Sun Sports and FS Florida broadcaster David Steele is in the midst of his 22nd season of Orlando Magic basketball, and his 13th as the play-by-play announcer for the team's television broadcasts. He was named television play-by-play voice for the Orlando Magic in March of 1998 after handling radio play-by-play duties for the team's first nine seasons. Steele shares his unique take on what's happening with the Orlando Magic and more with his newest blog.
Posted by David Steele, Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010, 8:30 AM
Road Trip Review
The Orlando Magic wrapped up an eventful and successful two game road trip Tuesday night in Cleveland. The Magic beat the Cavaliers 110-95, one night after knocking off the New Jersey Nets in Newark 104-88. The back to back wins finished up seven games in 11 nights for the Magic, and further advanced the proposition that the club is headed in the right direction after two blockbuster trades just 11 days earlier.
Monday night against the Nets, in front of a small but hearty crowd that weathered a blizzard to arrive for the game, the Magic started slowly, trailing after the first quarter. But in the second half, Dwight Howard took control, scoring 17 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and blocking 4 shots in the final 24 minutes as the Magic pulled away from the outmanned Nets for their third consecutive win.
On Tuesday night in Cleveland, the Magic again waited until late in the game to pull away from their opposition. Leading by just one point after three quarters, the Magic outscored the Cavaliers 35-11 in the final period to notch their fourth win in a row. Newcomer Gilbert Arenas recorded his first double-double with the Magic, with 22 points, 6 rebounds and 11 assists. The other new additions, Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu and Earl Clark, also contributed greatly to the victory. Richardson scored 20 points, Turkoglu had 9, with 6 rebounds and 5 assists, and 22 year old Clark matched a season high with 12 points. Also notably, Orlando made a season high 19 three point field goals. It was the Magic’s sixth game since the two blockbuster trades, and the team gets better and better with the passing of every contest.
The successful road trip also confirmed the fact that this Orlando team is a resilient bunch. Postponed games, a rampant stomach virus, and two major trades punctuated the early season, and now this week, a road trip into a blizzard.
Two feet of snow with 50 mph winds caused all kinds of travel problems for the Magic during a 30 hour period in New Jersey. The Magic team charter left Orlando headed for Newark on Sunday afternoon. Just prior to departure the pilot said the team plane would just beat the fast approaching blizzard. The last time a pilot on a Magic charter said something like that was January of 1996 and the plane had to make an emergency landing in Allentown, Pa. where the team was stuck for three days. I couldn’t help but think this is going to be Allentown-Part Deaux.
But, the Magic team charter landed safely in Newark. Despite high, gusty winds, the landing was amazingly smooth. Exiting the plane I complimented the pilot on a job well done. He was forty-something, nice looking, fit, and he gives me sort of a Sully Sullenberger sideways smile with a nod that says, “What did you expect. I’m the best pilot on the planet.” Love that confidence.
On Monday afternoon, a team bus headed for the arena got stuck in a snow bank trying to make a left turn in downtown Hoboken. As bemused locals looked on, players, coaches ( and one broadcaster) exited the bus and walked several blocks to get aboard a second bus which would take them to the game.
Ordinarily a 20 minute trip, the ride from the hotel would take an hour and a half, as the creeping bus dodged abandoned cars buried in drifting snow along the way. After the game, another slow bus ride to the airport and more delays. A half-hour wait at the entry gate at Newark International, and another 45 minutes to de-ice the plane prior to departure. The end result, a 3 am arrival into Cleveland for the second game of the back to back.
Even though the two wins came against two of the weaker teams in the eastern conference, because of the unusual circumstances of the team travel, the victories take on enhanced significance. Now the schedule eases up. A four game home stand spread out over a 9 day period will give the Magic a chance to catch their breath, kick the snow out of their sneakers, and maybe begin settling into some kind of a normal routine. Until, at least, the next crisis comes along.
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