instead. Black and Blue's Orlando Magic Blog: October 2007

Wednesday, October 24, 2007



NEW SITE! The Howeva Files!

Let the trumpets blare as there is a HUGE, magnificent announcement!

Black and Blue's Orlando Magic Blog is merging with the New Basketball Humor Site "THE HOWEVA FILES"!



There will still be plenty, and I mean PLENTY of great Orlando Magic news and half-assed commentary, but supplementing it will be great stuff about other teams in the NBA. To top it off, the new site is going to be updated with new posts far more frequently. Huzzah!
That's about it...So check it out, and let's continue to make sweet music about Stan Van Gundy's moustache, JJ Redick's DUI, and the Mobley-Francis love trist together!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Injury Update: You Have Got To Be F***'in Kidding Me

Updating my previous post, this comes from Florida Today:

ORLANDO -- A day after the Orlando Magic finally got their full squad back on the court together the injury bug struck again on Tuesday. Rashard Lewis tried to practice Tuesday, but once again pulled up lame on his sore right ankle.
Shooting guard J.J. Redick had to sit out because of lingering pain in the right hand that he broke prior to training camp. And point guard Jameer Nelson was unable to practice because of a stomach virus.
On the positive side, Trevor Ariza and Keyon Dooling – who missed all three of the games the Magic played while in China – not only practiced Tuesday, but Van Gundy said they were two of the best players in drills. Ariza had been out with tendinitis in his foot, while Dooling had been bothered by pain in his groin and hip.

Just goes to show you can't be too quick to click your heels. Rashard, get it together. You are looking like one of the crash test dummies out there.

Injuries Sminjuries!/Redick Needs A Nap/Fox Sports Likee Magic

Magic management is saying one thing today:

"Zippity-doo-dah! Zippity-yay! My oh my what a wonderful day!"

The reason is that yesterday the injury gang of Trevor Ariza, Keyon Dooling, and high priced free agent Rashard Lewis returned to the practice floor yesterday! Stan Van Gundy said, "Rashard didn’t look real comfortable on (his sore ankle), but he got the whole practice in,’’ which is akin to "Rashard was playing like he had glass slippers on." Either way, it's spectacular news heading into the last preseason game of the regular season.

The countdown has begun for Pat Garrity to kill one of these guys to get their playing time.

Meanwhile, JJ Redick has begun playing the blame game, saying that the flight was the reason for his shooting woes overseas. While most people will say this is a load of crap, I will actually side with Redick since I have trouble sleeping in planes or buses. I only seem to be able to get a good night's sleep at yo momma's house. Ohhhhh!

To further prove that the news surrounding the Magic of late has been of the super happy variety, Fox Sports is picking the Magic to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals. The article actually says things like:
Indeed, Keith Bogans is the only starter who could conceivably be called a
stopper. He's a rough and ready performer who would be more effective on a
better-balanced squad.
-And doesn't even mention anything about Trevor Ariza. Garrity getting props and Bogans being mentioned as a key cog in the Magic attack? Look for those flying pigs any day people.

Tomorrow will come the official announcement of the NEW SITE, so you're not going to want to miss it!

I sound like a commercial...sigh, my worst fears are now realized.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Bogans The Starting SG?/Garrity Resurgance/Injuries Linger

First off: New website announcement is still a little ways off since we still need to get our ducks in a row. Should be soon though!

For now, some old news to start the week off: Bogans looks to have won the starting shooting guard spot...for now. The complete implosion by JJ Redick, offensively and defensively, on the China reshaped the starting lineup and now it is Bogans' job to lose.

Wow, for all of that "Who will start at shooting guard? Ariza or Redick?" preseason talk, Keith Bogans came out of nowhere and snatched the spot! While Redick has more potential that Bogans (will the word "potential" ever be the same after Darko?), Stan Van Gundy seems to be a fan of playing without mistakes.
-That last comment makes the next one even weirder, but Pat Garrity just might have a shot at the starting lineup. Stan has been impressed with what he has seen from Garrity, and that leaves the door open with injuries to players like Rashard Lewis, Trevor Ariza, and Keyon Dooling. Garrity does seem to have recovered his three point shot, but I'm still skeptical. The use of my short term memory is thanks for that. I give it 10 days before we learn Garrity is pumped on HGH.

These topics are nice, but what Magic fans are REALLY talking about today are the aforementioned injuries to Lewis, Ariza and Dooling. Lewis' ankle keeps swelling up, Ariza said he heard a "pop" (which in injury terms is the deathblow, although I think he was overestimating it), and Dooling's injury sounds serious although it has been vague enough to lead me to believe he is actually decapitated.

