Posts Tagged ‘Magic’

All Ball Fave Five: Most Disappointing Playoff Teams Of The New Millenium

by Micah Hart

You may have noticed it’s the offseason, which means we have plenty of time to sit around and think about many of the things that make it fun to be an NBA fan. Here at All Ball, we’ll be passing the time until the start of the season with a new series, the Fave Five. Each week we’ll count down a list of the five best, or worst … somethings. We’ll try to get creative with it. Plus we’re taking requests! If you have a suggestion for a Fave Five post, give us a shout and you may see it appear in this space over the next several weeks.

Who is going to win the Super Bowl this year? The World Series? Your guess is as good as mine. In the NFL and MLB, who wins from year to year is totally unpredictable. In football it’s about who is lucky and who is healthy; in baseball it’s who is lucky and who gets great pitching.

The NBA is different. There are very, very few Cinderella stories in professional basketball. For my money, the 2011 Mavericks and the 2004 Pistons are the only surprise champions I’ve seen in the NBA in my lifetime.

The best teams almost always prevail. Which is why when we think of the teams who have come up short since the start of the 2000s, the answers are pretty obvious.

Let’s take a look:

5. 2011 San Antonio Spurs

What happened: The Spurs got off to a ridiculous start to the season (they were 29-4 at one point), and for a while there was talk that they might flirt with 70 wins. They cooled a bit down the stretch, but still finished the regular season as the top seed in the Western Conference with a record of 61-21.

The draw in the West looked pretty good, as they faced the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round. Talk about a mismatch – the Spurs, four-time NBA champions, versus the Grizz, who to that point had not won a single playoff game in franchise history in three previous appearances. So naturally they advanced to face HEY WAIT A MINUTE!

Memphis shocked San Antonio in six games, and the Spurs went home as only the fourth No. 1 seed to ever lose to a No. 8 seed*.

* The Bulls became the fifth this past season, but methinks that might have turned out differently had Derrick Rose been healthy.

Why they disappointed: I’ll be honest. I don’t really think of this Spurs team as being all that much of a disappointment. Some of that is due to the fact that the Grizzlies turned out to be a pretty good team, and some (maybe a lot) is due to the fact that Manu Ginobili hurt his elbow the final game of the season and was severely limited in the series. Still, 1 seeds don’t lose to 8 seeds, so here they are.


Glen Davis Gets A Little Extra Workout In During Game 3

by Micah Hart

With Dwight Howard on the shelf, the Magic have a lot riding on the broad shoulders of Glen “Big Baby” Davis. So far in the Magic-Pacers series he’s been up to the task, averaging 17 points and 11.5 rebounds in the first two games. He’s continuing to show his hustle tonight in Game 3, as evidenced by this nifty play midway through the second quarter:

Who says the playoffs have to be all business?

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Three For All: A Retrospective

by Micah Hart

The 2011-12 NBA regular season will come to an end tonight, and one thing we can say for sure is the compressed 66-game slate certainly gave teams their share of challenges. Chief among those (in our eyes at least) were the back-to-back-to-back series that every team faced at least once throughout the year, a chore that never occurs during a normal 82-game calendar but was made necessary once again due to a lockout (the last time teams played three games in three nights was 1998, the last time the NBA played a shortened season due to a labor stoppage).

With 42 three-for-all sets built into the calendar, we made it our business here at All Ball to document each one, curious to see what information we might glean from them. Would it be an accurate predictor of postseason achievement? Would we see NCAA-tournament style cinderella runs from some of the lesser squads? Could anyone win what we assumed would be an incredibly grueling third game?

Let’s run through some of the numbers and see what’s what.

7 — Number of times teams went undefeated in their three for all challenge, led by the Spurs, who managed to do it twice within the span of less than a month. The Spurs’ second run saw them match the Heat with 15 points, the maximum possible score allowable for three road wins by double-digit margins. We’ll break down who’s was more impressive on Thursday night. In addition to those two, the other perfectionists were the Bulls, who maxed out their trip with 13 points (all wins were by double-digits, but they played only one road game), the Thunder, the Hawks, who amazingly found the strength to win the third game in four overtimes over the Jazz, and the Suns (more on them in a second). Of the six teams to taste perfection, only Phoenix will be sitting out the postseason.

6 — Number of times teams went winless. Would it shock you to learn that the Wizards were the only team to go defeated twice? Would it shock you further to learn the Bobcats, the worst team in NBA history, aren’t on this list? In addition to the Ashington Izards (No Ws – I R HILARIOUS), the Pistons, Clippers, Mavericks, and Suns found the going toughest. The Suns, incidentally, were the only squad to put up undefeated and winless marks, which really encapsulates their season in a nutshell, from being 12-19 to just missing out on a playoff spot after their loss in Utah on Tuesday.

