Posts Tagged ‘orlando magic’

Throwback Thursday: First round series to go seven


VIDEO: The Bulls and Celtics square off in an epic 2009 first-round series

Welcome to Throwback Thursday here on the All Ball Blog. Each week, we’ll delve into the NBA’s photo archives and uncover a topic and some great images from way back when. Hit us up here if you have suggestions for a future TBT on All Ball. Suggestions are always welcome!

Today’s Topic: First round series to go seven games

The NBA Playoffs are a magical time in the basketball universe as every game matters and each player gives it their all.

To honor the playoffs, this Thursday we look back at the 14 first-round series to go the full seven games (the first round expanded from a best-of-five to a best-of-seven format in 2003). Hopefully this year’s playoffs provide similar dramatics.

(NOTE: Click the “caption” icon below the photo for details about each moment.)


Gallery: Throwback Thursday: First Round Series to Go Seven

Which of these was your favorite series? Leave your comments below!

Orlando Magic players read mean tweets about themselves

By Lang Whitaker, NBA.com

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One of the signature comedy bits on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” is having celebrities read mean tweets about themselves. The Orlando Magic took a page from Kimmel’s playbook and had Tobias Harris, Maurice Harkless and Kyle O’Quinn read a few things that had been tweeted about them…


VIDEO: Magic read mean tweets

Orlando Magic’s Video Tribute To Dwight Howard

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERDwight Howard may currently be a member of the Houston Rockets, but before Houston (and Los Angeles before that), Dwight spent the first eight seasons of his career playing for the Orlando Magic. Wednesday marked Howard’s first return trip to Orlando as a member of the Rockets, and despite the bad feelings surrounding Howard’s departure, the Magic paid tribute to Dwight for his contributions to the organization …


VIDEO: Orlando Tribute To Dwight

Orlando Magic Mascot Proposes To Kate Upton

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — For all the travails that accompany being a world-famous supermodel, I’m guessing fending off marriage proposals is just another part of the job. Particularly for a supermodel like Kate Upton, who has become perhaps the preeminent supermodel the last few years, and even more so when you’re out in public at, say, an NBA game, and there’s a mascot on the lookout for love.

Kate Upton took in an Orlando Magic game over the weekend. She was with her boyfriend, Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander, but when Verlander took a brief wander around the arena, that quick opening was apparently all Orlando mascot Stuff the Magic Dragon needed to make his move.

The ring appears to large enough to make Upton consider the proposal. And while Upton seems grateful, she conspicuously declines to answer Stuff’s question…

For his part, Verlander found out what happens when you leave your supermodel girlfriend alone for even a moment…

Stuff eventually attempted to apologize for breaking the bro code, though it appears Stuff was rebuffed by both Upton and Verlander…


VIDEO: Magic mascot Stuff proposes to supermodel Kate Upton

Horry Scale: Harris Has It


VIDEO: Harris Has It

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — And we’re back. Not even five weekdays since Randy Foye roused us on a quiet Monday evening, and the Horry Scale has been awakened by a rim-rattling dunk from Orlando’s Tobias Harris.

One thing I’d like to clear up: The Horry Scale does not measure a game-winning shot; the Horry Scale measures several facets of a Game-Winning Buzzer-Beater. So we’re talking about not only the shot, but also the play that creates the shot, the situation and the drama, the celebrations…basically, everything surrounding and including the shot. So when I gave Randy Foye a 3 Horry rating, that wasn’t only a reflection of his shot, which was admittedly remarkable, as I wrote, but also the play, which was awful. Taj Gibson’s lefty layup wasn’t the toughest shot, but that inbounds play was terrific. Basically, everything matters.

Before we get too far into this, we should stop and explain why we’re here: What is the Horry Scale? For those who are new around these parts, the Horry Scale examines a game-winning buzzer-beater (GWBB) in the categories of difficulty, game situation (was the team tied or behind at the time?), importance (playoff game or garden-variety Kings-Pistons game?) and celebration (is it over the top or too chill? Just the right panache or needs more sauce?). Then we give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys, the patron saint of last-second daggers.