Rashard's injury could be okay if he resumes practice today, so more news on that later. For now, I have to run to see a concert for the performer Kenna. If you haven't heard of him, check out his music. He's one of the few singers I actually can stomach!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Exciting News Coming/Yahoo Predicts Magic Will Win Southeast

Sorry in advance for the short entry today, but I am extensively with some cohorts on a new website that promises to rock your socks off. More news on that later.

For now, Yahoo is predicting the Magic will win the Southeast. That love we were looking for all these years is allllllllmost here. Now we just have to win, which shouldn't be too hard right? Right?

Good lord I hope Rashard's legs hold up.

Have a great weekend everyone and hopefully by the next entry I'll have exciting news to share.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A (Belated) Magic-Cavs Full Game Recap/Magic Beat China!

Note: This was supposed to be posted yesterday, but as you know Blogger crapped out on everyone yesterday. Here it is in belated fashion:


Well, it's official: It's easier to watch the Magic when they play in China then when they play in Orlando.

I just got done watching the DVRed record of the Magic-Cavs game, and I saw some big pluses and minuses. While our team did great, looking like a better overall team than the Cavs, it was a shame not to see Marcin Gortat on the international stage. The only time I saw him, someone was yelling at him to move down on the bench (literally.)

Let's go through the game position by position, shall we?

-First off, at PG Jameer Nelson is a COMPLETELY different player. Sweet sassy mo-lassy. Even though the stat sheet doesn't necessarily reflect it, he was the best player on the floor by far besides Dwight. He was driving through the lane, making amazing passes, and reminding our sluggish squad to run the floor. The Cavs could only foul to contain him. Hello, contract.

On the flipside, Carlos Arroyo looked like something Ira Newble shat out (apologies to the religious online Arroyo cult). He slowed the game down, he shot low percentage shots, and just looked rather lax on offense and defense. When Arroyo left the floor, the team seemed to come alive.

-At SG, yes Redick had a bad shooting game, but he also seemed rather lost on defense too. He seemed best suited to be 'the guy who passes to Dwight', a role that many handicapped people could easily do. He wasn't good and he wasn't bad, he was just absent the whole game.

Keith Bogans also had a so-so night, but he gets an "A" for effort in my book. He was hustling for rebounds, running the floor, and seemed like a man on a mission. The only thing that really killed his stock was that he was 3-8 for three pointers (not including 2 that he missed that were just inside the line). I know, I know, that is a good percentage, but when you take into account that every single shot of his was WIDE open, you can understand how difficult it was to watch that many shots clank off of the rim. Stan's system really allows for wide open threes, a great sign.

-At SF, whipping boy...actually didn't play terrible. He made his shots and wasn't trying to force anything. What he DID play like was an 80 year old man. When he touched the ball, I had to make sure my DVR wasn't in slow-mo mode. He is only like 28, so he shouldn't be looking like that. No wonder Stan Van Gundy thought he looked sluggish in other games. I think doctors need to re-examine our boy Turk to make sure he doesn't have some advanced aging thing...seriously.

The other tall white guy to play SF was Pat Garrity. Early in the game Hubie Brown was talking about how working with Stan Van Gundy could revitalize Garrity's career. Pat took this as his cue to suck...hard. Everytime the ball touched his hands, it was up for grabs and I'm convinced that one of his relatives must work for the NBA to have his statsheet only say 1 turnover. He held onto the ball like it was a red-hot piece of lava.

-I really didn't get a chance to see poetry man Foyle or James Augustine much since they were in for so short a period (usually playing during lackluster Lebron highlights...damn you ESPN), but they seemed okay. Foyle played well all around and Augustine rebounded a good amount, despite not shooting well. Augustine will most likely make the team and contribute here and there when they are being outrebounded.

-Which leaves us with Howard. I will give Patrick Ewing a pat on the back right now because he looks like a monster out there. Last year you could say he was a big guy with a lot of potential and a limited game. Well, this game he was just unstoppable everywhere (except his lone jumpshot, which still didn't look too bad). His free throws have improved too, making the Cavs actually regret it when they fouled him as opposed to using it as strategy. I can not express how impressed I was with him this game. Mark my words, this year is going to be his coming out party and Kevin Garnett would even say "Ooo-wee!" if he saw how D12 played today.

For coaching, Stan could constantly be heard from the bench "RUN! GO!", especially whenever Arroyo was anywhere near the ball and watching it bounce like a yo-yo. His lone time that he was onscreen calling a play, he yelled, "O-C! O-C!" as loud as he could. He then proceeded to say, "UM, MY MISTAKE...I MEAN'T 3-5! THIRTY-FIVE!" I chuckled at this right up until the play unfolded into a spectacular alley-oop dunk for Dwight.

That's our Stan for you: Laugh at him one moment and then shake your head at how good a coach he is the next.

