard Lewis made at least one three-pointer in 23 straight games, but he also has hit multiple treys in 20 of those 23 games.

Most Games with Multiple 3-Pt FGM, Since January 18

PLAYER
#
Rashard Lewis 20
Jason Kidd 17
Aaron Brooks 16
Chauncey Billups 15
Rasual Butler 15


3) Of course, Rashard Lewis is not the only member of the Magic who can hit a three-pointer occasionally.

Most Players With 50+ 3-Pt FGM, 2009-10 Season (only players on current roster)

TEAM
#
Orlando Magic 7
Milwaukee Bucks 5
Phoenix Suns 5





Posted by Glass Half Full, Sunday, February 28, 2010, 12:45 PM

Little Ball of Energy

"Little ball of energy...Little ball of confidence."

That's how Dwight Howard, a.k.a. Superman, recently described sidekick Jameer Neslon, a.k.a. Mighty Mouse.

Nelson is certainly one of the keys to the Magic's recent stretch of success.

Since returning from the All-Star Break, Nelson has averaged 16.8 ppg. and 8.0 apg., while shooting 56.7 percent from the floor.

The key to Nelson's game is to be on the attack.

"When he has a high energy and bounce to his step he is an offensively skilled pick-and-role player," says ABC/ESPN Analyst Jeff Van Gundy, adding, "and a big time clutch shooter."

PRE AS BREAK
POST AS BREAK
Points/Gm 11.6 16.8
Assists/Gm 4.8 8.0
Rebounds/Gm 2.8 3.8
FG Pct .432 .567





Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, February 26, 2010, 12:45 PM

Three-Point Play

1) Dwight Howard is coming off a 30-point, 16-rebound performance against the Rockets. Over the last three seasons, no player has shown the ability to put up a 30/15 game like Howard.

Most Games with 30+ Points & 15+ Rebounds, Since 2007-08

PLAYER
#
Dwight Howard 20
Chris Bosh 8
Tim Duncan 6
Al Jefferson 6


2) The Magic have been awfully tough to beat this season when they gain the edge in rebounding.

Best Record When Outrebounding Opponent, 2009-10

TEAM
RECORD
WIN %
Orlando Magic 32-4 .889
Atlanta Hawks 26-4 .867
Phoenix Suns 23-4 .852
San Antonio Spurs 24-5 .828
Denver Nuggets 22-5 .815


3) Along with Howard’s interior presence, the Magic have been able to capitalize on a solid scoring edge from beyond the arc this season.

Highest Point Diff from 3-Point FG, Own/Opp, 2009-10

TEAM
STAT
Orlando Magic +621
New York Knicks +423
Houston Rockets +381
Milwaukee Bucks +372





Posted by Glass Half Full, Thursday, February 25, 2010, 9:00 AM

Dwight Attains Astonishing Mark

During Orlando's win at Houston Wednesday night, Dwight Howard tallied 30 points and 16 rebounds, while going a perfect 11-of-11 from the field.

He becomes the first NBA player to record 30+ points and 15+ rebounds without missing a field goal (min. 10 FGAs) since Wilt Chamberlain did it during the 1968-69 season (34 pts, 27 rebs. on Mar. 11,1969 vs. Detroit).




Posted by Glass Half Full, Wednesday, February 24, 2010, 10:25 AM

Three-Point Play

1) Longest Double-Double Streak, 2009-10

PLAYER
STREAK
TENURE
Dwight Howard 18 1/15/10 - Active
Kevin Love 11 12/12/09 - 1/1/10
Zach Randolph 9 12/16/09 - 1/5/10
Pau Gasol 8 12/9/09 - 12/22/09
Chris Bosh 8 11/7/09 - 11/20/09


2) Orlando, January 20-present

STAT
RANK
Wins 12 2nd
Win % .750 5th
Opp PPG 94.1 4th
Opp FG .428 2nd


3) Longest Active Streak Making 1 or More 3-Pointers

PLAYER
STREAK
Aaron Brooks 28
Chauncey Billups 25
Jason Kidd 22
Corey Brewer 22
Rashard Lewis 18





Posted by Glass Half Full, Monday, February 22, 2010, 2:30 PM

All-Dwight

It's time that Dwight Howard garnered some attention for the MVP. Take a look:

THE DAILY DOUBLE"…
Dwight Howard consistently lives up to his nickname of "The Daily Double," racking up a double-double nearly every time he hits the floor…Howard has recorded 45 double-doubles this season, which leads the NBA (as of Feb. 22)…He had 63 double-doubles in 2008-09 (second in the NBA) and now has 329 double-doubles during his NBA career (the most in the NBA since he entered the league in 2004-05)…Howard had an NBA-best 69 double-doubles in 2007-08 and set the team record for most double-doubles in a season, beating the previous mark of 68, which Shaquille O'Neal accomplished during the 1992-93 season.

Howard has recorded a double-double in 18 consecutive games (Jan. 15-present), averaging 21.8 ppg., 14.2 rpg. and 3.61 blkpg. (393 points, 256 rebounds, 65 blocks), while shooting .605 (130-215 FG) from the floor…Howard has now tied the franchise record for most consecutive double-doubles with 18, which he also tied last season… Howard and Shaquille O'Neal currently share the franchise record (Howard: Jan. 6-Feb. 17, 2009; O'Neal: Nov. 27-Dec. 30, 1993).

SEEING 20/20…
On Dec. 14 vs. Indiana, Dwight Howard had 21 points and a season-high 23 rebounds...It marked the third time this season and the 26th time in his career that he has recorded a 20-point/20-rebound game (nine in 2008-09)…Howard has 38 career games with 20-or-more rebounds (seven this season)…Below is a look at Howard's double-doubles broken down when he scores 20-or-more points during his career:

SEASON
20+ PT/10+ REB GAMES
20+ PT/15+ REB GAMES
20+ PT/20+ REB GAMES
2004-05 8 2 0
2005-06 16 7 2
2006-07 27 9 4
2007-08 40 23 8
2008-09 39 23 9
2009-10 23 12 3
TOTALS 153 76 26


MORE HOWARD…
On Feb. 17 vs. Detroit, Dwight Howard finished with 33 points, 17 rebounds and seven blocks… The last time an NBA player recorded at least 30 points, 15 rebounds and seven blocks was Howard on Feb. 17, 2009 when he had 45 points, 19 rebounds and eight blocks vs. Charlotte... Howard also accomplished the feat when he had 30 points, 19 rebounds and 10 blocks @ Oklahoma City on Nov. 12, 2008... The last player other than Howard to record at least 30 points, 15 rebounds and seven blocks in a game was Yao Ming… Ming had 35 points, 15 rebounds and eight blocks on Dec. 15, 2006 @ L.A. Lakers.

