One of the not-so-secret weapons for the Magic for the playoffs is their outside shooting, especially from their big men. Case in point: 6-9 forward Pat Garrity
ranks seventh in the NBA in three-point field goal percentage (.436) and ninth in three-point field goals per 48 minutes (2.96). This forces the defense to respect him on the perimeter and opens up opportunities inside for his teammates.
Garrity winds up his second season in Orlando after coming over with Danny Manning
from Phoenix in a trade for Penny Hardaway. He was one of only 26 players in the NBA to appear in every game for their team last season (no counting those who started every contest). He put up solid reserve numbers (8.2 ppg and 2.6 rpg), but delighted the Magic with his penchant for game winning shots. Three times last year, a Garrity basket won the game for Orlando, including a buzzer-beater on March 6 at Washington.
This year Garrity has continued to prove he can be a big game player. He poured in 21 points on 7-of-13 shooting against the Bucks on Nov. 27 and 20 points on a perfect shooting night (7-7 FG, 3-3 FT) in a win over the Raptors on April 1. He participated in the 1 800 CALL ATT Shootout over All-Star Weekend and provides this young Magic team with some playoff experience after averaging 9.0 points and 3.0 rebounds in three postseason games his rookie year with the Suns.
Garrity's a swell guy off the court as well, serving as the secretary/treasurer for the NBA Players' Association. He graduated from Notre Dame with a 3.7 GPA in science/pre-professional studies (pre-med) and was named the 1998 Academic All-American of the Year. He also holds a campus record for the most student ID cards lost in the space of a week.
While the Magic are preparing to meet the Bucks in the first round of the playoffs, Garrity chatted live on April 19.
from [22.214.171.124], at 3:10pm ET
Whats it like to play alongside T-Mac and how do you feel about playing with both T-Mac and Hill at the same time? You must be drooling about all the wide open threes you'll be getting? What's your take on it?
at 3:10pm ET
It's easy to be a shooter when you have those kind of guys around you who are able to draw so much attention. And it's nice to be alongside guys like that who are very unselfish players.
from [126.96.36.199], at 3:11pm ET
What do you do to prepare for a game?
at 3:11pm ET
I do the same warmup and shot routines every game and basically it's a series of shooting drills I do before every game.
from [188.8.131.52], at 3:11pm ET
What's it like hitting the game-winner or making the big shot when the game is on the line??
at 3:12pm ET
It's one of the best feelings about being a basketball player and a competitor is being able to hit a game winning shot or doing something that wins the game for your team.
from [184.108.40.206], at 3:12pm ET
How do you think you guys will match up against the Bucks?
at 3:12pm ET
I think we matchup well but at this point in the season it's not really a matter of matchups as knowing every set they run and knowing how to stop them.
Jordan- Magic Fan
from [220.127.116.11], at 3:13pm ET
Hey Pat, what place do you think is toughest to play at?
at 3:13pm ET
I think Sacramento or Portland. Those two places are always really tough. Sacramento because they always sell out and because they have the loudest fans in the league.
from [18.104.22.168] at 3:13pm ET
What do the Magic have to do in order to beat the Bucks?
at 3:14pm ET
We have to limit the contributions from their other guys, their bench players and their big guys like Scott Williams, Ervin Johnson and Darvin Ham.
from [22.214.171.124], at 3:15pm ET
Did you go to St. Jude Central High in Sumter, SC for a couple years? I am pretty sure that I went to school with you. By the way I am a five-year Magic fan and have faith that the Bucks are in for a surprise on Sunday.
at 3:15pm ET
Yes, I was there as a freshman.
from [126.96.36.199], at 3:15pm ET
Hey Pat. What's it like playing for Doc Rivers? Is he really a great coach like everyone says?
at 3:16pm ET
Yeah. The good thing about playing for Doc is that he puts every one of his players in a position to succeed. He knows every player's strengths and works to showcase those strengths.
from [188.8.131.52], at 3:16pm ET
You shot 100% against the raptors -- they call you the "Raptor Killer". How does that nickname feel, and how do you think your team will stack up against the Eastern Conference?
at 3:17pm ET
That's a pretty good nickname to have, I guess. Although our last game I didn't do much against them.
The Eastern Conference is so wide open. We've beaten the top team three times. We just beat the Sixers by 20 points and if we can do that, we can beat anyone in the Eastern Conference.
from [184.108.40.206], at 3:17pm ET
Who was your idol growing up?
at 3:17pm ET
I really didn't have an idol growing up.