Overall, a promising game. While it is easy to say the team did well despite Lewis, Ariza, and Dooling being out, the Cavs were also without unsigned players Pavlovic and Varejao so they were a little short on talent too. I am sure Stan will have a lot to say about how slow the team looked out there, but they did just take a super long flight so it is understandable.

Time to get some Lo Mein to celebrate the win.


Update: The Magic, after a slow start, are killing the Chinese National Team in their game today. Stan seemed to play some of the people he thought were lackluster yesterday, and there were mostly positive results: Carlos Arroyo redeemed himself after a poop game to go for 25 points and 7 assists and James Augustine (of all people) lit up for 14 points and 7 rebounds. Turkoglu had 17 points and Marcin Gortat had 8. On the flipside, JJ Redick's achilles heel remains the western hemisphere as he was 2-9, after an 0-6 start. For the boxscore, because yahoo hates Chinese people, go here:

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

One Of The Best Magic Posts Ever/PJ and Webber Still Possibilities?

Very few things in this world make me laugh out loud: The movie "Killer Klowns From Outer Space", Joe Namath trying to kiss Suzy Kolber, and the complete and utter annihilation of collar-poppers...yup that's about it.

But every so often I see something that just makes me lose it. On the Orlando Magic message boards, poster Thisistheyear wrote the following:

Chris Sheridan reports:

Los Angeles Lakes owner Jerry Buss has displayed an open mind to the idea of a
trade for their perennial superstar. Rob Pelinka, Bryant's agent, has stated that Bryant has expressed interest in a few teams thus far, the Dallas Mavericks, the Phoenix Suns, and the Chicago Bulls. Surprisingly, however, Bryant has told his agent that the East "intrigues" him, presumably two teams, the Chicago Bulls and the Orlando Magic."He says that the thought of playing alongside Dwight Howard has intrigued him." Pelinka said, a void that has been missing from the Lakers team since Shaquille O'neal's departure. "The idea of a trade, however, is of course still far too premature".

What followed were more than a few people commenting on the good/bad aspects of Kobe Bryant coming to Orlando. With Kobe's trade demands as of late, it was only natural.

Of course, when you click on the link, you get quite a different insight into the matter altogether. That is what made me laugh. Click it!

This began a big conversation revolving around how little links are actually looked at on sites. Someone else posted that Steve Nash was actually involved in the discussion. You really can't argue with journalism like that. I think that water I was drinking actually came out of my nose when I saw that last link.

Kudos to Thisistheyear and the gang at Magiczone for reminding readers to actually take the time to look at links. For people like myself who constantly post them, it is nice to have one or more people actually check them out from time to time.

In other (actual news) news, John Denton is reporting that PJ Brown and Chris Webber could actually be options still for Orlando. This isn't much of a surprise as the Magic are mysteriously leaving a roster spot open going into the season, coupled with their hopes to get an injury exception (aka money) from Tony Battie's injury.
With today just devolving into madness, I leave you with a quote from the underrated show "How I Met Your Mother" from last night:
Ted: "The fact that you slept with her. Ugh, I just couldn't get it out of my head, like that damn Chumbawumba song."

Marshall: "Oh, which Chumbawumba song?"

Monday, October 15, 2007

Magic Rock The Three-Ball/Guys Injured/China Time!

First off, I had to read the score from the Miami-Magic game twice: 102-69.

Granted, the Heat were without Wade and Shaq, but they will be without those two for a while at least to start the season anyways. Granted, the Bobcats blew them apart the next night, but the Bobcats are improved and the Magic beat them too. Bottom line is that it was a great win and even Pat "The Punching Bag" Garrity played well...which occurs only once a year (he might have used up his good game).

There is a lot to be optimistic about with the Magic, although 3 players (not including swiss cheese rotator cuff) are injured: Lewis has a sprained ankle and won't play Wednesday, Ariza has an inflammation in tendon in left foot and won't play at all this week, and Dooling has some bizarre groin/pubic bone area pain and will play Saturday at the earliest. This isn't too big as these guys would probably play if it were the regular season, but Ariza and Dooling have to realize that their potential starting jobs are slipping between their fingers with the emergences of Redick and Nelson. There's no such thing as job security in the NBA.

The biggest difference between last year and this year's Magic squad appears to be the emergence of the trey. The team has been throwing up anything beyond the line and for the most part they have been going in. JJ Redick has been shooting lights out from that range, and Hedo has been doing decently as well after being given a free pass to shoot from there as much as he wants. To me, this is a wonderful thing to see as the Magic seemed afraid to attempt three pointers in Brian Hill's fascist gameplan, despite the fact that the team was largely full of a bunch of long range guys. If Dwight Howard can refine his passing with Ewing's help, this team could be unstoppable from 3 point land.