THAT'S DWIGHT WITH A CAPITAL 'D'…
Dwight Howard currently leads the NBA in both rebounding and blocked shots (as of Feb. 22)…He is attempting to become the first player in NBA history to lead the league in both rebounding and blocked shots more than once…Last season, Howard also led the league in both categories (13.8 rpg., 2.92 blkpg.) becoming just the fifth player in NBA history to finish the season leading the league in both categories (1973-74 was the first season where blocks were kept as an official statistic)…Here's a look at the select list that Howard joined last season:

PLAYER
SEASON
RPG
BPG
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (L.A. Lakers) 1975-76 16.9 4.12
Bill Walton (Portland) 1976-77 14.4 3.25
Hakeem Olajuwon (Houston) 1989-90 14.0 4.59
Ben Wallace (Detroit) 2001-02 13.0 3.48
Dwight Howard (Orlando) 2008-09 13.8 2.92


BLOCK PARTY…
On Nov. 6 vs. Detroit, Dwight Howard became the franchise's all-time leader in blocked shots, surpassing Shaquille O'Neal (824) at the top of the list…Howard now has 976 career blocked shots…When the Magic have more (or the same blocks than their opponents, they are 33-12…Orlando ranks ninth in the NBA in blocked shots (as of Feb. 22), averaging 5.54 blkpg. (316 blocks).

Since joining the Magic in 2004-05, Dwight Howard has recorded three-or-more blocks in a game 151 times…Orlando is 104-47 (.689) in those outings, including 22-7 this season…The Magic are 155-158 (.495) when he blocks two-or-fewer shots…Below is a breakdown:

NUMBER OF BLOCKS IN A GAME
NUMBER OF TIMES BY HOWARD
ORLANDO'S RECORD (PCT.)
3+ 151 104-47 (.689)
4+ 86 67-19 (.779)
5+ 42 32-10 (.762)
0-2 313 155-158 (.495)


During the last 20 games, Dwight Howard is averaging 3.60 blkpg. (72 blocks)…Here's a breakdown of Howard's block totals this season and during his career:

BLOCKS IN A GAME
NUMBER OF TIMES IN 2009-10
NUMBER OF TIMES IN CAREER
1+ 49 399
2+ 44 262
3+ 29 151
4+ 20 86
5+ 10 42





Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, February 19, 2010, 10:15 AM

Three-Point Play

1) Orlando has been one of the hottest teams in the league since mid-January.

Orlando Magic's Ranks - Since January 20

RANK
Wins 11 T-1st
Win Pct. .786 (11-3) 3rd
Opp PPG 93.9 (1315/14) 4th
Opp FG Pct. .424 (494/1166) 1st


2) Dwight Howard had 33 points, 17 rebounds and seven blocked shots in Wednesday's win over Detroit. It was the fourth 30-15-5 game of his career.

Games with 30+ Pts., 15+ Reb. & 5+ Blk. - Since 2004-05

PLAYER
#
Dwight Howard, Orl 4
Yao Ming, Hou 3
All Others 0


3) Vince Carter has found his shooting touch.

Vince Carter - 2009-10

THROUGH FEB. 6
SINCE FEB. 7
PPG 15.7 23.4 (117/5)
FG Pct .380 .577 (45/78)
3-Pt Pct .309 .583 (14/24)





Posted by Glass Half Full, Thursday, February 11, 2010, 11:45 AM

Orlando-Cleveland Notes

* While the Cavaliers won the first meeting between these teams this season, 102-93 on November 11, Orlando has won in three of its last four trips to Cleveland.

* Orlando has won 10 of its last 12 games and will be looking to extend its current win streak to four in a row. The Magic defeated the Bulls last night, 107-87, and are 7-6 in the second of back-to-back games this season.

* The Magic will be looking to snap Cleveland's 12-game winning streak. The Cavaliers can tie their franchise record with a 13th straight win. Cleveland owns the best home record in the league this season at 23-3 and has won 21 of its last 22 there.

* Dwight Howard has an NBA-leading 41 double-doubles this season and has recorded one in each of his last 14 games. Howard has posted a double-double in eight of his last 11 games against the Cavaliers.

* The Magic have made a league-leading 542 three-pointers this season, while the Cavaliers are tied for the fourth-most with 400.




Posted by Glass Half Full, Wednesday, February 10, 2010, 9:15 AM

Keys For Carter

While MNB (Monday Night Basketball) was awesomely punctuated by VC's fantastic 48, the key for "Vinsanity" and the Magic doesn't need to be all that.

Says Orlando GM Otis Smith, "He doesn't have to carry the load, he just has to be a part of what we're doing here."

Triple-double-like numbers are actually the key -- double-digit scoring, seven-plus assists, seven-plus rebounds.

GHF loved this quote from VC as told to JD (John Denton) of Orlandomagic.com.

. ``People always judge success by how many points you score, but I just want to impact a game somehow. Sometimes it's not going to be by scoring. Sometimes it's by rebounding, getting assists or locking my man down so he doesn't score. I just want to win. It's not about scoring or scoring average; it's about winning because this is a great opportunity and we have to take advantage of it. This is real and this can happen."

Yes, Vinsanity gets it.




Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, February 9, 2010, 11:05 AM

Carter Added to Extraordinary List

Vince Carter's 48 points Monday night vs. the New Orleans Hornets was a "I was there" moment. Here are the other top scoring games in Orlando Magic history.