OK, so you understand? For our records, this is the fourteenth GWBB this season, so our record-setting pace continues unabated. for now, let’s break this shot down…

DIFFICULTY

It was an undefended dunk, the kind of dunk Tobias Harris has probably converted hundreds or even thousands of times in his life. But I doubt he’s ever put one down with literally no time left on the clock. After Kevin Durant missed his jumper that would have put Oklahoma City up 3, Victor Oladipo out-fought Thabo Sefolosha and Reggie Jackson to corral the ball, and by the time Oladipo had it and was heading up court, there were just under 4 seconds remaining. Even though they had a timeout remaining, the Magic played on and took advantage of the numbers. In the next four seconds, Oladipo dribbled the length of the court and got into the paint, where Jeremy Lamb stepped up to cut off his drive. Lamb left Maurice Harkless alone on the baseline, and Oladipo hit him with a bounce pass. Harkless caught the ball with 1.5 seconds remaining, and immediately dished it back to a trailing Tobias Harris, who dunked it home with no time remaining. It was a terrific pass by Harkless, but it was as gutsy as it was fundamentally sound — with such a miniature amount of time left, this game was pretty close to ending with Harris a couple of inches away from a GWBB. But he made it, and the Magic won in thrilling come-from-behind fashion.

GAME SITUATION

The Thunder had an 8-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, but the Magic outscored them 23-14 in the fourth to get the W. There were two things about the situation around this particular play that stuck out to me: 1. Durant shot the ball with about 3 seconds left on the shot clock. I know he was able to get to one of his preferred spots on the court, at the free throw line extended, which is a shot he makes more often than not. But if he’d been able to wait just a second longer, the Magic wouldn’t have had the time to grab the board and do what they did. 2. The Thunder had a small lineup in at the time, and when Durant’s shot went up, Serge Ibaka was the only member of the Thunder anywhere near the rim in a rebounding position. And the long bounce from the miss then took him out of contention for the rebound.

CELEBRATION

Now that’s a celebration. With no time on the clock, the Magic players knew they could celebrate, so the bench guys rushed the court. The camera work became shaky, like something out of a movie. Harris received a trio of chest bumps, ending with a thunderous hug from Big Baby Davis. Also, you want to see what disbelief looks like? Check out the Thunder bench…

Screen Shot 2014-02-07 at 10.59.48 PM

GRADE

As I wrote above, and I hope you remember this, IT ISN’T ONLY ABOUT THE SHOT. It’s about the entire play, and the accumulated circumstances surrounding the shot. As a dunk, in a vacuum, for an NBA player it wasn’t the most difficult shot. But put everything together, including a lottery team playing the best team in the West, and making a shot while down a point to win the game, and it was a pretty epic play for the Magic. I can’t give this 5 stars, only because this is a regular season game and I have to be able to still go up from here once we reach the playoffs. So instead, I’m giving this 4 Horrys, the same grade to which I retroactively rated Jeff Green’s season-opening shot.

horry-star horry-star horry-star horry-star

What say you? How many Horrys would you give Tobias Harris’s GWBB?

The All Ball Posterized Poll (Vol. 3)

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — If you’re into the NBA’s most devastating dunks, we’ve got you covered over at the new-and-improved Dunk HQ. But because we’re the All Ball blog and we like to look at the NBA from non-traditional angles, we will focus on the flip side of the NBA’s best dunks: What we want to know is, who got got?

So welcome to Volume Three of The All Ball Posterized Poll. We will check in from time to time and examine the worst of the best, and use a highly scientific polling method to determine which NBA player got dunked on (a.k.a. posterized) the most egregiously. And at the end of the season all of our winners will battle it out to determine who it is that most belongs on a poster.

The winner of Volume One was New Orleans’ Jeff Withey, who was placed on a poster by Lakers’ wingman Xavier Henry, his college teammate. The winner of Volume Two was Atlanta’s Al Horford, who was posterized by Victor Oladipo.