Wow, who would have thought I could write that last sentence...including Hedo Turkoglu no less?! gotta love Stan Van Gundy.

On a side note, Yahoo Sports' NBA headline is a piece on Darko Milicic starting over again. The pressure the media put on Orlando for not resigning him seems to have subsided a bit as every NBA preview I've seen has his stint in Orlando as average at best. Worth 10 mill? Puh-lease.

This week, the team travels to China to play a few games. I set up my DVR to record the 8am game on Wednesday, although word is that Lebron might not be playing (he probably hurt his shoulder signing autographs). It will be a fun experience for our young guys, but an even better experience for Stan Van Gundy's stomach as there is so much to eat: Egg rolls, Lo Mein, Small Chinese children...the list goes on.

For the Dolphins fans of the blog, here is my short Monday Morning Dolphins Review:

They suck. Cleo Lemon is not the answer. Put John Beck in at QB after the Patriots game next week. That is all.

Friday, October 12, 2007

2007-08 NBA Pooptacular Preview: PACIFIC DIVISION

Tonight Stan Van Gundy and the evil known as "He Whom We Do Not Name" (Pat Riley) square off for the first of many grudge matches this season. With such an interesting story line, it's amazing that the NBA is not televising this game nationally...and instead televising the games in China at 8am in the morning. David Stern will truly never rest until the entire globe is under the control of his synthetic balls.

Today we continue the season preview, going from the Atlantic to the Pacific:


1) Phoenix Suns

Wondering if Phoenix will win this division is like wondering if the sun will rise (an unintentional pun there with the whole "sun" thing...God, I hate unintentional puns). Barring the explosion of the team flight or a season-long suspension for gambling, this team ALREADY has this division won and the season hasn't even started yet. The real question is whether they have the testicular fortitude to win it all finally. Every single person in the world is saying yes, but I am a little more skeptical...The team expected to win it all seems to never do it in the NBA.

2) Golden State Warriors

Golden State and the Lakers had the same record last year, but I am giving the edge to the Warriors this season. Why? To be honest it has very little to do with their solid draft and amazing playoff run last year and everything to do with my complete hatred of the Lakers. There, I said it. Baron Davis could be decapitated and I would still pick them here because (like the Patriots in football) no one wants to be that douche that predicts good things for the Lakers. On a side note, what an amazing turnaround for a team with a futuristic FTD florist guy logo. That just goes to show what wonders getting rid of Mike Dunleavy can do for you.

3) LA Lakers

It was reported recently that Jerry Buss has said he wouldn't mind trading Kobe. Everyone is on his back about it, but I will be the one person to say, "Jolly good show, old man." While talented, Kobe Bryant is just a damn child whose self-centered posturing does not translate into a winning team. He was obviously a different person during those championships, and you can see the timeline of when he transitioned from "hot-headed talent" to "complete dickhead" with the mass exodus of talent from the Lakers organization (Shaq, Rick Fox, Gary Payton, etal) If you want to shut your ears and sing to yourself while I write about how awful of a person he is, you can do so, but at least pick up Phil Jackson's book and leaf through it. While Jackson has quietly pushed a lot of his commentary to the side to work with Jerry Buss' daughter again, you can't ignore the things he wrote about how arrogant and crappy a person like Kobe was to work with. (Steps down off of soapbox)

4) Sacramento Kings

The Maloofs have worked wonders with this team. -And by "work wonders" I mean "driven this organization straight into the ground". The once-proud Kings are a collection of scrap metal from when they were good, with the exception of Kevin Martin. While their fans and stadium are still some of the best in the country, I don't know how many more years they can abide by a rapidly declining "Kermit The Frog Voice" Mike Bibby. It has been a few years without incident, so this may be the year that Ron Artest finally snaps and just disembowels another player. At least that will be worth watching.

5) LA Clippers

This franchise is back to its old crummy ways after seeming so promising for a while. I maintain that the bandwagon jumping by Lakers fans onto this team when they were good was one of the most shameless things I have ever seen (Jack Nicholson wearing a Clippers jersey? Are you kidding me?) Although they got Al Thornton in the draft, which was a pretty good move, they are playing Corey Maggette, Sam Cassell, and Cuttino "Steve Francis' Love Monkey" Mobley. Toss in the fact that Elton Brand (The executive producer of the Christian Bale movie "Rescue Dawn", no joke) and Shaun Livingston are crippled and you have the makings of a loooooong year. No bandwagoners for a while on the Clipper ship.

There you have it. Hopefully SVG and the boys in blue kick the crap out of Riles' boys. Updates will be added as they come up and otherwise have a good weekend everyone.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Preseason Game 2: Magic Obliterate Bobcats

Bobcats = Hunted and killed.

Before the game last night I said to several people that this could be a preview of the opening night starting lineup, with Foyle and Redick in the lineup and Hedo on the bench.