Most Points in a Game, Orlando Magic


PLAYER
POINTS
DATE
Tracy McGrady 62 3/10/04 vs. WAS
Shaquille O'Neal 53 4/20/94 vs. MIN
Tracy McGrady 52 2/3/01 vs. CHI
Tracy McGrady 51 11/14/03 at DEN
Tracy McGrady 50 3/8/02 vs. WAS
Nick Anderson 50 4/23/93 at NJN
Shaquille O'Neal 49 12/9/93 at IND
Terry Catledge 49 1/13/90 at GSW
Tracy McGrady 49 4/23/01 at WAS
Shaquille O'Neal 49 3/22/96 at WAS
Tracy McGrady 48 3/19/02 vs. MIL
Vince Carter 48 2/8/10 vs. NOH
Tracy McGrady 48 3/5/03 vs. MIL





Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, February 5, 2010, 10:15 AM

Three-Point Play

1) The Magic have held their opponents under 100 points in each of the last nine games.

Longest Active Streak Holding Opponent Under 100 Points

TEAM
STREAK
Orlando Magic 9
Cleveland Cavaliers 8
Detroit Pistons 5
L.A. Lakers 5
Milwaukee Bucks 4


2) When winning the rebound battle, the Magic have been tough to beat..

Best Record When More Rebounds Than Opponent, 2009-10

TEAM
RECORD
Orlando Magic 28-3 (.903)
Atlanta Hawks 23-3 (.885)
Dallas Mavericks 18-3 (.857)
L.A. Lakers 22-4 (.846)
Denver Nuggets 18-4 (.818)
Phoenix Suns 18-4 (.818)


3) Dwight Howard has 17 games with 20 or more rebounds over the last two seasons.

Most Games with 20+ Rebounds, Since 2008-09

PLAYER
#
Dwight Howard 17
Marcus Camby 10
Joakim Noah 4
Samuel Dalembert 4
David Lee 3





Posted by Glass Half Full, Tuesday, February 2, 2010, 11:45 AM

Three-Point Play

1) Dwight Howard could become the first player to lead the NBA in rebounding and blocks per game more than once (blocks were first recorded officially in the 1973-74 season).

Players Leading NBA in Both RPG and BPG, Since 1973-74

PLAYER
TEAM
RPG
BPG
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 75-76 L.A. Lakers 16.9 4.12
Bill Walton, 76-77 Portland Trail Blazers 14.4 3.25
Hakeem Olajuwon, 89-90 Houston Rockets 14.0 4.59
Ben Wallace, 01-02 Detroit Pistons 13.0 3.48
Dwight Howard, 08-09 Orlando Magic 13.8 2.92
Dwight Howard, 09-10 Orlando Magic 13.4 2.69


2) Orlando has a long list of shooters who can light it up from three-point range.

Most Players w/30+ 3-Pointers Made, NBA 2009-10

TEAM
#
Orlando Magic 8
Indiana Pacers 6
Los Angeles Lakers 6
Phoenix Suns 6
San Antonio Spurs 6
Charlotte Bobcats 6


3) Orlando and Milwaukee, the Magic's opponent tonight, rank 1-2 in the league in allowing the fewest second-chance points per game.

Fewest Second-Chance Points Allowed per Game, NBA 2009-10

TEAM
AVERAGE
Milwaukee Bucks 10.8 (495/46)
Orlando Magic 11.6 (555/48)
Detroit Pistons 12.0
Charlotte Bobcats 12.0
Utah Jazz 12.1





Posted by Glass Half Full, Monday, January 25, 2010, 10:45 AM

Going to the Mailbag

Remember if you have a question, simply e-mail glasshalffull@orlandomagic.com and then check back periodically for Glass Half Full-Esque answers.

Tom (Orlando)
Hey Glass Half Full, when will the All-Star coaches be decided?

GHF: The East and West All-Star coaches and coaching staffs will be determined by the best record in each conference through games played Jan. 31. Last year's East and West coaches – Cleveland's Mike Brown and the L.A. Lakers' Phil Jackson -- are not eligible to coach this year's All-Star Game. Beginning play this week: Boston (Doc Rivers) is 28-13, Atlanta (Mike Woodson) is 28-14, and Orlando (Stan Van Gundy) is 29-15. The interesting part is Orlando hosts Boston Thursday and Atlanta Saturday.

Jeanne (Charlotte)
J.J. Redick seems to have found his way in the NBA and with the Magic. Why do you think that is?

GHF: J.J. brings a lot to the table. He has an incredible basketball IQ, has worked tremendously hard in terms of getting stronger and being in top physical condition, has become a solid defender, and has continued to work tirelessly on his bread-and-butter, his shooting. Mix it all together and you have success. People have to realize it can take time in the league to become successful, but J.J. certainly has it going on.

Pat (Oviedo)
If they had to do it over again today, would the Magic sign Vince Carter?

GHF: Yes. Nothing has really changed in the thinking. VC is ultra talented and will get you a big bucket when you need it. Remember, one Magic question mark during last year's playoffs was who would get the key basket in the key moment. The first half of the season has been a transition period for your Magic, and Vince. He's really a very unselfish player who started out by just trying to fit in. Then came a bite, or two, by the injury bug. There have been numerous conversations with the same theme: Don't fit it, be Vince Carter. That's why you are here. I think Dwight Howard's quote said it best following Orlando's win Saturday night in Charlotte, "I told him that we saw 'Vinsanity' tonight. He wasn't dunking, but he was finishing, which we need him to do that…When he's aggressive like that, it just opens things up for us."

Again, send in your questions to glasshalffull@orlandomagic.com.


Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, January 22, 2010, 8:15 AM

GHF Mailbag

Glass Half Full will now take your questions.

Yes, the once incredibly popular, highly interactive "GHF Mailbag" is back!

Said GHF in the making the announcement in Jordan-esque fashion, "I'm back."

Down for a while due to technical difficulties, we are up and running.

So, if you have a question, simply e-mail glasshalffull@orlandomagic.com and then check back periodically for Glass Half Full-Esque answers.