But can anyone top Withey? We have five brand new nominees. We checked in with NBA.com’s own slam dunk specialist, LeMont Calloway, for his informed perspective on the matter. “What I’ll say most about these defenders is that at least they’re trying to show help-side D,” LeMont notes. “There’s a defender or two around the league who wouldn’t even dare, let alone probably couldn’t even make the proper rotation. (Calling you out Boozer!) But, it’s like Bill Walton used to say: What are big men doing trying to take charges anyway?”

Now, to the latest nominees …

1. Terrence Ross on Kenneth Faried
LeMont’s Take: “Not only does this one have all the qualities needed to make it a great posterizer (elevating over a jumping, contesting defender, finishing tough), but the still shot of the play makes for an amazing visual. From Faried’s honest attempt at defending to Ross’ acrobatic cock-back wind-up, you have to appreciate both players’ intensity.”
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VIDEO: Ross on Faried
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2. Kevin Martin on Tayshaun Prince
LeMont’s Take: “No shots fired, but has Kevin Martin ever had a play like this in the NBA? Wanna know what sticks out to me the most about this banger? It’s the fact that Martin’s swagged-out slow walk after the dunk suggests that Kevin Martin posterizers, like a LeBron jam, for instance, are household plays. It’s like Martin is saying, ‘This is what I do.’ Love it!”
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VIDEO: Martin on Prince
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3. Taj Gibson on Bismack Biyombo
LeMont’s Take: “Bulls announcer Stacey King knows a poster when he sees it. And if there’s one Bull who has a pretty good resume of big facials, it’s Taj Gibson (ask Nikola Vucevic or a 2011 D-Wade about their Gibson experiences). Game film is key in this game, and if Bismack Biyombo was paying any attention, he’d know that Gibson usually means serious two-handed business at the rim.”
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VIDEO: Gibson on Biyombo
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4. Anthony Davis on Big Baby
LeMont’s Take: “I feel pretty confident calling it right now: Anthony Davis may turn out to be one of the best big man to utilize the pick and roll. A lot of his dunks and alley-oops this season have come in this manner, and he’s only going to keep learning and getting better at it. It just so happens that his play-cousin Glen Davis is part of the education.”
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VIDEO: Davis on Davis
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5. Lance Stephenson on referee Ed Malloy
LeMont’s Take: “No man is safe from getting dunked on. Not kids on Nerf hoops, not unsuspecting rookies, not even referees. How many people can say they dunked on an official and got away with it? Lance Stephenson can, and he’s probably the envy of many a player in the NBA. (I’m sure there are plenty of guys who’d love to dunk one on Joey Crawford.) The Pacers’ spark plug may be ticked off that he didn’t make the All-Star team, but hopefully he was able to unleash some of that anger here, even if it was at the expense of a ref.”
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VIDEO: Stephenson on Ref
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Now we need your vote! Who got dunked on the worst?

Dwight Howard Adds Mutombo Impression To Extensive Repertoire

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERDwight Howard has always been dynamic, and this is something that has worked both in his favor — his fans love that he has a varied personality — and against him — his detractors argue that he isn’t serious enough. Through the years Dwight has demonstrated that personality in part by being willing to show off his various impersonations, and he added a new one to the repetoire recently. Let’s get in the internet wayback machine and check some of these out…

(more…)

The All Ball Posterized Poll (Vol. 2)

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — If you’re into the NBA’s most devastating dunks, we’ve got you covered over at the new-and-improved Dunk HQ. But because we’re the All Ball blog and we like to look at the NBA from non-traditional angles, we will focus on the flip side of the NBA’s best dunks: What we want to know is, who got got?

So welcome to Volume Two of The All Ball Posterized Poll. We will check in from time to time and examine the worst of the best, and use a highly scientific polling method to determine which NBA player got dunked on (a.k.a. posterized) the most egregiously. And at the end of the season all of our winners will battle it out to determine who it is that most belongs on a poster.