Well, if the events that transpired were any indication, it would appear I was correct. Last night the Magic blew apart the Bobcats like Gallagher smashing a watermelon onstage with a mallet.

The final score read 123-99, a decisive 24 point win, but the score didn't do justice to the complete onslaught the Magic brought on. For the second straight game, JJ Redick played a TON on minutes and the team shot a whopping .641 from the field. Even video games have preventative measures against teams shooting that well as to not seem too unrealistic.

The stories of the game were almost all positive:

-Mr. Fohawk (right) Redick once again proved he deserves the starting role for now with a ton of minutes, decent defense on Jason Richardson, and shooting a wonderful 5-8 from three point land.

-The Foyle-Howard combo was incredible, totaling 24 points, 16 rebounds, and 6 blocks in less than 30 minutes of time. Foyle opened things up for Howard, who suddenly had the freedom to exploit the defense with a (surprisingly!) offensive presence next to him.

-Jameer Nelson had 12 assists and 2 turnovers, something that was unthinkable all of last year. It seems he finally got it through his liliputian head that he needs to dish the rock if he wants an extension. He has looked amazing the past two games. I say give him 2 more games like this and Otis' wallet will open sooner than Sharon Stone's legs.

-Rebounding concerns? This was the second straight game the Magic outrebounded the competition SUBSTANTIALLY. Fast break/effort concerns? The Magic blew apart the Bobcats in fast break points. Dwight Howard's turnovers a concern? He only had one. Really this game was almost perfect.

...almost perfect.

The lone shitstain on the night was Rashard Lewis getting injured for the second consecutive night. This time it was caused by him landing awkwardly on his ankle, causing a sprain that should keep him sidelined the next few games. It is imperative the Magic get Lewis involved so the offense can gel so these injuries are annoying as hell. It also goes without saying that such a highly paid player is now 0-2 for finishing games because of injuries. With that kind of money, you want someone who can be your go-to player at the end of a game and the Magic don't appear to have that right now.

All in all, a great night for the Magic and a wonderful output by both starters and reserves. If the trends continue after these two games, we appear to have found something special in JJ, Foyle, and a reborn Jameer Nelson. Glasslegs Rashard better heal up soon or he is looking at even more Grant Hill comparisons than there already are out there. Best of all, we got our first glimpse of Stan Van Gundy basketball the way it is supposed to be played and it was pretty incredible.

The magic is in the moustache.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

2007-08 NBA Pooptacular Preview: ATLANTIC DIVISION

Tonight the Magic play the Bobcats, a team that is also looking to make a splash in the Southeast Division with their acquisition of Jason Richardson. It will be fun to see Trevor Ariza play Gerald Wallace, a player most fans compare Ariza to. Similarly, Hedo will be playing against Sleepy from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

More talk of the preseason game tomorrow. I have internet, which means I am feeling mighty and can once again continue the website's preview of the NBA season. Today we look at the ATLANTIC DIVISION, a division known for its big name players, Isiah Thomas sexual assualt/horrible father claims, and briny salt-water scent.


1) New Jersey Nets

I know, you just re-read my pick to win the division. Most people think this team is on the downswing due to their age like the Heat, but I am in the minority that sees them winning the division this year. Vince Carter had a crappy playoffs, but that doesn't erase the fact that he was (when he actually tried) fairly good last year. Throw in a rejuvenated Jason Kidd, who has his awful wife off of his back and a medal with Team USA, and Nenad Kristic returning and you have a solid core. Richard Jefferson being fully recovered from a season-long injury is just icing on the cake. To top it all off, these guys know each other and have something to prove after being written off this year. I would be lying if I didn't find Sly The Fox to be one of the greatest mascots ever (and Mini-Sly, his midget counterpart...yes, really there is a midget working for the Nets).

2) Boston Celtics

It's hard not to pick the Celtics with the addition of Ray Allen and Garnett, but if the majority of sportwriters took off their rose-tinted glasses for a second they would see that there are three primary scorers that have to mesh and almost no talent surrounding them. Behind the publicity smiles and friendly handshakes you KNOW that each of the three is thinking to themselves, "I'm going to be the primary scorer...these two just don't know it yet." In a weakened Eastern Conference, don't be surprised if Boston gets into the playoffs, but I do not see them being the best team all of a sudden because they have 3 legitimate players on an NBA team. Pencil them in as a 5-8 seed and watch an injury to one of the three slow them down late in the season. Next year is when teams should worry about these guys.