Posted by Glass Half Full, Tuesday, January 19, 2010, 5:15 PM

Positive Outlook

There seems to be a lot of water cooler talk about what's wrong with the Magic.

And that's a glass half full positive.

Simply the fact that arm chair point guards far and wide have a theory -- Finals hangover, chemistry, not playing consistent enough for long enough periods of time, this player/that player, nice SVG/not nice SVG -- is positive. Not many years back , there honestly was a lingering apathy.

While the bar is set rightfully high, the fact of the matter is Orlando is just 4.5 games out of having the best record in the East through 41 games. Not an overwhelming deficit. It's still January. Orlando did start the season 17-4.

As they begin their march to the top, it is vital for the Magic to play, what General Manager Otis Smith calls, "healthy basketball." Thus, what does "healthy basketball" look like? For starters, it's Jameer Nelson on the attack, playing inside-out off of Dwight Howard, tenacious defense, the core four working together, continued steady play from the deep bench, playing without the weight of the world on its collective shoulders and regaining a swagger.

In wins to date, Orlando averages 106 points per game, while allowing just 93 against opponents. Orlando shoots 48 percent from the field overall and limits the opposition to 43 percent. It hits 39 percent of its 3-pointers, compared to 32 percent in losses and it averages four more assists in wins, less than 14 turnovers, more than six blocked shots and nearly seven steals.

Over the last couple of years, the key words for the Magic has been resiliency and resolve. Think Game 6 in Philly last year without Dwight Howard, Game 7 in Boston, bouncing back after LeBron's dagger in Game 2 of the last year's East Finals. While last year is over, as head coach Stan Van Gundy says, this is a "great test."

``I thought our guys did a good job of fighting back and staying in the game,'' Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said last night in L.A. ``That's the most resolve that we have shown in a long time.''

Added J.J. Redick to Orlandomagic.com's John Denton: ``We know that we have enough talent in this room and a good enough coaching staff to turn this thing around and get ourselves back right again. We are a good basketball team with good players and we're not going to let one bad stretch deter us from believing that.''

And Rashard Lewis: "I'm confident that we still have a championship-contending team. We've just got to keep working on building our chemistry and playing better together.''




Posted by Glass Half Full, Wednesday, January 13, 2010, 12:15 PM

Three-Point Play

1) Last night, Dwight Howard had an incredible offensive and defensive performance against the Kings - the kind of game rarely seen over the last two decades.

Most Games with 30+ Pts, 15+ Rebs, 3+ Blks & 3+ Stls, Since 1991-92

David Robinson: 7
Hakeem Olajuwon: 5
Shaquille O'Neal: 4
Dwight Howard: 2
Patrick Ewing: 2
Karl Malone: 2


2) The Magic are currently on pace to attempt 2,321 three-pointers this season, which would set a new NBA record.

Most 3-Point FGA Per Game in Season, All-time

2009-10 Orlando Magic: 28.3 (1076/38)
2008-09 New York Knicks: 27.9
2009-10 New York Knicks: 27.0
2007-08 Golden State Warriors: 26.6


3) Neither team will panic if they trail entering the second quarter tonight.

Best Record When Trailing After 1st Quarter, 2009-10






Denver Nuggets: 11-6 (.647)
Boston Celtics: 9-5 (.643)
Cleveland Cavaliers: 7-4 (.636)
Dallas Mavericks: 10-7 (.588)
Orlando Magic: 8-6 (.571)





Posted by Glass Half Full, Tuesday, January 12, 2010, 1:31 PM

Three-Point Play

1) The Magic have won three in a row against Sacramento and will be facing each other for the first time this season. These clubs will meet again on January 22 in Orlando.

2) Dwight Howard is averaging an NBA-leading 13.1 rebounds per game on the road this season and has grabbed at least 10 boards in eight consecutive road games.

3) Over the last five games J.J. Redick is averaging 15.4 points and shooting 43.4 percent from the field, after averaging 4.5 points on 19.0 percent shooting in his previous four contests.




Posted by Glass Half Full, Wednesday, January 6, 2010, 4:11 PM

PLAYOFFS? PLAYOFFS!

With the NFL Playoffs about to get underway and a lot of chatter about teams shutting it down to prevent injuries with playoff positioning secure late in the season, it got Glass Half Full to thinking about an idea floated in this space a couple of years ago.

Once again, I present my GHF idea to change the NBA playoffs. I say numbers 1-7 make the playoffs in each conference and the eighth spot in both the East and West is decided by a one-loss-and-your-out elimination tournament.

So, here's how it works. If the NBA playoffs started today, Orlando, Boston, Cleveland, Atlanta, Miami, Toronto, and Charlotte would be in from the East, while the Lakers, Dallas, Denver, Phoenix, San Antonio, Portland, and Houston would make it from the West.

With the remaining 16 teams you have a NCAA-style tournament to decide the final two playoff teams. The teams could be seeded by record and it takes three wins. I say end the regular season a few days early and play the play-in tournament. Maybe for a little added spice, the two teams remaining get the first and second picks in the draft.

The tourney would be great, while the fans in the bottom feeder cities would have some hope come April. It doesn't diminish the regular season because who wants to play three more games to get in the playoffs, and this could possibly reward the last two teams to make it regardless of what conference. Of the final two, you give the team with the best record its choice to join the East or West playoffs.




Posted by Glass Half Full, Tuesday, January 5, 2010, 12:10 PM

Three-Point Play

1) This season, the Magic have been just about unbeatable when they have out-shot their opponent.

Best Record When Higher FG% Than Opponent - 2009-10

Lakers 19-0 1.000
Magic 18-1 .947
Cavaliers 24-2 .923
Mavericks 17-2 .895
Nuggets 17-2 .895

2) Fewest Opponent Points in the Paint Per Game - 2009-10

Cavaliers 34.5
Magic 35.9 (1184/33)
Pistons 36.3
Heat 36.9
Celtics 37.9

3) Ball movement is key for the Orlando Magic. When the Magic have more (or the same) amount of assists than their opponent in games this season they are 17-2.




Posted by Glass Half Full, Monday, January 4, 2010, 1:28 PM

Monday Practice Report

The NBA season is an absolute marathon.