Aaron Burns from Valdese,NC
from [220.127.116.11], at 3:18pm ET
Did you enjoy being in All-Star Saturday this year?
at 3:18pm ET
I really enjoyed the whole weekend. It was great just to be a part of the All-Star Saturday night. And just the activities surrounding it -- going out with friends, that was fun too.
from [18.104.22.168], at 3:19pm ET
You and Bo Outlaw are hands-down my favorite players. What do you intend to do during the offseason to continue to improve your post up game and defense so you can get 30+ plus minutes a game?
at 3:19pm ET
I just plan to stay in Orlando and work out with our coaches. We've got a lot of guys who are going to stick around so I plan on being there every day. Just improving strength and all that stuff.
from [22.214.171.124], at 3:19pm ET
Do you think that too much pressure is being placed on McGrady? After all he is still a young man and hasn't had the years experience needed to be a team carrier.
at 3:20pm ET
I don't think too much pressure is being placed on him because of the way he has handled it. We've put him in a position to win games for us down the stretch and as long as he can handle it, it's just fine.
from [126.96.36.199], at 3:20pm ET
What is it like to be ranked third in Notre Dame history with 2,085 career points?
at 3:21pm ET
It's pretty cool, I guess. It's good because there have been a lot of NBA players who have come through Notre Dame and to be third is an honor. Now I just hope that Troy Murphy leaves so I can stay third.
from [188.8.131.52], at 3:22pm ET
What was the thing you worked hardest on to become the great player that you are?
at 3:22pm ET
By far my shooting.
ILUVJESUS, from N.Y
from [184.108.40.206], at 3:22pm ET
Which team in the NBA is the toughest to play against ? Why ?
at 3:22pm ET
I think San Antonio probably because of their two big guys. And they've got guys who can shoot the ball and create on the perimeter too.
Walt Park from Rochester, MN
from [220.127.116.11], at 3:23pm ET
What effect will the new NBA rule changes have on your game?
Meegan says hi. :)
at 3:23pm ET
I think the new rules open the game up for shooters because people are going to be wanting to flood the lane and take away drives and post ups.
Chris M. from Tampa, FL
from [18.104.22.168], at 3:23pm ET
Who is the biggest "Joker" on the team? And since Mike Miller is rookie, do you guys make him do your laundry or something like that?
at 3:24pm ET
The biggest joker on the team would probably be Bo. And Mike Miller has gotten off probably the easiest of anyone I've ever seen as a rookie. He hasn't had to do anything.
from [22.214.171.124], at 3:25pm ET
Pat, how does it feel knowing that this Magic club is a lot younger than most NBA teams ?
at 3:25pm ET
I think that's great for us. We can do really nothing other than improve if we just keep the same group together.
Jordan- Magic Fan
from [126.96.36.199], at 3:25pm ET
Hey Pat, do you think there is great chemistry on the team?
at 3:26pm ET
There is great chemistry. There's really no egos and no individual agendas that people are trying to serve. Everyone's just going out there with the win as the number one thing on their mind.
from [188.8.131.52], at 3:26pm ET
Pat, what different matchups are you looking at with the Bucks in the first round? You haven't beaten them in the past two years. Honestly, Can the Magic win this series?
at 3:27pm ET
Yeah we can win it. All it takes to end all that stuff that's happened over the last two years is one win. Then all that stuff is over.
at 3:27pm ET
I think the biggest matchups are going to be our bench against their bench.
Mike from Boston, MA.
from [184.108.40.206], at 3:27pm ET
What do you think of Grant Hill's return next year and what it will do for the team?
at 3:28pm ET
It will add another guy who can create his own shot and create shots for others. That's the biggest thing. When you add another All-Star to your team, it's going to do nothing but improve it.
from [220.127.116.11], at 3:28pm ET
Whats it like playing with Darrell Armstrong?? He is really great for this team. Good luck in the playoffs. Oh who has helped you the most with your game?
at 3:29pm ET
Playing with Darrell is great because he energizes all of his teammates. So it's great playing with a guy like that who's such a competitor.
One of our assistant coaches, Johnny Davis has helped me the most with my game. He's always out there rebounding for me and putting me through drills and stuff, but also with how encouraging he is.
from [18.104.22.168], at 3:29pm ET
Hey Pat, I've seen you make some incredible threes for the Magic. When you spot up, is there any pressure on you, and what goes through your mind when you release the ball?
at 3:30pm ET
There's no pressure, just because I've done it so many times. I can't really think of what goes through my mind other than, I hope this goes in.
from [22.214.171.124], at 3:30pm ET
What are your feelings on the young and talented rookie, Mike Miller?
at 3:30pm ET
I think the sky's the limit for him. Because this year he responded so well to the position he was put in and he's only going to get better. The guy's only 21 years old.
Aaron Burns from Valdese,NC
from [126.96.36.199], at 3:30pm ET
Who is the best NBA player?
at 3:31pm ET
I think Tim Duncan. It's hard to say because of different positions, but Tim Duncan is the guy who I would want on my team.
from [188.8.131.52], at 3:34pm ET
Who do you say is the toughest competitor in the East for this Magic team ?
at 3:34pm ET
Well right now it's the Bucks and we'll worry about the other teams after we get past them.
at 3:35pm ET
Thanks to everyone who wrote in with good questions. Go Magic!