3) Toronto Raptors

Colangelo is a genius for revamping this fallen franchise, but it will take a lot to get them to equal the win total from last year. The Raptors took advantage of a lot of games against a weakened Nets team, a crummy Celtics team, a hopeless Knicks team, and...well...the Sixers. Almost all of the teams (sorry Sixers) have substantially improved this season and the Raptors are no longer a team that opposing teams sleep on. While Bosh is a bona-fide star, and has officially replaced Dwight Howard as the guy who doesn't get nearly enough credit, the pieces surrounding him are not strong enough for a serious title run. Unless Bargnani improves a ton, something that could happen in the wild NBA, this team looks likely to suffer a setback.

4) New York Knicks

Living in New York, you'd think David Stern's favorite team had already won the championship when they got convicted sex offender and bells palsy sufferer Zach Randolph on their team. Anyone with half a brain knows that while they will probably improve with added confidence, this team is still on the outside of the playoffs looking in. Stephon Marbury is maybe the least fit person to lead an NBA team, including that guy Corky from Life Goes On, and the rest of the team looks like a who's who of underperformers for other teams in Crawford and Curry. David Lee is incredibly talented, and now he is relegated to the bench with the acquisition of Zebo (A guy who has much more trouble passing out of double teams than he does of ringing on the doorbell of everyone in his new neighborhood to tell them of his past). Mark my words, after a quick start this team will have trouble making the playoffs and will spend their offseason watch lottery balls drop.

5) Philly 76ers

I feel like in describing this team I am sitting across from a woman at a dinner table and breaking up with her:

Me: Listen, thanks for meeting with me tonight. We have to talk.

76ers: Uh oh. What is that supposed to mean?

Me: Look, I was thinking you would improve yourself this summer. You know, find those missing pieces in your life. This hasn't been the case as you seem content the way you are. The bottom line is that you've let yourself go.

76ers: I'm FINE the way I am. I have Andre Miller, Kyle Korver, Andre Iguo-

Me: Stop it, just stop it okay? It's a sign of how bad things have gotten when you list Kyle Korver as one of your best traits. This is just going nowhere quickly and you have to admit that to yourself.

76ers: We got Thaddeus Young in the draft! We traded for Reggie Evans! He likes to punch people in the balls!

Me: Do you hear yourself? I can't fathom how you actually believe the words coming out of your mouth (Gets up to leave, throws napkin on the table)

76ers: Don't leave. "Strength is derived from unity!"

Me: Know what? That is a shitty team slogan...this is over. Have a nice season.

76ers: (Sobbing) I should have never signed Chris Webber...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Hawks-Magic Review...Eh, It Was So-So

The game last night had its high and low points. Most notably, Dwight Howard's play was the undisputed high point. The guy had 30 points, 11 rebounds and a bunch of blocks, and just simply dominated. Patrick Ewing's influence seems to be worth every cent at this juncture with Dwight actually not sucking at the free throw line and attempting (hold your breath) relatively outside shots. Ewing can take Howard to all of the strip clubs he wants if he gets that sort of production out of him. Clifford Ray, a super-popular Howard coach who was let go during the awful Brian Hill regime, might have just become an afterthought.

Another great performance was that of resident Magic poet Adonal Foyle. Easter Island Head had 11 points and looked extremely solid in a short amount of playing time. It seems like that pickup is making Otis Smith look smarter and smarter by the second.

-Oops, wait a second. Hold that last thought.

Rashard Lewis, the BIGGEST Magic splash this offseason was mediocre at shooting and left the game with leg cramps. My biggest concern with Lewis is him holding up playing at power forward for a full season, and this game was not very reassuring. Every Magic fan was ready to commit suicide by way of homemade guillotine when they read on yahoo/heard on the radio that Lewis was injured in the game. Thankfully it was not a big blow, but scary nontheless. Lewis said that he had a lot of jitters and was trying to hard, which is fine so long as he can calm down and become the Ozzie to Dwight Howard's Harriet.

Most Magic fans' (myself included) favorite part of the game was actually Stan Van Gundy's Jim Mora-esque post game quotes. Instead of doing the quiet, nonchalant press conference that Brian Hill and his mannequin-like predecessor did, Stan seemed to tear the team a new one. He called a few players out, most notably my least favorite Magic player Hedo Turkoglu on his lack of effort (Stan referred to it as 'seeming tired'). You can tell that Stan actually gives a damn about making the team better and has a real concrete plan on how to do so. He has become one of my favorite parts of the team, and not just for the dick jokes.

As for the battle at shooting guard, JJ Redick looked decent out there and Ariza somewhat picked up where he left off (A ton of rebounds and an absolutely AWFUL shooting performance). Stan Van Gundy said Keith Bogans looked crappy out there so he gave the others a shot, which is a good thing. After one game, it would appear that Redick has the inside track simply due to how many minutes he played, which was the most on the team. We'll continue to monitor this as it still is anyone's spot to win (-including myself. I am not ruling that out.)