Thirty-three games in the enthusiasm for the start of the season is over. The post All-Star break run to the playoffs is yet to come.

"It's (raising the energy level, intensity) on all of us, coaches and players," said Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy Monday following a spirited two-plus hour practice in frigid Indiana.

"You can never stop and relax," he added about facing an always tough Pacer squad Tuesday night.

While he was specifically talking about facing Indiana, he could have been talking about any of the Magic's upcoming opponents, as Orlando enters another four-game/five-night stretch.

On a positive note, Vince Carter returned to practice Monday after suffering a sprained left ankle against Chicago. He was full-go throughout the workout, or as he said after, "I felt like a human pinball, being bounced around out there today."

Added Carter, "We got after it today and it felt great to be out there. Other teams are trying to make their mark on us, so we have to have the right mentality every night."

Quick hitters: The All-Star Game coaches from the East and West will be determined by record as of games played on Jan. 31. Mike Brown of Cleveland is ineligible because he coached last year's Eastern Conference squad...Said Dwight Howard after practice Monday, "You can't underestimate Indiana. They play extremely hard all the time."




Posted by Glass Half Full, Wednesday, December 30, 2009, 10:15 AM

Three-Point Play

1) The Magic, coming off their Christmas Day loss to the Celtics, have bounced back extremely well following a defeat, losing back-to-back games just once this season.

Best Record in Games Following a Loss – 2009-10

Houston Rockets 12-1 .923

Dallas Mavericks 8-1 .889

Atlanta Hawks 7-1 .875

Orlando Magic 6-1 .857

Utah Jazz 11-2 .846

2) Both teams have two of the league's top second-round picks on their rosters in Michael Redd and Rashard Lewis.

Highest Career Scoring Avg by 2nd Round Draft Picks
(active players only)
Gilbert Arenas 22.7
Michael Redd 20.3
Monta Ellis 17.1
Carlos Boozer 17.0
Rashard Lewis 16.9

3) Here's a look at centers Howard and Bogut, both who were No. 1 picks in their respective drafts.

Andrew Bogut vs. Dwight Howard – Career Head-to-Head

Stats Wins Points/Gm Rebounds/Gm Blocks/Gm FG Pct.
Bogut 4 6.9 (69/10) 6.0 (60/10) 0.4 (4/10) .437 (31/71)
Howard 6 16.0 (160/10) 12.7 (127/10) 2.1 (21/10) .561 (55/98)





Posted by Glass Half Full, Tuesday, December 22, 2009, 7:52 AM

Sixth Man of the Year?

As J.J. Redick was leaving the Magic locker room last night Dwight Howard shouted out with his patented smile plastered across his face, "See you later MVP."

Responded Redick, who scored 11 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter to key Orlando's 104-99 victory over Utah, "See you later Sixth Man of the Year."

And there you have it. On an unseasonably cool night in Orlando, Redick was hot, while unofficially announcing his candidacy for Sixth Man of the Year.

No one has worked harder on his game, both mentally and physically, than Redick.

Said Stan Van Gundy after the contest, "He's playing with great confidence, and for a good reason. Success breeds confidence, and he's playing very, very well. On top of the confidence, the guy is just so focused and tough. He's on top of everything."

Redick told Orlandomagic.com's John Denton that he had a recent talk with his college mentor, Mike Krzyzewski. ``The thing that we talked about is that it's a continual process with your career. Not that I'm comparing myself to him by any means, but Kobe Bryant is constantly working to master his craft. What I've come to understand is that you have to work all the time. It's a continual process and there's a lot of things I have to do better.''

He's definitely getting better, playing a key role for the 21-7 Magic, and although early, now in line for postseason accolades.




Posted by Glass Half Full, Wednesday, December 16, 2009, 2:55 PM

Three-Point Play

1) The Orlando Magic have won nearly 70 percent of their games through the middle of December of the past four seasons.

Best Combined Record Thru December 15 – 2006-07 -> 2009-10

Boston Celtics 71-21 .772
Los Angeles Lakers 68-23 .747
Orlando Magic 69-30 .697
San Antonio Spurs 63-29 .685
Phoenix Suns 65-31 .677

2) The Magic have already made 253 three-pointers and can set the record for the most threes made by any team through the first 25 games of a season with 15 treys tonight against Toronto.

Most 3-Point FG Made thru 25 Games – All-time

2008-09 New York Knicks 267
2009-10 Orlando Magic 253 (thru 24 games)
2009-10 Phoenix Suns 240
2006-07 Phoenix Suns 238
2007-08 Golden State Warriors 237
2002-03 Boston Celtics 233
2007-08 Orlando Magic 233

The 2008-09 Knicks connected on 254 three-pointers through the first 24 games of that season (most all-time).

3) Orlando is 17-6 after 23 games. Orlando's record after 24 games last year…18-6.




Posted by Glass Half Full, Tuesday, December 9, 2009, 7:17 PM

Ten Points

Here are some Glass Half Full digits to chew on.

1. At 17-4, Orlando has equalled its best start in franchise history (1994-95, 1995-96). The Magic have never been 18-4.

2. Orlando has won eight straight on the road, the longest road winning streak for a single season. Overall, the record is nine (last two in April '07 and first sevent in November '07). Under Stan Van Gundy (two-plus years), the Magic are 64-30 on the road. At 10-2 on the road this year, the Magic will look to eclipse its seasonal franchise record for road wins (27 each of the last two years).

3. Orlando has won 23 straight games in which it has scored 100 points. The streak dates back to Feb. 24, 2009.

4. Orlando has had five or more players score in double-figures in 12 games this year (11-1 record when it happens).

5. Orlando has made 10 or more three-pointers 13 times this year and is 11-2 when it does so.

6. Orlando has had 20-plus assists nine times this year and is 9-0 when it does so.

7. When Orlando outrebounds its opponent the Magic are 13-0.

8. Over Stan Van Gundy's two-plus seasons Orlando is 91-20 (10-2 this year) when holding opponents under 100 points.

9. Over Stan Van Gundy's two-plus seasons Orlando is 114-34 (12-3 this year) when holding opponents to less than 50 percent shooting.