The winner of Volume One was New Orleans’ Jeff Withey, who was placed on a poster by Lakers’ wingman Xavier Henry, his college teammate. (You can see the offending dunk at this post.) Voting at Volume One is now officially closed.

But can anyone top Withey? We have four new nominees. We checked in with NBA.com’s own slam dunk specialist, LeMont Calloway, for his informed perspective on the matter. “What I’ll say most about these defenders is that at least they’re trying to show help-side D,” LeMont notes. “There’s a defender or two around the league who wouldn’t even dare, let alone probably couldn’t even make the proper rotation. (Calling you out Boozer!) But, it’s like Bill Walton used to say: What are big men doing trying to take charges anyway?”

1. Chris Bosh (as nominated by Josh Smith)
LeMont’s Take: “It’s got to be fun for Brandon Jennings to play with several front-line bangers on his team. He’s dropped a few passes behind to his big men on fast breaks, and this time it’s J-Smoove’s turn to finish it off.”


VIDEO: Josh Dunks On Bosh

2. Al Horford and Paul Millsap (as nominated by Victor Oladipo)
LeMont’s take: “Any dunk that can get this kind of response out of announcer Dominique Wilkins, one of the godfathers of the dunk, has to be something special. On his visit to the Hawks, I guess Vic wanted to pay tribute to Atlanta rapper Future. Two at the same time indeed.”


VIDEO: Oladipo Dunks On Hawks

3. Carlos Boozer (as nominated by Rodney Stuckey)
LeMont’s Take: “Booz, you brought this one on yourself. One more of these and maybe he’ll consider playing actual NBA-caliber defense.”


VIDEO: Stuckey Dunks On Boozer

4. Darren Collison (as nominated by Ben McLemore)
LeMont’s Take: “This is my pick for the new bunch. You’ve got Big Ben flying with authority and a competent attempt to make a defensive play. Just not enough lift for Collison. The rook’s making me a fan, that’s for sure.”


VIDEO: McLemore Dunks On Collison

These are your nominees for Volume Two. Vote for the winner below…

THE POSTERIZED POLL

Victor Oladipo Sings Bill Withers

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Back in the summer when I interviewed all the rookies at the Rookie Transition Program, one of several things I tried to cajole them into doing was singing on camera. Some of them were into it, some of them were not, as you can see here. The most surprising to me was when Orlando rookie guard Victor Oladipo passed on the chance to give us a few bars, particularly when we already knew he considered himself a good vocalist.

And as it turns out, Oladipo is a really good singer. Two days ago a video emerged of Oladipo on stage back in April, performing a duet of the Bill Withers classic, “Ain’t No Sunshine.” Take it away, Vic…
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VIDEO: Victor Oladipo Sings

(via Ball Don’t Lie)

Jason Maxiell To Rock Horace Grant-Style Goggles

Horace Grant Portrait

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERHorace Grant always did the dirty work. And it was that willingness to fight for rebounds, set screens and knock down midrange shots that allowed him to play in the NBA for 17 years, and, more importantly, win four championships (three with the Chicago Bulls, one with the Los Angeles Lakers.)

Yet for casual fans, Grant was perhaps best known as the guy in the bright goggles. No matter which team he played for, he always had a pair of color-coordinated goggles. According to this classic story, once he was diagnosed with poor vision, Grant chose goggles over contacts and, according to his doctor, “[Grant] said it was like a whole new world opening to him.” Although they were there for function, the goggles quickly became a style trademark for Grant.

And now the look will live on. According to the blog Orlando Pinstriped Post, Magic F Jason Maxiell is planning on reviving the look…

Maxiell underwent surgery on Easter to correct a detached retina, and he will “most likely” wear protective goggles for his own safety throughout the season. “I don’t have to, but I would rather [wear them].” He’s still not sure when or how the original injury occurred.

Currently, Maxiell is wearing a sleeker and more stylish pair of goggles similar to the ones Bo Outlaw wore when he was with the Magic. Maxiell says the Grant goggles are “a little more durable, [and] a little more my style.”

(via EOB)