We saw a good amount of James Augustine, who didn't completely suck as he shot at a high percentage. I'm looking forward to seeing more of Marcin Gortat, who seems more raw but also more apt to run with his high energy level. The chances of both making the team is good unless we can bring in a Chris Webber or another player to help down low. The Magic clobbered the Hawks in post points, obviously mostly due to Howard's god-like abilities. You can almost hear the over-anxious Magic fans saying to themselves, "I'm totally taking Howard first in fantasy basketball this year! No one will see it coming!" These same people will be the ones saying in a huff at the season's midpoint, "Why did I quit the fantasy league? Who wants to play a stupid game where free throw percentage is so important anyways!" Their faces when they say this will resemble that of Keyon Dooling's in the photo above.

In my opinion, this game was a pretty rough first one for a team undergoing what is looking like a major facelift. There were positives and negatives, but I have a feeling that things will really start to click once the team can get its minds around Van Gundy's gameplan. His gameplan MUST be good if he didn't even play Pat Garrity in the first game, right?

I'm already looking forward to the next game, and hopefully the team can rebound (both literally and figuratively). Until then, you stay classy...planet earth.

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Preseason Cometh! Magic vs Hawks!

Pardon the belatedness of this post, but the internet is garbage. On the upside, I should only have to wait until Wednesday for the high speed cable to be put in. I feel like I'm on a deserted island until then.

Let's turn to the subject at hand: Rarely does a game featuring Sheldon Williams generate any sort of interest, but this is the first game of the preseason! The Magic take on the Hawks and we finally get to check out some of the new players Orlando will roll out.

Here is a quick guide to what could be the starting lineups:

Probable Lineups:


C- Dwight Howard: We get to see our man-child grow another year. Sigh...they grow so fast!

PF- Rashard Lewis: 8 billion dollar contracts and hype motivate people...right?

SF- Hedo Turkoglu: Flip a coin and let's see if he is red hot or ice cold tonight!

SG- Keith Bogans: Flex position should see a lot of changes, but Bogans has been working hard.

PG- Jameer Nelson: Want that extension? How bad? (Dangles it above his head)


C- Al Horford: Time to earn your stripes, rook. You get to play an All-Star in your first game.

PF- Josh Smith: Looks like the monster from Young Frankenstein, but super talented.

SF- Marvin Williams: Alright, he may never reach the lofty expectations, but he's improving.

SG- Joe Johnson: The guy everyone will be looking at for scoring on the Hawks this season.

PG- Speedy Claxton: Shifty guard who really has bizarre/wonderful team photo headshots.

Key Thingamajigs To Watch:

-JJ Redick's defense is the only thing keeping him out of being a starter. Will that improve, or will he just be one crappy DUI mugshot?

-How will the combo of Dwight and Rashard (Or Dwashard for short) work in an actual game situation?

-Who the F will rebound besides Dwight?

-Will Carlos Arroyo or Keyon Dooling actually challenge for the starting PG spot? Jameer's agent might kill them with a shovel.

-Hopefully all of our guys stay healthy, we see some promise out of our young guys (Gortat, Auggie), and some insight into who deserves that SG spot.

Go Magic!

Friday, October 5, 2007

2007-08 NBA Pooptacular Preview: CENTRAL DIVISION

I'm excited for the Magic's first preseason game against the Atlanta Hawks like a schoolgirl who just found her first crisp 2 dollar bill under her pillow from the toothfairy.

Alright, that analogy died about halfway through writing it.

Still, the season is quickly approaching and that means it is time to continue the NBA Pooptacular Season Preview! This time, we'll be focusing on Lebron's Central Division.

First, just to go through the daily Magic news, JJ Redick is apparently doing well with his defense. He better be, because Stan Van Gundy's hope for a defensive-minded guard make Trevor Ariza the favorite. I really hope that the D in DUI stands for "defense" so that JJ can play his way into the rotation. While my preference is still Ariza, I do worry about how much his shot has improved. We have a guy in JJ who is an amazing shooter and sucks and defense and another player in Ariza who is the exact opposite. I say we build a machine to combine them and call it a day. I'll leave that task up to you guys.


1) Chicago Bulls

Everyone and their mother is picking Cleveland to win this division, but those same people make their picks by looking at last year's standings. F' em, I say! Chicago is my pick to have the best record in the East because their promising young talent finally is clicking together. Gordon is good (albeit a bit streaky), but Deng is really the cool cat of the bunch with the all-star future. I kinda think that he looks like Hellboy with his exaggerated brow and wide smile. Anyone else? No? Well, alright then.

2)Detroit Pistons

Detroit will never die, and since they are SOOOOO boring to watch I am going to silently hope for a big injury to one of their players. Perhaps Tayshaun Prince actually eats something for the first time in 10 years and it makes his insides explode? Maybe Rip Hamilton gets mistaken for Jason from Friday the 13th, or some other mask-wearer, and gets gunned down by the police? I don't know, but if someone would please break up this boring dynasty I would be very happy.