10. Dwight Howard now has 25 career 20+ point/20+ rebound games (two already this year). The Magic are 6-2 when Vince Carter scored 20-plus points this year. Rashard Lewis is averaging 18.3 ppg. over the last six games, while shooting over 50 percent from the field overall and three-point range, compared to 12.6 ppg. and a 33 percent field goal mark the first five games he played this season.




Posted by Glass Half Full, Saturday, December 5, 2009, 12:09 PM

Three-Point Play

Here we go, the start of another West Coaster. To get you started, a GHF Three-Point Play

1) Orlando has won nine of its last 10 games behind strong defensive play.

Magic Since November 13 - w/NBA Ranks

W-L 9-1 1st (.900)
Points/Gm 100.3 17th (1003/10)
Opp Points/Gm 91.0 2nd (910/10)
FG Pct .460 15th (359/780)
Opp FG Pct .417 1st (346/830)
Avg Rebound Diff +4.8 4th (46.2 - 41.4)

2) The Magic are 5-0 on the road over that span, and have won six straight road games overall.

Magic - Longest Road Winning Streaks, All-time

APR-14-2007 - NOV-19-2007 9 (2 in '06-07, 7 in '07-08)
MAR-15-1996 - APR-03-1996 6
NOV-12-2008 - NOV-27-2008 6
NOV-10-2009 - NOV-29-2009 6 (active)
JAN-07-2009 - JAN-17-2009 5

3) Rashard and Dwight

Rashard Lewis has found his shooting touch:

Lewis - First 5 Games vs. Last 4

First 5 Last 4

Points/Gm 12.6 18.5 (74/4)
FG Pct .333 .542 (26/48)
3-Pt FG Pct .172 .583 (14/24)
3-Pt FGM/Gm 1.0 3.5 (14/4)
Rebounds/Gm 6.2 8.3 (33/4)

Dwight Howard has made at least 75 percent of his shots in a game 52 times in his career (min. 5 FGA in game). No player has more such games going back to 2004-05.

Most Games Shooting 75%+ From Field, NBA Since 2004-05 (min. 5 FGA)

Dwight Howard 52
Tyson Chandler 52
Shaquille O'Neal 48
Andris Biedrins 45
Erick Dampier 41




Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, November 27, 2009, 11:23 AM

AJ Makes Like Ponce de Leon

Towards the end of the Orlando Magic's first team meeting of the year just prior to the start of training camp Rashard Lewis spoke up.

Lewis' message to the team was that there was a tremendous amount of talent in the room and at times egos would have to be checked at the door. There was not time to gripe about roles, number of shots, or playing time.

Thirty-five-year-old Anthony Johnson, who has been tagged with the nickname "Dad" by 23-year-old Dwight Howard, personified Lewis' speech Thanksgving night in Atlanta.

With Jameer Nelson still sidelined due to arthroscopic knee surgery, and Jason Williams having played 78 of a possible 96 minutes each of the last two games, Johnson simply was ready when his number was called.

And the reason AJ was ready, despite playing just 17 minutes over the previous two games while JWill was making like Ponce De Leon and Head Coach Stan Van Gundy was riding Williams' wave of great play?

Because, he's a pro.

His job, even when not playing, is to stay ready.

So, instead of complaining about PT, he went about his daily routine. A routine which includes shooting extra after game-day morning shoot-arounds. A routine which includes a little extra running to stay in shape. A routine which does not include making a spectacle of the situation.

So, with All-Star Jameer Nelson still recovering from his arthroscopic surgery, and Williams needing some more fountain water in his tank, Johnson lit Hotlanta on fire. The final tally: 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting including three 3-pointers, three assists, two rebounds, no turnovers in 21 critical minutes. He deftly directed the the Magic offense from his point-guard position, erasing a 51-39 halftime deficit while delivering the Hawks their first home loss of the season, 93-76.

Johnson's play, and attitude throughout, certainly inspired his team.

So much so that when it came time to select the player of the game to do the traditional celebratory post-game interview, it was the entire Magic bench - led by Jason Williams by the way - clamoring for AJ to get his due.

So, there stood Dwight Howard, and his monster numbers (22 points, 17 rebounds, four blocked shots) courtside with TNT's Craig Sager.

And right beside him, being served his much deserved national accolades on this Thanksgiving Night, was the man they call "Dad."




Posted by Glass Half Full, Wednesday, November 25, 2009, 3:30 PM

Three-Point Play

1) If you didn't notice, with five straight victories your Orlando Magic enter the Thanksgiving holiday with the longest active winning streak in the NBA. The Lakers are second with four straight wins. Orlando, Atlanta, the Lakers and Phoenix lead the league with 11 wins against just three defeats.

2) While Dwight Howard's numbers are a little down from last year, he has still posted five 20/10 games so far. Since his second season, nobody has accumulated more.

Most Games with 20+ Points & 10+ Rebounds, NBA Since 2005-06:

Dwight Howard 127
Dirk Nowitzki 121
Tim Duncan 114
Chris Bosh 109
Kevin Garnett 107

3) Vince Carter heads up a group of newcomers in Orlando that have made an impact.

Highest Pct of Points from New Players, NBA 2009-10 (Not Including Rookies):

Detroit Pistons 44.2 (572/1295)
Orlando Magic 43.7 (608/1392)
Toronto Raptors 40.8 (658/1611)
Minnesota Timberwolves 38.8 (482/1241)
Milwaukee Bucks 32.1 (384/1197)




Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, November 20, 2009, 9:26 AM

E & E

Energy and enthusiasm continue to be key buzz words for the Orlando Magic as they embark on stretch of the schedule that features nine of the next 11 games on the road beginning with a trip to Boston.

So, what do we know 12 games in?

First, even though the Magic are 9-3, everyone in the locker room to a man would admit the team hasn't played as well as it can. There have been some flashes of greatness, most notably in wins over Phoenix and Oklahoma City where ball movement, the inside-outside attack, and a determined defensive mind set were in high definition.