4.5 — The average score for the 42 attempts was 4.5 points. The most common score was 2 points, accomplished 10 times, while no one scored 14 or 9.

22-20 — Record for teams in the third game of the three for all. I gotta tip my cap to these guys, I would have pegged this mark to be much worse before the season started.

And now for some superlatives, after the jump.


Dwight Howard Decision-Making Flowchart

by Micah Hart

This is too funny not to post. Courtesy of @BQRMagic, comes the Dwight Howard flowchart:

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Big Baby Davis drops pants, gets well-deserved technical

by Micah Hart

In a similar vein to the previous debate about JaVale McGee‘s off-the-backboard dunk, here we have Big Baby Davis getting a little too excited on the court in last night’s game against San Antonio:

Some may say that refs are too quick to give technicals these days when players complain, but I’m pretty sure dropping trou has always been a guaranteed T.

Keep it classy, Big Baby.

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Ryan Anderson, grape-catcher extraordinaire

by Micah Hart

We’ve seen our fair share of trick shot videos here at All Ball, mostly featuring basketballs, but also footballs, frisbees, and soccer balls. Now it appears we’ve got a new strain of the genre, with food taking the place of athletic equipment. Specifically in this case, Magic forward Ryan Anderson and his amazing grape-catching skills:

Impressive stuff Ryan. But if you really want to wow me, let me see you do that with peanut M&Ms. The stakes get a little higher at that distance…

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Hopped up on pain meds, this Magic fan pleads for Dwight Howard to stay in Orlando

by Micah Hart

Meet Marshall Coleman. Marshall just had his wisdom teeth extracted, and as we’ve all learned from the Internet, that is typically a recipe for comedy (or disaster and humiliation, however you want to look at it). In this case, the pain medication brought to the surface Marshall’s true feelings about the Magic potentially losing Dwight Howard. Needless to say, Marshall is not happy about that prospect:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Poor guy. I wonder if knowing that the Magic amnestied Gilbert Arenas will cheer him up at all?


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A history of NBA logos

by Micah Hart

Josh Cohen over at the Orlando Magic’s website has some time on his hands, like many of us right now, and has put it to good use with this rundown of the history of logos for each current NBA franchise.

There is tons of goodness in there, and you should click the link to see them all, but here are a few of my faves:

Denver Nuggets, 1976-81

The Nuggets hate rabbits, and other cotton-pickin’ varmints.

Fort Wayne Pistons, 1941-48

I for one would like to welcome our robot overlords.

Chicago Bulls, 1966-present

Give it up to the Bulls, the only franchise to have never changed logos. Timeless and classic.

Houston Rockets, 1971-72

This looks like it was ripped straight out of a Schoolhouse Rock cartoon. “I’m just a ball, yes I’m only a ball…”

New York Knicks, 1946-64

Frankly, I am speechless on this one. I have no idea what is going on here, and I don’t recall seeing many basketball players wearing capes either. The best part about it is that this was the team’s logo for eighteen years.

Milwaukee Bucks, 1968-93

I miss the days when animals on logos were friendly. This Buck just wants to play ball and have a good time, what’s wrong with that?

What are some of your faves?

Evolution of NBA logos [Orlando Magic]

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Stan Van Gundy has surprising handle

by Micah Hart

I’ll be honest, I did not see this coming:

I don’t know why I wouldn’t expect a head coach in the NBA to be able to play this game a little, but I’ve just always presumed Stan Van Gundy, like his brother Jeff, was more into the mental execution of the sport rather than actually, you know, playing it.

Judging by the reaction of the crowd at Van Gundy’s basketball camp, I’m not alone in that thought.

This is only a snippet, but consider my mind changed. SVG, I will pick you last in a pick-up game no longer.

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Some entertainment suggestions for teams without 1st-round picks

by Micah Hart

Quick story — when I worked for the Hawks, draft night was always a huge production. It was probably my busiest night of the year, between liveblogging, interviewing front-office types, owners, new draft picks, etc. All except for 2008, when the team, thanks to previous trades for Joe Johnson and Mike Bibby, had no draft picks at all. My God was that a boring night. Draft night is no fun when you are watching the entire thing from the sidelines.

Fortunately there are no teams that are completely sans draft choices this year, but there are seven squads without first-round selections at this point, which means the top half of the evening will be fairly uneventful for their fan bases.

With that in mind, here are some entertainment suggestions to help them bridge the gap between the start of the evening’s festivities and your team’s respective draft slot.

L.A. Clippers
No picks until: 37th pick – also have 47th
Entertainment suggestion: If I’m a Clips fan, all I am doing tonight and any other night is watching reruns of Blake Griffin highlights and thanking whichever gods I pray to that he’s on my team.