3)Cleveland Cavaliers

This is one team that I think will experience a major downswing in wins. Lebron is amazing, but his supporting cast really overachieved last year and will come back to earth. Toss in the fact that Sideshow Bob (Varejao) could still leave and you have a possible recipe for disaster. This team and the Heat will be the subject of "biggest dissapointment" in multiple annoying Steven A. Smith segments on ESPN. Ugh...I'm dreading them already.

4)Milwakee Bucks

Just how old IS Yi? A lot of people think he is actually in his mid-20s or older, but I will go even higher than that and say he is immortal. Why? Who else could have the power to refuse individual workouts against other players before the draft, post up a CHAIR for scouts, and still get drafted so high? I'm telling you that he is magical.
Besides Yi, this team is actually deceptively strong at a lot of positions, and they are a team that I am picking with an outside shot of making the playoffs. Redd, Mo Williams, Charlie Bell, Yi, Bogut...they have some firepower that could actually do something if it gels. The only thing that could ruin it is the soul-crushing crappiness of their team name.

5)Indiana Pacers

Speaking of crappy team names, the Indiana Pacers always struck me as a team with a minor league baseball name and logo. Unfortunately they are stuck with both since they've been around for so long and there really is nothing else you can use as a logo with such a bizarre ambiguous car name (maybe borrow that ugly horse with the muffler engines the Pistons had a while back?). This franchise and the Lakers have been my two least favorites over the year, so it's somewhat comforting to see them really struggling. Toss in the fact that they cut my boy Jasiki-VISCIOUS (I'm Lithuanian), have an upset Jermaine O'Neal, and little else and you have a team going down the standings at a quick...pace! Oh, what a delightful pun!
More previews next week and updates will be posted as they happen. Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Magic Maybe Not Even Looking At Webber Or PJ?/Schmitz Says Magic Good With SVG/Random Stuff

The fun thing about not having internet and going off of others' wireless networks? You are completely at the mercy of other people having their computers on! Fun, fun times are had by all as the blank webpage reads "Connection to the internet is not possible" all day. To make it even more enjoyable, Time Warner said they are unable to install television/internet in my new place until next Wednesday.

There is almost too much joy to handle!

Ah well, we'll keep today short because it's obviously already evening and nothing big seems to have come out today regarding the Magic. The only notable things came in HoopsWorld and Brian Schmitz's blog.

Hoopsworld is saying that the Magic likely won't pursue PJ Brown (no idea why) or Chris Webber (probably for the best). Hoopsworld has been wrong in the past, so I wouldn't take this as gospel but I would get read for a season with a whooooooole lotta FOYLE!

In Schmitz's blog, he says that the Magic having Stan Van Gundy instead of Donovan will pay off better for the team in the end. And...well...that's basically the article in a nutshell. I said the same thing about 4 months ago but I don't have a fancy moustache (which I will admit discredits me a bit).

With nothing really else to report, we will turn to some quick tidbits from my demented head:

-It's taking FOREVER to unpack in the new apartment, but there is a silver lining with this new place: The people who lived here beforehand left all of their outdoor furniture, which is super sweet because there is a table, grill, and other great stuff. If they try to come back for it I'm going to lie and say it all fell off of the terrace and smashed to smithereens...and then simultaneously combusted. Then I will feign an inability to understand English.

-I just got the Athlon Sports NBA Preview guide and it has some interesting things I didn't know: The Ft. Myers Miracle, the Orlando area minor league baseball team, had "Billy Donovan Night" after he left the Magic in the lurch. They gave out free waffles to be ironic, and offered all fans the chance to leave and get their money back if they could convince the attorney they had at the stadium (no joke). Only one guy left.

The guide also said Zach Randolph took off three games last year for bereavement over his girlfriend's cousin, who died 5 days earlier. On the third of his 3 games he missed, people spotted him at a strip club where he left without paying his $106 tab. Gotta love Zebo.

-Cam Cameron is simultaneously making this the funniest and worst season of Miami Dolphins football I have ever seen. So far, Ted Ginn hasn't started yet and seems like a waste. For those keeping count, the three players taken before AND after him are all starters for their teams.

-Before I left my old apartment to move I got on this weird kick where all I was watching was Survivorman and Man vs. Wild on the Discovery Channel. I have to say given the choice between the two, Survivorman is more authentic, but Man vs. Wild is SO much more entertaining in a silly Gordon Ramsey-esque way. I enjoy watching the guy eat live scorpions and describing what it tastes like in detail. Now THAT'S entertainment!

More tomorrow if God wills the internet to be cooperative.