Second, the Magic have clearly gone from being the hunter to the hunted. They will get every opponent's best game. While intangible, playing with higher expectations and a collective target on its back is different than being able to play with a nothing-to-lose, underdog mind set.

Third, since breaking training camp, because of injury and illness, the Magic have had little consistency to players available. Orlando has used eight different starting line-ups in the first 12 games. It's not an excuse, just a fact, and something that has perhaps led to some uneven play.

The key and focus over the upcoming stretch of games will be what has been Head Coach Stan Van Gundy's daily play hard message - Energy Enthusiasm.

While demanding and intense, it is also important to note that SVG has a solid handle and understanding on curbing any unnecessary negativity surrounding the squad. He and captain Dwight Howard have had conversations of late on just that topic.

Despite some of the ups and downs to the early part of season, playing at the current .750 winning percentage would extrapolate to a 60-plus win regular season.

Energy and enthusiasm, coupled with the standard Stan Van Gundy game-by-game preparation, will certainly push that total further.

The glass is half full.




Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, November 13, 2009, 1:22 PM

Three-Point Play

Despite a somewhat rough start -- remember at Glass Half Full adversity is a positive as it builds character and toughness - the Magic still can post a .700 win percentage with a victory tonight against the New Jersey Nets. To lead this "three-point play" edition off, a look at team starts since 2006-07:

1) The Magic are looking for their seventh win in 10 games this season, continuing their string of strong starts that dates back to 2006-07.

Best Record in October/November - since 2006-07:

Orlando Magic 45-15 .750
Boston Celtics 42-14 .750
Los Angeles Lakers 40-14 .741
San Antonio Spurs 38-18 .679
Phoenix Suns 39-19 .672

2) Both the Magic and Nets have been hampered by injuries early on and have been forced to juggle their lineups on almost a nightly basis.

Most Different Starting Lineups - 2009-10:

New Jersey Nets 6
Orlando Magic 5
Golden State Warriors 5
Washington Wizards 5
Minnesota Timberwolves 4
New York Knicks 4
San Antonio Spurs 4

3) Orlando hasn't lost a game in which it has scored 100 or more points since February of last season.

Most Consecutive Wins in Games Scoring 100+ Points (active streaks):

Los Angeles Lakers 18 Last Loss: 03/01/2009
Orlando Magic 17 Last Loss: 02/24/2009
San Antonio Spurs 13 Last Loss: 03/04/2009
Cleveland Cavaliers 5 Last Loss: 04/15/2009
Chicago Bulls 4 Last Loss: 03/31/2009

And a bonus note, since its a lucky day (Friday the 13th) in the eyes of Glass Half Full:

Orlando is a perfect 10-0 when Jameer Nelson has handed out at least eight assists in a game since the beginning of last season.

Best Team Record When Player Has 8+ Assists - since 2008-09 (minimum 10 games):

Jameer Nelson, Orl 10-0 1.000
Steve Blake, Por 9-1 .900
Mike Bibby, Atl 11-2 .846
Rajon Rondo, Bos 39-8 .830
LeBron James, Cle 34-7 .829




Posted by Glass Half Full, Tuesday, November 10, 2009, 6:55 PM

Future Power Rankings

Every once in a while, someone just shows how the glass is half full better than Glass Half Full. Having said that, here is ESPN's paragraph on the Orlando Magic in its "Future Power Rankings" currently featured on ESPN.com:

"The Magic look like one of the league's teams to beat in 2009-10, and we're guessing that will continue to be the case for the following three years as well. Orlando is blessed with a young superstar big man in Dwight Howard, and most of the veteran cast around him -- Rashard Lewis, Jameer Nelson, Mickael Pietrus and Vince Carter, for example -- should remain spry enough to contribute strongly to the cause for a few more seasons. There is young talent, too, in Brandon Bass, Ryan Anderson, J.J. Redick and Marcin Gortat. But it appears we can stop mentioning that they own the rights to Fran Vazquez. In the front office, the Magic have several strengths -- one of the league's premier coaches in Stan Van Gundy, the committed ownership of the DeVos family and an underrated general manager in Otis Smith. That pushed Orlando to a fourth-best finish in this category. When it comes to money, Orlando has no cap space for the foreseeable future. The Magic are willing to pay the tax, however, despite their small market, and the new arena that comes online next year should help considerably on the money front. They also benefit from one of the league's most desirable markets. Orlando's balmy weather, the Magic's winning ways and the lack of state taxes in Florida combine to put them near the top of the list for any prospective free agent. The one area in which the Magic can't expect much further help is the draft -- it appears they'll be picking somewhere between 27th and 30th for the next few years."




Posted by Glass Half Full, Tuesday, November 3, 2009, 10:33 AM

The Little Engine That Could

Jameer Nelson is the little engine that could.

While Dwight Howard rightfully commands the attention, a look at his point guard's numbers show just how valuable he is.

In wins last year and in the early going this season Nelson is averaging 17.7 ppg, while shooting 53 percent from the field overall and 53 percent from three-point range. He has 202 assists against just 67 turnovers and averages 1.4 steals per game.

Not so glass half full, in losses over the last season-plus Nelson averages 12.9 ppg., shoots 37 percent overall and 23 percent from three-point land. He has 40 assists and 22 turnovers and averages 0.7 steals per game.

Jameer makes the Magic go.










Posted by Glass Half Full, Saturday, October 31, 2009, 1:09 AM

First Quarter Magic

You ever hear someone say that the only thing that matters in the NBA is the last two minutes of the game?

Not so.

Take your Magic for instance.

Last season the Magic were all but unbeatable when leading after the first quarter. The Magic have led after the first quarter in each of its first two games this year - both wins.

Here's a look back at the best records when leading after the first quarter last year:

Orlando Magic 47-4 .922
Los Angeles Lakers 41-5 .891
Cleveland Cavaliers 46-7 .868
Portland Trail Blazers 33-6 .846
Phoenix Suns 33-7 .825






Posted by Glass Half Full, Wednesday, October 28, 2009, 11:56 PM

Three-Point Play

1) Dwight Howard has grabbed 2,254 rebounds the last two seasons. That is the highest back-to-back total since Dennis Rodman in 1992-93 – 1993-94 seasons.

Most Rebounds in Back-to-Back Seasons - Since 1992-93

Dennis Rodman: 1992-93 - 1993-94 2499 (1132 + 1367)

Dwight Howard: 2007-08 - 2008-09 2254 (1161 + 1093)

Kevin Garnett: 2003-04 - 2004-05 2247 (1139 + 1108)

Kevin Garnett: 2002-03 - 2003-04 2241 (1102 + 1139)

Shaquille O'Neal: 1992-93 - 1993-94 2194 (1122 + 1072)

2) After missing the second half of last season, Jameer Nelson is back and healthy. When Nelson went down, he was putting up the best numbers of his career.

Jameer Nelson, 2008-09 Stats (w/Single-Season Career Ranks)

Minutes/Gm: 31.2 (Most)

Points/Gm: 16.7 (702/42) (Most)

3PM/Gm: 1.95 (82/42) (Most)

3P Pct.: .453 (82/181) (Best)

FG Pct.: .503 (267/531) (Best)

3) Here's a look at the NBA blocked shot leaders since 2004-05:

Dwight Howard - 814

Samuel Dalembert - 778

Emeka Okafor - 621

Jermaine O'Neal - 610

Yao Ming - 609

Special thanks to Stats LLC for being a service provider for Orlando Magic broadcast partner Sun Sports/FSN, as well as GHF.






Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, October 23, 2009, 4:06 PM

Encore, Encore

So, what does Superman do for an encore?

After being named First Team All-NBA, Defensive Player of the Year, and garnering an NBA-record 3.1 million All-Star votes, Dwight Howard and his super friends are looking to take the next step.

Personally for Howard -- who remained on the bench to watch the L.A. Lakers celebrate the title on the Amway Arena floor - his stated goal is simple this season, win the championship.

To that end, Howard will personally focus on three areas as the Magic Kingdom jumps on his broad shoulders.

First, he will again look to dominate defensively. This 23-year-old is a very unique player in the fact that he can absolutely dominate a game without scoring. Remember, he became just the fifth player in NBA history to lead the league in both rebounding and blocked shots in the same season, joining the likes of Addul-Jabbar, Walton, Olajuwon and Ben Wallace.

Second, he will look to stay poised and patient in the post offensively. Hack-A-Howard and the double- and triple-teams will be coming full force and Dwight will look to make the opposition pay by slowing down a little and effectively passing out of the paint to what he calls his "snipers", a.k.a. the Magic's three-point shooters that go by the names of Lewis, Carter, Nelson, et al. If the opposition looks to pay more attention to the perimeter, look for Howard to score big in the paint and with an ever-expanding offensive repertoire.

Third, he will continue to work on his free throws. He has worked extremely hard and will continue to do so. GHF predicts a career-best percentage from the line.

Dominate defensively, poised and patient offensively, and a few free throws are the secrets to Howard, and Magic, success.






Posted by Glass Half Full, Thursday, October 1, 2009, 3:05 PM

Magical Swiss Army Knife

As training camp practice hit its third straight day of double sessions, one thing is Glass Half Full crystal clear: the Magic resemble a Rubik's Cube.

Multiple players can play multiple positions which in turn will create match-up nightmares for the foes, while also allowing the Magic to defend in a multitude of ways depending on the situation.

Can you say Swiss Army Knife.

Take newcomer Matt Barnes for example. The six-foot-seven incher can play shooting guard, small forward or even power forward. "Half Man, Half Amazing" Vince Carter plays, two, three and can handle up top as a point forward. Mickael Pietrus can slide from the two to the three and Brandon Bass can play the four and five, as can the Polish Hammer Marcin Gortat.

Rashard Lewis who has been a match-up problem as a power forward can slide between the four and small-forward, six-foot-ten Ryan Anderson shoots it like a two, and Jameer Nelson is a scoring point guard.

Glass Half Full even saw Dwight Howard drain a three-pointer after practice Wednesday night.






Posted by Glass Half Full, Friday, September 25, 2009, 11:37 AM

Glass Half Full is Back

Here's to short summers.

Shorts summers – it was just 107 days since last season ended to the start of training camp - translates into your Magic playing into June and for the NBA Championship. With that in mind, here are the Glass Half Full keys, in three-point play fashion, for the season, and for another short summer.

1) Stay Hungry … In the words of owner Rich DeVos, the Magic are "happy, but not satisfied." And that is key numero uno – stay hungry. The Magic can not be satisfied with last year's Eastern Conference Championship season which boasted 59 wins (including 27 road wins), a second straight Southeast Divisional title and a 6-3 regular season mark vs. the other big three (Cleveland, Boston and the Lakers). The team will look to come to the gym each night with that hungry like a bear mentality, playing each possession like it is their collective last. There can be no "flipping the switch" mentality and the team while having it's eye on the grand prize, will have to work each day, practice, game and possession to get back the opportunity it had last June. All that, knowing they have a bigger bull's-eye on their back. There will be no sneaking up on people and a ton of attention to deal with (24 national television appearances), all things which come with success.

2) Play Together … One of the keys of last year's group was that they always played together. Everyone knew their role, everyone bought into the concept of the sum is bigger than the parts. The Magic kept their core together, Superman and his super friends, and added five new faces in Vince Carter, Ryan Anderson, Matt Barnes, Brandon Bass and Jason Williams. How they gel will go a long way in getting to the finish line.

3) Defense … While most focused on the Magic's three-point shooting and inside-outside, spread-them-out, pick-your-poison offensive attack last year, it was actually the defensive mentality which was the key to success. Head Coach Stan Van Gundy will look for that same effort, an effort which saw the team ranked in the Top 10 of seven different defensive categories. Orlando allowed 94.4 ppg., while holding opponents to a 43.3 shooting percentage. Whether holding opponents down in the shooting percentage, limiting transition and points in the paint opportunities or playing hard without fouling, Orlando must bring its defensive mentality. Over the last two years the Magic are 81-18 during the regular season when holding foes under 100 points.

Joel Glass is the Vice President of Communications for the Orlando Magic.